WWW WEDNESDAY // 18 may 2022

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Taking On a World of Words where you answer three questions.

This is my attempt at getting back on track with blogging.

💌  💫 🏹 ✨ 🔖


All the Lovers in the Night by Mieko Kawakami

Fuyuko Irie is a freelance copy editor in her mid-thirties. Working and living alone in a city where it is not easy to form new relationships, she has little regular contact with anyone other than her editor, Hijiri, a woman of the same age but with a very different disposition. When Fuyoku stops one day on a Tokyo street and notices her reflection in a storefront window, what she sees is a drab, awkward, and spiritless woman who has lacked the strength to change her life and decides to do something about it.

As the long overdue change occurs, however, painful episodes from Fuyuko’s past surface and her behavior slips further and further beyond the pale. All the Lovers in the Night is acute and insightful, entertaining and engaging; it will make readers laugh, and it will make them cry, but it will also remind them, as only the best books do, that sometimes the pain is worth it.

Just picked this up and hoping to finish it by today too since it’s a pretty short read. I’m quite liking it so far. I feel myself gravitating towards literary fiction recently, which is weird because I’m pretty sure I read close to none lit fics prior to this year. But lit fics has been a nice calming respite from YA stuff (idk why but I keep getting disappointed by YA books recently, especially YA romance oops).

Edit: I actually finished this book as I’m posting this hahaha, but I’m too lazy to edit the post sooo here it stays.


Shoko’s Smile by Choi Eunyoung || ⭐⭐⭐⭐

In crisp, unembellished prose, Eun-young Choi paints intimate portraits of the lives of young women in South Korea, balancing the personal with the political. In the title story, a fraught friendship between an exchange student and her host sister follows them from adolescence to adulthood. In A Song from Afar, a young woman grapples with the death of her lover, traveling to Russia to search for information about the deceased. In Secret, the parents of a teacher killed in the Sewol ferry sinking hide the news of her death from her grandmother.

In the tradition of Sally Rooney, Banana Yoshimoto, and Marilynne Robinson–writers from different cultures who all take an unvarnished look at human relationships and the female experience–Choi Eunyoung is a writer to watch.

This is a short story collection about various women and their relationships with friends, lovers, and family etc. I loved the way it was written and really enjoyed reading the stories. Some stories definitely hit harder than others, and there were also one or two that were slightly confusing.

Descendant of the Crane by Joan He || ⭐⭐.5

Tyrants cut out hearts. Rulers sacrifice their own.

Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, but when her beloved father is murdered, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of an unstable kingdom. Determined to find her father’s killer, Hesina does something desperate: she engages the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act, punishable by death… because in Yan, magic was outlawed centuries ago.

Using the information illicitly provided by the sooth, and uncertain if she can trust even her family, Hesina turns to Akira—a brilliant investigator who’s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of her kingdom at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high?

In this shimmering Chinese-inspired fantasy, debut author Joan He introduces a determined and vulnerable young heroine struggling to do right in a world brimming with deception.

The way I could tell from the first chapter I wouldn’t 5 star this book HAHA. The plot had its ups and downs but the main reason why I didn’t love this book was the characters — the side characters especially felt quite underdeveloped. Because of this, the plot twists (which I liked!) didn’t create that much of an emotional impact for me. The epilogue though omg, I’m kinda sad there won’t be a sequel.


Siren Queen by Nghi Vo

“No maids, no funny talking, no fainting flowers.” Luli Wei is beautiful, talented, and desperate to be a star. Coming of age in pre-Code Hollywood, she knows how dangerous the movie business is and how limited the roles are for a Chinese American girl from Hungarian Hill—but she doesn’t care. She’d rather play a monster than a maid.

But in Luli’s world, the worst monsters in Hollywood are not the ones on screen. The studios want to own everything from her face to her name to the women she loves, and they run on a system of bargains made in blood and ancient magic, powered by the endless sacrifice of unlucky starlets like her. For those who do survive to earn their fame, success comes with a steep price. Luli is willing to do whatever it takes—even if that means becoming the monster herself.

Siren Queen offers up an enthralling exploration of an outsider achieving stardom on her own terms, in a fantastical Hollywood where the monsters are real and the magic of the silver screen illuminates every page.

Cursed Bunny by Bora Chung

Cursed Bunny is a genre-defying collection of short stories by Korean author Bora Chung. Blurring the lines between magical realism, horror, and science-fiction, Chung uses elements of the fantastic and surreal to address the very real horrors and cruelties of patriarchy and capitalism in modern society.

Anton Hur’s translation skilfully captures the way Chung’s prose effortlessly glides from being terrifying to wryly humorous. Winner of a PEN/Heim Grant..

I actually can’t pick omg; had to make a small list before shortlisting two. These are all Asian-authored books as I’ve been using this month (aka asian heritage month/AAPI month) as a chance for me to read even more Asian books than usual haha. 

Siren Queen is one of my anticipated releases for this month so I’m really excited to read it. Continuing my lit fic binge this month, I want to read Cursed Bunny after I’m done with All the Lovers in the Night. I’m actually not 100% sure if it’s considered lit fic but it sounds like it??

Also, funny story: I was googling the book cover for Cursed Bunny to include it in this post, and it took me like 30 seconds to realise there were actually cursed photos of real bunnies too I DIED.

💌  💫 🏹 ✨ 🔖

What are you currently reading? Any books in particular you wish to read soon? Link your WWW Wed post so I can read it too!!

8 thoughts on “WWW WEDNESDAY // 18 may 2022

  1. Ali @ In the Lost & Found May 19, 2022 / 2:08 am

    I’ve also been enjoying lit fic! All the Lovers in the Night sounds interesting, I find that literary fiction that deals with loneliness/isolation is one of my favorite kind of books for some reason. Hope you like whichever book you read next, they are both on my TBR too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • clarice @ stardust pages May 19, 2022 / 3:30 pm

      thank you! i started reading cursed bunny haha and i’m enjoying it so far. ah i would recommend all the lovers in the night if u like lit fics dealing with loneliness! i thought the portrayal of the protagonist’s loneliness and her isolation from others was realistic and quite compelling.


  2. Suhani May 22, 2022 / 12:30 am

    Ohh I’m really excited to read siren queen it looks so amazing!! Hope we both love it ❤
    have a great week!!💖

    Liked by 1 person

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