I find it ironic that it’s taken me a while to sign up for the reading challenge that I myself am co-hosting, but also . . .
I have a very busy blog schedule, okay? And nobody wants nine straight days of posts from me that is absurd (but happening in February so SORRY).
Anyways, I finally have time to declare my participation and goals for YARC! I am so so excited for this reading challenge as it’s going to help me specifically monitor my diverse reading more closely, which I am all for!
I’m aiming for the Giant Panda (31-40 books), but someone also mentioned in the signup post that the highly sought after Bengali Tiger would mean only 4 books a month?
And well . . . that honestly sounds feasible.
So even though I’m saying I’m aiming for the panda, I’m secretly aiming for the tiger. *wink wink*
Anyways, I’m very excited for ALL the amazing Asian authors’ novels, and an declaring a tentative TBR for the first 2/3 of the year! I’m putting 4 slots in each month and writing the backlist Asian novels I own at the bottom, so if you have one of the backlists and would want to buddy read, let me know!
CURRENT TOTAL: 36
Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee ★★★★★ AMAZING. I loved this book so so much, and Mercy is one of my new favorite MCs ever. She has so much spunk and initiative and this historical YA is such a wonderful read.
Circle of Shadows by Evelyn Skye ★★✰✰✰ Ummm, yeah. I’m just going to point out that I found this book to be mediocre, and the rep/culture in it is very questionable. Like, six white characters in a Japanese-inspired fantasy, questionable.
Here and Now and Then by Mike Chen ★★★★✭ I cried . . . multiple times because of this book. It’s a problem, but a good one to have. This book was glorious and I love love loved reading!
The Bride Test by Helen Hoang ★★★★✭ Amazing, as expected! I found out this was Read Now so I downloaded it and then sat down and read the whole thing till in 2.5 hours and it was so worth it because I love this book so much!
The Deceivers by Kristen Simmons ★★★★✰ I really enjoyed this one! Kristen Simmons does a great job of writing really entertaining and diverse stories, and I find her books super enjoyable! Well worth the time, and I wanted to devour this book!
Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin ★★★✰✰ I thought the plot was a bit jumpy but the romance was cute! I think this was a lot of plot to take on, and I wasn’t necessarily expecting there to be that many tangible antagonists in this story.
The Beauty of the Moment by Tanaz Bhathena ★★★★✭ I really enjoyed this one! It definitely turned out a lot better than I expected, and Bhathena’s portrayal of the new girl/bad boy trope was really fresh (and not at all dominating/aggressive like the early 2010s versions). Loved this romance!
Jade City by Fonda Lee ★★★★✰ I am so mad at Bero like HE IS THE LITERAL WORST everybody please scream with me!!! I just want Anden and Shae and everyone to live happily every after *sobs*
Ruse by Cindy Pon ★★★★✭ I can’t believe this series is over but it was so so nice getting to read all of my favorite characters again and I love how it takes place in Shanghai this time! We get so many more heists and big corporation take downs and I am living for this series (and v sad that it is over).
Internment by Samira Ahmed ★★★★✭ I love Samira’s books and found Internment to be just as wonderful and powerful as I expected it to be! Definitely a book I’d recommend, and I really loved all the commentary in this.
Fake It Till You Break It by Jenn P. Nguyen ★★★✰✰ I didn’t really click with Mia, the protagonist–she felt a little bit too forced to try and be cool and relatable with teens, and in the end she felt more like a cliché Wattpad protagonist than I wanted her to be. But it’s still definitely a cute concept!
29 Dates by Melissa de la Cruz ★★★✰✰ I started reading this in JANUARY. January. It was like pulling teeth trying to read this book, and I checked it out three times from my e-library (sorry library for wasting your money) and although it wasn’t bad . . . it wasn’t good either and really dragged for me.
As Kismet Would Have It by Sandhya Menon ★★★✰✰ I love Dimple and Rishi and I was so excited to read more from them, but honestly this novella was just a lot of things packed into a few dozen pages, and it felt a little crammed to me. I did love seeing Dimple and Rishi again, though!
500 Words or Less by Juleah del Rosaria ★★★★★ Amazing. I hadn’t had a chance to pick this up last year, but I was so moved and loved reading this so much. The verse was really moving and it really helped capture a lot of things I was feeling, so thank you, Juleah, for this wonderful book.
The Tiger at Midnight by Swati Teerdhala ★★★★✭ Probably my favorite new release of April, The Tiger at Midnight was so so spicy and fun! Not only was it rich and lush in the world, but the character dynamics were FIRE and I adored Esha and Kunal so much. Read it read it read it.
Love from A to Z by S.K. Ali ★★★★✰ This was ADORABLE. I thought Adam and Zayneb were the best and I looooved Zayneb’s spitfire nature. She was the best, and I think some of the lessons in here were amazing, as well as the sweet romance. Definitely recommend!
Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo ★★★✭✰ The end was fantastic, but I was definitely a little shaky on Lucky and Jack for the first half of this book. I feel like I wanted a little more from them, but eventually we got to see this really cute picture of both, so I’m not complaining!
The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad ★★★★✭ This honestly felt almost like an adult fantasy with the way Azad used the point of views, but I still LOVED Fatima (Ghazala) and the world and City of Noor was so rich. It wasn’t just about Fatima, but the whole cast of characters, which I really enjoyed!
