Made in Korea by Sarah Suk | ARC Review

We’re just going to ignore that this ARC review is totally not late or anything and that it came out almost a month ago whoops

Frankly in Love meets Shark Tank in this feel-good romantic comedy about two entrepreneurial Korean American teens who butt heads—and maybe fall in love—while running competing Korean beauty businesses at their high school.

There’s nothing Valerie Kwon loves more than making a good sale. Together with her cousin Charlie, they run V&C K-BEAUTY, their school’s most successful student-run enterprise. With each sale, Valerie gets closer to taking her beloved and adventurous halmeoni to her dream city, Paris.

Enter the new kid in class, Wes Jung, who is determined to pursue music after graduation despite his parents’ major disapproval. When his classmates clamor to buy the K-pop branded beauty products his mom gave him to “make new friends,” he sees an opportunity—one that may be the key to help him pay for the music school tuition he knows his parents won’t cover…

What he doesn’t realize, though, is that he is now V&C K-BEAUTY’s biggest competitor.

Stakes are high as Valerie and Wes try to outsell each other, make the most money, and take the throne for the best business in school—all while trying to resist the undeniable spark that’s crackling between them. From hiring spies to all-or-nothing bets, the competition is much more than either of them bargained for.

But one thing is clear: only one Korean business can come out on top.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

While I didn’t love Made in Korea, I didn’t hate it either👀 Filled with an enemies-to-lovers romance altho its really more of Val considering Wes the enemy only, spies, sabotages, and heartwarming scenes, this was a pretty great debut. And it featured Korean-American main characters, which I’ve never seen in a book before, so that was fun!

“There isn’t always a price tag or a black-and-white answer for why people do what they do.”

For years, Val has been in charge of her very popular and successful K-pop beauty business with her cousin Charlie. She has her goal in mind and nobody will get in her way being the only K-pop beauty business at her school. All is going well… until new student Wes comes in and starts up his own K-pop beauty business.

Of course Val doesn’t take this well and soon they both make a bet—whoever makes the most money by the end of the school year gets to take all of the loser’s money. It’s an all or nothing…and thus, the competition begins.

Val annoyed me a lot in the beginning. The audacity of this girl. She acted like it was a personal offence that Wes started his own business—like no, he can have his own reasons to start a business too?? The way she treated him too-😶 uhh yeah, I definitely didn’t like her, and though Val did learn/get better towards the end, it didn’t change my feelings towards her.

Now Wes is just so sweet. He’s too nice honestly, like I really don’t understand how he liked Val but okay ¯_(ツ)_/¯ Wes deserved better, imo.

Also, his passion for music-🥺🥺 and the way he was trying to save up money for the fees required to go to music school because he knew his parents wouldn’t pay for him omg it was so sad 😦 Wes had a better reason for his business than Val did ngl.

Part of me probably wouldve enjoyed this book more if it weren’t for how much Val annoyed me, but also if I wasn’t bored. There were a lot of scenes that just dragged on for me, where I’d just be counting down the number of pages I had left until I finished so I could be free. Still, I wasn’t bored to the point that I hated it at least.

All in all, this was a all right debut by the author and I can see lots of potential for her future books! There were lots of K-pop references that I think K-pop fans would appreciate and love. I definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a quick read with characters who will do anything to beat the other~

~Thank you Simon & Schuster Canada for gifting me an ARC in exchange for an honest review!! <33

The Burning God (The Poppy War, #3) by R.F. Kuang | Review

After saving her nation of Nikan from foreign invaders and battling the evil Empress Su Daji in a brutal civil war, Fang Runin was betrayed by allies and left for dead. 

Despite her losses, Rin hasn’t given up on those for whom she has sacrificed so much—the people of the southern provinces and especially Tikany, the village that is her home. Returning to her roots, Rin meets difficult challenges—and unexpected opportunities. While her new allies in the Southern Coalition leadership are sly and untrustworthy, Rin quickly realizes that the real power in Nikan lies with the millions of common people who thirst for vengeance and revere her as a goddess of salvation. 

Backed by the masses and her Southern Army, Rin will use every weapon to defeat the Dragon Republic, the colonizing Hesperians, and all who threaten the shamanic arts and their practitioners. As her power and influence grows, though, will she be strong enough to resist the Phoenix’s intoxicating voice urging her to burn the world and everything in it? 

