Year of the Asian Reading Challenge #YARC2019

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.

The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang (✨✨✨✨)- Please read the full trigger warnings first before picking this up–it’s a heavy one. Full review here!

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.

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan (✨✨✨)- I know, I know. Unpopular Opinion. Find my review and reasons why here.


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.

The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi (✨✨✨.5)- I think I explained all my thoughts on this pretty well in my goodreads review.

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!

What are some Asian book that you’d recommend? What’s your most anticipated 2019 release by an Asian author?

18 thoughts on “Year of the Asian Reading Challenge #YARC2019

  1. I’m kind of sad that I’m only just finding out about this challenge, because I’ve already planned out my reading for the entire year, so can’t really participate :/ But I am excited to hear your thoughts on different books written by Asian authors, especially because I’ve been anticipating a lot of the books you mentioned in this post 🙂 But yeah, good luck with this challenge, and if at any point you feel like reading an amazing dystopian trilogy, check out Marie Lu’s Legend series (I think she’s actually expanding the series so it won’t be a trilogy for long, but still).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww, it’s okay! But I hope you enjoy all the books you’re anticipating :)) I actually read legend a few years back, but I never continued on with the series. I actually am not that interested in it because I remember nothing about the first book and I don’t even think I liked it that much 😅 but thanks so much for the recommendation anyways and I think I’m gonna try warcross by the same author!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ooh, I’ve had Warcross on my shelf for a while now, but haven’t picked it up yet. Hopefully you enjoy it more than Legend. You’ll have to let me know if it’s good, and maybe I’ll bump it up on my tbr :))

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Aw, I’m so happy to see this post! Thank you so much for joining in our YARC2019 challenge, and I loved reading your thoughts and seeing your TBR! I hope you like Descendant of the Crane which looks like it’ll be in your TBR next month!

    As for a book I can recommend, I recommend WANT by Cindy Pon (if you like sci-fi; think futuristic Taipei x heist), THE EPIC CRUSH OF GENIE LO by FC Yee (retelling of The Monkey King), and A SPARK OF WHITE FIRE by Sangu Mandanna (a space fantasy!)

    I hope you enjoy the rest of the year of reading Asian books! 💛💛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes, Want sounds perfect! I love heist books and books that follow large casts of characters (I’ve heard want does). A retelling or the monkey king? I’ll definitely check it out and a spark of white fire is on my TBR !


  3. I’m so happy you’re participating in this challenge – and what a fantastic TBR you have here! I’m also doing YARC, but kind of low-key since I’m not a challenge person, I have a very low goal haha, but I want to read more books by Asian Authors for sure, and there are so many great looking releases this year! I can’t wait to read We Hunt The Flame, Natalie Tan, Girls of Paper and Fire, Defy Me and The Beautiful 🙂
    Happy reading and best of luck!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yay, it’s so awesome that you’re taking part in the challenge! I haven’t decided yet if I will or not, because I have a lot of books in my TBR considering I didn’t do much reading in the past year, so I still have a lot of 2018 titles I haven’t got around to. Nonetheless, I will try to make a more conscious effort to read POC authors in 2019.
    Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune and The Gilded Wolves are books I’m excited to get to! The first one sounds adorable, whereas the second one has gotten so many positive reviews it’s making me very hyped. Hopefully, we’ll love both titles a lot when we get to them!
    I have read American Panda and The Way You Make Me Feel back in January and I highly recommend both, especially the second one for the summertime if you haven’t read it yet! Wishing you luck on the challenge! ❣️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for the recommendations! ANd ahh, same, I also have a lot of 2018 titles that I still want to read, but I’m participating in this challenge anyway hahaha. BEst is look to us both that we read all the backlist books! I’m excited to read both those and this year’s new releases

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Aw, I’m so sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy King of Scars!! I was a lot more emotionally attached I think, which made me enjoy it a lot more even with some of its less finer areas? And I’ve heard some mixed reviews about The Gilded Wolves! I’m sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy it more, it was so hyped ahaha.

    There are SO MANY amazing books releasing in the rest of the year, I absolutely can’t wait?!! Descendants of the Crane, The Flame in the Candle and We Hunt the Flame sound like they will be absolutely amazingggg 😍😍

    Also, I really hope you enjoy Girls of Paper and Fire, I loved it. 💞 I’m so glad you’re participating in this challenge!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m so happy to see you’ve signed up for YARC too! I see many familiar books on this list, and I can’t wait to hear what you think of them!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s