An original poetry and art collection
Overflowing with vulnerability and raw honesty, Face is a declaration of self worth and owning your space after breaking, rebuilding and rising again.
“May the hurting turn to healing.” - Randina Sheldon
TW: This book contains some references of abuse and trauma
As a Poetry lover, I have read more a lot of poetry books in different topics, diversity, and locality. Most of them are self-published and I love how they do all the book-related marketing of their releases.
Face is poetry and art collection that covers a range of love, lost, self-healing, and reality. Randina Sheldon did an absolute job of taking you to her world and experience what is it like to feel all the feels it had to take.
It is by far the most thick poetry book that I own and also the longest one I have read. The thing about having a much longer poetry book is that you have all the pages to write and to express your feelings. It feels like your tongue is untied you are free to speak all your heart. Also, having it a lot more pages is like you are writing and finishing your own story. I sometimes feel sad when a poetry book ended shortly and I really need want to follow more about that book.
Face is not your ordinary poetry book. It is crafted with passion and art, more likely written with a mindful heart and a brighter soul. Every pages of the book reminds me of my first heartbreak, first cry, and also my first love. Face is an absolute must read poetry book and an eye-opener to every people to not settle for less, always think of more specially if it is for yourself.
The arts included in the book is very minimalist and accurate to what it wants to show. It is a perfect combination of word and art.
I personally declare this as one of my favorite book. It has a big potential to be a bestseller if you lend yourself to read and reflect on this book. Much love for Randina.
- copy is given for free in exchange for a review. reviews and opinions are all mine. -
Randina Sheldon is a refreshingly honest writer and artist who leaves a little bit of her heart on every page. With deep vulnerability, she advocates for the voiceless and represents the hope that we can always rise beyond anything that tries to bind us.
She is a die-hard cat lady, part flower, and has a laugh that can move mountains.
Author: Tobi-Hope Jieun Park
Publisher: Atmosphere Press
Meraki [may-rah-kee] - to put a piece of yourself into everything you do.
Over time, we collect pieces of the world around us, patchwork them into ourselves. Hoard them like family. Meraki pulls these pieces to the surface, and turns them gently to the light.
Using language which gives and takes, this collection explores the importance of our relationship with ourselves, and our relationships with others. It invites you to step into the Korean-American identity, to hold it in your hands, to carry it away. It explores themes of food, family, and color through the eyes of a foreigner.
Meraki is a journey of self reflection. Of unravelling. Of push and pull. Of blending sight with sound, tongue with touch. Of growing up before it's too late.
I've been given so much. Meraki is a way to give back.
Meraki is a book that will teach you to write your own story. To tell the people your life and experiences. Meraki will teach you to value the things that you have and lost in time.
Every pieces of the book is uniquely written. I absolutely adore how Park made each pages fascinating. Park is a natural storyteller. She writes this book as if you grew with her and witness the most memorable part of her life. Meraki serves as a guide to the culture she have, the emotions she take, and the values she inherit.
Meraki's childhood themes is one of the interesting part of the book. I love how her native Korean-American life has been put through the book. I only got disconnected to a little lines but it's nonetheless crafted with passion and experience.
I do hope Park will let us read more of her works in the future. This incredible work of art is what we need to read and hear from a storyteller herself.
- copy is given for free in exchange for a review. reviews and opinions are all mine. -
Tobi-Hope Jieun Park is a resident of sunny Southern California, and has been writing since the age of eight. Her poems and narratives have been appeared in various journals such as Rattle, Chautauqua Journal, SOLA, Common Ground Review, Cold Mountain, and more. Tobi-Hope is a three time Gold Key winner and a National Gold Key winner at the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. In her free time, she can be found singing karaoke with her siblings, tending to her pets One-Eyed Jack and the Lizard Gang, and knitting pieces too small for conventional use.
When Marcella Leones relocates her family of aswang vampires from the Philippines to Portland, Oregon, she raises her grandchildren under strict rules so humans will not expose them. Her only wish is to give them a peaceful life, far away from the hunters and the Filipino government that attempted to exterminate them.
