April 2020 Playlist

Apr 30, 2020

Virgo Tendencies // Keke Palmer
Remember Me // Dove Cameron x BIA
I Got You // Bazzi
i think too much // Christian French
lessons // mxmtoon
Sad Bitch // Laszewo
Bad Friend // Rina Sawayama
I Love My Friends // Steve Aoki x Icona Pop
Tell My Mama // Lauv
Nothing Compares // The Weeknd
Wasted Youth // Diana Gordon
Burning Bridges // Ella Vos
Chosen Family // Rina Sawayama
Out of My Life // Ghita
Jesus Christ 2005 God Bless America // The 1975
Six Feet Apart // Alec Benjamin
im used to it // Powfu
Moved On From You // Moana x Paton
Used To Be // Jonas Brothers
Since I Met You // Dominique
Miss Me Now // Z3RG x Khamix x Katie Murphy
This Is Us // Jimmie Allen x Noah Cyrus
i will always be there // A Great Big World
Little Things // Luis The Child x Quinn XCII x Chelsea Cutler



♥ What songs got you hooked this month?
Share in the comments below! ♥

Asian Readathon 2020 TBR

Apr 29, 2020

asian readathon tbr


May is Asian Heritage Month, and to celebrate, Cindy @ Read With Cindy / @asianreadathon is hosting an Asian Readathon all month long from May 1st to May 31st! There are challenges and even a Little Fires Everywhere read-a-long and watch-a-long if you want to join. I am so excited to participate this year and to see what everyone reads for the readathon! If you're interested in learning more, Cindy explains everything in their Youtube video here. Or you can read about it here.

It's worth noting that May is technically Asian and Pacific Island Heritage Month (aka Asian Pacific Heritage Month), but out of respect for Pacific Islanders, the Asian Readathon was named/dedicated separately to focus solely on Asian authors and books. Please check ownvoices Pacific Islander resources like Pacific Island Books, Aotearoa Booksread-nz.org, and HUIA for Pacific Island books to simultaneously celebrate Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

Here's what I plan to read for the Asian Readathon (which I will also apply to my Year of the Asian challenge for the month of May!):

🌈 = LGBTQ+ rep
🎧 = audiobook

1. Read any book by an Asian author.


  

The Elites by Natasha Ngan
Ink & Arrows by Shruthi Viswanathan
Adaptation by Malinda Lo [re-read] 🌈

2. Read a book featuring an Asian character or written by an Asian author who you can relate to.


[Ex: If you’re an immigrant you can read about an immigrant character; if you’re a woman you can read a book by another woman; etc.]

Filipino / Filipino-American / Woman

   

My Heart Underwater by Laurel Flores Fantauzzo πŸŒˆ
Vlog Like You Love Me by Clarisse David
Enlightenment by Reno Ursal [re-read]
Wicked As You Wish by Rin Chupeco [re-read] πŸŒˆπŸŽ§

3. Read a book featuring an Asian character or written by an Asian author who is different from you.


[Ex: If you’re straight you can read about a queer character; if you’re Japanese you can read a book by a Vietnamese author; etc.]

  
 

Serpentine by Cindy Pon [re-read] | Chinese
Toxic by Lydia Kang | Korean? 🎧
Rogue Heart by Axie Oh | Korean
Fairest: A Memoir by Meredith Talusan | Trans Filipino Albino πŸŒˆ
Magical Women by Sukanya Venkatraghavan | Indian
Girls of Storm and Shadow by Natasha | Chinese; sapphic 🌈🎧

4. Read a book recommended by an Asian.


[Ex: Watch an Asian booktuber’s recommendations video; find books recommended by an Asian blogger; ask your Asian friend what book best represents them; have an Asian friend choose between 2 books on your TBR; etc.]

  

We Are Totally Normal by Rahul Kanakia πŸŒˆπŸŽ§
A Kingdom for a Stage by Heidi Heilig 🎧
Muslim Women Do Things by Seema Yasmin



♥ Are you participating in the Asian Readathon?
Post links to your tbr videos, pics, bookstagram
in the comments below! ♥

7 Reasons to Read Seven Endless Forests by April Genevieve Tucholke

Apr 28, 2020

I received an advanced review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, however it does not affect my opinions. Quotes are taken from the unedited advanced review copy is subject to change in the final copy. Thanks to Farrar, Straus and Giroux for the copy!


seven endless forests april genevieve tucholkeSeven Endless Forests by April Genevieve Tucholke
Young Adult Fantasy Retelling
April 28, 2020 from Farrar, Straus and Giroux


In this gorgeous standalone companion to the critically acclaimed fantasy, The Boneless Mercies, April Tucholke spins a bold and blood-hungry retelling of the King Arthur legend that is perfect for fans of Naomi Novik, Garth Nix, and Laini Taylor.

