• Romance Book Review

    Strange Weather in Tokyo

    My Review: Strange Weather in Tokyo is a poignant love story that feels like the changing of the seasons. There is really something to admire about Kawakami’s writing, the way she can convey loneliness cleanly in concise, sparse prose. A romance between two quirky people seems so unlikely, but in the quiet moments sat side by side eating at a local bar, they fit together so comfortably. The romance between Tsukiko and sensei doesn’t feel like a breathtaking lusty romance, but instead a warm companionship that eventually leads to a mutual need for the other person’s company. This story has some strange and surreal turns that are disorienting, and sensei…

  • Horror Book Review

    Black Fairy Tale

    My Review: Black Fairy Tale is a bizarre story, full stop, it is the thought that kept circling my mind as I read the novel and especially when I finished. What made this story so enjoyable was precisely for that reason. It is an offbeat paranormal story about a girl that undergoes an eye transplant and finds that she can see the memories from her donor’s life. While it is a horror thriller, surprisingly this isn’t the horrific part of the story as would be predicted, and I liked that the novel toyed with my expectations. The only ghosts in this story are the memories of those that have been…

  • Literary Book Review

    The Human Zoo

    My Review: The Human Zoo is a surprising novel, one that I feel is needed to shine a spotlight on the current state of the Philippines’ broken political system. The main character, Ting, is researching and writing about Timicheg and the Igorot people who were brought to the United States as part of a human zoo. The Philippines’ long and horrendous history of colonization provides context for Ting’s story in present-day New Manila. I loved this book because it was both charming and uncomfortably real, many of the characters felt like I was reading about my actual friends and family.If you spend enough time in this country, you come to…

  • Horror Book Review

    Zoo

    My Review: I enjoy Otsuichi’s stories because he is unafraid to take risks, his stories are always a breath of fresh air. This collection was a delight because of the many genres included, and it showed Otsuichi’s range as a writer. From grimdark fairy tales to science fiction, black comedy to spine-chilling horror. I didn’t find the leaps in genres to be disorienting at all and enjoyed having something new and unexpected with each story. While not every story was an instant hit for me, there was definitely more good stories in this collection than bad, and the ones that were good were really good. My favorite story was also…

  • YA Contemporary Book Review

    A Step from Heaven

    My Review: 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 sacrifices that parents make for their children…

  • Book Review // Memoir

    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…