Before she dies, she passes on the power to her eldest grandchild, Percival. He vows to uphold the rules set forth by Leones, allowing his family to roam freely without notice. After all, they are aswangs.
However, when the aswang covenant is broken, the murder rate in Portland rises drastically. Who is behind the murders? And who is behind the broken covenant? Along with sensie Penelope Jane, Percival must find the truth.
It’s then they discover that there are other breeds of aswangs—werebeasts, witches, ghouls, and viscera—who have been residing in Portland for years.
Based on Filipino folklore (aswang), “Vampires of Portlandia” is a fantastical tale of different monsters coexisting in the weirdest city in America. (Goodreads)
In terms of Philippines Folklore, I’m not gonna lie, it is very interesting. As a Filipino Citizen, I personally adore the mystique and historic cultures and traditions about the Philippine Myths. Vampires of Portlandia sets an example of our Myths. To the story goes around a Vampire family who relocates to Portland because of the government and faces challenges as they find their way home.
The story hits different stone to what I am expecting. I think I feel flat about this book, I am expecting on more about the story development and connections to the readers. I do like the own voice of a Filipino author in here. I guess this is my first novel with like immigrant-type and mythic-type of story and the ideas connecting to each of the pages.
Tanamor’s style of writing is exquisitely good. There were some tiny bits of areas in the book that didn’t catch my attention but the legality of the story and how it goes is a great shot for me. I know that there needs to be a huge impact of every book that represents one’s style of belief or myths and this one is a good example of a specific and on the spot book. I am very happy to be included in Tanamor’s world of Vampire-related stories and pretty much, I did like it.
Nonetheless, Vampires of Portlandia is a good representation of an international book that will hit your soft reader’s heart specially if you’re a Filipino like me. This is a great start for anyone aspiring to write and introduce our local myths to international environment.
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Jason Tanamor is an American author, writer, and entertainment interviewer. He also works as a contract specialist for the United States Department of Defense. His novels range in genre, from dark in nature to satirical and from young adult to children’s
The Tech sisters don’t date in high school. Not because they’re not asked. Not because they’re not interested. Not even because no one can pronounce their long, Thai last name—hence the shortened, awkward moniker. But simply because they’re not allowed.
In a move that other Asian American girls know all too well, six months after the older Tech twins got to college, their parents asked, “Why aren’t you engaged yet?” The sisters retaliated by vowing that they won’t marry for ten (maybe even twenty!) years, not until they’ve had lots of the dating practice that they didn’t get in high school.
In a shocking war on the status quo, her parents now insist that their youngest daughter, Orrawin (aka “Winnie”), must practice fake dating in high school. Under their watchful eyes, of course—and organized based on their favorite rom-coms. ’Cause that won’t end in disaster.
The first candidate? The son of their longtime friends, Mat Songsomboon—arrogant, infuriating, and way too good-looking. Winnie’s known him since they were toddlers throwing sticky rice balls at each other. And her parents love him.
If only he weren’t her sworn enemy.
Dating Makes Perfect is a perfect candidate for Teen Enemies-to-lover / Fake Dating Trope recommended to no particular ages. This story is a gorgeous book, quick and fun, and trully a page turner.
The book shows an own-voice, a Thai-American voice featuring Thai characters and also their relegions and cultures. This diverse book gave me a good time to read, not gonna lie, I really can’t resist to stop reading them. What I love about Asian Books are the ability to connect to their readers, specially to me because I’m an Asian and the characterization is more like I experience them because that is trully an Asian marathon. Every pages get exciting as soon as you know more about the Tech sisters specially Winnie. The fun that you experience reading this book makes it feel good and can’t really can’t stop smiling while you’re reading them.
