review: STARFISH by Akemi Dawn Bowman


STARFISH by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Publisher: Simon Pulse (September 26th 2017)

Genre: YA Contemporary

Format: eARC

I received an eARC of this book from the publisher Simon Pulse in exchange for an honest review. 

Goodreads summary:

Kiko Himura has always had a hard time saying exactly what she’s thinking. With a mother who makes her feel unremarkable and a half-Japanese heritage she doesn’t quite understand, Kiko prefers to keep her head down, certain that once she makes it into her dream art school, Prism, her real life will begin.

But then Kiko doesn’t get into Prism, at the same time her abusive uncle moves back in with her family. So when she receives an invitation from her childhood friend to leave her small town and tour art schools on the west coast, Kiko jumps at the opportunity in spite of the anxieties and fears that attempt to hold her back. And now that she is finally free to be her own person outside the constricting walls of her home life, Kiko learns life-changing truths about herself, her past, and how to be brave.

Trigger warnings: toxic maternal relationship, emotional abuse, sexual abuse


I don’t even know where to start with this review because I loved this book so much. This was one of my most anticipated releases this year and it exceeded my expectations.

We follow Kiko as she’s struggling with quite a few things. Her emotionally abusive mother. Her social anxiety that stops her from doing the things she wants to. Feeling like she never fits in with her Japanese looks and wanting to look more “normal”; more Caucasian. Her Uncle Max, who sexually abused her when she was younger, is about to move back in with her family. And when she isn’t accepted in to her dream school Prism, everything seems to fall apart.

The writing in Starfish was very beautiful. Kiko is an artist and the descriptions of her paintings and other things were done so well; I could picture them perfectly in my mind. Something that I really liked is that most chapters ended with a description of what Kiko was painting. I’ve read a few books in which a character would have a hobby but it was only mentioned once or twice in the story. In Starfish painting and just being overall creative is a huge part of Kiko and it really shows throughout the entire story.

Kiko’s self-discovery and self-acceptance were absolutely wonderful. As the story progresses she learns more about her Japanese heritage and what ‘beauty’ actually means. That there are more ways to be beautiful.

“I want to take care of myself”,

is a quote that really stood out to me. Kiko is determined to make changes in her life but she refuses to be dependent on a boy while she is making certain changes. And I loved that. She even distances herself and does what she can in order to take care of herself.

Overall, I can definitely say that Starfish is a new favorite book of mine and I am looking forward to future books by Akemi Dawn Bowman!

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Starfish on Goodreads | Akemi Dawn Bowman’s website | video review of Starfish

Happy reading,




Would You Rather book tag

would you rather blog.jpg


I wasn’t tagged for this and technically I’ve already done this tag on my Youtube channel about two years ago but I figured – a lot of time has passed and my answers might have changed. I honestly don’t remember my answers from back then. This tag was created by RayKayBooks on YouTube.


Would you rather…
1. Read only trilogies or stand alones?

Definitely trilogies. I know some stories can be dragged out by being trilogies but I just always want more from certain characters, so I do enjoy trilogies and longer series. (Except when it’s contemporary. Then it’s often drama dragged out and I don’t like that.)

2. Read only female or male authors?

Female all the way. I already read mostly by female authors so there wouldn’t be much difference.

3. Shop at Barnes & Noble or Amazon?

While there are few things I love more than browsing in bookstores, I do most of my bookshopping online. I like to buy used and cheaper books as well as ebooks, so Amazon and other online bookstores selling used books are my jam. (If you’re interested, I have a video all about cheap books, which you can watch here.)

4. All books become movies or t.v. shows?

I prefer watching tv shows so I would want books to become tv shows. Even though I know there’s always a high chance that a lot of things will be changed, I think there are so many possibilities to create awesome shows from certain books.

5. Read 5 pages per day or 5 books per week?

How is that even a question? I would definitely want to read 5 books per week if I could. That way I would actually have a chance at lowering my TBR.

6. Be a professional reviewer or author?

If I had a good idea and the patience and talent to actually write, I’d love to be an author.

