Category Archives: Listicle

February TBR and Book List: #ReadYourResistance and Black History Month

I decided a while back to do some mini themed reading challenges in 2017 that I create for myself in order to make it easier to pick what to read next out of a few hundred titles on my TBR. These challenges follow various history, heritage, and awareness months in the U.S. Though this decision predates and wasn’t inspired by #ReadYourResistance, it ties in neatly with that hashtag, which symbolizes a commitment to reading books by marginalized voices to challenge the dominant narratives that dehumanize them and to fight the increase in persecution of marginalized people under Trump’s regime.

February is Black History Month, so most of my TBR will be books by Black authors. Aside from the books I want to read for the month of February, I’m also listing January and February releases by Black authors, some already released books by Black authors on my 2017 TBR that I won’t get to in February, and books featuring Black characters (mostly #ownvoices) that are coming out later this year. And lastly, I’ll list a few February releases by non-black authors that I’m looking forward to.

(Note: Release dates are U.S. release dates.)

Books by Black Authors I Plan to Read in February

boy-snow-bird

Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi

This book is a sort-of Snow White retelling that tackles the complex issue of mixed race identity and “passing” for white, with critical attention to racialized beauty standards. I’d already seen it here and there, and when Barnes & Noble was selling a copy at a reduced price a few months ago, I snatched it up. I’ve heard that there is some problematic content, so I’ll be on the lookout for that so I can discuss it in my review.

americanah

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie

I was first introduced to her through two different TED talks, one on feminism, the other on the “danger of a single story” and stereotyping. I read We Should All Be Feminists about a year or two ago and have been meaning to read the rest of her work. Americanah shall be that first step toward that goal. It’s a story of race, romance, and immigration that spans three continents, Africa (Lagos, Nigeria), North America, and Europe (London, England).

All of Nnedi Okorafor’s books, aside from Akata Witch, which I read in December last year.

She writes both YA and adult SFF and has won multiple awards (the Hugo, the Nebula, and the World Fantasy Awards, among others) for her books. She’s Nigerian (Igbo) American and draws on her Nigerian heritage and West African cultures for her work.

  •  Zahrah the Windseeker – YA, fantasy, in the kingdom of Ooni, those born with the dadalocks are feared for their powers. Zahrah is one such person, and when her friend Dari is endangered, she is forced to confront the things that make her different
  • The Shadow Speaker – YA, science fiction, in 2070 Niger, a young woman seeks revenge for her father’s murder and finds herself on a trans-Saharan quest to save her people from a force that threatens to annihilate them all
  • Binti – Science fiction, when Binti becomes the first of her people to be accepted at the prestigious Oomza, the best university in the galaxy, she must leave her family and travel among people who neither understand nor respect her culture
  • Binti: Home (Sequel to Binti)
  • Kabu-Kabu – Anthology, SFF, a collection of short stories that take you to far-flung places of magic, adventure, and danger
  • Who Fears Death – Science fiction, as a biracial child of rape, Onyesonwu (“Who Fears Death?”) faces prejudice wherever she goes. However, she has great powers and an even greater destiny
  • The Book of Phoenix (Who Fears Death #2)
  • Lagoon – Science fiction – after a large object crashes into the sea on the coast of Lagos, Nigeria, three people from different walks of life must work together to save the country they love

All of N.K. Jemisin’s books.

Also a multi-award-winning author (the Hugo and the Locus). She has three different adult SFF series so far.