“I move closer. And then I press my mouth against his. And stay there. Oh my. This is nice. One thousand one, one thousand two. He must’ve misunderstood me, though. I meant no sudden movements to avoid any accidental black eyes. Not: stop moving altogether. One thousand three, one thousand four. Still, I cant complain. Fireworks aren’t exactly going off here, but I can see why a kiss has become a symbol for affection.“
Nostalgia arises as you go through this book. You can feel and remember the highschool memories, the puppy loves you had, and ofcourse the feeling of being loved. Winnie struggles to show off her feeling to Mat and at the same time Winnie is quite indenial to her emotions. You can’t totally control your feelings. The setback you can gain in denying your feelings will have a huge impact on you sooner or later.
“But that’s a good thing. The only person I’m trying to be is me. Winnie Techavachara and no one else.”
My favorite part in here is when realization finall hit Winnie. It is much amazing if we will be true to ourself. We can deny to other people but we can’t deny to ourselves. Fooling our own mind is not healthy. Winnie is a good example to people who’s having a hard time finding their voice but successfully regain its own hymn and finally able to spread her words. Such a great book!
Pintip Dunn is a New York Times bestselling author of young adult fiction. She graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B., and received J.D. at Yale Law School. Her novel FORGET TOMORROW won the 2016 RWA RITA® for Best First Book, and SEIZE TODAY won the 2018 RITA for Best Young Adult Romance. In addition, her books have been translated into four languages, and they have been nominated for the following awards: the Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire; the Japanese Sakura Medal; the MASL Truman Award; the Tome Society It list; the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award; and a Kirkus Reviews Best Indie Book of the Year. Dunn’s other novels include REMEMBER YESTERDAY, THE DARKEST LIE, GIRL ON THE VERGE, STAR-CROSSED, and MALICE.
New Intramuros: a hyper-technological smart city surrounded by heavily armored walls. Beyond it, vast mountains and jungles teeming with hostile machine life called aswangs. For over a century, the Philippine Mech Force has been fighting the aswangs with mechs of their own—and talented pilots to fly them.
Anya grew up watching her father, the famed General Armin Valerio, lead the charge during Operation Tablay—an all-out bombing campaign aimed to annihilate the aswangs once and for all. Everything changed when the operation failed, leaving her father an incapacitated man.
Fourteen years later, Anya Valerio enters the Philippine Mech Force as a pilot with hopes of restoring her father’s honor. She quickly becomes a rising star. However, when she finds out a dark secret about the aswangs, her view of the war changes. Now it’s up to Anya and her partner—the reserved but brilliant engineer, Chino Jose—to stop the fight before the consequences are irreversible.
Tablay is Filipino for electric charge. It is the soul of the city, the mover and shaker of machines, the spark between two hearts. But most of all, Tablay aims to shine light on the relation between technology and our society’s ethical choices.
Tablay is not just your ordinary sci-fi book intertwined with Philippine Mythology. It is another level of epic joyride to Philippine’s culture featuring its own Myths.
The book is set hundred years apart from the present. It shows how idealistic and techy Manila is from that point of view. A series of mech pilots and engineers are the driving force to fight the hostiles that are Tiktik, Nuno, Kapre, Garuda. These hostiles are inspired by the Philippines own Mythology. These are creatures mostly feared by all ages until now even though we’re living in a new era and millennium. And so, the story goes as Anya, a mech pilot, unravel a sneaky history behind what the country is facing.
What I like about this book is the raw, unique, and original content and ideas. This is my second sci-fi book set in the Philippines, the other is The Project Pandora. I do believe that Filipino writers can incredibly write sci-fi and techy novels set in our own country and their evolvement in literature can be wildly immense all throughout the process of learning and writing their own stories. Secondly, Olan’s imaginative mind is astounding. She writes the book with passion and set forth the story with a collegial power so that Millennial’s can easily grasp and fancy the book. The characters are reader-friendly and easy to follow through. (Shout out to Totoy, the best friend of the year.) Third, the building blocks of the story is perfect for modern retelling of a decade old legends planted in the land of the Philippines. Lastly, the graphics are to die for. From the Podcast held by PopMug last August 1 featuring the team Tablay, the artists behind the artworks totally gave their efforts and I’m proud to say that they nailed it.
