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Three Mini Reviews: American Panda, Children of Blood and Bone, & Restore Me

American PandaI first heard of Gloria Chao through the podcast 88 Cups of Tea’s private facebook group. And when I heard of her book American Panda, I was super excited to read a YA novel set in college. We need more of these! Seventeen-year-old Mei skipped a grade and is starting freshman year at MIT a year early. This is all part of her immigrant parents’ plan for her. A plan that involves becoming a doctor and marrying another Taiwanese-American over-achiever. A plan that also ignores Mei’s passion for dance and phobia of germs. Mei knows how much she owes to her parents and tries to follow their wishes. But the freedom of college, a crush on a dreamy Japanese-American biology major, and long buried secrets make Mei rethink following her parents wishes. But making her own decisions might mean losing the family that she loves. This own voices story is full of cultural details, romantic moments, and laugh-out-loud awkwardness. One of my favorite things is that many different Taiwanese-American families are portrayed in the story, keeping any one character or family from seeming to represent an entire culture. Continue reading “Three Mini Reviews: American Panda, Children of Blood and Bone, & Restore Me”

Ten Books I LOVED but Probably Won’t Reread

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Happy Tuesday, friends! Here are some books I LOVED but don’t anticipate reading again. Some of them are just really long or seem less politically correct (looking at you Gone With the Wind) or appealed to me in ways other than plot or character development (which are usually the two things that will make me pick up a book to reread). What books did you love but won’t reread? Or more interestingly, what books do you love to reread? Continue reading “Ten Books I LOVED but Probably Won’t Reread”

Goodbye March!

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March was a wackadoodle month for me. Usually, I think February is the cruelest month (sorry T.S. Eliot) … but this year I think it might have been March. It was a very up and down month for me. Confusing! I’ve had my best and worst writing days. I’ve been busier teaching than every – which is wonderful but also so exhausting.  And the weather has been … let’s just say this California girl is ready for some spring weather on the east coast. Continue reading “Goodbye March!”

California Spring Break

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It snowed this morning in NYC, and I couldn’t help but wish I was back in California on the beach. It was funny because at 60 degrees in LA everyone kept apologizing to me about the bad weather. I even saw people wearing mittens. Of course, the weather isn’t the main reason I love visiting California … it’s the fish tacos. Just kidding… it was Disney Land! Okay just kidding again. It’s obviously my family. Thanks for your patience in my break from blogging and here are some of my favorite pictures from the trip. Happy Spring everyone! Continue reading “California Spring Break”

Spring Break Woohoo!

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Hi friends! In LA for the next week visiting my family, enjoying warm weather, and eating fish tacos and *real* avocados. Won’t be blogging, but am hoping to write my butt off while my mom and sister are at work to make some good progress on my WIP. Happy weekends to everyone and if you are a student/teacher happy spring break!

10 Books with Plot Twists that Surprised Me

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I fall for approximately 97.3% of twists that authors put in books. Seriously, “I saw that coming,” is something you will almost never hear me say. So I’m surprised a lot when I read, which honestly seems way more fun to me. Here are ten books where even if I knew a twist was coming, I still felt so surprised by what it was! Feel free to mock me for not picking up on obvious hints and clues in the comments! Continue reading “10 Books with Plot Twists that Surprised Me”

Ten Quotes I’ve Copied into my Journal in the Last Two Years

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Hello friends and happy Tuesday! Since I’ve listed my favorite quotes, I’ve picked these ones that I liked enough to writing into the back of my diary in the last two years. They are randomly picked and grouped together, but I think I stand by all of them as quotes that mean something to me! 

“Where does a story begin? The fiction is that they do, and end, rather than that the stuff of a story is just a cup of water scooped from the sea and poured back into it.” – Rebecca Solnit, The Faraway Nearby  Continue reading “Ten Quotes I’ve Copied into my Journal in the Last Two Years”