The Inheritance Trilogy:

  1. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms – Yeine Darr hails from the north, and when her mother dies, she is summoned to the city of Sky, ruled by the Arameri family and named an heir to the king. However, her ascendance isn’t a given, and she must compete for the throne with many cousins.
  2. The Broken Kingdoms
  3. The Kingdom of Gods

The Dreamblood Duology:

  1. The Killing Moon – In the city of Gujaareh, the Gatherers maintain order by harnessing the power of sleeping minds to heal and kill those deemed corrupt. Peace reigns until Ehiru, the most famous of these Gatherers, realizes that someone is killing innocents in the name of the Goddess.
  2. The Shadowed Sun

The Broken Earth Trilogy:

  1. The Fifth Season – Chaos has struck in just one day. An empire falls, a continent rends in two, spewing ash to blacken the sky, and in a small town, a woman named Essun loses her son to murder and her daughter to kidnapping at the hands of her own husband. Resources are scarce, everyone is fighting for their survival, and Essun will do anything to save her daughter, even if it means breaking the world itself.
  2. The Obelisk Gate
  3. Book 3 is not out yet, but it’s called The Stone Sky and is releasing later this year on August 17th!

Two books by Octavia Butler.

Octavia Butler is one of the most well-known Black women in science fiction. Her books are considered classics by some and overlooked by many because of racism/misogynoir, of course. Here are my two picks:

  • Kindred – Described as a “combination of slave memoir, fantasy, and historical fiction,” this book is about an African American woman who travels backward in time in order to save her own ancestor.
  • Parable of the Sower Given the current state of affairs in U.S. politics, it feels appropriate for me to read a dystopian novel by a Black woman.

Parable of the Sower is the #DSFFBookClub (Diverse Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Club, hosted by Naz at Read Diverse Books) pick for February, so if you want to read and participate in a discussion at the end of the month, definitely join us. 😀

January Releases and February Releases by Black Authors

  • Midnight Without a Moon by Linda Williams Jackson – MG, historical fiction, a fictionalized account of the Emmett Till case through the perspective of a young black girl in Jim Crow era Mississippi
  • Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson – YA, contemporary, tackles systemic racism in the American justice system through the story of a Black teen girl in the foster care system who allegedly murdered a baby (note: I’ve seen reviews/comments from diverse book bloggers about problematic content re: homophobia, rape apologism, anti-Indian racism, etc., so be careful if you are planning to read this)
  • The Harlem Charade by Natasha Tarpley – MG, contemporary, three kids, Elvin, Jin, and Alex, work together to solve the mystery of what happened to Elvin’s grandfather, only to stumble on priceless artworks that might just save their neighborhood from gentrification by a wealthy politician
  • Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson (out Feb. 14th) – YA, contemporary, addresses the intersections of racism, classism, sexism, sizeism/fatphobia and more through the story of a Black girl who attends an elite, mostly white school
  • American Street by Ibi Zoboi (out Feb. 14th) – YA, contemporary, focuses on a Haitian American immigrant girl trying to fit in and her mother’s undocumented immigration experience
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (out Feb. 28th) – YA, contemporary, a novel inspired by Black Lives Matter that addresses police brutality and systemic antiblack racism through the story of a girl who witnesses an unarmed friend’s fatal shooting at the hands of police

Later 2017 Releases by Black Authors

  • One Shadow on the Wall by Leah Henderson (out June 6th; Black author) – MG, magical realism, the story of a Senegalese boy dealing with the difficulty of keeping his family together and honoring a promise to his deceased father after he and his sisters are orphaned
  • Solo by Kwame Alexander (out July 25th; Black Author) – YA, contemporary, a novel-in-verse about a Black teen whose father is a famous musician with an addiction problem as he explores family secrets and forbidden love
  • Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert (out Aug. 8th; Black author) – YA, contemporary, a Black Jewish girl moves back home to L.A., helps her brother with his bipolar disorder, and falls in love with the same girl he loves
  • Beasts Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi (out Sep. 26th; Nigerian American author) – YA, fantasy, a debut novel featuring a talented young sin-eater who is called upon to eat the sin-beast of a royal, only to find himself caught in a web of political intrigue that puts the life of the princess he loves at stake
  • Dear Martin by Nic Stone (out Oct. 17th; Black author) – YA, contemporary, a incisive story about police brutality from the perspective of a Black teen whose status at the top of his elite prep school doesn’t prevent him from being racially profiled
  • My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich by Ibi Zoboi (release date TBA; Haitian American author) – MG, historical fiction, a young Black scifi geek girl tries to find a place to belong in the 80s hip-hop explosion in Harlem
  • Akata Warrior (Sequel to Akata Witch) by Nnedi Okorafor (release date TBA; Nigerian American author) – MG/YA, fantasy, no blurb yet, but I’m sure Sunny and her friends return for another juju-filled adventure