On the other side, what I observe mostly in sci-fi books, the love thing they want to build is not in accordance to what it should be in the hearts of the readers. Anya and Chino’s romantic involvement kind of lacks of buzz. It should be developed naturally and it should go softly as it is. Also, I notice that there’s not much history in each of the characters. I mean I would like to know each and everyone in the Mech Team even just a little bit of a background history on why did they choose to be part of the mech. The diversity is present which is really good. The language is in moderate with a touch of Filipino dialect. For me, I like it. It’s not exact exaggeration and found it just as stable as the book.
Down to my final thoughts. Tablay is a book that will remind us that not all things that we witness is genuine to what our eyes see. Not all things are transparent. Our country is facing a huge crisis and Tablay thought me to fight for our lives, seek the truth, speak our voices, and face our worst enemies. Well, we think that our enemies are our life time opponent but Tablay showed me that it is not always how we perceive the strangeness and anger towards our opponent, but we’ll see that our enemies themselves are our allies. They both made us weak and strong and that’s the beauty of the beauty of our lives, both bitterness and sweetness inside. It tells is to leave with our dreams wholeheartedly. And as the book aid, it is not the country who will save us, nor the government, nor the people we live with, but only ourselves. So, fight until you get what you deserved.
I’m very grateful for Kat’s response regarding my mini author interview. Check this out:
Why ‘Tablay’? The title is evocative of many themes in the book. Tablay is Filipino for electric charge. It is what powers the city, and also the source of conflict of the Aswang War. It is also representative of the Bakunawa bomb, the weapon of mass destruction in the book. It also symbolizes the energy within each of us, which propels us forward as protagonists in our own story.
How long did you write Tablay? Two years. I started writing it during my Masters year of college, when I transitioned between school and work. I guess you can say a lot of what Anya experienced was similar to my own personal experience.
How did you come up with the characters’ name? I’ll be very honest. I mixed and matched the names of my Facebook friends.
Why did you corroborate Philippine Mythology with Modern Technology? I wanted to try something that hadn’t been done before, but was distinctly something that we could own. Who ever thought of mechanized aswangs — it’s like anime and our own folklore in one fevered dream. I want to be on the frontier of this kind of genre.
Aside from Philippine Mythology, do you have any other ideas or options before as to the theme and characters of the story? Nope. It was one of my first concepts and I fell in love with it, so I dove right in.
Do you think after 134 years the technologies will finally replace people? I believe that a number of blue-collared jobs will be replaced by machines: factory work, clerical work, construction, delivery and even security. Of course, there are many factors that will influence this including economy and government. In an ideal world, we will leave the robots to do manual work, so that as human beings we can be lifted to a higher plane of existence. In the Google Creative Campus, in which I was a student, we were taught that technology should always be an “and” game, never an “or” game. It must always enhance the human experience and never replace it. Nothing can substitute the intuition and emotion of a human being, even with AI.
What do you think is the Tablay’s impact in today’s modern literature and generation? I would like it to prove that anyone can tell their story. I think more than being a breakthrough in the genre, it shows that for as long as you have the willpower and dedication, you can make your book into a reality. We are so lucky that today we have many self-publishers (even Wattpad and Webtoons) where people can share their stories and be discovered. I also hope that Tablay is a story that narrates the events of this generation, as what we tackle in the book is a reflection of what is happening to the Philippines today.
Do you think technology will come hand in hand with progress or will it be humanity’s doom? The future depends on what we make of the present. According to scientists, mankind has reached the age of Singularity: the point in which we do not know whether technology will be useful for us or overtake us. Technology is amoral. It will really depend on our generation. We have to choose to be kind and good. Always.
What did you feel to the reader’s response to your book? Did you feel any pressure? I am so thankful for all kinds of responses towards the book. Most of them are positive, anyway. Definitely, my heart leaps when I get a very high rate and review, and a great booktube video. But also I am so thankful to people who pointed out the shortcomings of the book, because it exposed the parts where I can improve for my future work. Actually, it’s so hard to be in this creative field. Most of the judgments are based on gut feel and not objective rubrics, unlike science or medicine. Some love it. Some hate it. Some think it could be longer. Some had enough. People loved Anya. People thought she was flat. Everyone has their own opinion. Let’s respect that.