The exciting end to The Poppy War trilogy, R. F. Kuang’s acclaimed, award-winning epic fantasy that combines the history of twentieth-century China with a gripping world of gods and monsters, to devastating, enthralling effect.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Guys, this was the happiest book ever!! Happy ending! Happy characters! Happy everything! Kuang couldn’t have written it better! Everyone’s happy, safe… I dont know why people are saying this is heartbreaking? If anything, it’s heartwarming!

My heart totally didn’t feel like it was being ripped out of my chest and thrown into a shredder! I totally did not go to sleep crying and wake up again crying! I totally don’t feel like I need someone to pay for my therapy bills!

No, not at all.

I’m completely fine.


yea no, I feel like I’m dying. I am dying. This pain should be illegal. What is happiness? This is so depressing. And me, the masochist, keeps going back to the last two chapters sobs what am I doing to myself?

Please end me.


Funny how I said that reading Clockwork Princess, The Hero of Ages (etc) were the most I’ve ever cried — HA I lied. No book like The Burning God’s ending has ever made me sob this much. I am dead. It’s to the point where every single time I close my eyes, I picture the ending and that is not okay. Kuang, what have you done to me???

There’s no peace, only pain. This has quite literally left a scar on my heart and soul forever. Not only did Kuang bury the knife deep into my heart, but she twisted it causing me excruciating pain.

I actually can’t think about this book without crying, so this review is basically me as an emotional wreck. Sorry but not really in advance.

(Also, there are no spoilers in this review until the end when I give out the warning!!)

═════ °• ♔ •° ═════

“The point of revenge wasn’t to heal. The point was that the exhilaration, however temporary, drowned out the hurt.”

This whole journey has been full of trust, love, hatred, revenge, pain… I’ve never before seen such a story have so many complex issues. It’s astounds me.

Rin’s character has developed so much. I can’t believe this all started with poor 14 year old Rin who just wanted to get out of marriage by studying to enroll in Sinegard… to this. It breaks my heart when I see how much she’s gone through.

And it’s not just Rin. Kitay, Venka, Nezha, Atlan, the Cike… they’ve all suffered so much throughout the whole series. Kuang is a demon with her characters. There’s literally nobody in this trilogy who hasn’t suffered. Of course, some had it coming and deserved it, but others… sobs no, no, they definitely didn’t deserve that.

I swear, it brought me so much joy seeing Rin finally accept who she was and where she came from, and be proud of it. These last two books, she’d constantly be insulted because of her dark-skin and having come from Tikany, a poor village in Rooster Province. Because of this, she hated herself and thought the others to be superior, trying to cut all ties with her former village.

However, here Rin learned to embrace it all. She accepted everything that she was and most importantly, she did not bow to anyone. Rin’s now chooses to be in command.

No longer would she be the submissive fool she once was. although she still makes some pretty dumb mistakesShe leads. She gives the orders. She deals out the punishments. I literally love this girl.

And after the ending of The Dragon Republic, I was so looking forward to retribution. I am not completely satisfied, but satisfied enough. The pain she dealt to certain people was amazing. My only complaint was that it wasn’t dragged out longer for a certain person :’ (

“It doesn’t go away. It never will. But when it hurts, lean into it. It’s so much harder to stay alive. That doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to live. It means you’re brave.”

Please, Kitay actually deserves everything. While I had conflicted feelings throughout this series about Rin, Nezha, and others — my love for Kitay was the only constant. When I say not one moment did I hate him, I mean not one moment.

From the moment I met this cinnamon roll in The Poppy War, I fell in love and automatically knew he had to be protected at all costs.

Literally their friendship was so heartbreaking and beautiful. Watching them argue over and over again, but then come back still loving the other so much ohmygod-

This. THIS is literally a perfect example on how platonic love can be just as amazing, actually even better , than a romantic one. I love it. I love it. I love it so much.

Kitay was the anchor to Rin’s sanity. He’d always try preventing her from making rash and stupid decisions. He’s her moral conscience.

Can I just please go back to the first book? I thought TPW was horrifying and depressing, AHAHA what a joke, TPW is heaven compared to the rest of the series.

I want my children to stay happy together at Sinegard sobs this torture. Erase everything that’s happened after that moment. I want a Kitay. My baby-

Also it was amazing learning so much more about the Trifecta. Their history, the missions they made, each and every one of them and how they acted… all I have to say is damn.