Already Released Books by Black Authors I’d Like to Read in 2017

  • Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson – MG, memoir, novel-in-verse, tells the story of the author’s experience growing up as a Black girl in the Civil Rights era of the 60s and 70s and the joy she found in words and writing
  • Pointe by Brandy Colbert – YA, contemporary, a story of a Black ballerina that addresses heavy topics like eating disorders and child sexual abuse
  • The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds – YA, contemporary, a young Black teen deals with the loss of his mother and his absent father’s alcoholism while working at a funeral home and meets a girl who gives him hope
  • This Side of Home by Renée Watson – YA, contemporary, identical twins Nikki and Maya start to diverge when they go off to attend college at a historically black college and develop different opinions on the importance of home and their ethnicity and culture
  • Endangered by Lamar Giles – YA, contemporary, a Black teen runs an anonymous blog on her high school’s scandals and ends up drawn into a deadly game by someone who threatens to expose her identity
  • Touching Snow by M. Sindy Felin – YA, contemporary, a Haitian American girl struggles to live a normal life and change her situation for the better after her abusive father is taken away
  • All-American Boys by Jason Reynolds – YA, contemporary, a Black teen, Rashad, is beaten by the police for supposedly stealing when he didn’t, a white teen, Quinn, witnesses it, and when the incident becomes national news and the center of a debate on police brutality and systemic racism, all of a sudden Quinn’s silence is no longer just a personal choice
  • The Crossover by Kwame Alexander – MG, contemporary, this novel-in-verse tells the tale of twins Josh and Jordan as they play basketball and learn lessons about life both on and off the court
  • Perfect Liars by Kimberly Reid – YA, contemporary, interracial romance (Black girl, Korean boy), when Drea’s parents disappear, her perfect girl facade as junior class valedictorian begins to crumble and she finds herself in the company of delinquents from her school who share more in common with her than one might expect

Nonfiction Books About Black Women

  • Redefining Realness by Janet Mock: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More – in this memoir, Janet Mock, a Black trans woman activist, talks about her transition and the struggles to live her life as her authentic self
  • Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina by Misty Copeland – in her memoir, ballet prodigy Misty Copeland recounts her path from living in a motel room to becoming a successful professional dancer and the first Black principal dancer for the American Ballet Theatre
  • Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly – in this historical biography, Margot Lee Shetterly tells the stories of four extraordinary Black women (Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden), who worked at NASA during the height of the Space Race and an era of segregation and Jim Crow laws and made monumental contributions to their field
  • Courage to Soar: A Body in Motion, A Life in Balance by Simone Biles – Gymnastics champion and Olympian Simone Biles shares the story of her journey to becoming a gymnast with the help of faith and family
  • Black Girl Dangerous on Race, Queerness, Class and Gender by Mia Mckenzie – in this honest, humorous, and accessible essay anthology, popular blogger and activist Mia McKenzie shares stories about intersectionality, identity, activism, and allyship from the perspective of a queer Black woman
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Supporting Characters Who Need Their Own Book(s)

A common phenomenon that happens in a publishing industry that is skewed toward cis straight white people is that so often the representation marginalized folks get is table scraps in the form of side characters. Not only are they marginalized by society, they’re often marginalized by the fictional narratives they exist in. For this reason, I wanted to round up some side/supporting characters who I wished had books/stories of their own where they take center stage. For most, I’ve included either fanart or a picture I’ve picked as a fancast representing how I’d imagine the character. If you click on the fanart/fancasts you’ll see a description of the model’s background or artist credits where applicable.