Can you give a simple message to our modern heroes? Choose to fight for the good of the country and its people. Especially during these trying times where evil is commonplace, never lose hope that good will prevail. Like General Nicanor said: “The Philippines will be saved by the ordinary people and their extraordinary work.” Sugod, mga bagong bayani!
Check out the other reviews made by Filipino Book Bloggers:
Katrina F. Olan is a copywriter based in Manila. She crafts commercial scripts for TV, Radio and Digital Films, and ideates creative advertising campaigns for top brands like Uniqlo, Cignal TV, Shell and Century Tuna. Kat was the student Philippine country representative to the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity 2018, and the first Filipino student of the Google Creative Campus that same year. Beyond work, she is an independent author with two books: Tablay, a Filipino sci-fi novel, and Skies Above, a steampunk fantasy book. She is also active in the local komiks scene. Kat loves video games, travel filmmaking, digital art and hosting Dungeons & Dragons games. One day she hopes to put an independent storytelling agency, a D&D-themed cafe, and pilot a real mecha. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Empress sat in her thoughts for days wondering if she would ever escape the prison that she had created for herself. It was as though she could see the jail bars, smell the stench of loneliness, feel the hunger of lonely prison nights, and yet all Empress wanted was freedom, freedom from sadness, fear, heartaches, and ultimately her own self.
For Empress, the journey could only begin once she unveiled the truths that she tried to run away from. (Goodreads)
Reading someone’s else’s life makes me think how great everyone’s life is. It is not always ‘rainbow after the rain’ life sometimes it is more like a ‘heavy cloudy day’.
This book is about a mother, a strong mother, who will sacrifice his life for the sake of her children. A great sister and an amazing woman of color. Empress’ story is an eye-opener. We now live in a cruel world, thus, an unfair one and one of the crises we are engaged is Women Protection. Empress shows each side of her, the brave one, the fragile one, and the lovable one. The story of empress is indeed full of lessons.
The Memoirs of an Empress is a must read for everyone. It is a fast-paced story with engaging characters and plot. The story means to educate us that every woman’s lives is always at stake. Even though she’s happy and good doesn’t mean she doesn’t need help. Every woman must be treasured and taken care of. Empress, as she struggles in her life, doesn’t know who else she needed. She is afraid, a worrier, and a vulnerable.
I love how empress’ story touches my heart. Zylia knows how to capture reader’s heart and attention. As I read this book, I found myself craving for more story of Empress and her family. Knowingly that empress is kind-hearted woman, I just loved her. Her children, her sister made the most out of the story. I personally recommend this book to everyone to read and reflect on empress’ story. We all have our side that can’t keep and who knows how to deal with it. The kindness and humanity the story also brings is a gem! A huge thanks to Zylia for bringing me into Empress’ life. You’re the sweetest!
Zylia N. Knowlin is the mother of four girls. She currently resides in South Florida. She has spent the last twenty-two years educating middle-school students on topics concerning American and World History and Geography. Over the years, she has maintained her daily journals and wanted to share some of life experiences with young people across the world.
After completing her PhD program (2021), she has plans on writing curriculum and initiating programs that prevent domestic violence and child violations in Jamaica, West Indies. Proceeds from this publication will be used in part to fund the JASWA (Jamaican American Social and Welfare Alliances) Project she is currently building. Additionally, she owns and operates BlackGirlsWrite2 an organization that provides professional writing services.
The Lost Boys meets Wilder Girls in this supernatural feminist YA novel.
It’s 1987 and unfortunately it’s not all Madonna and cherry lip balm. Mayhem Brayburn has always known there was something off about her and her mother, Roxy. Maybe it has to do with Roxy’s constant physical pain, or maybe with Mayhem’s own irresistible pull to water. Either way, she knows they aren’t like everyone else.
