Great books by Asian and Pacific Islander authors

In light of recent events in the US–namely, the shootings in Atlanta last week that resulted in the deaths of eight people, including six Asian American women–I want to make it unequivocally clear that I support the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. There are many ways to show support, from monetary donations to attending marches, but for those of us who are readers, I wanted to also give some titles of books by Asian and Asian American authors, across a wide range of genres. The publishing industry has a history of failing authors of color, and that includes authors of Asian descent. Buying and reading their books sends a message to publishers that readers value these stories, and that these stories are important to tell. Of course, we should be reading diversely all the time, but if you find that Asian authors are not well-represented in your reading…well, this is a great place to start.

I’m breaking this post out by listing a book for each genre, along with its author’s racial/ethnic identity. This list is by no means comprehensive, and I’ll admit, there are some great titles that I left off mostly for space purposes–but each title on this list is one that I have read and wholeheartedly recommend. Also, the authors’ identities I have listed are what I could find from their website bios; if any of my information is inaccurate, please let me know so I can correct it.

As an additional note: if you are planning to purchase any of these titles, please consider buying them from an Asian American-owned bookstore. For a list of options, check out this LIST from Libro.fm.

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Only Mostly Devastated – ARC review

Author: Sophie Gonzales
Publication date: March 3, 2020
Genre: young adult, contemporary, romance, LGBTQ+
My rating: 5/5 stars

Cute, queer, and oh-so-diverse, this might be my favorite book I’ve read this year thus far. Only Mostly Devastated is essentially a gay retelling of Grease, only with more humor (and emotions), broader social awareness, healthier relationships, and none of the “change the most fundamental aspects of your personality just to please a boy” nonsense that fills the end of the original musical. In other words, it is everything the world of light, contemporary YA thrives on, and I am so here for it.

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Mooncakes – review

Author: Suzanne Walker (author), Wendy Xu (artist)
Publication date: October 22, 2019
Genre: graphic novel, young adult, fantasy
My rating: 4 / 5 stars

Queer and quirky and oh-so-cuteMooncakes was the quick, enchanting graphic novel I didn’t know I needed in my life. I finished almost all of it in a single night, and boy, was it a fun and heartwarming ride, complete with utterly charming magical creatures, adorable cats, and a super-sweet romance.

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The Astonishing Color of After – review

Author: Emily X.R. Pan
Publication date: March 20, 2018
Genre: young adult, contemporary, magical realism, fantasy
My rating: 4/5 stars

In four words, this book is: beautiful, painful, vibrant, and important. I must admit, I had to stay up two hours past when I planned to go to bed in order to finish this one. It wasn’t because it was a page-turner; truly, I wanted to go to sleep and resume it in the morning. But it brought up some really vivid memories and deeply intense feelings of pain and sadness that I thought I was past by now. I needed to get to the end, because I knew I wouldn’t sleep well if I went to bed in that emotional state. It took some processing, and while I expected it to be good, it was even more devastating than I expected a book about a girl and drawing and a magical bird and mental illness and suicide and family and friendship to be.

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Top Ten Tuesday 11/19 – All I know is these times are changing

You know the drill: TTT is a weekly themed post hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is “Changes In My Reading Life (Maybe you like different genres or topics, maybe you read faster than you used to, maybe you only like standalones now).” At first I thought this would be difficult, but once I started writing, I realized there have actually been a lot of changes for me, both recently and from childhood to now. I tried to link in a few more of my past reviews and posts for this, so…take a look at them, maybe? 😊

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When the Stars Lead to You – launch party!

Way back in May or June, I went to an event hosted by Epic Reads, with a couple authors talking about their recently-released books. At the event, I also met an author who was just there to observe and support some friends, an author with a book coming out later this year. I added it to my Goodreads TBR and made a mental note to keep my eyes peeled for it.

Well, folks, that author was Ronni Davis, that book was When the Stars Lead to You, and that release date was yesterday.

And, because Ronni lives in Chicago, my fantastic local bookstore, Anderson’s Bookshop, hosted a release party for her.

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WWW Wednesday – 9/18

Trying out something new today! WWW Wednesday is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words, and I’ve seen a lot of fellow bloggers doing it, so I figured I would take a stab at it as well. There are three W questions to answer, so here they are along with my answers!

What are you currently reading?

I’m actually doing two books right now: listening to the audiobook for Patron Saints of Nothing, by Randy Ribay (I love it so much so far!!), and reading my eARC for The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates (which I can already tell will be a powerful read once I get into the real meat of the story).

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The Ten Thousand Doors of January – ARC review

“Doors are many things: fissures and cracks, ways between, mysteries and borders. But more than anything else, doors are change.

Author: Alix E. Harrow
Publication Date: September 10, 2019
Genre: Portal fantasy, historical fiction, young adult
Rating: 5/5 stars

Reading this book is like walking through a capital-D Door, out of this world and into an adjacent one filled with so much heart, magic, and mystery.The Ten Thousand Doors of January is the sort of book that you finish and say, “I can’t believe this is the author’s first novel.” It’s a lyrical, lovely fusion of historical fiction and portal fantasy—a combination that, frankly, has no right to work as well as it does.

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