Top Ten Tuesday: Books for Fans of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

Top Ten Tuesday is an original blog meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and is currently being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is “Books to Read If You Love/Loved X. I can already tell this week’s topic is going to be really fun. I can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with for this topic and can’t wait to be introduced to more books as a result. This week I’ve decided to recommend books based on one of my all-time favorite series. Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before holds such a special place in my heart and I know a bigger audience was introduced to the series thanks to the Netflix adaptation. So I thought I would share with you ten books that I believe pair well with the series. I consider Lara Jean to be one of my comfort characters. She reminds me of my teen self in a lot of ways. She isn’t the most fearless or most outgoing person. She’s reserved and cautious, more likely to be caught baking on a Friday night than out with friends. She isn’t used to putting herself out there, but I loved watching her learn and grow. I loved all the feels the series gave me. Loved that it’s a story about love, friendship, and family. And loved that it ultimately left a huge smile on my face. I hope all these books do the same for you. Covers linked to Goodreads.

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1. Fat Chance, Charlie Vega by Crystal Maldonado

2. Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann

3. Love from A to Z by S.K. Ali

4. Analee, in Real Life by Janelle Milanes

5. You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson

6. I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo

7. Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno

8. Fifteen Hundred Miles From the Sun by Jonny Garza Villa

9. How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland

10. Truly Madly Royally by Debbie Rigaud

Are you a fan of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (books or movies)? Who is one of your comfort characters and why? Let me know in the comments and be sure to leave me a link to your own TTT post, so I can visit!

Snapshot Review: Jade War by Fonda Lee

Title: Jade War
Author: Fonda Lee
Series: The Green Bone Saga, #2
Pages: 590
Publisher: Orbit
Release Date: July 23rd 2019

TW: suicide, graphic violence, racism, mentions of rape and homophobia.

      “In Jade War, the sequel to the World Fantasy Award-winning novel Jade City, the Kaul siblings battle rival clans for honor and control over an Asia-inspired fantasy metropolis.
      On the island of Kekon, the Kaul family is locked in a violent feud for control of the capital city and the supply of magical jade that endows trained Green Bone warriors with supernatural powers they alone have possessed for hundreds of years.
      Beyond Kekon’s borders, war is brewing. Powerful foreign governments and mercenary criminal kingpins alike turn their eyes on the island nation. Jade, Kekon’s most prized resource, could make them rich – or give them the edge they’d need to topple their rivals.
      Faced with threats on all sides, the Kaul family is forced to form new and dangerous alliances, confront enemies in the darkest streets and the tallest office towers, and put honor aside in order to do whatever it takes to ensure their own survival – and that of all the Green Bones of Kekon.
      Jade War is the second book of the Green Bone Saga, an epic trilogy about family, honor, and those who live and die by the ancient laws of blood and jade.”

  • The details – It’s hard not to appreciate how much detail Fonda Lee puts into her world. Everything is so well-thought out from the politics of this world to its economics. Kekon feels like a real place. As Lee opens up her world a little more to include international relations, this county feels a little smaller as it is not only its citizens but the countries that surround it that affect Kekon.
  • Sibling relationships – One of my favorite things about the previous book was the often messy and complicated relationships between siblings. We see this continue with Hilo and Shae and how their relationship has evolved. Of the three Kaul siblings, they are the pairing who naturally are at odds with one another. Both have to navigate positions they never thought they would have to take on and together they have to make decisions that not only affect them as individuals but the whole clan.
  • Family – Really liked seeing the emphasis put on family in this series. We are invested in the No Peak clan because of the Kaul siblings. We’ve spent the first two books learning who these characters are as a unit and how they navigate family and clan business. It’s an interesting juxtaposition with the Mountain clan where Ayt Mada isn’t surrounded by family because she literally killed them in order to gain her position. 
  • Wen and Anden – I really love the Kaul siblings, but really enjoyed seeing Wen and Anden stand out in this installment. Anden is dealing with the consequences of his actions, in particular his refusal to wear jade. He’s been shunned to Espenia and experiences culture shock. Wen is every bit the badass her husband is. She’s always felt like an outsider because she is stone-eyed, but is determined to contribute to the clan and not just as the wife of the Pillar. Her devotion to the clan and her need to prove herself worthy have her taking risks that can benefit No Peak greatly if she succeeds.
  • The surprisesJade War is full of even more surprises than Jade City. I think I held my breath during the final 40 pages. Fonda Lee did not pull any punches and it will be a while until I recover from this one.
  • Pacing Jade War felt slower than the previous book, but with its attention to detail, it’s hard to hold this against it.