On the heels of a devastating plague, Torvi’s sister, Morgunn, is stolen from the family farm by Uther, a flame-loving Fremish wolf-priest who leads a pack of ragged, starving girls. Torvi leaves the only home she’s ever known, and joins a shaven-skulled druid and a band of roaming Elsh artists known as the Butcher Bards. They set out on a quest to rescue Torvi’s sister, and find a mythical sword.

On their travels, Torvi and her companions will encounter magical night wilds and mystical Drakes who trade in young men. They will sing rowdy Elshland ballads in a tree-town tavern, and find a mysterious black tower in an Endless Forest. They will fight alongside famous Vorseland archers and barter with Fremish wizards. They will feast with rogue Jade Fell children in a Skal Mountain cave, and seek the help of a Pig Witch. They will face wild, dangerous magic that leads to love, joy, tragedy, and death.

Torvi set out to rescue a sister, but she may find it’s merely the first step toward a life that is grander and more glorious than anything she could have imagined.


7 Reasons to add Seven Endless Forests to your library


seven endless forests map
[Seven Endless Forests map]
★ It's a gender-flipped King Arthur retelling πŸ—‘️
★ Rescue my sister trope
★ Lush, lyrical writing and atmospheric world-building with magic and creatures πŸ§™‍♂️🌲🧝✨🐺
★ An epic quest and battles
★ Found family
★ Brave women with quiet strength who embraces their potential, sexuality, exacts revenge, fights evil creatures, proves doubters wrong, finds love again and grow to become the heroines they were told they could never be.
★ Norse/viking mythology mixed with celt vibes


Content/Trigger Warnings


➤ Death of parent & significant partner
➤ Plague
➤ Kidnapping
➤ Drinking
➤ Violence
➤ Blood

seven endless forsests aesthetic moodboard seven endless forests moodboard aesthetic

Plot | πŸŒ™πŸŒ™πŸŒ™
Writing | πŸŒ™πŸŒ™πŸŒ™πŸŒ™
Characters | πŸŒ™πŸŒ™πŸŒ™πŸŒ™
World-building | πŸŒ™πŸŒ™πŸŒ™πŸŒ™
Pacing | πŸŒ™πŸŒ™
Swoon | πŸŒ™πŸŒ™




April Genevieve Tucholke is the author of Seven Endless Forests, The Boneless Mercies, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, Between the Spark and the Burn, and Wink Poppy Midnight. Her books have been published in sixteen countries, and have received ten starred reviews. They have been selected for the Junior Library Guild, Kids' Indie Next picks, and YALSA Teens Top Ten. When she's not writing, April likes walking in the woods, exploring abandoned houses, and drinking expensive coffee. She currently resides Oregon with her husband.




{Watch, Read, & Listen} Bit, Incendiary, & i think too much

Apr 27, 2020



♥ watch, read & listen is a weekly feature where I share and recommend
my current movie, book, music and podcast obsessions every monday. ♥

Watch: Bit (2020)


A transgender teenage girl on summer vacation in Los Angeles fights to survive after she falls in with four queer feminist vampires, who try to rid the city's streets of predatory men.

Starring: Nicole Maines, Diana Hopper, Zolee Griggs

Rep: trans MC (played by a trans actor), queer vampires




Read: Incedeniary by Zoraida Cordova


I am Renata Convida.
I have lived a hundred stolen lives.
Now I live my own.

Renata Convida was only a child when she was kidnapped by the King's Justice and brought to the luxurious palace of Andalucia. As a Robari, the rarest and most feared of the magical Moria, Renata's ability to steal memories from royal enemies enabled the King's Wrath, a siege that resulted in the deaths of thousands of her own people.

Now Renata is one of the Whispers, rebel spies working against the crown and helping the remaining Moria escape the kingdom bent on their destruction. The Whispers may have rescued Renata from the palace years ago, but she cannot escape their mistrust and hatred--or the overpowering memories of the hundreds of souls she turned "hollow" during her time in the palace.

When Dez, the commander of her unit, is taken captive by the notorious Sangrado Prince, Renata will do anything to save the boy whose love makes her place among the Whispers bearable. But a disastrous rescue attempt means Renata must return to the palace under cover and complete Dez's top secret mission. Can Renata convince her former captors that she remains loyal, even as she burns for vengeance against the brutal, enigmatic prince? Her life and the fate of the Moria depend on it.

But returning to the palace stirs childhood memories long locked away. As Renata grows more deeply embedded in the politics of the royal court, she uncovers a secret in her past that could change the entire fate of the kingdom--and end the war that has cost her everything.

