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Iron Widow
Iron Widow | Xiran Jay Zhao
106 posts | 86 read | 55 to read
Pacific Rim meets The Handmaid's Tale in this blend of Chinese history and mecha science fiction for YA readers. The boys of Huaxia dream of pairing up with girls to pilot Chrysalises, giant transforming robots that can battle the mecha aliens that lurk beyond the Great Wall. It doesn't matter that the girls often die from the mental strain. When 18-year-old Zetian offers herself up as a concubine-pilot, it's to assassinate the ace male pilot responsible for her sister's death. But she gets her vengeance in a way nobody expected--she kills him through the psychic link between pilots and emerges from the cockpit unscathed. She is labeled an Iron Widow, a much-feared and much-silenced kind of female pilot who can sacrifice boys to power up Chrysalises instead.? To tame her unnerving yet invaluable mental strength, she is paired up with Li Shimin, the strongest and most controversial male pilot in Huaxia?. But now that Zetian has had a taste of power, she will not cower so easily. She will miss no opportunity to leverage their combined might and infamy to survive attempt after attempt on her life, until she can figure out exactly why the pilot system works in its misogynist way--and stop more girls from being sacrificed.
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review
PuddleJumper
Iron Widow | Xiran Jay Zhao
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Pickpick

Such a great book! I loved that the futuristic technology was combined with ancient Chinese medicine. The society had historical elements woven in that felt natural and plausible.

I really liked having a MC that was willing to burn the world to uncover the truth and get what she wanted.

Liatrek Can‘t wait to read this one! Love the cover ❤️ 2w
PuddleJumper January #roll100 pick 2w
See All 6 Comments
PuddleJumper #bookchain Started with the letter after l first letter of last book @TheAromaofBooks 2w
Andrew65 Well done 👏👏👏 I love this cover. 2w
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 1w
40 likes6 comments
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AbigailJaneBlog
Iron Widow | Xiran Jay Zhao
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Starting this today for #AuldLangSpine . I thought it would take me a while to get into, but the prologue has me hooked straight away! @wideeyedreader @monalyisha

wideeyedreader I hope you love it!!! 2w
AbigailJaneBlog @wideeyedreader I'm half way through - can't put it down! 2w
wideeyedreader @AbigailJaneBlog wow, you‘re speedy! 2w
AbigailJaneBlog @wideeyedreader I finished it last night and couldn't stop thinking about it! Thanks for the amazing recommendation 🥰 2w
wideeyedreader @AbigailJaneBlog you‘re welcome!! I‘m so glad you loved it!! 2w
46 likes5 comments
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silentrequiem
Iron Widow | Xiran Jay Zhao
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Pickpick

Finished Iron Widow last night and loved it! Can't wait to read the sequel!

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BriannaT
Iron Widow | Xiran Jay Zhao
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Pickpick

I will admit that it took me a hot minute to understand how chrysalises and qi work, but this book has an actual love triangle and feeds my feminine rage! It‘s vicious and deservedly so - Zetian will take down anyone and everyone to avenge her murdered sister and to fight all of society, which treats women as second class citizens (shocking!). It had an anger I could feel in my bones. I can‘t wait to see what she does next in the sequel.

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thewallflower0707
Iron Widow | Xiran Jay Zhao
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Panpan

Ugh. This book wanted to be the next Poppy War & Rin so bad. BUT GUESS WHAT. The world building is non-existent and nothing was ever explained. I had no idea what was going on 80% of the time, and at some point (around page 150) I stopped caring.

#IronWidow #fantasy #youngadult

ferskner I thought this one started out really strong and then just totally fizzled. It's too bad! 1mo
18 likes1 comment
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sebrittainclark
Iron Widow | Xiran Jay Zhao
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I completed all my #bookspin and #doublebookspin reads this year! I love how completable this challenge is for me, and it really encourages me to read the books I already own. I look forward to participating again in 2023.

Thanks @TheAromaofBooks for hosting!

