Book Recommendations // Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

I can’t believe May has passed us by so quickly, and yet, here we are! Today is the second to last day of May (June is at our doorstep already??), which is the perfect time to wrap up Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.

Following my book recommendations from last Wednesday, in which I focused on mental health and mental illnesses, this week, in honor of May being Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, I want to shine the spotlight on Asian authors, and books with Asian representation.

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Like many friends of mine in the book community who are of Asian descent, I never cease to get excited, whenever I hear of a book that has an Asian main character—or an Asian character, at all. (I’m not even including the requisite of it actually being a well-written Asian character, which is a topic for a different day & blog post.)

And while it’s an amazing feeling to be able to bond over and scream about seeing ourselves represented in books in regard to our racial identity—since it so rarely happens, that when it does, it’s a pretty valid reason for lots of screaming and excitement—it’s also, well, sad.

Sad, that it’s something to get so immensely excited about, because reading about Asian characters in books, and seeing Asian characters in movies, TV shows, and in the media in general, shouldn’t be a novelty.

So, even though I’m not Asian-American, but Asian-European, here’s my tribute to APAHM.

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Books I Love

The Legend Series by Marie Lu
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Before I read these books, I thought I’d had enough of the dystopian genre—but the Legend series is too amazing to be reduced to merely being a dystopian book series.

I honestly love each book in this series with my entire being, and just talking about them makes my heart burst with so many emotions. I ended up crying more than once, while I was reading Prodigy and Champion—which is a very, very big deal, because crying over books is not something that happens to me very often.

Marie Lu has also written a short story that is set after book #3, but I’ve yet to find out how and where I can actually buy it … if anyone knows anything, please let me know, I’d be so grateful!! 💓

The Young Elites Series by Marie Lu
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I’ve already mentioned The Young Elites series in my all-time favorites blog post, so I’ll keep myself short now; I never thought I could ever, ever love another book series as much as I do the Legend series, but … I do.

Angelfall (Angelfall #1) by Susan Ee
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This is the book that took my disinterest in angels, and turned it into a burning passion. For some reason, or no reason at all, I never saw the appeal of reading about winged creatures—until I read Angelfall. But then again, the angels in this book aren’t particularly angelic.

Even though the trilogy’s conclusion was ultimately a letdown for me, the first installment is amazing enough for me to recommend it, despite a disappointing third book.

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Books I Can't Wait to Read

Young Adult Contemporary
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Young Adult Fantasy
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Classics & Adult Fiction
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Have you read any of these books, or are any of them on your TBR?
Do you pay attention to Asian representation in books?
What are some books with Asian characters/written by Asian authors that you love?

Goodbye Kiss(& If you’re Asian as well, say Hi in the comments down below!! 💗)

xx, Lily

 

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98 thoughts on “Book Recommendations // Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

  1. this is such a good list!! personally i only read forest of a thousand lanterns from it BUT u have a bunch of book i’m very very excited abt here!!! i think most of all girls of paper and fire. and ofc little fires everywhere – i feel like i’ve been seeing it EVERYWHERE and i cannot wait to finally get my hands on that one!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Anna! 🌸

      Ohh did you like it Forest of a Thousand Lanterns? Girls of Paper and Fire is perhaps my most anticipated one as well, because Asian girls in Fantasies are so rare!! (It’s sapphic girls, by the way!) And I’m very curious about Little Fires Everywhere, because I haven’t read very many Adult Contemporaries.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely post! 💕 I’ve had Legend sitting unread on my shelf for so long, I honestly didn’t think I’d ever want to pick it up cause YA dystopians were never my favorite thing. But you’ve actually made me want to read it! I really want to read The Way You Make Me Feel and Starfish this summer, they both sound like perfect, summery contemporaries 😍 I love Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, it’s so deliciously evil. I hope you enjoy it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Aurora! 💗

      Your comment brightened my day & I really, really hope you love the Legend series! If you need someone to rant to about it, I’m here. (😼!) The first book requires a decent amount of suspension of disbelief, but book #2 & #3 are so amazing.

      And I’m thrilled to hear you loved Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, I can’t wait to bask in its evilness!!

      Like

  3. Yay for Asian heritage! I’m half Asian, so I really loved To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before and The Astonishing Color of After since they’re the only books I’ve read with half Asian protagonists!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhh I’m so happy you found a great biracial Asian rep in both of these books, Kay!! ❤

      And I'm super excited to hear that you're Asian as well?? (As is the case with books, I still automatically picture people as white, until I hear anything to the contrary, which is so sad, and I'm actively trying not to do that anymore!) Do you speak an Asian language?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know what you mean! I lowkey thought you were white too 0.O. I understand Chinese pretty well but I can’t speak it well and I definitely can’t write it…I want to learn one day though!!! Do you speak an Asian language?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I speak very basic Mandarin, and can read only a little, but I do understand everything in day-to-day conversation. I really want to improve my Mandarin as well! I’ve heard that watching Asian Dramas with subtitles helps, but I’ve never committed to it. 🙈

          Like

  4. Man I’m so disappointed in myself! I’ve only read Crazy Rich Asians out of this lovely list! Letting my Asian half down hard core.