═════ °• ♔ •° ═════

(🛑MAJOR SPOILERS for the end of TBG start here!! Skip to the bottom if you don’t want to be spoiled🛑)

═════ °• ♔ •° ═════

“Dying was easy. Living was so much harder—that was the most important lesson Atlan had ever taught her.”

So you’re telling me, all that hard work, all that pain, torture, and suffering, all those years of war….

ONLY for Kitay and Rin to die like that???

They beat the Hesperians in battle, but in the end, it was because of the famine and damage Nikan took, that the Hesperians ended up winning and I am forever destroyed.

BUT IT MAKES SENSE AND THATS WHAT HURTS THE MOST.

But all those memories they had together in the span of those 5 years — some good, mostly bad, BUT STILL. they were memories of them suffering together and I am not okay.

And the fact that Kitay and Rin’s last moments together were of them fighting breaks every part of me beyond recognition. IT HURTS. Rin thinking Kitay betrayed her ohmygod PLEASE STOP THIS PAIN.

And the fact that Kitay’s last words in this world were “You’re hurting me” to Rin absolutely destroys me and I am sobbing.

The way I can imagine Kitay’s pained expression so clearly I SWEAR ITS KILLING ME. PLEASE OMG.

And can I just say — Rin literally chose death over surrendering to the Hesperians/cooperating with them. The way she knew that this fighting would never end if she lived and never surrendered. It honestly would’ve been so wrong if she’d given up to them, but she really went ahead and said “I’d rather die than bow down to these bastards.” She literally sacrificed herself in hopes for a better world, knowing she wouldn’t be the one to do it. AND I RESPECT THAT SO MUCH, BUT IT HURTS. She died on Speerly, and I died with her.

AND I CAN’T BELIEVE OUT OF ALL OF THEM, ONLY NEZHA SURVIVED. (Although I honestly shouldn’t be surprised) Venka my baby, also died and it was so heartbreaking that she died Rin thinking she was a traitor like hell no WHY?! Venka didn’t deserve that, Kitay didn’t deserve that, what the hell. While Rin got out of bowing to the Hesperians, Nezha’s going to have to so honestly, nevermind, that’s torture itself. I could never.

It actually broke me even before the deaths started. They were all so so depressed at the end, suffered so so much, and I hate this so much, but it was so realistic.

They’ve all come a long way from the children they once were.

═════ °• ♔ •° ═════

🛑SPOILERS HAVE ENDED🛑

═════ °• ♔ •° ═════

“You never want to hurt them. But you have to. You have to put them through hell, because that’s the only way anyone else will survive.”

Oh no, I’m quite certain Kuang wanted to hurt us. We were put through hell and none of us survived, but still… this author has my heart.

I swear, if I was rating the ending itself I’d 100% give this 5 stars, but unfortunately I’m not and I have to say that some parts in the book dragged out a lot, especially during the many marches. Don’t get me wrong, they were interesting, but my mind drifted a lot.

However, despite me giving this 4.5 stars, this is most definitely an all-time-favourite because that ending broke my heart into more pieces than I could’ve possibly imagined. It was a sob-fest. And I even knew how this was going to end so I prepared myself but that didn’t work at all. Kuang is both a genius and a monster.

I hate that I can never read more about these fleshed out and glorious characters. I hate that even if I re-read, it’ll never be the same. I hate this so much, because I do not want to part with them.

But you know what, even thinking all of that I regret nothing. If anything, I regret not reading this series sooner. I will forever be grateful for the pain beautiful story Kuang has created and I know that whatever series she’s going to make next will be just as painful beautiful.

Go ahead and ruin me, Kuang.

“Do it. Take what you want… I’ll hate you for it. But I’ll love you forever. I can’t help but love you.

Ruin me, ruin us, and I’ll let you.”

(4.5⭐)

Honourable mention: I’m forever grateful to the best demon out there Mashie for being there for me while I screamed, raged, laughed, and cried. You truly made this book even more amazing than I could’ve imagined. Thank you so much🥺 I couldn’t have possibly survived the aftermath of the ending if it weren’t for you.💙

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Reviews:
The Poppy War: ★★★★.5
The Dragon Republic: ★★★★★
The Burning God: ★★★★.5

