A Gentleman in the Streets – Alisha Rai

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Title: A Gentleman in the Street
Author: Alisha Rai
Genre: Erotica
Rating: ☆ || 4 stars

You can always count on Alisha Rai to write a great erotica with diverse characters and defy the typical conventions of the erotica genre. A Gentleman in the Streets introduces us to Akira Mori, a Japanese bisexual millionaire and Jacob Campbell, a writer that’s taken care of his siblings since their father passed away. The two are complex characters and the story deals with way more than just their relationship and the sex that they have.

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Binti (Nnedi Okorafor)

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Title: Binti
Author: Nnedi Okorafor
Genre: Science Fiction
Rating: ★☆ || 4 stars

When I finished this book on the bus, I put my kindle in my bag and thought to myself this novella won that Nebula for a good reason. I went into Binti expecting a story about a girl who doesn’t fit into the world of academia. Binti covers that, but also goes beyond it. It is a delightful read that touches upon culture, war, family, expectations of society, and being an outsider. I was touched by its mix of sadness and sweetness that made it both heartbreaking and heartening.

The most powerful that thing that I took away from the story was the way that culture endures. The way we protect our culture no matter how far away from our homelands the journey of life takes us. However, I feel that Binti is the kind of book that everyone has a different experience of.

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Daughters of Ruin

daughters-of-ruin-9781481436656_hrTitle: Daughters of Ruin
Author: K.D. Castner
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance, Action
Rating: ★☆☆☆☆ || 1.0

This is a long one, guys.

I came across this book a few months ago and it looked so good and the premise was so promising that I was instantly intrigued by its intrigue. Four heirs to four crowns in four warring kingdoms are brought together to live in the victor’s castle to be raised as sisters, forming a Pax Regina––a peace of Queens––in order to avoid further war. They were meant to be friends, equals, but instead, three of them are prisoners, and they are all of them enemies.

I expected a lot from this book from its description. Fantastic (and I use the term in the sense of Edgar Allan Poe’s Fall of the House of Usher and not in the sense of “Wow that food was fantastic”) romances (and I use the term in the sense of Romance of the Three Kingdoms, not in the sense of Harlequins) that feature politicking and posturing, when done well, are an especial favourite of mine––it should shock a total of zero people that The Queen’s Thief series is one of my favourite series to exist on this earth in the history of ever. But the key words are these: when done well.

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Mermaid (2016)

101941heqsj8xjxpwxsp2qTitle: 美人鱼
Starring: 林允,邓超,罗志贤,张雨绮
Genre: Fantasy, Comedy, Contemporary, Urban Fantasy
Rating: ★★★☆☆ || 3.5

CW: body horror, violence, blood

Every Sino of a certain age and background has fond memories of growing up with at least one Stephen Chow film. For me, it was Shaolin Soccer because I was (and remain) obsessed with Zhao Wei. For others, it’s Kung-Fu Hustle. Or God of Cookery. Whatever that film was, I feel like we can all agree that as a director, actor, and comedian, he is highly underrated outside of China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, even when screencaps and gifs of his films are taken out of context for comedic effect, erasing his presence and his work from the laughter he produces.

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Creed (2015)

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Title: Creed
Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stalone
Genre: Realistic Fiction, Drama
Rating: ★★★★☆ || 4.5

I’ve never watched the Rocky films and I hate most sports films, so if I cried while watching this on a 15 hour plane ride I want y’all to know this was absolutely not the fault of my own damn sentimentality. No, this was just a good film, period.

Creed follows Apollo Creed’s illegitimate son, Adonis, who despite being raised by Creed’s wife Mary Anne with the wealth and resources and education to escape the life of a fighter, dreams about going professional. He quits his day job to pursue the goal, but quickly realises that his father’s old friends are more interested in protecting him from the pursuit that ultimately killed Apollo. Adonis, going by Donny Johnson (his mother’s maiden name), moves to Philadelphia to seek his father’s old friend and rival, Rocky Balboa. Though Rocky is initially wary and reluctant, Adonis’ confidence and determination sway him, and he soon finds himself up against “Pretty” Ricky Conlan, a British fighter who is looking for one last hurrah before going away to jail for the last of his prime fighting years.

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SQ: Begin With Your Name

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Title: 她们的故事
Author: 坛九
Genre: 校园,青春,言情,漫画
Rating: ★★★★★ || 5.0

So here’s my dirty little secret: I can’t read webcomics, especially webcomics that aren’t aggregated all in one place but are interspersed through a personal blog. Here’s another dirty little secret: I detest reading translations for languages I already know. Justifications, justifications, but that’s why it’s taken me this long to read 坛九’s 《她们的故事》, which has been on his personal Weibo account for some time, and which has recently gained some traction through its translation on a Tumblr blog. I could have read it for free, but I can’t read comics online, so, being me, I just bought it on Amazon.cn and waited til I was in Guangzhou again to read it. Which I did. In a single sitting, because it’s that good.

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