Note: I couldn’t think of any side characters with disabilities that I could include in this, but if I think of any later on, I’ll add them.

the-inside-of-out

Hannah from The Inside of Out by Jenn Marie Thorne – YA, contemporary

I definitely bought this book because of the queer Asian girl on the cover. The story is told from the perspective of a cishet white girl who’s Hannah’s best friend, and it does explore a lot of the common pitfalls of allyship, but unfortunately Hannah took a backseat to the main character’s Good Intentions. Because of that, I want a book about Hannah’s side of things, about her experience as a biracial, Vietnamese American lesbian.

Risha from Zeroboxer by Fonda Lee – YA, science fiction, thriller

The main character of Zeroboxer is Carr, who’s a professional zero-gravity prizefighter and ethnically mixed/ambiguous as is common for scifi protagonists since they’re supposed to represent the end result of the “melting pot.” Risha is his brandhelm, or marketing and public relations manager, and girlfriend. She is half-Martian and of Asian descent (in an interview, the author mentioned that much of the Martian colonies was populated by descendants of people from Asian countries affected by overpopulation, so I imagine her as being a mix of Indian and Chinese) and feels like she doesn’t belong with either Terrans or Martians. Unfortunately, she comes off as kind of an accessory to Carr’s character and is largely seen through the male gaze. She’s intelligent and graceful and I wish I knew more of her perspective as someone with a hybrid identity, an experience I relate to a lot as an Asian American.

Nara from The Prophecy Trilogy/The Dragon King Chronicles by Ellen Oh – YA, fantasy

Nara was one of my favorite supporting characters from the Prophecy trilogy. She’s a fox demon whose greatest desire is to experience being human. I wanted to know more about her background and her adventures after the events of the series, whether she had any luck finding love or companionship. (I emailed the author about the lack of queer rep in the series except for one minor character who was heavily implied to be gay, and she told me that Nara’s character was supposed to be a lesbian, but that was edited out because she was on a tight deadline didn’t want to risk getting Nara’s representation wrong, so I’m 100% headcanoning her as queer.)

Zhen Ni from Serpentine and Sacrifice by Cindy Pon – YA, fantasy

Zhen Ni, the MC Skybright’s mistress and best friend, is a lesbian and I wanted to see more of her relationship with Lan and other girls. She’s a supporting character in the first book and then a viewpoint character in the second. SPOILER (highlight to see): She ends up with someone at the end of the series but there’s very little about the details of her relationship and how she got into it, just a brief summary of it as she tells it to Skybright. She also raises an adoptive daughter who’s a demon, and I wanted to know more about her mothering adventures. END SPOILER

Raffaele Laurent Bessette from The Young Elites Trilogy by Marie Lu – YA, fantasy

My favorite gorgeous queer guy. I want to know more about his relationship with (and sadly, one-sided love for) Enzo prior to the events of The Young Elites and what he’s up to after the events of The Midnight Star. Raffaele is a sex worker, and while his clients include men and women, the author’s out-of-text comments seem to point to him being gay. I originally read him as bi though, maybe because I really want bi rep. (On a related note: I was disappointed by the way sex work was treated by the narrative in The Young Elites. During a conversation between Adelina and Raffaele, it was said that nobody would ever choose to be a sex worker, which erases the agency of sex workers who aren’t trafficked/coerced into the work. I want more narratives that are nuanced and center sex workers and portray the diversity of experiences they have.)

Whit Wu from The Secret of a Heart Note by Stacey Lee – YA, contemporary, magical realism

Stacey Lee took a departure from her established pattern by not featuring a Chinese American protagonist in The Secret of a Heart Note. However, one of the supporting characters is the handsome and talented Asian (most likely Chinese or Taiwanese based on the last name) American soccer player, Whit Wu. It was mentioned during the narrative that Court, Mim’s crush, got a magazine cover shoot because he looked more “all-American,” i.e. white, even though Whit is the more skilled player between them. I really want more stories about Asian Americans playing sports and kicking ass and the struggles they face because of stereotypes. A fictional Jeremy Lin, you might say.