7. Only read your top 20 favorite books over and over or always read new ones that you haven’t read before?

As much as I enjoy rereading my favorite books, I rarely do it anyway and I imagine it could get a bit boring after a while. So I’d rather read only new books and discover new favorites that way!

8. Be a librarian or book seller?

Either sounds cool and like something I’d like to do but I’ll go with book seller. No particular reasoning.

9. Only read your favorite genre, or every genre except your favorite?

Only my favorite genre, which is YA Fantasy. Though I would miss fluffy contemporaries.

10. Only read physical books or eBooks?

This one is really difficult for me because I love reading physical books and owning them and being able to look at them but I also love my ereader and how practical it is. And eBooks are a lot cheaper. If I only read eBooks can I still own physical books? Just so I could hold them from time to time.

That was it! I hope you enjoyed this WOULD YOU RATHER book tag. I’m not going to tag anyone because I’m pretty sure most people have already done it.

Happy Reading!



Waiting on Wednesday: Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Breaking the Spine and is meant to highlight upcoming book releases.


Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

Publisher: Random House Books (August 29th 2017)

Genre: YA Fantasy, Retelling

Goodreads summary:

She will become one of the world’s greatest heroes: WONDER WOMAN. But first she is Diana, Princess of the Amazons. And her fight is just beginning. . . .

Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mere mortal. Even worse, Alia Keralis is no ordinary girl and with this single brave act, Diana may have doomed the world.

Alia just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.

Together, Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. If they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.

Leigh Bardugo is one of my favorite authors so when I heard she was writing this book, I was already excited. But ever since I’ve seen the Wonder Woman movie I have been so damn excited for this book. I have been obsessed with Wonder Woman and I am desperately awaiting this release. I even preordered the Waterstones limited edition which includes a signed bookplate.


What book release have you been anticipating? Are you also excited for Wonder Woman: Warbringer? Talk to me in the comments!

Happy reading,


mini review: Prom Queen Perfect by Clarisse David


PROM QUEEN PERFECT by Clarisse David

Genre: YA Contemporary, Romance

Format: ebook

Goodreads summary: 

Being perfect isn’t supposed to be this hard. 

Alex dela Cruz has it all. Looks, money, and a killer sense of style.

When the annoyingly gorgeous Adam Cordero calls her selfish, she decides to prove him wrong by transforming Christy Marquez from an invisible misfit into a ruling princess of Asia Pacific Academy. Great hair? Check. Flawless red lipstick? Check. Instant popularity? A slightly too big check.

But now, Alex is on the brink of losing the plastic tiara she’s supposed to get as prom queen, her best friend, and her heart to the unlikeliest of candidates. Too bad she isn’t letting anything—or anyone—get between her and that tiara.

Prom Queen Perfect was a cute and quick read. Featuring the rivals-to-lovers trope it made for some fun banter between our main character Alex and her love interest Adam. When Adam calls Alex selfish, she has this need to proof to him that she is in fact not selfish. Which kind of backfires. She’s determined to transform Christy Marquez and make her more popular. What she doesn’t expect is for Christy to rival Alex in popularity and possibly take her spot as the prom queen.

At the beginning of this novella Alex is a very unlikable character. At least she was to me. Very… Mean Girls like. Don’t let yourself be turned off by that though because she goes through some wonderful character development.

The plot was simple and not too messy considering this was only a novella. I liked David’s writing and the progress of the story.

Overall I enjoyed this story and wouldn’t have minded reading a full-length novel of it. 

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Have you read PROM QUEEN PERFECT? What were your thoughts?

Happy reading,



progress update: #DiversityBingo2017


One of my few reading goals for 2017 is partaking in DiversityBingo. It’s a reading challenge that was created by a bunch of people in the book community and it urges people to read more diversely. While I’ve already been trying to read more diversely before this challenge, the prompts of this bingo sheet definitely made things a bit easier. It gave me an idea of what books to look for and the hashtag #DiversityBingo2017 on twitter is full of amazing recommendations.


