• Mystery Thriller Book Review

    Arsenic and Adobo

    My Thoughts I had never read a cozy mystery and I hadn’t had much of an interest until I spotted this book. I’m Filipino, so it was an instant yes for me to read. Aresenic and Adobo follows Lila, a Fil-Am woman helping her aunt manage a struggling restaurant that finds herself caught up in a murder mystery involving her ex-boyfriend. The chapters are short which keeps the pacing of this book snappy, it’s an easy book to binge. “Food was how she communicated. Food was how she found her place in the world.” One of my absolute favorite aspects of this book is the great emphasis on food. All…

  • Book Review

    Nothing But Blackened Teeth

    Warnings: Violence, Gore My Thoughts I knew I had to read this book the second that I laid eyes on it, the cover is nightmare fuel and the prospect of a haunted house in a Heian-era mansion complete with a tragic urban legend was too good to pass up. The Ohaguro-bettari, literally translating to Nothing But Blackened Teeth is a faceless yokai dressed in a wedding kimono that is known for luring in single men. What an incredible subject for a ghastly horror story, there is something inherently creepy about a faceless ghost with only one feature, a mockingly sinister smile. The story centers on a group of “friends” that…

  • YA Contemporary Book Review

    A Step from Heaven

    Warnings: Domestic Abuse, Alcohol Abuse, Animal Death My Thoughts A Step from Heaven is not an easy book to address. It follows the life of Young Ju Park and her family; they are Korean immigrants pursuing the American dream. The book takes place over a wide span of time from the age of four to graduating high school. The story focuses not on the everyday events of the narrator, but instead on the major events that impacted her and her family as they struggle to acclimate to American culture. It is a classic immigrant story that is deeply heartfelt and inspirational, but it’s also a story about motherhood, and the…

  • Memoir Book Review

    Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning

    Warnings: Drug Use, Racism, Violence, Discussions of Sexual Assault My Thoughts This book is quite simply incredible. It was so true to my experiences as an Asian American woman; I laughed during some parts, cried at others, felt enraged and melancholy all at once. It is a timely book to read now with the widespread hate crimes against Asians that has been raging in the United States after the COVID-19 pandemic. Hong presents a series of personal and political essays that detail the impact that racial perceptions of Asians and Asian culture have on various areas of the author’s life as a Korean American woman. I appreciated that the author…

  • Literary Book Review

    The Contractors

    Warnings: Sexual Harassment, Descriptions of Violence, Self-Harm, Extreme Animal Abuse My Thoughts Social media has become a monolith of big business, billions of people around the world use social media platforms daily generating unfathomable amounts of wealth from ad revenue and data mining. There are billions of posts every day, and some of the most brutal, most hateful content can be shared to a worldwide audience at breakneck speed. With a surge of information and other media shared constantly, it has necessitated content moderators, people who filter posts to remove dangerous and harmful content. Social media moderation has become a dark underbelly of the social media industry, it is a…

  • YA Romance Book Review

    Always and Forever, Lara Jean

    My Thoughts Graduating high school is truly an event to be celebrated, but it’s bittersweet too with the changes that it brings. It is the end of an era for young people as they say goodbye to youth and start transitioning into adulthood. We grow up, and we grow apart—there are many that end up going their separate ways as seniors head to different colleges or to work. Senior year is a time to reminisce because of the finality, it’s the time that many remember for the rest of their lives. This book made me feel all kinds of nostalgia about my own senior year, even though I was more…