But when May’s stepfather finally goes too far, Roxy and Mayhem flee to Santa Maria, California, the coastal beach town that holds the answers to all of Mayhem’s questions about who her mother is, her estranged family, and the mysteries of her own self. There she meets the kids who live with her aunt, and it opens the door to the magic that runs through the female lineage in her family, the very magic Mayhem is next in line to inherit and which will change her life for good.
But when she gets wrapped up in the search for the man who has been kidnapping girls from the beach, her life takes another dangerous turn and she is forced to face the price of vigilante justice and to ask herself whether revenge is worth the cost.
From the acclaimed author of This Raging Light and But Then I Came Back, Estelle Laure offers a riveting and complex story with magical elements about a family of women contending with what appears to be an irreversible destiny, taking control and saying when enough is enough.
Mayhem is a book full of feels and feminism. As mayhem traverse the world of Santa Maria, California, she discovers the world of her Mother, Roxy. They say it is based on The Lost Boys, and mostly some scenes of the book are adapted. But I haven’t read that book. I Love Mayhem and I know this is an extra ordinary story of a girl with an angst with touch of magic and horror.
With an 80’s vibe, this book instantly catches my attention. There was some trigger warning about this book regarding drugs and the like. This is a perfect retro vibe reads for this summer and most likely to be one of my favorite read.
Mayhem is a unique read. Her journey is written with mysterious vibe and fantastical touch. The struggles and pain of her mother is intact with the story. The youthful years of Mayhem and the Adulthood of Roxy is a great choice of theme in storytelling because there is more to tell about these two characters. This is a engrossing story to share with a bit of dark madness in it.
The 80’s environment is moody and at the same time funny. It matches the description of the story and the palette used in the cover. One thing that I’m not really impress about Mayhem is character building. I know it is a slow burn type of book and I’m not quite sure it lacks attention with some characters or it is just I didn’t notice it. There were some underdeveloped circumstances and on the first part, I got confused with the characters. But overall, I say this book dark read is a must read.
Though this book includes pain, I still recommend this to everyone to read and reflect on what Mayhem and Roxy undergo with their past. With a lesson engraved with it, I’m sure you’ll surely love this book.
Estelle Laure, the author of This Raging Light and But Then I Came Back believes in love, magic, and the power of facing hard truths. She has a BA in Theatre Arts and an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts in Writing for Children and Young Adults, and she lives in Taos, New Mexico, with her family. Her work is translated widely around the world.
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Witches, Mystery, LGBTQ
Expected Date of Publication: July 7, 2020
A lone witch has powers. A coven has a multitude more.
New girl and secret witchl Iris just wants to get through her first day of school without a panic attack. The last thing she expects is to be taken in by a coven of three witches-soft-spoken Greta, thoughtful and musical Ridley, and fiery and spirited Binx. They may be the first witches Iris has met IRL, but their coven is not alone in their small northwestern town.
The Triad is the other coven at their school. When the Triad’s not using spells to punish their exes or break up happy couples for fun, they practice dark magic. The two covens have a rivalry stretching all the way back to junior high.
When tragedy strikes and one of their own is murdered, the rival covens must band together to find out who is responsible before it’s too late. Someone’s anti-witch ideology has turned deadly . . . and one of them is next.
With an inclusive cast of teen witches who leap off the page with style, attitude, and charm, B*Witch is a singable read perfect for fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Mean Girls alike.
The thing about witchy books is that they catch the attention of readers as if they have a real magic and witchy spells.
I’ve read These Witches Don’t Burn as a YA witchy themed book and I instantly loved them. B*witch is a full feminist book with a mystery touch which is very exciting to read. The first few chapters talks about the three best of friends, their coven, their abilities, and their little bit of struggles in witching powers. Iris, a new student and also a witch, struggles with anxiety and uses her charm to relax herself. The multiple POVs kind of confuse me while reading and I didn’t get some of the vibes intended for the readers to feel.