AmyG I love this one, too. 1mo
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! Fabulous year!!! So glad that this challenge is working for you! ❤ 1mo
b.elschie I want to read the Ali Hazelwood books! //not a huge 'romance' book person but I'm trying to spread my wings. 1mo
42 likes3 comments
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SpeculativeFemale
Iron Widow | Xiran Jay Zhao
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I'm hoping to have time to post more after the holidays, since I fell of the radar again for a bit there.

In the meantime, here's a quick pic of a stack of book gifts I just finished wrapping!

I also have a question for you all: what is on the top of your book wish list for the holiday season? (Mine is tagged above!)

29 likes1 comment
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LibraryFairy
Iron Widow | Xiran Jay Zhao
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Mehso-so

Okay. Not super sure how I feel about this one. I liked the story. Kinda. Still not entirely sure with this one. The characters were okay but the average for this is seriously brought down by the fact that I hated the main character. The side characters? Actually pretty good. Overall, not a bad book, just not what I was hoping for.

Happy holidays everyone!

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PageShifter
Iron Widow | Xiran Jay Zhao
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Panpan

Zetian was too superhuman and that didn't feel really likable. I liked how strong she was but I just prefer imperfection.

I loved how sick the society was but the worldbuilding was almost non-existent. Battle scenes weren't really great and there were so many of them.

The beginning was intriguing and the last page was good.

#SeriesRead2022

TheSpineView Awesome 2mo
20 likes1 comment
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PageShifter
Iron Widow | Xiran Jay Zhao
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PageShifter
Iron Widow | Xiran Jay Zhao

“When you cherish someone for how amazing they are, you don‘t pluck them from their roots just to watch them wither in your hands. You help them bloom into the incredible thing they‘re really meant to be.”

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majkia
Iron Widow | Xiran Jay Zhao

This one blew me away. Great book. Can't wait for the next one.

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TheBookKeepers
Iron Widow | Xiran Jay Zhao
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Pickpick

I loved this book!! It reminded me of Transformers but in the best possible way 😂 the main character Zetian was unapologetically herself and set fully on revenge. Paired with a fierce prisoner, Shishin, (aka my new book boyfriend) she is determined to survive a world designed to kill her. The ending was pretty epic and I‘m looking forward to the next book!

59 likes2 stack adds
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rachelsbrittain
Iron Widow | Xiran Jay Zhao
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I am so unbelievably excited about this news!

https://www.tor.com/2022/09/22/xiran-jay-zhao-iron-widow-movie/

Soubhiville Oh yeah! It‘s got great potential, hopefully they stay true to the story and characters with it. 4mo
kaysworld1 I follow this author on Instagram. 4mo
43 likes2 comments
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dylanisreading
Iron Widow | Xiran Jay Zhao
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Starting this today. I finished Kiss & Tell by Adib Khorram earlier. It was a nice escape. I also started Stephen Graham-Jones' latest audio only release but wasn't feeling it. I've been reading a lot, but a lot of it has been a really long, amazing fanfic. 🤣

thegirlwiththelibrarybag There is something very appealing about long fanfics 5mo
Eyelit Same for me on the fanfic! 😃 5mo
dylanisreading @thegirlwiththelibrarybag @Eyelit I'm glad I'm not the only one! 5mo
54 likes3 comments
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abostwick24
Iron Widow | Xiran Jay Zhao
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Pickpick

This was everything I have ever wanted in a sci-fi fantasy novel! The plot kept me on my toes with all of its twists and turns. The message of women‘s empowerment was so well written. And the characters! Oh man, the character development was SPOT ON and beautifully done. I wish I hadn‘t read this book so quickly because I enjoyed every second of it. I will probably reread later this year.
My Review: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5/5)

booklover3258 Just waiting for the sequel to come out... sigh... 6mo
abostwick24 2023 is just too far away! 6mo
3 likes2 comments
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NomNoms
Iron Widow | Xiran Jay Zhao
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Mehso-so

Iron Widow started off smart, intelligent, and exciting. It hit some strong topics about gender inequality and discussed the true differences about gender roles in a futuristic, yet ancient Chinese society.

