Quick Reviews: Dial A for Aunties, A Little Life, and The Bruising of Qilwa

Quick Reviews: Dial A for Aunties, A Little Life, and The Bruising of Qilwa

I've just finished book 31 of my new 40 book goal for 2022. Here are three reviews for recent reads. What are you reading these days? Drop your own quick reviews in the comments. =)
Dial A for Auntie by Jesse Q. Sutanto
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No 
I expected this to be more comedic than it is (to me at least). But it was all just too over the top and unbelievable for me, personally. But it would be a fun read for folks who enjoy higher levels of ridiculousness. But I have a strong case of second hand embarrassment that didn't make this enjoyable for me. I was in physical pain reading some of shenanigans Meddelin and her mom/aunties were getting into it. lol
 
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes
So, I didn't cry . . . Am I broken? 😬 lol For me the trauma seemed overdone simple to shock and horrify readers. So that made it easier for me to remain emotionally distant. I also wonder if a first person POV would have made a different. Despite, the trauma porn aspect, the writing is topnotch. Yanagihara is obviously a talented writer. The build-up and different POVs were quite impressive and kept me engaged.
The Bruising of Qilwa by Naseem Jamnia (August pick + Author Book Talk on Sept. 11th. Link in bio.)
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes
This was an enjoyable read. Really unique, Persian-inspired fantasy about blood magic and healing. Nonbinary, aromantic protagonist with transitioning younger brother. The world building took me a while to get into. Some aspects were a bit confusing. The author's note really clarified it a lot, so I recommend reading the author's note first. This story brings up some really important issues about xenophobia and oppressors vs. the oppressed and what happens when the roles are reversed. 
Just realized this! I've somehow fallen into a strong AAPI phase unintentionally. My current read is A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman (Indian rep). I ain't mad about it. But I'll try to switch it up next read. =)

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