Described as “Knives Out meets Kim’s Convenience,” Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers is Jesse Q. Sutanto’s latest novel. Sutanto is also the author of Dial A for Aunties, which I read and enjoyed a few years ago, among a handful of other youth and adult works.
In this cozy mystery novel, Vera Wong is a widowed sixty-year-old woman living alone and running a teahouse in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Unfortunately, her teahouse doesn’t see many customers—–until one day, she walks in to discover a dead body! Even though the police think there’s nothing suspicious about the scene, Vera knows it in her gut that they have a murder on their hands, and if the police won’t see it her way, she’ll just have to find the killer on her own. When Vera’s teahouse starts seeing new faces popping up after the murder, her suspect list starts to grow, but so does her heart.
Having read and loved Dial A for Aunties, I was hoping for an easy homerun with this. So it saddens me to say it, but this book was disappointing.
I’ll tell you all about my thoughts (spoiler-free) in this review.
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“This was chaos, but chaos was where she thrived…”
-The Burning God by R.F. Kuang
The Poppy War trilogy by R. F. Kuang has been highly acclaimed among readers for years. The first book, entitled The Poppy War, was Kuang’s debut novel in 2018, and since then, she has become a literary force to be reckoned with, more recently publishing books Babel and Yellowface.
In writing this trilogy, Kuang was heavily inspired by real historical events from Chinese, Japanese, and European history. She shares that learning of the Nanjing Massacre of 1930, during which Japanese soldiers brutally ravaged a Chinese city, compelled her in writing this first novel as a way to grapple with the information. To read more about Kuang and her comments on this trilogy, check out this profile from NPR.
For years, this trilogy has been on my radar, but it wasn’t until the end of 2022 that I was ready to crack it open and explore what this story had to offer–and I was not disappointed.
What follows here are my concise reviews of each installment and then my overall review of the trilogy as a whole. I have refrained from including spoilers so that this review is accessible to those who have yet to read The Poppy War. Because the summaries of the second and third books would potentially spoil the contents of the first book, I have only included the summary of the first.
I hope you enjoy!
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A long, long time ahead of us in a galaxy maybe not so far away, the Wayfarers series by Becky Chambers takes place. This four-book science fiction series is not one to miss for lovers of the genre, and an ideal introduction for those seeking a gateway into space.
In this blog post, I review all four books, including characters, themes, and plots, and I do not include any spoilers. The books discussed here are The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, A Closed and Common Orbit, Record of a Spaceborn Few, and The Galaxy, and the Ground Within.
Keep reading to nab your ticket to the stars above!
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Set between 1937 and 2003, Memphis by Tara M. Stringfellow is a generational novel detailing the lives of four southern Black women over three generations, and the difficult choices they make to reclaim their lives.
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Right now is the perfect time to read You Made a Fool of Death With Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi—-the newly released romance novel opens on Memorial Day weekend, features queer main characters, and embodies the essence of what they call “hot girl summer.”
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Ever since I finished reading The Office of Historical Corrections by Danielle Evans earlier this month, I have continued to think about it. Comprised of a series of short stories and a novella by the same name as the collection, this literary work is astounding and expertly crafted.
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If you’re looking for a wlw/sapphic romance with lots of sexual tension and steamy hook-ups, emotional character growth and rom-com shenanigans, you’ll enjoy Delilah Green Doesn’t Care by Ashley Herring Blake!
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Nearly a hundred years ago, Nella Larsen published Passing. Today, it is still every bit as nuanced and readable.
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Last month while curating my list of February book releases, I discovered Don’t Cry for Me by Daniel Black and quickly put it on hold at the library. Here’s what I thought of it!
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After reading the first sentence of None But the Righteous by Chantal James, I felt a particular enthusiasm coursing through me that this book was going to take me to special places as a reader. Within the first chapter, I knew I would be writing a thorough analysis of it. (And somehow, I have managed to do this without spoilers.)
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