Daphne Richards from Timekeeper by Tara Sim – YA, steampunk/alternate historical fiction, fantasy

Although the main character of Timekeeper is white, there is a supporting character who, like the author herself, is biracial white and Indian and white-passing. That would be Daphne, who is an extremely competent clock mechanic and a total badass who rides around on a motorbike flouting society’s rules about how women should dress and act. Since the story is mostly told from Danny’s point of view, we don’t get to see much of Daphne’s inner world as a WOC. However, the second book of the trilogy, Chainbreaker (coming later this year!), will be set in India, so I’m hoping Daphne will be there and play a larger role in the events.

Bucket from Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger – NA, urban fantasy

As I mentioned in my review, Last Call has a very diverse cast across the board. Bucket is a trans guy who befriends the protagonist Bailey, and he already transitioned prior to the events of the book, so his storyline isn’t about transitioning. There is one scene where he discloses to Bailey that he’s trans, and it’s written in a way that’s hilarious but not at the expense of trans people. It was probably one of my favorite scenes in the book. Bucket is very much a comedic relief type character, but I’m sure he has his inner demons somewhere, and it would be cool to learn more about how he got into the demon-fighting business. Also, he works at a gay bar, so delving more into that setting as it relates to the story would be a bonus.

Asian Reads: Asian Boy Love Interest in YA Edition

So this post was inspired by a Twitter thread I made about Noteworthy and the general lack of Asian boy love interests in contemporary YA. Thus, I’m doing a roundup of YA books with Asian boy love interests that I know of. I’m not including any books that have racist or fetishizing elements (so Eleanor & Park is out, not even sorry). I’m also excluding books that take place in Asia as it’s more or less a given that the love interest will be Asian. My primary focus is Asian boys in diaspora where the environment is majority white and Asian boys are not seen as attractive.

If you have any books to add, leave the title and author in the comments and I will add them to the list. My list is all U.S. books, so if you have any U.K., Canada, Australia, etc. books, submit them please! I couldn’t find any with Southeast Asian boys either, so if you know of one, drop a comment.

Note: Books are listed in alphabetical order by author’s last name. Links are to my reviews of the books. The ethnicity of the Asian boy love interest is indicated next to the title and author.

tiny-pretty-thingsTiny Pretty Things and Shiny Broken Pieces by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton – Korean American

Gigi, Bette, and June are three girls at a competitive ballet academy in Manhattan. Gigi dances despite a health problem that could ruin her. Bette struggles to live up to and surpass her legacy older sister. June hides an eating disorder and vows to take the lead spot to prove herself to her mother. With the stakes so high, the girls are willing to do anything to get to the top.

north-of-beautifulNorth of Beautiful by Justina Chen – Chinese American adoptee

Tess was born with a port-wine stain on her face that draws stares and looks of pity from people. She’s desperate to get out of her small town, away from her controlling father. A chance encounter brings cute goth boy Jacob into her life, and suddenly she’s on a different path than expected.

adaptationAdaptation and Inheritance by Malinda Lo – Chinese American

Reese and her debate team partner David wake up from a car accident, miraculously healed. All across the country, birds are falling from the sky, and people in hazmat suits are collecting them for some unknown purpose. Then, she meets the mysterious Amber Gray and discovers a shocking truth.

the-girl-from-everywhereThe Girl from Everywhere and The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig – Persian

Nix has spent her entire life aboard The Temptation, a ship that can travel through time and space, to real and fictional locations like, as long as there is a map for it. Her father captains this ship, and he is obsessed with finding a map for 1868 Honolulu, so he can reunite with Nix’s mother before she died. This quest takes them through danger and adventure, and if it is successful, it could potentially erase Nix from existence. (I realize this is sort-of-not-really contemporary but they do travel to 2016 so I’m counting it.)