    I agree, I wish there was more representation in media. Less a novelty for sure!

    Lovely post!!😍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohh no, please don’t be disappointed in yourself!! I feel that way quite often myself, but I always try to remind myself that I’m doing my best.

      I’ve been wanting to read Crazy Rich Asians for so long, but still haven’t. :’) Have you seen the movie trailer?

      Thank you so much for your wonderful comment, Maddie!! Asian girls unite!! 👯💞

      Like

  5. Hi!
    Love your list! Yes, nowadays I’ve been paying a lot more attention on Asian representation. Most of the book you listed are on my tbr and are read. I loved Marie Lu and Susan Ee’s works. I am still on the look out for more.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is an awesome list! I will definitely be referring to it when I am looking for books to read! I love Marie Lu’s books so much too 😉 I’m asian-american (Indian), and so I don’t really find many reads with south asian MC’s 😦 but I do love Roshani Chokshi’s, Sabaa Tahir’s, and Renee Ahdieh’s books! When I read their books, I am actually able to visualize a character who looks like me, and that just feels so cool!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Amanda! Hearing that honestly makes my so, so happy & it’s always nice to meet fellow Marie Lu fans!! 😊

      I relate to your feelings so deeply & ahh that’s so cool, is English your second language? I’ve read one or two of Sabaa Tahir and Renée Ahdieh’s books, but none of Roshani Chokshi’s yet, though I hope I’ll get around to doing so in the near future.

      Thank you for your comment, it put such a huge smile on my face! 💗

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Nope I was born and raised in the US, and my parents were raised in Trinidad before moving here so we only speak English! But my grandparents speak both Hindi and English (I wish I could learn Hindi too but I’m waiting for it to be on duolingo haha)

        Like

    1. I’ve heard only amazing things about Starfish, so I can’t wait to read it! I’m glad to hear you loved it, LaRonda. ❤

      As far as I know, only the people who pre-ordered Warcross received a copy of Life After Legend. 😦

      Like

  7. This is a great list, Lily. And you’re right, reading about Asians and watching them on screen shouldn’t be a novelty. I think the representation is getting better these days, but still not enough. For being the biggest continent in the world, I just think Asians are still underrepresented.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Rachel! ❤ I'm so glad you like it!

      I completely agree with you; the situation has improved, but we still have such a long way to go, until all ethnicities are equally represented. Asian Erasure and whitewashing especially are still so prominent in Hollywood. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Love your list and I’ve read Crazy Rich Asians and Starfish. Starfish is adorable, you must read it! It’s such a good representation of feeling like an outsider because you’re an ethnic minority. I really want to read Warcross and I think Warcross fell off of my list because I grew bored of dystopias, but I may pick it up if it’s as good as you say it is! ☺

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Arub! That means a lot to me! ❤

      I'm super happy to hear about the great rep! I'm planning on reading Starfish soon, and I hope it will meet my now sky-high expectations. And ahh did you mean Legend instead of Warcross? Because Warcross isn't dystopian, it's Sci-Fi! I do hope you love it, though, and I'd love to hear how it works out for you! 😊

      Thank you for such a lovely comment! 💓💓

      Like

  9. I’m not Asian but I do try and pay attention when there are actually POC in books. I need to read more books with Asian characters though, as I haven’t read any of these. Granted, a lot of them are fantasy, etc. and that’s not always my favorite genre. OOH – Picture Us in the Light is probably the last one I’ve read with Asian characters and it’s amazing!!!

    -Lauren
    http://www.shootingstarsmag.net

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s really nice to hear! And I wish I could have included more contemporaries, but sadly, I haven’t read too many (that I loved) that feature Asian characters. 😦 Ohh Picture Us in the Light is on my TBR!! I can’t believe I’d forgotten about it, thanks for reminding me of its existence!

      And thank you so much for your lovely comment! ❤

      Like

  10. I’ve just read Yesterday by Felicia Yap which is SO good! I love Celeste Ng’s writing especially Little Fires Everywhere ☺️ & Haruki Murakami is just👌
    I work in Libraries and volunteer with children who are reluctant readers and so really try to pay attention to a diverse selection of authors and content for books I can promote and share, because it’s so important that all readers access a selection of content and voices.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yesterday sounds really intriguing, thank you for the rec! 💕 Ohh you’re making me really excited about Little Fires Everywhere! 😊 & I agree with you on Haruki Murakami, his writing always leaves me stunned.

      Reading your comment literally made my heart glow with happiness, every single child is honestly so lucky to meet you!!

