[Book Talk] How I Accidentally Went on a Book Ban

I have been trying to put myself on a book budget - if not an outright book ban - for the last two years. Last year, it was overly ambitious and I failed miserably. This year, I actually haven't been keeping too close an eye on my book budget, until I was writing my May rewind post. I realised then that I hadn't bought a new book since March! How did that happen?

[Review] Laurinda by Alice Pung

You like to think that within you there is quiet courage and conviction, a sense of righteousness that is not judgmental. That's what you like to think about yourself. But you're wrong. You are not truly good until you are tested, and even then you might become a worse person.
In the hands of another writer, Laurinda may look a lot like Mean Girls. There's the rich, beautiful, shrewdly intelligent girls reigning over a private all-girl school. There's the outsider - the scholarship student, a daughter of refugees - being drawn into their orbit. In the hands of Alice Pung, though, Laurinda is a sharp observation of the power politics of teenage girls, the struggle of forming an identity when your public and private selves can't be one and the same, and even casual racism.

[Rewind] May 2017

I'm thiiiis close to freedom, you guys. I've submitted the major assignment for this semester and had my last class (hopefully not only for this semester, but for life). There are three weeks to go before I finish my internship, and then I'll be truly finished with this semester! πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰ I cannot wait to relax guilt-free. I'm hoping that means more writing, whether it is for my poor abandoned novel or for this blog!

New to My Shelves

I picked up Mirror in the Sky by Aditi Khorana from the library for #AsianLitBingo! It's an interesting story, but unfortunately I didn't love it as much as I'd hoped. 

I also borrowed several audiobooks from the library. I got The Sleeper and The Spindle by Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell which was fascinating and wonderfully creepy as an audiobook, but it left me feeling unsatisfied. I'm still listening to Flying Too High (A Phryne Fisher Mystery). The Phryne Fisher books aren't appealing to me as much as the TV series. Maybe it's the lack of Phryne/Jack chemistry, but they're still quite enjoyable.


The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton. Incredibly clever plot structuring, good twists, but way, way too many characters. ✬✬✬☆ 
↠ Nora and Kettle by Lauren Nicolle Taylor. Exceeded my already high expectations. Gorgeous, heartbreaking story with characters I can root for. ✬✬✬✬✬
Internet Famous by Danika Stone. Great depiction of how real online relationships are and of a family with a child with special needs. The romance is too cheesy for me, but it may work for others! ✬✬✬✬

Other Things on the Blog

↠ I discussed the four stages I sometimes through when I discover my favourite is problematic.
↠ I participated in #AsianLitBingo and shared my TBR! I didn't get a bingo, as predicted, but I read 3 books out of 5 so I'm pleased with it.

Challenges Progress

↠ Goodreads challenge: 19/30 books
↠ Discussion challenge: 4/24 discussion posts
↠ ReadDiverse2017 challenge: 6 books
↠ #RockMyTBR challenge:  1 book
↠ Backlist Books challenge: 5 books

Around the Blogosphere

↠ Pam responds to Jo's post and talks about how the term 'diverse blogger' may be a bit othering.
↠ Tasya discusses intersectionality in diversity.

In Store for Next Month

I have quite the review backlog, so I'm hoping to catch up next month! Watch this space for reviews on Laurinda, Mirror in the Sky, and Olmec Obituary. I also have a very, very late blogoversary post to write up!

How was your May? 
What was the best book you read last month? 
Tell me something exciting/fun that has happened or made you smile recently!

[Sunday Street Team] Internet Famous by Danika Stone

Internet Famous is a lovely contemporary that shows, for better or for worse, how real online relationships and interactions are. It captures the capacity of the internet for introducing you to wonderful people you wouldn't otherwise know and for providing space to pursue the things you love. On the other hand, it shows how vulnerable it can make you. I enjoyed that and the individual characters, but the romance was a little too much for me.

[Review] Nora and Kettle by Lauren Nicolle Taylor

Nora & Kettle has been on my radar since its blog tour last year. In fact, I participated in (my one and only) book blitz for it because I was that excited for it. True to form though, it's taken me a year to actually get around to reading it. πŸ˜… In that time, my excitement for it were raised further by the glowing reviews. Thankfully, with its gorgeous writing style and two characters that I rooted for, Nora & Kettle absolutely lived up to my expectations.

[Review] The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton

'I contend that there are no whole truths, there are only pertinent truths—and pertinence, you must agree, is always a matter of perspective. I do not believe that any one of you has perjured himself in any way tonight. I trust that you have given me the truth, and nothing but the truth. But your perspectives are very many, and you will forgive me if I do not take your tale for something whole.' 
(Possible spoilers ahead!)

It took me five months to finish reading this book. Five. Months. By the end of it, I felt like it was a proper accomplishment that I actually finished it. That doesn't mean it's a terrible book. On the contrary, I finished it feeling in awe of Eleanor Catton. Along the way, there were genuine moments of shock, and just when I was about to give up, something pulled me back in. That said, I was ready to give up multiple times. You can say I'm pretty conflicted about how I feel. 😝

[Book Talk] The Four Stages of Discovering My Fave is Problematic

I have loved a number of books that turned out to be problematic. Harry Potter and The Lunar Chronicles jump to mind. Learning that your fave has a serious flaw can be a hard thing to grapple with.  The first time I found out that Harry Potter was problematic, I went through several stages before coming to terms with it. I like to think I get to acceptance much quicker these days, but it's interesting to look back and reflect on why I reacted the way I did back then.