However, while it started off strong, it didn't finish that way. The book meanders off into too many topics including polygamy, corruption, love, drug abuse, and independence. Ultimately never addressing any of the topics at all

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Imogen_Price
Iron Widow | Xiran Jay Zhao
Mehso-so

The concept of this book was very exciting, modern sci-fi based upon historic China. I had high hopes. Queer and polyamorous relationships being represented in this story was the reason I stuck it out to the end. The plot twist gives me hope that a sequel may be more enjoyable. Unfortunately, the execution was fairly poor. Even for YA the writing was poor. The feminism was also obvious and ham-fisted.

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Kenyazero
Iron Widow | Xiran Jay Zhao
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Pickpick

This was intense and awesome! I loved seeing historic China reimagined in a sci-fi context with epic mechs. The characters are strong, as are their motives, and the world building is vivid. I also love that everything I wanted or predicted happened, from relationship development to two major twists toward the end. #LGBTQIA #Chinese #SciFi #Mech

13 likes1 stack add
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roronoazoro
Iron Widow | Xiran Jay Zhao
Pickpick

I loved the fact that the plot seemed really obvious and typical, but then there was always a little plot twist and suddenly you had no idea what was going on.
Definitely worth reading.

Full Review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/4613070629

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vlwelser
Iron Widow | Xiran Jay Zhao
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Pickpick

This is great. The audiobook is fab. If you're into fantasy, definitely read this one.

#BookSpinBingo @TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 7mo
36 likes1 comment
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BC_Dittemore
Iron Widow | Xiran Jay Zhao
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Mehso-so

Iron Widow certainly has an agenda, which I don‘t mind, but there are times when it does feel like Xiran Jay Zhao is pummeling their readers. Granted, I am also not Iron Widow‘s target audience, so there‘s that. There are some very fine moments of prose and a lot of great action scenes. The love story didn‘t bother me at all. There was enough in the story to keep me invested. I think it‘s worth reading and I am looking forward to the next entry.

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lissafraser
Iron Widow | Xiran Jay Zhao
Mehso-so

So this book was interesting... I feel like I am totally lost though. I have to admit that I don't know a lot about Asian mythology. This book seemed like a strange mix of mythology and science fiction! I will definitely read the sequel to find out what happens. But the book was not one of my favorites.

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Blerdgal_Fenix
Iron Widow | Xiran Jay Zhao
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Pickpick

This book is 8.5/10 — I would have liked more battles, throuple could have been flushed out better, book was left on a cliffhanger, and little more detailed world building. I would recommend this book. Great long weekend read. I really enjoyed this book. #libby #aapi #lgbtq #poc #woc #china #ironprincess

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Blerdgal_Fenix
Iron Widow | Xiran Jay Zhao
This post contains spoilers
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This book is a cross between pacific rim (movie)/hunger games/ with Chinese historical influences. I think this book could have become a series. A lot of people associate this book with handmaidens tale references, I would have to disagree. If you know anything about Chinese history and the gender inequalities during certain dynastys that would make more sense with hunger games and pacific rim sprinkled in there.

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Blerdgal_Fenix
Iron Widow | Xiran Jay Zhao
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I was at a car show and brought my book. I sat down and read while people walked around. Weather was nice but this pic reminds me of this book. I will say this is a page turner. There are very few slow parts. Gets to the point and the action. #woc #battleready #pilot #poc #aapi #boundfeet

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Blerdgal_Fenix
Iron Widow | Xiran Jay Zhao
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I started this book — Umm we started off rough 🥺 this book will not be easy #poc #woc #boundfeet #fight #figtlikeagirl

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kwmg40
Iron Widow | Xiran Jay Zhao
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Pickpick

Nominated for the Aurora YA and Lodestar (Hugo YA) awards this year, this novel is a hard-hitting, fast-paced story that plays around with the usual YA fantasy tropes. I really enjoyed it and I love the gorgeous cover too.
#auroraawards #hugo2022 #hugoawards

I'm at a bit over 12 hours for the #20in4 readathon. @Andrew65

#BookSpinBingo @TheAromaofBooks

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 8mo
Andrew65 Well done 👏👏👏 Sounds good. 8mo
29 likes2 comments
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staci.reads
Iron Widow | Xiran Jay Zhao
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Pickpick

