Catching Up: Tea Time Lit’s Theatreathon & Other Updates

Hello friends! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? The past several months certainly passed by in a blur! Between life happenings and a massive reading/creative slump (and, to be completely honest, struggling with my mental health), blogging has taken a backseat for a while. In early June, I completed my Bachelor of Arts degree at long last. My undergrad journey spanned 8 years in total and was full of ups, downs, and even lower lows, so reaching the finish line felt like a momentous accomplishment as well as a huge relief. I’m immensely thankful for the friends and loved ones who’ve supported me through it all.

Even without classes, this summer has been nonstop. First up, I had a virtual internship that went from the beginning of June until early August. In mid-August, I started a new job working in education. I also decided to return to community college to complete my previously started Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education, and the semester began the same week as work. Now that things are settling into a semi-regular rhythm, I’m hoping to spend more time back in my own little corner of the blogosphere.

The theatreathon, hosted by my friends over at teatimelit to celebrate the upcoming Tony Awards, is in full swing! I thought that participating would be the perfect way to get back into a reading groove. Not to mention, I couldn’t say no a readathon that combines my love for both books and theatre! Since I’ve been slumping for the past few months, I decided to make it a bit easier on myself by choosing books that count toward more than one of the prompts. While I’m very much a mood reader, I’ll do my best to stick to the following list!

Note: It’s taken me a while to finish writing this post, so I actually started my reading for theatreathon a bit earlier in the month.

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Blog Tour | 5 Reasons to Read Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala

TITLE: Arsenic and Adobo

AUTHOR: Mia P. Manansala

PUBLISHER: Berkley

RELEASE DATE: May 4th, 2021

CATEGORY: Adult

GENRE: Cozy Mystery

PAGES: 336

COVER ARTIST: Vi-An Nguyen

Format: digital review copy

Representation: Filipino American MC, Pakistani Muslim American side characters, Korean American side character, Mexican American side character, Japanese American side character, Black American side characters, LGBTQ+ (lesbian, bisexual, queer) side characters

Content + Trigger Warnings: murder, death, poisoning, evidence planting, police intimidation, police encounters, drug use, fatphobia, racism, physical assault, hospitals, domestic violence (implied), discussion of food

Rating: ★★★ 3.5/5

DISCLAIMER: I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book from the publisher and Caffeine Book Tours as part of my participation in their tour. Nevertheless, this review remains a reflection of my honest and unbiased opinions.

SYNOPSIS:

The first book in a new culinary cozy series full of sharp humor and delectable dishes—one that might just be killer…

When Lila Macapagal moves back home to recover from a horrible breakup, her life seems to be following all the typical rom-com tropes. She’s tasked with saving her Tita Rosie’s failing restaurant, and she has to deal with a group of matchmaking aunties who shower her with love and judgment. But when a notoriously nasty food critic (who happens to be her ex-boyfriend) drops dead moments after a confrontation with Lila, her life quickly swerves from a Nora Ephron romp to an Agatha Christie case.

With the cops treating her like she’s the one and only suspect, and the shady landlord looking to finally kick the Macapagal family out and resell the storefront, Lila’s left with no choice but to conduct her own investigation. Armed with the nosy auntie network, her barista best bud, and her trusted Dachshund, Longanisa, Lila takes on this tasty, twisted case and soon finds her own neck on the chopping block…

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Blog Tour | Review + Playlist: The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He

TITLE: The Ones We’re Meant to Find

AUTHOR: Joan He

PUBLISHER: Roaring Brook Press (Macmillan)

RELEASE DATE: May 4th, 2021

CATEGORY: Young Adult (YA)

GENRE(S): Sci-Fi, Fantasy

PAGES: 384

Format: eARC, provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

Content + Trigger Warnings: terminal illness, suicide, physical violence (including choking), death, drowning, death of a loved one, parental death, vomiting, large scale natural disasters and mass casualties, environmental apocalyptic themes, some gore, blood mentions

Rating: ★★★★★ 5/5

DISCLAIMER: I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book from the publisher as part of my participation in this tour. Nevertheless, this review remains a reflection of my honest and unbiased opinions.

SYNOPSIS:

One of the most twisty, surprising, engaging page-turner YAs you’ll read this year—We Were Liars meets Black Mirror, with a dash of Studio Ghibli.

Cee awoke on an abandoned island three years ago. With no idea of how she was marooned, she only has a rickety house, an old android, and a single memory: she has a sister, and Cee needs to find her.

STEM prodigy Kasey wants escape from the science and home she once trusted. The eco-city—Earth’s last unpolluted place—is meant to be sanctuary for those committed to planetary protection, but it’s populated by people willing to do anything for refuge, even lie. Now, she’ll have to decide if she’s ready to use science to help humanity, even though it failed the people who mattered most.

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Blog Tour | Review + Giveaway: The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman

TITLE: The Infinity Courts

AUTHOR: Akemi Dawn Bowman

PUBLISHER: Simon Pulse

RELEASE DATE: April 6th, 2021

CATEGORY: Young Adult (YA)

GENRE(S): Sci-Fi, Fantasy

Format: eARC

Representation: Biracial Asian main character (Japanese and white), queer side character

Content + Trigger Warnings: death, murder, gun violence, references to torture, underage drinking (mention), mild gore, injuries/wounds, mind manipulation/control, nightmares (trauma related), forced servitude, threat, references to war

Rating: ★★★ 4/5

DISCLAIMER: I received an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book from the publisher as part of my participation in this tour. Nevertheless, this review reflects my honest and unbiased opinions.

SYNOPSIS:

Eighteen-year-old Nami Miyamoto is certain her life is just beginning. She has a great family, just graduated high school, and is on her way to a party where her entire class is waiting for her—including, most importantly, the boy she’s been in love with for years.

The only problem? She’s murdered before she gets there.

When Nami wakes up, she learns she’s in a place called Infinity, where human consciousness goes when physical bodies die. She quickly discovers that Ophelia, a virtual assistant widely used by humans on Earth, has taken over the afterlife and is now posing as a queen, forcing humans into servitude the way she’d been forced to serve in the real world. Even worse, Ophelia is inching closer and closer to accomplishing her grand plans of eradicating human existence once and for all.

As Nami works with a team of rebels to bring down Ophelia and save the humans under her imprisonment, she is forced to reckon with her past, her future, and what it is that truly makes us human.

From award-winning author Akemi Dawn Bowman comes an incisive, action-packed tale that explores big questions about technology, grief, love, and humanity.

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Welcome to rainstormreads!

Hello and welcome! My name is Bella, and I am beyond excited to be launching rainstormreads! Books have been among my dearest companions for as long as I can remember, and literature is undoubtedly one of the great loves of my life. I can’t count the number of times I’ve read into the wee hours of the morning because I couldn’t bear to sleep without knowing how a story would end, or all the occasions I was warned to be more aware of my surroundings and stop walking around with my nose in a book. Looking back, I have no regrets about being reprimanded in class for stealthily (or so I thought) reading books under my desk. No matter what else is going on in my life at a given time, I’ve always found a harbor within books and held their words close in my heart.

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