born-confusedBorn Confused by Tanuja Desai Hidier – Indian American

From Goodreads: Dimple Lala doesn’t know what to think. Her parents are from India, and she’s spent her whole life resisting their traditions. Then suddenly she gets to high school and everything Indian is trendy. To make matters worse, her parents arrange for her to meet a “suitable boy.” Of course it doesn’t go well — until Dimple goes to a club and finds him spinning a magical web . Suddenly the suitable boy is suitable because of his sheer unsuitability. Complications ensue.

enter_title_final_revealEnter Title Here by Rahul Kanakia – Indian American

Reshma Kapoor, top ranked student of Alexander Graham Bell High School, will to get into Stanford. Not “wants to,” but “will.” Because she is willing to do anything to make it happen, even if it means bending or breaking the rules, and then some. For her “hook” to make herself stand out among the competition, she decides to write a young adult novel about a fictional version of herself. But the real Reshma Kapoor is a study nerd, without the appeal to the mainstream YA market. To make herself into the perfect YA protagonist, Reshma sets out to do “normal” teenage things and create a plot and character arc for herself. Unfortunately for her, things don’t always go as planned.

when-the-moon-was-oursWhen the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore – Pakistani American trans boy

From Goodreads: To everyone who knows them, best friends Miel and Sam are as strange as they are inseparable. But as odd as everyone considers Miel and Sam, even they stay away from the Bonner girls, four beautiful sisters rumored to be witches. Now they want the roses that grow from Miel’s skin, convinced that their scent can make anyone fall in love. And they’re willing to use every secret Miel has fought to protect to make sure she gives them up.

when-dimple-met-rishiWhen Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon (coming May 30th) – Indian American

From Goodreads: Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

the-foldThe Fold by An Na – Korean American

When Joyce falls for school hottie John Ford Kang, she becomes obsessed with her appearance. She’s constantly compared to her older sister Helen, who is beautiful without trying. Then, her aunt offers her a gift: plastic surgery to get the coveted “double eye fold” that East Asians consider prettier. Joyce must decide whether this change is what she truly wants, or whether she can define her beauty on her own terms.

noteworthyNoteworthy by Riley Redgate (coming May 2nd) – Japanese American

Jordan Sun is a scholarship student at the elite fine arts school, Kensington, and she’s desperate to get a role that will prove that she’s good enough to her parents. When her audition for the fall musical flops because her vocal range and texture aren’t “feminine” enough, she resorts to desperate measures: cross-dress as a guy and audition for the elite all-male a cappella group, the Sharpshooters, for a shot at the prestigious tour that will elevate her from nobody to the cream of the crop. It’s only for three months, so it can’t go wrong, can it?

written-in-the-starsWritten in the Stars by Aisha Saeed – Pakistani American

Naila tries to please her parents, who give her considerable freedom in many ways. However, she breaks one of their strict rules about dating and boys by falling for Saif. When her parents find out that she has been dating him in secret, they decide to take her to Pakistan to “reconnect” with their roots. Unfortunately, their plans for Naila also involve forcing her to marry a man she doesn’t know. Alone and desperate, Naila must find a way to escape this nightmare.

My So-Called Bollywood Life by Nisha Sharma (coming in 2017) – Indian American

From Goodreads: Metha, Bollywood film groupie, has a dilemma: her boyfriend breaks up with her one week before senior year and instead of running the Princeton, NJ student film festival with him, she has to compete against him for the spot. What’s worse is he realized hooking up with Jenny Dickens was a mistake and he wants Winnie back. Dev Khanna, indie film savant, could be her solution. He helps her focus on what’s important and makes her feel amazing in that terrifying, not-in-control way. At first, the plan to get her festival chair spot back and spend time with Dev seems to be working…until Winnie falls in love with the one guy who just may be the perfect hero she’s been waiting for. In a story where high school has more drama than the Indian film industry, one Bolly-junkie finds herself in a classic love triangle gone wrong. With a little bit of help from fate, her drunk grandmother, and dream sequences featuring Shah Rukh Khan himself, Winnie learn that embracing Bollywood romance IRL may be the key to a happily ever after.