Great premise, fast, entertaining read. But I have a problem with a story about a bad ass woman fighting the patriarchy when she hates all the other female characters and most of them are written as pathetic and petty. I also felt it suffered from underdeveloped world building. It's very plot/action driven and needed some depth. I have noticed this in a lot of recent YA books, ⬇️

staci.reads great buzz because they touch on hot-button topics or are written with "own-voices." I love the representation and I am thrilled about the diverse offerings in YA. But shouldn't they also have to be well-written in order to be marketed and hyped? I feel like publishers/editors have gotten lazy. If they know the premise is marketable, they rush to print, without worrying too much about the quality of writing. ⬇️ 8mo
staci.reads It then comes out sounding like semi-decent fan fiction or a great first draft of a novel. Ok, rant over. I just love YA and hate to see this happening. Young readers (and older readers who love YA) deserve better. I'm still calling it a pick because it was entertaining, but 😔. 8mo
Soubhiville Well put! I felt the same way about it. Lots of potential but needed more work. 8mo
thereadingpal I wanted to read it, but... your review is making me second guess my choice 😅 I love representation, but I also love well written books 8mo
67 likes4 comments
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ThePageantHam
Iron Widow | Xiran Jay Zhao
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Pickpick

This is a barbaric yawp of a novel. Our protagonist refreshingly skirts the line of hero and antihero, (justifiably) enraged and out for justice at any cost.
We've got an F/M/M poly relationship wherein the two men are as enamored with each other as they are with her.
On the downside, nothing is given enough time and space, and our protagonist having no women on her side in fighting patriarchy felt misogynistic and too "chosen one" tropey. ?

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Marialou
Iron Widow | Xiran Jay Zhao
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Pickpick

Ferocious and fearless. My favourite book of 2022 so far.

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wideeyedreader
Iron Widow | Xiran Jay Zhao
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Pickpick

Despite a somewhat rocky start, but the end, this book had me DYING to know what happened next!! Zetian is a wild protagonist, and I‘m so excited to see what she gets up to next!

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kera_11
Iron Widow | Xiran Jay Zhao
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new girl boss just dropped !!! Zetain fights so hard against patriarchal definitions and heteronormative ideals that she becomes the opposite of all of them, becoming the Iron Widow, a female pilot who sacrifices the men who are supposed to be using her as a sacrifice. she is angry and brutal and bloodthirsty and you will bow down

8 likes2 stack adds
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Sara_Planz
Iron Widow | Xiran Jay Zhao
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Next up from the TBR pile. I‘ve heard a lot of good things about this one!!!

rachelsbrittain I loved Iron Widow! 10mo
39 likes1 comment
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booklover3258
Iron Widow | Xiran Jay Zhao
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Pickpick

My review of this book can be found on my YouTube Vlog at:

https://youtu.be/wPtcDZaC6Jc

Enjoy!

37 likes1 stack add
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Gnora
Iron Widow | Xiran Jay Zhao
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This color is perfect for this book and this character!

#readingchallange #colors #fantasy #scifi

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IndoorDame
Iron Widow | Xiran Jay Zhao
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Clwojick 🖤🖤🖤 11mo
51 likes1 comment
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IndoorDame
Iron Widow | Xiran Jay Zhao
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Clwojick Stunning! ❤️ 11mo
Christyco125 Ooo, that‘s a good match. 11mo
55 likes2 comments
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IndoorDame
Iron Widow | Xiran Jay Zhao
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Pickpick

I finished up the last book for #LMPBC #Round13 #GroupP & I‘ll get it in the mail ASAP. This was a lot of fun and I flew through it. I thought it was really original and made some bold character choices. I‘m glad it was part of this round. I love how different all our picks were! #LGTBQBookBingo #TimeTravel #BBRC Teen Angst Cyberpunk #PopSugar2022 #ProtagonistWhoUsesAMobilityAid @bibliobard @WanderingBookaneer @phantomx @Kenyazero @LibrarianRyan

Kenyazero I‘ve heard good things about this one! 11mo
LibrarianRyan yeahhh 11mo
61 likes2 comments
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Merethebookgal
Iron Widow | Xiran Jay Zhao
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February‘s book haul consisted of a couple books I‘ve been meaning to buy, two I just heard about, and this amazing LOTR edition I won in a bookstagram giveaway! 😍

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Zoe-h
Iron Widow | Xiran Jay Zhao
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I got the books you sent, @kspenmoll ! Everyone‘s annotations we‘re so fun to read! Thanks to all of you for doing this with me.