Publication date: April 28, 2020

Listen: i think too much -- Christian French


{Watch, Read, & Listen} 3 Will Be Free, The Silence of Bones, & Remember Me

Apr 20, 2020



♥ watch, read & listen is a weekly feature where I share and recommend
my current movie, book, music and podcast obsessions every monday. ♥


Watch: 3 Will Be Free


Neo is a stripper who is running away from the loan shark Thana and his gang, after having an affair with Thana's wife Vanika. One day, the criminals find him in the bar where he works. In attempting to escape, he ends up bumping into two people who will change his life: Shin, a gay boy, the son of Thana, who is frustrated at being rejected by a friend; and Mew, the manager of a gogo bar who is running away from her past. Accidentally, they end up killing one of the gang members who was chasing Neo, which makes them enemies of the gang. Now all three need to find a solution to escape from this situation together, while at the same time managing the physical and sentimental attraction that arises between them.

Starring: Lapassalan "Mild" Jiravechsoontornkul, Joss Way-ar Sangngern, Tawan "Tay" Vihokratana

CW/TW: violence, murder




Read: The Silence of Bones by June Hur


I have a mouth, but I mustn't speak;
Ears, but I mustn't hear;
Eyes, but I mustn't see.

1800, Joseon (Korea). Homesick and orphaned sixteen-year-old Seol is living out the ancient curse: “May you live in interesting times.” Indentured to the police bureau, she’s been tasked with assisting a well-respected young inspector with the investigation into the politically charged murder of a noblewoman.

As they delve deeper into the dead woman's secrets, Seol forms an unlikely bond of friendship with the inspector. But her loyalty is tested when he becomes the prime suspect, and Seol may be the only one capable of discovering what truly happened on the night of the murder.

But in a land where silence and obedience are valued above all else, curiosity can be deadly.

June Hur's elegant and haunting debut The Silence of Bones is a bloody tale perfect for fans of Kerri Maniscalco and RenΓ©e Ahdieh.

Publication date: April 21, 2020

Listen: Remember Me -- Dove Cameron x BIA



March 2020

Apr 15, 2020

Highlights


☾ Employee Appreciation Day celebration at work, filled with treats, food and "swag" from the managers before they left us.

☾ Volunteering for Elizabeth Warren by phonebanking just before Super Tuesday.

☾ Dropping off my mail-in ballot in time for Super Tuesday.

☾ FINALLY getting my hands on Wicked As You Wish by Rin Chupeco and it's everything my little Pinay heart wanted. Please go read it!

☾ With the state of California under shelter-in-place, I've been spending a lot of time with my family and learning how to navigate distance learning at home for the little siblings.

☾ Joining in on the Sac Restaurant Challenge and Takeout Tuesday, as well as donating to Sacramento restaurant fund to help local restaurants.

☾ Having my hours were reduced at work cleared up some free time to do some much needed spring cleaning and decluttering. It satisfied the Virgo in me.

☾ My partial EDD (unemployment) claim was approved (after the hassle of paperwork and accounting) pretty quickly as our senior director said it would be. Hopefully the little I get from EDD will help make up for the loss from reduced hours.


Lowlights


  • Due to COVID-19 that led to the requirement of sheltering in place and closing down of non-essential businesses, it seemed like life completely shifted which was difficult to adapt to for the first couple weeks. And it affected my mental health for a bit, but I've since gotten a better hold of things now.
  • My hours at work have been reduced, due to *gestures around* so that affected my paycheck by half.
  • Halfway into the month, the COVID-19 got out of control in the U.S. and it was hard to find toilet paper and paper towels due to people panic-buying and hoarding them all.
  • If people thought January felt like 84 days, March felt like 8,000. So much has changed and still changes every week and it's mind-boggling trying to keep up.
  • Our hours reduced and the rest of the coworkers on furlough meant that I don't get to see my work friends anymore, which was the only way I could physically see them with the whole social distancing/shelter in place thing going on. And it sucks not seeing them outside of FaceTime anymore!

Book Haul


   

The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna [eARC from Netgalley]
I Think I Love You by Auriane Desombre [eARC from Netgalley]
Wicked As You Wish by Rin Chupeco [bought at B&N + on Kobo]
The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo [bought on Kobo]


   

The Heartless Divine by Varsha Ravi [gifted]
Thorn by Intisar Khanani [listened to on cloudLibrary]
From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout [bought on Kobo]
The Perfect World of Miwako Sumida by Clarissa Goenawa [listened to on cloudLibrary]


   

Unspeakable: A Queer Gothic Anthology, edited by Celine Frohn [bought on Kobo]
Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare [borrowed from cloudLibrary]
Reborn Yesterday by Tessa Bailey [gifted]
Infinity by Jus Accardo [Free on Kobo]


What I Read


   
   