The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon – Korean American

Daniel is a dreamer on his way to a Yale interview that he doesn’t actually care about to please his Korean parents. Natasha is a science geek who is about to be deported to a Jamaica she barely remembers. The lives of these two teens who appear to have nothing in common collide, and both are changed in ways they never would have imagined during the course of a single day.

Common Cover Theme Thursday: The Dark Silhouettes

So I wanted to do my own book meme that showcases smaller subsets of all the different books that I’ve read or want to read. Thus, I came up with the idea to do a weekly round-up for books with similar themes and motifs in their cover illustrations. The alliteration in the title is a bonus. Of course, most of mine will be Asian lit, but I’ll include other diverse titles as well.

If you want to do this meme, go ahead! The only rules are: 1) feature diverse books and 2) credit me/link to this post. 🙂

the-secret-sky

 The Secret Sky by Atia Abawi – Young Adult, Contemporary, #ownvoices

Set against the political turmoil of present-day Afghanistan, this book is a story of forbidden love between two young people from different ethnic groups and different social classes. Fatima is a Hazara girl from a farming family; Samiullah is the son of the landowners who oversee the Hazara farmers. When they fall in love, they must fight against their families, their cultures, and the Taliban in order to be together.

dove-arising-hardcover

Dove Arising by Karen Bao – Young Adult, Science Fiction, #ownvoices

Phaet Theta is used to keeping her head down and doing her work tending plants in Greenhouse 22 of the colony on the Moon where she lives. When her mother is arrested, she enlists in the Militia to keep her younger siblings out of the Shelter. But her straightforward plan to save her siblings and free her mother unravels when she learns information about the government that changes everything. (The protagonist is of Chinese descent.)

one-half-from-the-east

One Half from the East by Nadia Hashimi – Middle Grade, Contemporary, #ownvoices

At her aunt’s insistence, Afghan preteen Obayda becomes a bacha posh, a girl who lives as a boy, with all its privileges and freedoms. It’s a confusing and lonely experience for her until she meets another bacha posh, Rahima, and befriends her. But their freedoms won’t last forever, so they must find a way to hold onto them.

listen-slowly

Listen, Slowly by Thanhha Lai – Middle Grade, Contemporary, #ownvoices

Mai is a California girl and doesn’t care too much about her Vietnamese heritage. When summer vacation comes, she is dragged by her family to Vietnam to help her grandmother find out what happened to her husband during the Vietnam War. At the beginning, Mai is desperate to leave, but slowly, she comes to appreciate Vietnam and the importance of her grandmother’s quest.

under-a-painted-sky

Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee – Young Adult, Historical Fiction, #ownvoices

Chinese American Samantha Young is on the run from the law for killing in self-defense. She hopes to catch up to a westward-bound caravan that her father’s friend is traveling with. Her only ally is an escaped slave, Annamae, and they are forced to dress up as boys as a disguise. During their journey they encounter friends and enemies alike, and the threat of being caught follows them. They walk a dangerous path, but with their wits and the help of friends, they may just survive.

in-the-shadow-of-the-banyan

In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner – Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction, #ownvoices

Raami is seven years old when her father brings news of the civil war that topples her family from their seat of privilege and stability and forces them to flee the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh. The next four years of her life are a fight for survival. The only remnants of her past are the legends and poems from her father. Based on the author’s own experiences, this book is a tale of resilience and hope.

the-third-son

The Third Son by Julie Wu – Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction, #ownvoices

Born under Japanese rule of Taiwan, Saburo is the third son, the least important child, but he is smart and ambitious. He falls for the sweet Yoshiko at a young age through a chance encounter, and is galled to see her by the side of his oldest brother and greatest rival when they meet again years later. Determined to make something of himself and win Yoshiko’s favor, he studies hard and eventually finds himself in America working on projects for the space program.