      Thank you so much for your wonderful comment, Bee. ❤️❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh this is such a great list! I have read the first book, both in the Legend and The Young Elites series and I really enjoyed them – I can’t wait to go on with this series and I hope I’ll love them as much as you do 🙂
    I read Forest of a Thousand Lanterns and it was really, really good, I enjoyed it a lot! I can’t WAIT to read The Astonishing Color and Starfish, I know I will love both with my whole heart haha I can’t wait to finally get them 🙂
    Fantastic post! ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh I really hope so!! & same goes for The Astonishing Color of After. I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed Forest of a Thousand Lanterns! Everyone’s gushing about it & I have incredibly high expectations now. 🙈

      I come across praises for Starfish every single day, and I really need to finally get to it as well! (If you’re in the mood to buddy read it some time, let me know! 😊💗)

      Thank you so much, Marie! 💕💕

      Like

  12. oh my gosh this is an amzing list + beautiful post as alwaayyyyyss c: c:
    I’m about to buddy read To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and I’m so excited???? THE COVER!! and it’s coming to netflix adn I just ended my netflix hiatus so i’m v happpy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhh thank you so much, Malanie!! 💓 You’re so sweet. :’)

      I really hope you enjoy To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before! (I still need to finish the series, oops.) & I agree, the cover is so nice!! I can’t wait to see its screen adaption, LET’S SCREAM ABOUT IT TOGETHER WHEN THE TIME COMES.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. This is such a good list (though I haven’t read nearly as many of these as I should have).

    While I wasn’t a fan of Flame in the Mist (or anything of Renee’s sadly), I really want to revisit Haruki Murakami and I’ve heard great things about The Way You Make Me Feel and Starfish. I also suggest checking out American Panda if you haven’t!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Becca! ❤

      I actually didn't enjoy Renee's The Wrath and the Dawn series either, so I do feel a little bit hesitant about Flame in the Mist. I've only heard amazing things about Starfish as well! I hope it lives up to our expectations. & Haruki Murakami has yet to disappoint me.

      Thank you so much for the recommendation! 😊 American Panda is actually on my TBR, but I wasn't 100% sold on it before – I'll definitely give it a try!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. The Astonishing Color of After is so beautifully written, I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on it! And everyone’s been gushing about Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, so I’m planning on reading it soon. I hope you love The Way You Make Me Feel!

      Thanks, Alicia! I’m so happy you think so. 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Ahh this is an amazing list and I’m so glad you did some recommendations! I just got Forest of A Thousand Lanterns out from the library *Flails* and also To All The Boys is one of my favourite trilogies and I finished the last book this year and am all total heart eyes over it.😍😍And AGREED that Angelfall changed my view on angels! I mean I didn’t not like them?! I just wasn’t particularly invested, but it was so good and I still have to read the last book but I will get to that!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so, so much, Cait!! ❤

      I can't wait to read Forest of A Thousand Lanterns, everyone's been gushing about it. & I'm so glad we agree on Angelfall! The third book let me down, but I really hope you'll like it more than I did!

      PS. To All the Boys I've Loved Before is coming to Netflix. :')

      Like

  15. This is a great post! You just made me want to finish the Legend series, I only read book 1 and never continued, but now I’m intrigued about the other books. Also, I really want to read The Astonishing Color of After, it was one of my most anticipated releases of the year and I hope to get to it soon.

    I have read The Way You Make Feel, Crazy Rich Asians and Little Fires Everywhere and I really enjoyed all of them. They are all very different book, but they all have something special about them. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Sofia! 💗 If/when you get around to continuing with the Legend series or reading TACOA, feel free to keep me updated. 😍

      And that’s so nice to hear & thank you! I’m really excited about Crazy Rich Asians especially, because I can’t wait to see the movie adaption.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I’m a quarter Japanese and don’t look like I have a drop of Asian blood, lol, so of course I adore ALL Asian culture. I’ve read many of the books on my Asian TBR list and enjoyed most of them. I just reviewed the To All the Boys series on my blog ❤️ (Hint I enjoyed it!) This is a super fun post, thanks for raising awareness.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s so cool, do you speak Japanese? And I’m so happy to hear that you’ve enjoyed most of them!! ❤

      I just checked out your review, and oh my god, I'm obsessed with your blog design. And your review is lovely! I just realized that I've forgotten most of what happens in the book. 🙈 I can't wait to see its adaption on Netflix, though!

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment, Dani! 💓

      Like

  17. ahhhhhh! so many great books on this list omg. anything marie lu touches is destined to be amazing. and starfish was INCREDIBLE i think youre gonna love it.

    also idk if you know about this book but I’ve been hella meaning to read American Panda soon it looks so good

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Oh, Little Fires was so good! One of my favourites!

    I keep seing around the Jenny Han books and i’m quite intrigued by them, and also want to read Warcross sooner rather than later.

    Great recommendations!
    I don’t think i’ve read many books with asian characters, but what comes to mind is Jo Nesbo’s Cockroaches that is set in thailand, and majority of the police on the case are thai, and i’m reading the Perfectionists by Sara Shepard and one of the main characters is a korean girl who is adopted by an american couple.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh that’s great! I’m even more excited to read it now.

      I read Jenny Han’s books a while ago, and I remember them being fun, easy reads; entertaining, but not life-changing. And I hope you enjoy Warcross, when you get to it!

      Thanks, Norrie! 💕 & thank you so much for the recommendations! I’ll check them out on Goodreads. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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