πŸ“– The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna
πŸ“– I Think I Love You by Auriane Desombre
πŸ“– Wicked As You Wish by Rin Chupeco
πŸ“– The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo
🎧 Thorn by Intisar Khanani
🎧 The Perfect World of Miwako Sumida by Clarissa Goenawan
πŸ“– The House of Sundering Flames by Aliette de Bodard
πŸ“– Unspeakable: A Queer Gothic Anthology, edited by Celine Frohn
πŸ“– The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling by Wai Chim
πŸ“– From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout
πŸ“– The Heartless Divine by Varsha Ravi
πŸ“– When You Ask Me Where I'm Going by Jasmin Kaur


What I Listened To


  


the other girl // Kelsea Ballerini x Halsey
Hold On // Colby O'Donis
New Me // Ellee Duke
not ur friend // Jeremy Zucker
Mistakes // Jonas Blue x Paloma Faith
changes // ili
Healing // Arlissa
Knew You // Kailee Morgue


[Full playlist in March 2020 playlist]


March Purchases



Hairatage ACV Hair Rinse | ($7.94) This apple cider vinegar hair rinse was all the buzz and had raving reviews by beautytubers and influencers alike, so I decided to try it out. It's said to help your scalp, oily or thick, unruly hair. Oily roots is something I've dealt with ever since I can remember, so I jumped at this product. The smell was not bad at all; it did not have much of a apple cider vinegar scent which is a really good thing. After using it for 3 weeks between showers, it's safe to say that it did help some of my oily hair problems.

Sweet Chef Ginger + Vitamin C Serum Shot | ($4.99-19.99) I'm surprised to have found this at Target, but it was so exciting to find it there and at a more affordable price. This serum shot is for evening skin tones and brighten dark spots. It is lightweight with antioxidant rich ginger and vitamin C to brighten and hydrate your skin. I bought the small trial size so I'm not sure that's enough to see actual results, so it's hard to say if it helped my uneven skin tone as I didn't notice much of a difference, but I can say that it did hydrate my skin. So if you have dry skin and need a little natural hydrating, this product may be for you.

Elf Hydrogel Under Eye Mask | ($7.99) Elf is definitely stepping up their game in not only their cosmetics but their skin care as well. It's why Elf is such a cult favorite, other than it's affordability. Elf's Hydrogel line works well for the skin and is reminiscent of their Hello Hydration line and Neutrogena's HydroBoost line.

Elf SuperHydrate Moisturizer | ($12.00) (it's on sale for $7.20 at Ulta for a limited time) Another Elf favorite that is perfect for dry and sensitive skin in need of hydration. This moisturizer has Squalane which helps improve moisture while hydrating and nurturing the skin. A dry skin savior I highly recommend.

Caboodles Mini Hanging Valet Bag | ($5) This mini hanging toiletry bag is great for an overnight trip or long distance travel and the perfect size to fit in your handbag or carry-on. You can lay it on your hotel/Airbnb bathroom counter to do your makeup or hang it on a hanger rack for easy access to your deodorant, then close it and pack it back up pretty easily. Keep in mind this is small, but if you've got a lot of stuff there is a bigger version that can fit a lot more.

Derma E Scar Gel | ($13.99) Ulta and Derma E regularly sells this for $20 but I found this at a local grocery store for $14, which I am so excited for! I've had some visible acne scars since my teenage years mostly around my temples area, and newer ones since going to LA last year that did not go away since, so I needed something for the scars they left behind. There's a lot of buzz and glowing reviews about Derma E's products and I have been waiting until I could afford it to try it out. Quarantine and allergy season Spring happened which gave me more lovely bumps around this time along my cheeks and so it was time to finally bite the bullet once I saw it at the grocery store. I've only been using it for almost a month, and saw a little improvement but it's still too early to tell.


Posts in March


March 2020 Playlist

{Watch, Read, & Listen} Crip Camp, Thorn, & the other girl

{Watch, Read, & Listen} Self Made: Inspired By the Life of Madam C.J. Walker, Super Adjacent, & Asian Enough Podcast

{Watch, Read, & Listen} Devs, A Phoenix First Must Burn, & Colby O'Donis

{Watch, Read, & Listen} Juju, Wicked As You Wish, & New Me

#TakeActionTuesday It's Super Tuesday!

{Watch, Read, & Listen} Trials of Gabriel Fernandez, Unspeakable, & Asian Boss Girl

February 2020

Looking Forward To in April


  • #YALLSTAYHOME! It's a virtual YallWEST that will be online for the first time, and I'm still so excited!
  • Getting more reading and blogging done.
  • More FaceTime hangouts with friends.


♥ How did March treat y'all?
Share your recaps in the comments below! ♥
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