The Pokemon GO Book Tag

Tag created by Aentee @ Read At Midnight.

This looks like so much fun! Links are to my reviews, except in the case of upcoming releases, where the links are to the Goodreads pages for the books. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m not sure I can pinpoint one? But my fourth grade teacher read to our class regularly to promote reading, and the books that really stayed with me were Into the Land of the Unicorns by Bruce Coville and Holes by Louis Sachar.

His Dark Materials.jpg

The His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman. It’s been a while since I’ve read it, but the characters stayed with me for a long time after reading the series. I’m still not over that ending. ๐Ÿ˜ฅ I own the omnibus edition pictured above.

I feel like this encompasses a lot of super popular fantasy series that are by/about cishet white women, not to mention Problematic(TM) on various levels: Throne of Glass, A Court of Thrones and Roses, Red Queen, The Lunar Chronicles, Girl of Fire and Thorns, The Mortal Instruments and spin-offs (I read the first 3 books of TMI and lost track and never looked back tbh), etc.

I’d rather read diverse fantasy series, especially ones that are underexposed.

prophecy-book-cover

Hmm, I guess I’ll say Prophecy by Ellen Oh, which is the first book a historical fantasy trilogy set in a Korean-inspired alternate world. It has the standard fantasy fare: a prophecy, a chosen one, a quest for magical objects, a dragon, etc. I loved its portrayal of family bonds and friendship.

Crown of Stars.jpg

The Crown of Stars series by Kate Elliott. I bought the books a while ago and they’re sitting on my shelf, I just haven’t gotten around to them. Each book is like 800 pages and there are 7 books, so they’re longer than even the Harry Potter series, page-count-wise.

Way too many, I’m up reading all the time…Oh, I know.

green-island

Green Island by Shawna Yang Ryan. I was up until around 4 am reading it, oops. It’s one of the best fictional representations of 20th Century Taiwanese history that I’ve ever read, and it was an emotional experience for me because of my family’s connection to that history.

The Reader full spread.jpg

Sefia and Archer from The Reader by Traci Chee. I liked that their relationship was developed from the ground up and had real substance to it beyond superficial attraction. I gushed about them a bit more in my review (see the hyperlink).

of-fire-and-stars
Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst. It’s fantasy with f/f romance and political intrigue and a murder mystery thrown in.
I feel like very few of the diverse series I’ve read have any spin-offs. I’d love for Grace Lin to write more books in the Pacy Lin series since those are among the few middle grade books with Taiwanese American representation. ๐Ÿ™‚
I’m usually pretty good at gauging which books I’ll like or dislike so I’m rarely “pleasantly surprised” by anything. I guess I’ll say The Dove Chronicles by Karen Bao. The average rating on Amazon for the first book, Dove Arising, was about 3-3.5 stars, so I wasn’t expecting it to be as good as I found it to be. I have the second book waiting to be read, and the third comes out this year.
I’ve already read the first two books, but the remaining two An Ember in the Ashes books by Sabaa Tahir. I enjoyed the first book, liked the second more than the first, but I found some problematic things that I’m planning to address once I reread it closely. Side note: The author recently came out in defense of Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth, despite the criticism from Black and Indigenous folks who were the ones affected by the racist tropes in the book, so I have reservations about continuing to read her work. If I do I’m probably getting the books secondhand.
Harry Potter boxed set.jpgย Not sure if it counts as a collector’s edition, but the new U.S. paperback boxed set of Harry Potter. I love the new cover illustrations and the Hogwarts castle montage that runs across the spines of all seven books. However, I don’t like buying big/long books in paperback because their spines get messed up easily. I guess if I bought them just to keep and not to read it wouldn’t be an issue. My sister owns the original 1st edition hardcovers, though (except book 1, which we have the 10th anniversary edition of), so I’d have to buy two sets of HP for myself.
FoaTL motif.png
No cover photo yet, but this an image from Julie’s website aesthetic/layout.
I’ve been raving about it on Twitter, but Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie Dao, which is the first in a duology called Rise of the Empress, and set to release on October 10th. There’s a dearth of #ownvoices Asian fantasy, Asian fantasy written by Asian/diverse authors, and non-#ownvoices Asian fantasy that’s written well without falling into a racist garbage fire hellhole (See: The Lunar Chronicles, Stormdancer, Soundless, and basically every Asian fantasy written by a white author ever). The primary culture depicted in FoaTL is Chinese, but there are multiple Asian cultures represented within the story/series, and as far as my knowledge goes, they’re are treated as separate/distinct cultures, not thrown into a horrible mish-mash of Asian cultures that prioritizes East Asian cultures while ignoring the history of imperialism by East Asian nations in the region. The author is Vietnamese and not Chinese, but she hired multiple sensitivity readers, so I’m far more inclined to trust that the culture is treated respectfully. *fingers crossed*
Cindy Pon because she writes #ownvoices Chinese and Taiwaneseย SFF which is like my number one priority as far as reading goes. You can find my reviews of her first four books, which are Chinese-inspired historical fantasy,ย here and here. Her fifth book,ย Want, is coming out this summer and one of my most anticipated releases of 2017 because it’s set in Taiwan. ๐Ÿ˜€