𝔻𝕚𝕕 𝕪𝕠𝕦 𝕒𝕝𝕤𝕠 𝕕𝕚𝕖 𝕣𝕖𝕒𝕕𝕚𝕟𝕘 𝕋𝔹𝔾? 𝕎𝕙𝕖𝕟 𝕨𝕒𝕤 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕝𝕒𝕤𝕥 𝕥𝕚𝕞𝕖 𝕒 𝕓𝕠𝕠𝕜 𝕕𝕖𝕤𝕥𝕣𝕠𝕪𝕖𝕕 𝕪𝕠𝕦𝕣 𝕧𝕖𝕣𝕪 𝕤𝕠𝕦𝕝? ℍ𝕒𝕧𝕖 𝕪𝕠𝕦 𝕤𝕥𝕒𝕣𝕥𝕖𝕕 𝕋ℙ𝕎? (𝕚𝕗 𝕟𝕠𝕥, 𝕪𝕠𝕦 𝕄𝕌𝕊𝕋 𝕗𝕖𝕖𝕝 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕡𝕒𝕚𝕟 𝕨𝕚𝕥𝕙 𝕞𝕖)

𝕃𝕖𝕥 𝕞𝕖 𝕜𝕟𝕠𝕨 𝕓𝕖𝕝𝕠𝕨!💕

Red Winter (Red Winter Trilogy, #1) by Annette Marie | Review // ft. me screaming about a very underrated series!!

Emi is the kamigakari. In a few short months, her life as a mortal will end and her new existence as the human host of a goddess will begin. Carefully hidden from those who would destroy her, she has prepared her mind, body, and soul to unite with the goddess-and not once has she doubted her chosen fate.

Shiro is a yokai, a spirit of the earth, an enemy of the goddess Emi will soon host. Mystery shrouds his every move and his ruby eyes shine with cunning she can’t match and dares not trust. But she saved his life, and until his debt is paid, he is hers to command-whether she wants him or not. On the day they meet, everything Emi believes comes undone, swept away like snow upon the winter wind. For the first time, she wants to change her fate-but how can she erase a destiny already wrought in stone? Against the power of the gods, Shiro is her only hope… and hope is all she has left.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

i never thought it was possible for me to love this more than i did the first time, but it is.

best Japanese mythology based, slow-burn, enemies-to-lovers book i’ve ever read🥺


this trilogy is so underrated and that’s totally unacceptable. it deserves all the love. Like it has almost everyone’s favourite trope, enemies-to-lovers , AND it’s based off of Japanese mythology which I’ve barely seen in the book world.

it breaks my heart seeing how only about 6.5k ppl have read this sobs it deserves more recognition, this beautiful book. (altho, my love may be a tiny bit biased since I love Japanese culture so much BUT ANYWAYS)

trust me or maybe dont, the beginning is pretty slow, but once you reach around the 20% mark (chapter 7), it gets really good. the world building also may be a little confusing with all the terms, although you get used to it throughout the story (there’s also a glossary at the back of the book).

it’s funny, i actually struggled with the beginning during my first read, yet with this reread i didn’t mind the slow start at all and loved everything. the banter between Emi and Shiro is amazing and being introduced to my bby Yumei🥺 i cant not reread the rest of the series now that i’ve read this. I need more.


══〖✰〗══

“Because you are more to me now. Because you keep secrets like a kami and I’m curious what you hide. Because you are lonely and scared and I don’t understand why. Because you trust me when you know you shouldn’t. Because I believe you when you say you will keep your word.”

Emi is the kamigakari — destined to become the kami (goddess), Amaterasu’s, human host. As the kamigakari, Emi must remain pure both physically and mentally lest she be unable to receive the kami’s power and spirit.

No impure thoughts or urges, being restricted to what she can eat (it must all be healthy), having nobody of the opposite gender even touch her, and more… ah, what a sad life. imagine not being able to eat pizza shudder the horror

The life she has feels complete to Emi… until she stumbles across something that changes everything. And with that, it all starts — she meets Shiro, a suspicious shape-shifting kitsune (a fox yokai) who seems to be more than is shown. Yokai are spirits that are closely tied to nature and walk upon the Earth — they’re also known to be monsters or demons.

But Shiro, my love, is only the most amazing, swoon-worthy, and flirty yokai I know. The way I lived for his scenes with Emi🥺 i cant-

the question is… can you trust him? what does Shiro truly want? there must be some ulterior motive, right? this journey of trust and love throughout the trilogy is so, so beautiful. even if there was no plot, i would read this all just for these three <33

Yumei, aka the Tengu is also another yokai Emi meets. He’s very cold and annoyed often by Emi and Shiro hehe but secretly he cares😏 or does he Also, he’s very very sus. He doesn’t appear as much as Shiro, but in the next two books, Yumei shall shine more and make me fall even more in love with him. I still say there should be a spin-off for Yumei🥺 im not giving up on that.