I love the diversity and equality in this book. With a theme of LGBTQIA, I did love that this supports the community. I expect a lot on this book and to be honest, I’m kind of disappointed on some parts of the story but I really appreciate the friendship and the teen vibes this book gives. The spells feel realistic and how I wish there will be a separate part intended for all the spells mentioned. That is one of the great finds in this type of books, the history of the spells, the name of the spells, the power of them and the uniqueness and consistency in terms of the how the spell works. It is nevertheless a lowkey form of witch book, it is still a must read for everyone who loved this kind of theme.
Iris will be my favorite character. I like the impression of how delicate she is despite of her anxiety. The main characters have their own pace and I did like it. For me, it is like for a witchy themed book to be more superficial not only with the characters and the ideas but also the plot and how will the story end. B*witch will gave more of a mystery-sisterhood coven story and a queer type of angst and manifestations. Nonetheless, B*witch is a great read specially if you are more looking for friendship type and magical reads.
Paige McKenzie is a millennial hyphenate: a New York Times bestselling author, YouTuber, actor, influencer, creator, artist, producer. Her first book series, The Haunting of Sunshine Girl, was on the New York Times bestseller list for over a month. Paige is constantly creating. Her Etsy shop the Homebody Guild is full of her art and designs, and she is always updating it with new creations. Paige also interacts daily with her Sunshiners across a variety of media including YouTube (where she has over half a million subscribers), Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Paige is a founding member of Coat Tail Productions, with three projects in active development. Paige lives in Portland, Oregon with the love of her life, a seven-pound Chihuahua named Pongo.
Nancy Ohlin was born in Tokyo and moved to the United States when she was nine. She has written, ghostwritten, or collaborated on over one hundred fiction and nonfiction books for children, teens, and adults, including her YA novels Consent, Beauty, and Always, Forever (Simon & Schuster). Most recently, she collaborated with Paige on The Sacrifice of Sunshine Girl (Hachette Books), Quvenzhané Wallis on the Shai and Emmie chapter book series (Simon & Schuster), and Chloé Lukasiak on her forthcoming memoir Girl on Pointe: Chloe’s Guide to Taking on the World (Bloomsbury). Learn more at nancyohlin.com and on Twitter (@nancyohlin).
It’s 200 years after Cinderella found her prince, but the fairy tale is over. Teen girls are now required to appear at the Annual Ball, where the men of the kingdom select wives based on a girl’s display of finery. If a suitable match is not found, the girls not chosen are never heard from again.
Sixteen-year-old Sophia would much rather marry Erin, her childhood best friend, than parade in front of suitors. At the ball, Sophia makes the desperate decision to flee, and finds herself hiding in Cinderella’s mausoleum. There, she meets Constance, the last known descendant of Cinderella and her step sisters. Together they vow to bring down the king once and for all–and in the process, they learn that there’s more to Cinderella’s story than they ever knew . . .
This fresh take on a classic story will make readers question the tales they’ve been told, and root for girls to break down the constructs of the world around them.
In a dystopian world called Lille, every teenager is required to attend the annual ball prescribed by the King Manford in accordance to what Cinderella’s legacy is. This ball serves as their ground to meet their husband. Women in Lille are not duly taken care of. They are just a wife, in house, doing chores. Sophia, a Woman of Color, has one mission. To overthrow the Patriarchy. With the help of one of Cinderella’s living family member and the fairy godmother, together they will stoop down to end the Lille’s overdue sufferings under the hands of a cruel king.
A Queer Black Girl with a domination and perseverance is what we need right now. When the past meets the present, this retelling is full of angst and twisted drama. Cinderella is Dead is not just your normal Cinderella retelling. It is evil and fierce. I honestly love the book not just by its cover (well, I give a thousand-star rating for that cover) but for the lessons engraved with it.
The character building is great. I never thought the characters will make the book more interesting and predominant. Starting from the Lead Sophia, which is so splendid, to the Fairy godmother, which I didn’t knew existed, to the King and to the people living in Lille. The timeframe of the book is perfect for each of the character to understand their viability.