a-line-in-the-dark
I’m 99.99% sure this is not the final cover image, but it’s what’s on Goodreads right now.

Malinda Lo’s A Line in the Dark, which is coming out October 17th this year. She’d mentioned working on a new book around two years ago (I think?), in a different genre from her previous books, which are SFF. Once the word came that it would be a mystery YA with an Asian American protagonist, my excitement grew by leaps and bounds because there aren’t many Asian characters in the mystery genre, and I’m always eager for more Asian American protagonists in contemporary YA. And of course, because it’s Malinda Lo, we’re gonna get queer girls. ๐Ÿ™‚

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8 thoughts on “The Pokemon GO Book Tag

  1. I’ve thought about doing this tag a lot, it really does look like fun! The Mortal Instruments are kind of hard to keep up with, but to each their own ๐Ÿ™‚ You talk about Cindy Pon a lot and it really makes me want to read her books!

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  2. Cindy Pon’s books always make me hungry (I only thought Hogwarts could do that but I was proved wrong =). I liked Silver Phoenix and Serpentine. Still need to read the sequels. I didn’t know Malinda Lo was releasing another book! Can’t wait for it. I loved Ash.

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  3. Such great answers all around! I loved Holes when I was in middle school! I still have a copy somewhere. And OOOH I just bought a copy of His Dark Materials and it’s that same edition. I own the first book of Ember in the Ashes, and like you, I’m iffy about reading it. I think if I read it and enjoy it, I won’t review it on the blog. It has enough hype as it is.

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  4. I loved Holes, have you read the not-sequel, Small Steps?

    You mention the Lunar Chronicles a few times in this post, I was wondering if anywhere you talk a bit more about what’s wrong with the representations. I read the first two back when they came out (before I was in the diverse lit world) and don’t remember them well, but many of my students still read them and I’d love to be able to open a dialogue about issues in the books with them.

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    1. To be honest, I haven’t actually read The Lunar Chronicles myself, though my younger sister has, and what I know about is gleaned from a number of reviews by East Asian reviewers, but it’s enough for me to see how bad it is. Basically, it imagines Asia as one big entity called the Eastern Commonwealth that is ruled by a Japanese family. Homogenizing Asia is a huge problem with a lot of Asian-inspired fantasy stories. It ignores the vastness of the continent and the incredible diversity within it, even within a single nation, such as China or India. Having a Japanese family rule over a united Asia brings to mind specters of Japan’s imperialism in the 20th century, which is still a sore spot for many Asians whose families were affected by colonization. In short, the way the setting was conceived was poorly-researched and really offensive.

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    2. Oh and yeah, I read Small Steps years ago. I kind of want to return to it again to see how my perspective has changed because I remember being kind of confused with the way it played out. But I was maybe 13 or so at the time.

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