“Don’t forget me, Shiro,” she said hoarsely. “You’re not allowed to forget me.”

“You’ll forget me someday, little miko.”

“I’ll never forget you,” she told him. “I’ll remember you to my last day.”

“Do you promise?”

Her heart gave an odd little flutter. “Yes, I promise.”

why do i keep doing this to myself

ALSO, shoutout to Katsuo for being such a kind-hearted and sweet friend to Emi <33

i will never stop loving this series. and this is only the first book, so i can only imagine how amazing it’s going to to be rereading the next two which are 10000 times better. altho… i’m scared to get my heartbroken, but that’s inevitable ¯_(ツ)_/¯

so ready for some more pain love✌

(also the art i posted above are only just a few of many illustrations in this book. ahhh another reason to read this)

══〖✰〗══

Buddy re-read with demon crisis krizzie, salty sofia, your hissingness, and lucid lucy <33

𝕎𝕙𝕒𝕥’𝕤 𝕒𝕟 𝕦𝕟𝕕𝕖𝕣𝕣𝕒𝕥𝕖𝕕 𝕤𝕖𝕣𝕚𝕖𝕤 𝕥𝕙𝕒𝕥 𝕪𝕠𝕦 𝕥𝕙𝕚𝕟𝕜 𝕕𝕖𝕤𝕖𝕣𝕧𝕖𝕤 𝕞𝕠𝕣𝕖 𝕝𝕠𝕧𝕖? 𝔸𝕟𝕪 𝕁𝕒𝕡𝕒𝕟𝕖𝕤𝕖-𝕞𝕪𝕥𝕙𝕠𝕝𝕠𝕘𝕪 𝕓𝕒𝕤𝕖𝕕 𝕓𝕠𝕠𝕜𝕤 𝕪𝕠𝕦 𝕜𝕟𝕠𝕨 𝕠𝕗?

𝕃𝕖𝕥 𝕞𝕖 𝕜𝕟𝕠𝕨 𝕓𝕖𝕝𝕠𝕨!💕

The Dragon Republic (The Poppy War, #2) by R.F. Kuang | Review

The searing follow-up to 2018’s most celebrated fantasy debut – THE POPPY WAR.

In the aftermath of the Third Poppy War, shaman and warrior Rin is on the run: haunted by the atrocity she committed to end the war, addicted to opium, and hiding from the murderous commands of her vengeful god, the fiery Phoenix. Her only reason for living is to get revenge on the traitorous Empress who sold out Nikan to their enemies.

With no other options, Rin joins forces with the powerful Dragon Warlord, who has a plan to conquer Nikan, unseat the Empress, and create a new Republic. Rin throws herself into his war. After all, making war is all she knows how to do.

But the Empress is a more powerful foe than she appears, and the Dragon Warlord’s motivations are not as democratic as they seem. The more Rin learns, the more she fears her love for Nikan will drive her away from every ally and lead her to rely more and more on the Phoenix’s deadly power. Because there is nothing she won’t sacrifice for her country and her vengeance.

The sequel to R.F. Kuang’s acclaimed debut THE POPPY WAR, THE DRAGON REPUBLIC combines the history of 20th-century China with a gripping world of gods and monsters, to devastating effect.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

*anguished screaming*

you BACKSTABBING TRAITOROUS LITTLE-

Never have I wanted so many people to die in the most painful way possible, especially AFTER WHAT THEY DID *sobs*

I want to die🙂

And I have nobody to blame but myself—oH WAIT NO I BLAME KUANG.

The way she quite literally ripped out my heart and shred it into pieces…this hollow, broken feeling—like the world’s ending and nobody sees it but me…

is this what death feels like?

I may sound overdramatic to some which is literally me in all my reviews but trust me when I say that this author is a monster haha that rhymed :’ )

But she’s also a brilliant, worship-worthy monster. I’m both screaming in rage and crying in awe because of the sheer perfection of The Dragon Republic. Everything—and I mean E V E R Y T H I N G was just a masterpiece. If possible, she made me love all the characters even more and the plot…ohmygod I love it. I love this. I love everything.