Fonda Lee’s The Green Bone Saga is a smart and enthralling fantasy. Jade War will keep readers on their toes with its heart-stopping action and unexpected twists.

★ ★ ★ ★
(4/5)

Book Lists: Most Stunning 2021 Covers

I cannot believe we are less than two months away from 2022. I feel like these last two years have been really long and yet at times, have flown by. I am not quite ready to welcome in a new year as there are tons of books that I just have not had time to get to and I know 2022 promises even more books. But today I am going to concentrate on this year and share with you fifteen of my favorite 2021 book covers. This list could easily be twenty or thirty books long, but I had to show some kind of self-control. I own most of these and cannot convey to you just how stunning they are in person. Covers are linked to Goodreads.

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1. One of the Good Ones by Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite

2. Fat Chance, Charlie Vega by Crystal Maldonado

3. Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley

4. The Mirror Season by Anna-Marie McLemore

5. The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He

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6. This Poison Heart by Kalynn Bayron

7. Black Water Sister by Zen Cho

8. The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina by Zoraida Córdova

9. Gearbreakers by Zoe Hana Mikuta

10. Velvet Was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

11. How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland

12. White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson

13. Nothing But Blackened Teeth by Cassandra Khaw

14. The Last Cuentista by Donna Barba Higuera

15. A Psalm of Storms and Silence by Roseanne A. Brown

Which is your favorite among these? What is your favorite 2021 cover?

Top Ten Tuesday: Quotes From Recent Reads

Top Ten Tuesday is an original blog meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and is currently being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is “ Memorable Things Characters Have Said. So I usually record memorable quotes from books and then include them in my reviews, but lately, I’ve been skipping this habit. I’ve also been listening to a lot of audiobooks which makes keeping track of quotes kind of difficult. As a result, I had to jump around my most recent reads to find quotes to include. You will forgive me if they aren’t completely accurate. Covers linked to Goodreads.

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1. White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson

“You’ll learn soon enough: my house, my rules. Everything that is yours is now mine. And you will obey my rules until the day you leave. That’s right, you won’t be staying here long. I’ll make sure of that.”

2. Night of the Mannequins by Stephen Graham Jones

“I’d read Frankenstein in AP English, so I knew you don’t walk away from your creations. Not without consequences.”

3. We Are Not From Here by Jenny Torres Sanchez

“Maybe that’s what I need–to wrap my heart in scar tissue. I think of the blood coagulating, the tissue fusing together. I think of a thick scar forming over that tear. Over and over again. Over and over again. Until any pain is just a small, fleeting thing.”

4. Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam

“Ms. Rinaldi gave me hell

because I didn’t fit

into her definition of weird

I was a different kind of weird

my hair too wild

my skin too dark

my voice too deep

my paintings too colorful

my art too free.”

5. How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland

“There was one flower that grew about everywhere–tall, its leaves emerald and grasslike, with sunset-pink blooms that gathered in a long cone, opening from the bottom up. I plucked the petals and slid them into my Spanish-English dictionary, the only book I brought for the trip…I still have those petals in my book. They’re a little faded and you can see the veins of them really clearly, but they remind me of when I fell in love with the world. That’s the moment I realized that anything, that everything, could be holy.”

6. Nothing But Blackened Teeth by Cassandra Khaw

“My vision was just fine. It was my brain. My brain wouldn’t inventory its observations, would not process or sustain any memory of her face, retain anything but the red of her rosebud mouth, the lacquered black of her hair. Her hands moved. Her fingers sunk into the grooves between my ribs, squeezed.”

7. Fat Chance, Charlie Vega by Crystal Maldonado

“I imagine being kissed about a hundred times a day. The tense moment just before the kiss, when they look right at me like there’s no one else in the room. the way they caress my cheek, maybe put their hand on the small of my back. to be so close to someone I care about, someone I like or even love, feeling the warmth of their skin near mine, would be magic.”

8. The Twisted Ones by T. Kingfisher

“And I made faces like the faces in the rock. And I twisted myself like the twisted ones. And I lay down like the dead ones.”

9. My Heart Is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones

“Horror’s not a symptom, it’s a love affair.”

10. Small Town Monsters by Diana Rodriguez Wallach

“Demons don’t want to possess things, they want to possess people.”

Have you read any of these? Any pique you interest? Let me know in the comments and be sure to leave me a link to your own TTT post, so I can visit!