For a Muse of Fire by Heidi Heilig ★★★✭✰ (buddy read with May @ Forever & Everly) I am the worst and this took me forever to read because I was busy with school, but I did end up reading For a Muse of Fire! I really enjoyed the way it explored colonialism and complicated rebellion-associated politics, inspired by French colonization of Southeast Asia, although I do recognize that the pacing can be slow at times and that this book is just not the book for everyone.
We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal ★★★★✰ Although this was a bit shaky to start, I ended up really loving the zumra (squad of characters) and the adventures they went on to save their kingdom. Nasir is totally a brooding MC, and I loved Zafira a lot! Overall, would recommend to fantasy lovers!
This Time Will Be Different by Misa Sugiura ★★★★★ THIS WAS SO GREAT. Not only did I love CJ’s social justice struggles, but her own emotional struggles with jealousy and friendship were so relatable and so well done and I cried a little reading this book, because her story is so well-rounded and developed. Would recommend to everyone!
Trouble Is a Friend of Mine by Stephanie Tromly ★★★★✰ This was SUCH a breath of fresh air, and I really think we need more YA comedies and books that are just fun. This made me laugh and giggle out loud and wear a goofy grin on my face while reading, and that was honestly such a good feeling, I’m excited for book 2!
Tell Me How You Really Feel by Aminah Mae Safi ★★★✭✰ Although I did not like one of the protagonists for around half the novel, I did think the romance was really cute and Safi did a good job of using the deadlines. Plus, it’s f/f!
Stronger than a Bronze Dragon by Mary Fan ★★★★✰ This had a slow start, but the last half definitely made it worth it and I thought Anlei was such a fierce protagonist! Magic and spirits and steampunk bronze dragons, this promises action, adventure, and lots of fighting!
Wicked Fox by Kat Cho ★★★★✭ I was totally in love with this, and now I’m so eager for the sequel! From the romance (swoons!) to the fantasy adventure, Korean mythology, and hints of mystery, I enjoyed this one a lot!
Natalie Tan’s Book of Love and Fortune by Roselle Lim ★★★★✭ This book felt like home to me–from its themes about intergenerational family, community, and culture to grief and so much more, I fell in love with this. I loved Roselle’s subtle yet heartfelt writing style and am eagerly awaiting more from her!
Hungry Hearts by Elsie Chapman and Caroline Tung Richmond ★★★★✭ This anthology was really good! Individually the stories were averaging above a 4, but what really bumped this anthology up for me was how they really worked together and flowed. I felt like they didn’t exist in a bubble, but they were all in the same world and referenced different stores that were in other stories, and that was a really nice uniting tie!
The Best Lies by Sarah Lyu ★★★★✭ This was such a good thriller and honestly so underrated, it makes me sad! Because I loved the portrayal of obsessive & toxic friendship, and mixed with the storytelling and seamless use of alternating timelines, The Best Lies has a special place in my heart.
Symptoms of a Heartbreak by Sona Charaipotra ★★★✭✰ This was really cute! I especially love the way Charaipotra used Saira’s Girl Genius status as a parallel for normal teens’ responsibilities, and the weaving of this in with regular teen things made it a unique story for me!
Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim ★★★★✰ This was so lush and beautiful and I absolutely adored the magic and the world! The romance ended up being not my favorite, but now I’m really excited to see how the story continues in the sequel, because ~things~ happened.
Picture Us In the Light by Kelly Loy Gilbert ★★★★★ I LOVED THIS SO MUCH. I totally rage sobbed for like two minutes after reading–this was so powerful and Danny’s story really hit me hard. It was so layered and complex and I’m extremely excited for whatever Gilbert writes next.
Trouble Makes a Comeback by Stephanie Tromly ★★★★✰ I’m officially more than halfway through this trilogy and AHH. I have the sequel and I’m starting it soon, but these characters are so fun and they get up to all sorts of antics. I think this isn’t perfect, but it’s an enjoyable read.
Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi ★★★★✰ This holds so much appeal for adult readers (tbh I would not call this YA) and I know college students and people in their 20s and millennials will all probably relate and enjoy to this a lot. It’s less of a romance and more of a coming of age, and I loved that!
There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon ★★★★✰ Totally cute and fluffy and I got all the tingles over this. Ashish and Sweetie are adorable and Sandhya Menon always writes the cutest romcoms that I can always get swept away in!
The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee ★★★★★ Absolutely amazing, as expected from Stacey Lee’s books! I loved Jo and her relatability and subtle spunk, despite the customs of the time, and her story is so fun and heartwarming and endearing, this is a favorite.
Eclipse the Skies by Maura Milan ★★★★★ I was totally scared this wouldn’t live up to the first book but . . . it did live up to it. And now I’m dead. I have this giant gaping hole in my chest that used to be my heart because Maura completely destroyed me with this. Big sad.
Song of the Abyss by Makiia Lucier –
I Love You So Mochi by Sarah Kuhn –
One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake – (buddy read with Vinny @ Artsy Draft)
Caster by Elsie Chapman –
Frankly in Love by David Yoon –
The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco –
The Light at the Bottom of the World by London Shah –
Girls of Storm and Shadow by Natasha Ngan –
Books I Own that I Need to Read
- Exo by Fonda Lee
- Legend by Marie Lu (I don’t own the other books but I would obtain them!)
- Rosemarked by Livia Blackburne
- The Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco
- The Reader by Traci Chee (will obtain sequels)
- A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir
- A Thousand Beginnings and Endings by Ellen Oh and Elise Chapman