And the way she made me actually question who was truly evil. What defines ‘evil’? Are some actions justified because the reasoning behind it is good? What is considered ‘good’?

Everyone has their own story in the end, and if one does not know it, you’ll never be able to decide whether they’re evil or not. And even then, it’s based on our perception of good and evil to determine this.

I love the way Kuang made me think and how deep she went into this. It’s not all black and white. It’s very, very gray and nobody is as they seem to be.

I went into this with the generic thinking of good/evil and came out with a completely different opinion on this. I am once again shooketh.

…and broken, dead, and destroyed. *sobs*

Kudos to Kuang for turning me into an emotional mess.

⊱ ────── {⋅. ❈ .⋅} ────── ⊰

“People will seek to use you or destroy you.
If you want to live, you must pick a side. So do not shirk from war, child. Do not flinch from suffering.
When you hear screaming, run toward it.”

Oh Rin, my beautiful power-hungry, stubborn, and vicious anti-hero whom I’m very much in love with. Sure, she makes a lot of questionable decisions and has many, many flaws, but she still manages to get back up and not fall to others…for the most part.

Also, where in The Poppy War , she was considered to be very selfish, here Rin learned to put the fate of her country before her—even if it meant losing her pride and dignity and ugh I love her. It frustrated me that she was forced to do…certain things because of some repulsive monsters who deserve to die *cough* Petra *cough*. i would never

“She had a weapon now. She wasn’t defenseless against him. She’d never been defenseless. She had just never thought to look.”

And then Rin’s obsession with Atlan Trengsin…I actually can’t say it was super annoying because I could understand the why behind it. I mean, that’s what added onto her character growth eventually, and in a way Atlan was such a key figure to everyone, but especially to Rin.

The growth in Rin is spot on, and with how this ended I can’t wait for Rin to destroy everyone.

I👏AM👏READY👏FOR👏CHAOS👏 but not for heartbreak

⊱ ────── {⋅. ❈ .⋅} ────── ⊰

“Do you love him?”
“Yes, more than anyone else in the world.”

Every time I see a scene like this, I break apart. Kitay and Rin’s friendship is what makes me feel alive. He doesn’t hold back on the truth from Rin and tells it how it is if she’s done something bad. All they go through, they do it together and have such a deep and strong bond — I want to cry.

And with something that beautiful during war and written by Kuang herself…it’s not going to last long BECAUSE SHE’S EVIL.

I pray nothing happens, but by the way everyone’s been coming out of The Burning God…ahahahaha nervous laughter

I still have hope though. Kitay must survive. He must be happy. If not, I will die even tho im already dead

War has changed Kitay so much and that’s definitely not surprising, but how much it’s changed him is heartbreaking, but also amazing. He can talk down to generals and make them listen to him, but he’s suffered so much — it kills me :((

⊱ ────── {⋅. ❈ .⋅} ────── ⊰

“I’m scared I’ll hurt you. Adlaga won’t be the end. I can’t make the Phoenix go away and I can’t make it stop and—”

“Because you’re new to this,” Baji interrupted. He sounded so kind. How could he be so kind? “We’ve all been there. They want to use your body all the time. And you think you’re on the brink of madness, you think that this moment is going to be when you finally snap, but it’s not.”

“How do you know that?”

“Because it gets easier every time. Eventually you learn to exist on the precipice of insanity.”

“But I can’t promise I won’t—”

“You won’t. And we’ll go after Daji again. And we’ll keep doing it, over and over, as many times as it takes, until she’s dead. Tyr didn’t give up on us. We’re not giving up on you. This is why the Cike exists.”

All of that should be enough to tell you how much I love the Cike — especially Baji and Ramsasobs they’re so sweet and hilarious.

Baji, the idiotic, lovable shaman who constantly makes dirty jokes and Ramsa, everyone’s cinnamon roll who’s obsessed with explosives.

Basically my favourite characters, even though they didn’t appear as much as they did in The Poppy War. My heart is so full of love.

Even Chaghan…like wow, I actually despised him in the previous book, but now I see everything in a new light . Chaghan is in so much pain :(( and he doesn’t know what to do with this and feels all alone. I really can’t wait to see him and Rin team up next book (hopefully…?).

Now, I’ve stayed silent long enough.

🛑SPOILERS for TPW and up to chapter 6 of TDR🛑 DO NOT GO PAST THIS IF YOU HAVENT READ THAT. (Skip to the bottom.)