#LPMBC @suvata @Tattooedteacher @Alfrazier21

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Chittavrtti
Iron Widow | Xiran Jay Zhao
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February reads read.

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Tattooedteacher
Iron Widow | Xiran Jay Zhao
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Here is the tracking number.

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xicanti
Iron Widow | Xiran Jay Zhao
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I‘m doing the ol‘ book/nail match thing today. Y‘all know I had a major issue with the second chapter, but I‘m glad I fought through the nausea and kept going. IRON WIDOW is otherwise excellent.

Just, really really REALLY brace yourself if you have trouble reading about foot mutilation. I was braced for a lot of horrors thanks to Zhao‘s content warnings, but I wasn‘t prepared for that.

readordierachel Pretty! 11mo
36 likes2 comments
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phantomx
Iron Widow | Xiran Jay Zhao
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Pickpick

Loved every second of reading this book! It revived my love and desire to read books.
Blew my mind to find out that the author was influenced by Darling in the Franxx to write this book(you go my queen!)

A definite YA read for 2022! Thanks @bibliobard for sharing this. I would love to read the sequel with you when it comes out #lmpc #groupp #round13 #ya #lgbtq

bibliobard Sounds like a plan to me! 11mo
17 likes1 stack add1 comment
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xicanti
Iron Widow | Xiran Jay Zhao
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New day, new book. This one‘s long enough that it should take me a couple days if I stick with it. Which is a BIG if, because the second chapter contains graphic foot binding descriptions. Hand- and foot-mutilation makes me so sick I‘ve had to abandon other books that dealt with it. (In one memorable case, I had to get off a bus and lie down on the shelter bench so I didn‘t pass out and/or puke.) So, yeah. We‘ll see how this goes.

SRWCF Wow! 11mo
41 likes1 comment
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Chittavrtti
Iron Widow | Xiran Jay Zhao
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3 likes1 stack add
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phantomx
Iron Widow | Xiran Jay Zhao
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Reached page 200 last night, and planning to continue reading it today. I'm hoping to finish it tonight, and send it out tomorrow morning to @IndoorDame

I finished the Middle Grade graphic novel Lowriders in Space. I can't remember what I did with my notes for, I'll have to continue on in sending it out @LibrarianRyan @WanderingBookaneer @bibliobard @suvata

IndoorDame Yay! 12mo
bibliobard I haven‘t sent out my book either 😅 though in my defense we had ice days that prevented me from getting to the post office 12mo
LibrarianRyan yeahhh. 12mo
See All 8 Comments
IndoorDame I‘m wondering if you had a chance to mail this when you planned, cause I haven‘t gotten it yet. Did the PO give you a suspected arrival date so I can be on the lookout? 11mo
phantomx I was just gonna update you on my progress. I have 100 pages left! I'll try to send it out today or definitely tomorrow. I'll update you on PO arrival date when I send it. Work has been hectic for me. 11mo
IndoorDame @phantomx got it. Thanks! 11mo
phantomx @IndoorDame Just sent out the picks through PO! They should arrive to you by Tuesday 11mo
IndoorDame Great. I‘ll be on the lookout! 11mo
11 likes8 comments
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Lucy_Anywhere
Iron Widow | Xiran Jay Zhao
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Panpan

A fierce feminist East Asian inspired sci-fi that didn‘t live up to my expectations. The MC was shouty and judgemental rather than fierce, she seemed to hate the few other female characters in the story, and she was such a Mary Sue that I disliked her. Also, everything was so over the top that it was exhausting. However, the book did make some insightful points and I appreciated the diversity rep but that alone was not enough to redeem it.