Hello, everyone! As you may or may not know, I am Asian through and through (fully Chinese and have lived in the Philippines my whole life), and that’s why, when these wonderful book bloggers–CW from The Quiet Pond, Lily from Sprinkles of Dreams, Shealea from Shut Up, Shealea, and Vicky from Vicky Who Reads–started the Year of the Asian Reading Challenge, I couldn’t wait to sign up for it (even though it’s late March already, let’s just ignore that). Click on any of their blog names to find out more about YARC 2019–how to sign up, the challenge levels, etc.
The goal of YARC is to read as many books written by Asian authors as we can. This blog post serves as my sign-up for the reading challenge as well as my progress tracker for the entire year. So far, I’ve read eight books written by Asian authors, making my current badge the Philippine tarsier (1-10 books read). But my ultimate goal is to win the Malayan tapir (21-30 books)–a goal I may lower or raise in the future. Edit (June 4): As of writing this, I have now read 16/21 books, and I have raised my goal to a giant panda (31-40 books) because pandas are my animal-form, and I gotta stay on brand.
Astra Lost in Space, Vol. 1 by Kenta Shinohara (✨✨)- Though I harbor no strong feelings of hatred for this book, I found myself unattached to anything that was happening and ultimately uninterested in continuing on with the series. I may watch the anime adaptation that’s been recently announced, though.
My Brother’s Husband, Vol. 1 by Gengoroh Tagame (✨✨✨✨)- Super cute and breaks a lot of stereotypes less progressive countries (like Japan), may have about homosexuality! Made me really happy at the time I read it.
My Brother’s Husband, Vol. 2 by Gengoroh Tagame (✨✨.5)- This followed the exact same plot formula as Volume 1, adding nothing new to the overall story. I was sadly very disappointed.
The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi (✨✨✨.5)- I wrote a review for this! This was a solid book with important discussions about colonialism and cultural erasure, but I just don’t think this first installment convinced me to view this trilogy as an actual priority.
Shadow Me by Tahereh Mafi (✨✨✨)- Overall, I don’t care much about anyone or anything in the Shatter Me series, but I’ve spent too much time reading it not to see it through to the end. I think you’d like this novella more if you’re a fan of this series, but objectively there’s nothing wrong with this bridge book, and since I’m a scrooge for Warnette, Kenji’s POV was a nice break from theirs.
Snotgirl, Vol. 1 by Bryan Lee O’Malley and Leslie Hung (✨✨✨)- Nice art, okay characters, and everyone complains about its convoluted plot but maybe I didn’t mind it due to going in knowing of people’s complaints. I ultimately won’t continue on with the series though.
Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Kreuger (✨✨✨.5)- Overall just a pretty fun time featuring a diverse cast of characters! If you like snarky writing, then this book is for you.
Monstress, Vol. 1 by Marjorie M. Liu and Sana Takeda (✨✨✨)- I truly feel like I’m just rating all of these graphic novels three stars because their length allows for nothng more.
The Bride Test by Helen Hoang (✨✨✨)- When it comes to romance for me, it’s either slow burn or no burn at all, and this was sadly a case of immediate attraction.
The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang (✨✨✨✨)- HOLY SMOKES THIS WAS SO CUTE! Read this because you life will get at least a little bit better if you do. Trust me.
A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir (✨✨✨✨)- My faith in this series has been restored!! I am officially Laia and Elias trash now.
The Courage To Be Disliked: How to free yourself, change your life, and achieve real happiness by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga (✨✨✨)- I rated this four stars at first, but some of the ideas are pretty ignorant of people suffering from mental illness or PTSD, “trauma does not exist,” “people choose to be unhappy.” Most of the points were explained pretty well, but I don’t think I’m ever gonna apply any of them to my real life!
The Weight of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf (✨✨✨✨✨)- It’s so fitting that my first five star of the year is by an Asian author following an all-Asian cast. Loved the mental health rep so much, and prior to reading this, I had never heard of the 1969 race riots in Kuala Lumpur.
Stronger than a Bronze Dragon by Mary Fan (✨✨✨.5)- Amazing Qing-dynasty China-inspired setting! There are also some Mandarin words used in this book, and this is overall just a really fun quest story.
Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman (✨✨✨✨)- I definitely need to read more works by this author! Beautiful writing and such a real look at someone’s mourning period.
Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim (✨✨✨✨.5)- I loved this book so much, and it’s one of my favorite 2019 releases! It had the most beautiful writing and world building–very reminiscent of a fairy tale.
The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco (✨✨✨)- PSA that 3-star books aren’t bad books! Such an interesting world and magic system! I’m so excited to continue reading about Tea and how she got to the point where she is now.
The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang (✨✨✨✨✨)- Needless to say, I enjoyed this so much more than the first book. I am speechless and in awe of how good this book was. You know that feeling in your chest after reading a particularly good book? Yeah, I’m feeling it now.
I’ll be regularly updating this blog post throughout the year with all the Asian books I read. I hope you join YARC 2019, and if you have already, that you’re enjoying all the Asian books you’re reading! Let’s celebrate all the Asian books!