You’ve been warned

⊱ ────── {⋅. ❈ .⋅} ────── ⊰

Why was it that whenever she looked at Nezha, she wanted to either kill him or kiss him? He made her either furious or deliriously happy. The one thing he did not make her feel was secure.

With him there was no neutrality, no in between. She loved him or she hated him, but she didn’t know how to do both.

Same, Rin, same. I wasn’t surprised that Nezha was alive because Twitter and it’s ✨spoilers✨ but ahhhhh I was so happy to see him again at first.

However, this boy is a very complicated human being, and of course that’s not a bad thing, but I both hate and love him. As of now, that hatred is overpowering the love, so ahahaha who knows ¯_(ツ)_/¯

Even after what The Third Poppy War did to him, he’s still my beautiful boy who truly believes in a world of peace and happiness…so optimistic — how he can still act like this? I have no idea. his parents are trash and deserve to be thrown in hell

Oh, and the romance that blossomed between Nezha and Rin was so sweet and heart-wrenching asdfgfhgfdsagds my heart is dying because of everything they said to each other. I want to strangle the two. tHe AnGsT

I hate you Yin Nezha ❤

⊱ ────── {⋅. ❈ .⋅} ────── ⊰

“If nothing lasted and the world did not exist, all that meant was that reality was not fixed. The illusion she lived in was fluid and mutable, and could be easily altered by someone willing to rewrite the script of reality.”

I cried myself to sleep and woke up with one thought:

“Burn them all, Rin.”

I think that says something about me.

But this deep burning rage I feel after everything that’s happened…show them no mercy , Rin. Make them suffer . MAKE THEM PAY.

I will not be satisfied until I see certain people killed and if that doesn’t happen — I’m giving TBG 1 star not true, but I need to threaten something

Am I ready to come out of TBG alive? No, I am not.🙂

(5⭐)

(Because WordPress doesn’t allow spoiler tags, I had to erase them — my review with the spoiler tags for this book is here on Goodreads)

The Poppy War (The Poppy War, #1) by R.F. Kuang | Review

When Rin aced the Keju—the Empire-wide test to find the most talented youth to learn at the Academies—it was a shock to everyone: to the test officials, who couldn’t believe a war orphan from Rooster Province could pass without cheating; to Rin’s guardians, who believed they’d finally be able to marry her off and further their criminal enterprise; and to Rin herself, who realized she was finally free of the servitude and despair that had made up her daily existence. That she got into Sinegard—the most elite military school in Nikan—was even more surprising.

But surprises aren’t always good.

Because being a dark-skinned peasant girl from the south is not an easy thing at Sinegard. Targeted from the outset by rival classmates for her color, poverty, and gender, Rin discovers she possesses a lethal, unearthly power—an aptitude for the nearly-mythical art of shamanism. Exploring the depths of her gift with the help of a seemingly insane teacher and psychoactive substances, Rin learns that gods long thought dead are very much alive—and that mastering control over those powers could mean more than just surviving school.

For while the Nikara Empire is at peace, the Federation of Mugen still lurks across a narrow sea. The militarily advanced Federation occupied Nikan for decades after the First Poppy War, and only barely lost the continent in the Second. And while most of the people are complacent to go about their lives, a few are aware that a Third Poppy War is just a spark away . . .

Rin’s shamanic powers may be the only way to save her people. But as she finds out more about the god that has chosen her, the vengeful Phoenix, she fears that winning the war may cost her humanity . . . and that it may already be too late.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

“Warfare was about absolutes. Us or them. Victory or defeat. There was no middle way. There was no mercy. No surrender.”


I-I’ve never been so terrified to continue a series as I am now.

help

“If you hold the fate of the country in your hands, if you have accepted your obligation to your people, then your life ceases to be your own.”

I am in love with this book. These characters. Ohmygod who knew the beginning of this book could be so vastly different from the end???

I literally cannot wrap my head around this book. Going into The Poppy War, I knew it would be set into some sort of deadly school, but wow…I am shooketh. I understand the hype.

❉─────•~❉❉~•─────❉

“She had bribed a teacher. She had stolen opium. She had burned herself, lied to her foster parents, abandoned her responsibilities at the store, and broken a marriage deal.

And she was going to Sinegard.”

Fang Runin (aka Rin) has to be one of the most fleshed out characters ever created. She’s totally an anti-hero and I am sooo here for it.

Typical YA heroines want power solely to protect someone or something they love/care deeply for…

Rin wants power simply because . . . she craves it.