I am proud to say that this book is a page turner. I can’t stop reading until the final page. The twisty drama inside the book got me goosebumps. I’ve read dystopian retellings before but this book has a tremendous impact on my love on fairytale and princesses. Though, some instalove scenes didn’t convince me more to believe, but the friendship love in this is an actual gem. I can’t stop thinking now if Cinderella is a living princess with more to tell but now gone, or is there really something in every pages of Cinderella’s story? I didn’t expect that plot twist to be so good. I was literally shock when I read it and it didn’t imagine it to be so surreal. The collaboration of Cinderella’s ancient story to our present struggles bring this book to my top-tier.
Lesson learned in this story is don’t let the Patriarchy let you down.
You are a Women; you have all the rights in this world.
Friendship and Family is very important in times when you’re lost.
You don’t need a fairy godmother to create some magic. You are the magic.
A twisted, epic, and fiery fairytale that will question your childhood.
Kalynn Bayron is an author and classically trained vocalist. she grew up in Anchorage, Alaska. when she’s not writing you can find her listening to Ella Fitzgerald on loop, attending the theater, watching scary movies, and spending time with her kids. she currently lives in Texas with her family.
When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they’re broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their center of gravity.
Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he’ll not only be unable to overcome—but that will define his life forever.
I heard a lot of mixed reviews about this book. Some says it is a trash, a depiction of unbelievable things, a worst book they have ever read. But for some, this is a gem, a work of art, a story uniquely written, a favorite book and and a 5-star read for some readers.
The first time I heard this book is through a booktuber named Kat (paperbackdreams). I saw her vlog in YouTube and I was curious and watched it. I enjoyed watching her reading vlog wherein she cries a lot by the end of the video and explained why she cried that hard in her entire life. I bought this book last December 2019, a Christmas gift for myself. I didn’t read this book as soon as I got this. Really, I feel like i’m not emotionally ready yet but now guess what? I finished the book. In a span of 5 days, I finished this 800 pages book and it turns out to be a roller coaster ride for me reading this until the very last page.
This is a story of Friendship, Family, and Survival. Revolve around the four best of friends named Jude, Malcolm, Willem, and JB. Each are successful; a lawyer, an architect, an actor, and an artist respectively. The first two parts of the book tell us about the background of each characters and the succeeding chapters are their stories specifically Jude’s stories from the past. I almost DNF this book because to be honest, the content warnings of this book is too much. Yes, this is traumatic for me. It really hurts you while you read this book. I almost didn’t believe that this is happening at all; the trauma, the physical abuse, the mental stability. It includes cutting, banging a head to a wall, continuous and deep cutting, taking oneself to almost a fire, sexual harassment (which i really hate reading). At some point, I found myself staring at blankness, thinking why Hanya Yanagihara have to take us into this? It is a deep wound and it has too much bleeding and left me with a heavy heart because at some point, I can’t take it any longer. The character formations are elemental. You will see the growth and how they deal with it as they reach their adulthood. I really admire the writing style of this. What I really admire about this book is the found family that is so great. I’d like to mention Harold and Julia for being such a great parents anyone could ever had. Perfectly amazing!
An 800 pages book is really a long ride. I found it a lot wordy for me, to think that I have to read some paragraphs twice to be able to understand it. Well, I suggest to read this while listening to the audiobook. It is confusing. Threaded with past and present in between pages is a big deal for me. There are some questionable thoughts around this book and some ideas that is hard to believe. According to an interview by Yanagihara, it is her intention to make this book somewhat a fantasy, a fairy tale like you didn’t believe it actually existed. Again, this book will hurt you. This will cause you feel unsettled mostly while turning its pages. So if you have some things about traumatic experiences or sexual abuses, maybe this book is not for you.
Ending this book got my eyes puffed. Yes, I cried. It is because the book comes to its realization, the lesson hidden between pages and basically the end of it all. This is a moving a book, a page-turner one, and an amazing book. I will never reread this book. Ever. Once is enough you know, and as they say two is too much so i’m not gonna stab myself twice harder than the first one. Yes, this is a good book and i will never forget this and will always have a special place in my heart.