At the end of 2016 I posted a video with the books I planned on reading for each of these prompts. If you’re interested in watching that, you can do so here.

In my monthly reading wrap-ups (on my Youtube channel) I’ve mentioned whenever a book fit a prompt but I thought it would be nice to summarize which prompts I’ve completed so far in a blog post. I’m pretty sure I’m a bit behind on this challenge but I’m hoping I can still catch up.

For the prompts that I’ve completed so far (clicking on the links will bring you to the books Goodreads page):

Romance with a trans MC: If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

SFF with a disabled MC: On the Edge of Gone by Corinne Duyvis

MC with an underrepresented body: The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

Neuro-diverse MC (own voices): Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

Bisexual MC (own voices): How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake

MC with an invisible disability: One Last Song by S. K. Falls

MC of color in SFF: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

Free Choice: Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin

Non-western (real world) setting: The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

MC with chronic pain: Far From You by Tess Sharpe

Arab MC (own voices): A Bottle in the Gaza Sea by Valérie Zenatti

MC with a wheelchair: Nujeen by Nujeen Mustafa

Book by author of color: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Biracial MC (own voices): Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Black MC (own voices): Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton

Have you been participating in #DiversityBingo2017? How is your progress? Tell me in the comments!

Happy reading,



hello everyone!

I thought for a first blog post I would do a simple tag in which you could get to know me a bit. Sadly I couldn’t find the original creator of this tag (if anyone does know I’d appreciate if you could let me know).

1. Tell us five random facts about yourself

  1. I lived in the UK for 8 months.
  2. Wonder Woman has quickly become my favorite movie.
  3. I’ve been making booktube videos for about 2 years now.
  4. Some of my favorite music artists are Halsey, Dua Lipa, and Panic! At the Disco.
  5. I was born in Texas but I’ve lived in Germany since I was 4 years old.

2. When is your birthday?

June 28th

3. What is your favourite colour?

This changes occasionally but it’s been yellow for a while.

4. What is your favourite memory?

I have so many but one that came to me immediately is a night out in London with my best friend Fay and her sister (and her boyfriend). We had some drinks and went out for karaoke and it was so much fun. And it was right before I moved back to Germany, so I really cherished that memory.

5. Describe a day in your life…

On a regular day I’m getting up at around 5:30 in the morning so I can be at work at 7am. I work full-time in a kindergarten. Usually I’ll be home at around 3:30pm. I always have to snack something when I get home from work, so I’ll very likely be snacking on something and going through my social media (Twitter and YouTube). The rest of the afternoon I will read or film/edit videos or watch other videos. Nothing eventful. I don’t really get out of the house a lot, except for work.

6. Name five of your favourite songs…

  1. New Rules by Dua Lipa
  2. I Don’t Know My Name by Grace VanderWaal
  3. Alone by Halsey
  4. Sleepover by Hayley Kiyoko
  5. Fake Happy by Paramore

7. If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Anything chocolate. Or Pizza. But not together.

8. Summer or winter?

Actually autumn but if I had to choose one of the above then… summer.

9. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live and why?

Definitely the UK, so I could be closer to my best friend Fay.

10. Name five of your favourite films?

  1. Wonder Woman
  2. Black Swan
  3. Pitch Perfect
  4. Perks of Being a Wallflower
  5. Moana

11. If you won the lottery what would you buy?

A really nice apartment in London. And books.

12. Favourite day of the week…


13. What three things would you take to a desert island?

  1. My kindle.
  2. Food and drinks.
  3. Music.

14. Sweet or savoury?


15. Early bird or a night owl?

Night Owl

16. Name five of your favourite books:

I’m gonna count the series as one, so:

  1. All for the Game series by Nora Sakavic
  2. Night Owls by Jenn Bennett
  3. Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo
  4. Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde
  5. Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

17 . Favourite Drink?:

Just plain water.

18. Favourite animal?



So that was it for the tag; I hope you enjoyed this and if you have any more questions or even suggestions for some future blog posts, leave them in the comments!

Happy reading,