Not that she wouldn’t use it to protect those she cares for, but she mainly desires more power to take down those who have belittled her, and most of all . . . to satisfy her anger by getting revenge.

You know usually, it’s supposed to be “don’t go down the path of vengeance and blah blah”, but this girl ignores all that and I LOVE ITof course that’s not good at all, but hey, being good is overrated

Also, Rin is said to be based off of Azula from Avatar: The Last Airbender AND I CAN SEE THAT. I will never stop gushing about Rin’s character.

Her obsession with power and the questionable choices she makes…damn it scares me to think about what she’s going to be doing in the upcoming books. It’s nice to finally have a character who isn’t all goody-two-shoes and does the ‘honorable’ thing. wow this really isnt making me look good

❉─────•~❉❉~•─────❉

“They were monsters!” Rin shrieked. “They were not human!”

“Have you ever considered” he said slowly “that that was exactly what they though of us?”

Rin’s relationship with Kitay…it’s so beautiful I want to cry. Their friendship is amazing and literally every time terrible news would spread, I’d fear for my life that something happened to him. Literally.

From the beginning of this book, when he was right away there for Rin while she was being bullied by others for being dark-skinned and a peasant—I fell in love with him.

Oh, which reminds me: I love how Kuang didn’t stick to stereotypical Asian image of all of them being white and black haired. I love that so much, and I will never stop loving how she included that.🥺

But anyways, this sweet and adorable cinnamon roll better not be harmed in the upcoming books or I will rage and die in misery. DON’T HURT KITAY, OKAY?
meanwhile everyone who’s already read this series is probably laughing at me

Kitay waggled his eyebrows. “One might say you’ve been obsessed with Nezha.”

“Don’t be disgusting.”

“You are. You’re always asking me about him.”

“Because I’m curious,” Rin said. “Sunzi says to know your enemy.”

“Fuck Sunzi. You just think he’s pretty.”

Rin tossed the chessboard at his head.

Loved this part so much because it was so hilarious.😂 I must say that usually I’m a sucker for romance in all books, but I was totally okay with there being no romance here. It honestly probably would’ve ruined this book if there was.

BUT-

Nezha is amazing, and if there was just a tiny bit romance in the next two books I wouldn’t complain😏 And even if there wasn’t I still wouldn’t complain—I know I’ll love TDR and TBG either way…even though they’ll probably destroy me cries

I probably would’ve hated Nezha in the beginning if I hadn’t seen others love him so much. But honestly from the first scene where Rin met him, I adored him xD that probably says something about me too

He was definitely a jerk to Rin, but the way so much changed throughout the novel…it was literally so sweet and I need more Nezha and I won’t stop demanding for more Nezha. #MORENEZHA

❉─────•~❉❉~•─────❉

Ahhh there are so many more characters to talk about, but this review will never end if I keep going. I’ll just say that SO MUCH HAPPENS. I seriously forgot that this was only a debut for a TRILOGY. I’m in awe. Just wow…amazing.

Now the only reason why I didn’t give this 5 stars is because around the middle (part 2) was when it got a little slow, and I struggled slightly to get past that—but that’s probably just a me thing.

It might’ve been because of the new characters/settings introduced and me missing Kitay/Nezha/everyone else.

Other than that, Part 1 got me hooked right away and was a beautiful introduction to this book, while Part 3 was so dark and epic…and heartbreaking of course :’ )

“Her destiny had not been written in the stars, or in the registers of the Pantheon.”

“She was no victim of destiny.”

This is one of those times where I basically cannot trust the author at all judging by what others are saying. And with only reading the first book and almost getting a panic attack…

I am so not ready to have my heart destroyed in the next book.

(4.5⭐)

ℍ𝕒𝕧𝕖 𝕪𝕠𝕦 𝕣𝕖𝕒𝕕 𝕋𝕙𝕖 ℙ𝕠𝕡𝕡𝕪 𝕎𝕒𝕣? ℍ𝕒𝕧𝕖 𝕒𝕟𝕪 𝕗𝕒𝕧𝕠𝕦𝕣𝕚𝕥𝕖 𝕒𝕟𝕥𝕚-𝕙𝕖𝕣𝕠𝕖𝕤?

𝕃𝕖𝕥 𝕞𝕖 𝕜𝕟𝕠𝕨 𝕓𝕖𝕝𝕠𝕨!💕