The year is 1926, and Shanghai hums to the tune of debauchery.
A blood feud between two gangs runs the streets red, leaving the city helpless in the grip of chaos. At the heart of it all is eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, a former flapper who has returned to assume her role as the proud heir of the Scarlet Gang — a network of criminals far above the law. Their only rivals in power are the White Flowers, who have fought the Scarlets for generations. And behind every move is their heir, Roma Montagov, Juliette’s first love … and first betrayal.
But when gangsters on both sides show signs of instability culminating in clawing their own throats out, the people start to whisper. Of a contagion, a madness. Of a monster in the shadows. As the deaths stack up, Juliette and Roma must set their guns — and grudges — aside and work together, for if they can’t stop this mayhem, then there will be no city left for either to rule.
Continue reading “I Made A Roma x Juliette Playlist”
Of all the books I read in January, it was surprisingly easy to pick out my favorite reads of the month. That would be the Genie Lo duology.
These books have been on my radar for a while, in no small part because they’ve been so passionately championed by my fellow Asian readers, including Soph @ Bookwyrming Thoughts and CW @ The Quiet Pond. But it wasn’t until Clo sent me a copy of The Epic Crush of Genie Lo that I finally got it together and read them.
And I can’t believe I waited so long! The Asian(-American) protagonists, the Chinese mythology, the SF Bay Area setting, the snark and the internalized stress … I felt right at home in Genie’s world.
Continue reading “I Made A Playlist & Character Aesthetics for Genie Lo”
Project Runway meets Mulan in this sweeping YA fantasy about a young girl who poses as a boy to compete for the role of imperial tailor and embarks on an impossible journey to sew three magic dresses, from the sun, the moon, and the stars.
Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.
Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.
And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.
Steeped in Chinese culture, sizzling with forbidden romance, and shimmering with magic, this young adult fantasy is pitch-perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas or Renée Ahdieh.
Continue reading “[Blog Tour] Review + Playlist: Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim”
This is one of my all-time favorite books, as you’ll know if you read my Favorite Reads: Winter Edition post. I own it both as a [well-loved, or more accurately, “read so many times it’s literally falling apart”] paperback and as a Kindle book, and very deliberately chose it for my first read of 2019. (Which I really needed after DNF-ing my last two books of 2018, but which ironically increased the chance that I’ll continue to DNF books in 2019 because they just can’t compare.)
This is one of those books that comes to life, that you can easily picture as a movie — but that you don’t really want them to adapt for the big screen, because it could never really compare. Still, here’s the soundtrack I imagine, in two parts: the first for Le Cirque des Rêves as a whole and the second for Celia & Marco.
Continue reading “I Made a Night Circus Playlist”