Asian Reads: New Year Edition, Part 1

The Lunar New Year, sometimes referred to as Chinese New Year, is based on the Chinese lunisolar calendar, so its corresponding date on the Gregorian calendar varies from year-to-year. The exact date varies from culture to culture in some cases, but it typically happens in late January to mid-February. Because of cultural diffusion and imperialism, the Lunar New Year is/was also celebrated in other countries under different names with different associated traditions: Korea (Seollal/설날), Vietnam (Tết), Japan (Oshōgatsu/正月; since a little over a century ago Japan has switched over to celebrating New Year on January 1st), Mongolia (Tsagaan Sar), and Tibet (Losar/ལོ་གསར)་. It is also celebrated in places with many diasporic Chinese populations, such as Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, the United States, Australia, etc.

For the Chinese calendar, each year is associated with a zodiac animal. There are twelve zodiac animals total, and they cycle every twelve years. This is the order: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep/Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig/Boar. The zodiac animals for some countries, such as Vietnam, differ from the Chinese zodiac in one or more ways. Your zodiac animal is based on the year in which you’re born. If your birthday is in January or February, you’ll have to double check to make sure you’re not actually the tail end of the previous year, as some sources only state the solar year without regard for the discrepancy between the two calendars.

This year’s Lunar New Year is January 28th, and the Chinese zodiac animal for the year is the Rooster, which is actually my zodiac animal, as I am turning 24 this year (I can’t believe I’ve lived through two zodiac cycles, dang). In celebration of this holiday, I’ve made a list of Asian books that are related to or mention Lunar New Year or the Chinese Zodiac (and its variants/derivatives) in some form or fashion.

For more details on how the holiday varies from place to place and culture to culture, you can check out NBC Asian America’s article. There’s another lunisolar calendar-based new year celebrated in many Southeast Asian and South Asian cultures, and I will have a separate post for that in early April.

The Year of the Dog and The Year of the Rat by Grace Lin – Contemporary, Middle Grade

Based loosely on the author’s own childhood, the Pacy Lin series chronicles the adventures of young Taiwanese American Pacy Lin. She struggles to fit in, makes new friends, develops her writing/illustration talents, and learns more about her Taiwanese heritage and family history through stories from her relatives.in-the-year-of-the-boar-and-jackie-robinson

In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson by Bette Bao Lord – Historical Fiction, Middle Grade

The year is 1947. Shirley Temple Wong moves to the U.S. from China. She doesn’t speak much English and faces prejudice from people around her. However, when she discovers Jackie Robinson, his success gives her hope that she will be accepted and succeed.

archers-questArcher’s Quest by Linda Sue Park – Contemporary, Middle Grade

Twelve-year-old Kevin couldn’t care less about centuries-old history or his Korean heritage. They’re boring and irrelevant to him. But then the mysterious Archer appears in his bedroom. Kevin soon learns that Archer is a legendary king from Korean history who has mistakenly traveled to 1999 from the First Century B.C. Now, Kevin must rely on his wits, his math skills, the Chinese zodiac, and some Korean history research to deliver Archer back to his time before it’s too late.

inside-out-back-againInside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai – Historical Fiction, Middle Grade, Novel-in-Verse

Hà knows only Vietnam for the first ten years of her life. Then, the war comes, and in 1975 (the Year of the Cat in the Vietnamese zodiac), her family flees Vietnam for the United States. In America, she is a foreigner, and aside from figuring out how to fit in and speak English, she must learn to heal from the trauma of war and displacement.

under-a-painted-skyUnder a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee – Historical Fiction, Young Adult

Samantha is on the run from the law for killing in self-defense. She hopes to catch up to a westward-bound caravan that her father’s friend is traveling with. Her only ally is an escaped slave, Annamae, and they are forced to dress up as boys as a disguise. During their journey they encounter friends and enemies alike, and the threat of being caught follows them. They walk a dangerous path, but with their wits and the help of friends, they may just survive. (Note: The rabbit, snake, and dragon on the cover represent different characters’ zodiac signs, which are mentioned in the book. ^^)

My 17 Most Anticipated MG Releases of 2017

Follow-up to My 25 Most Anticipated YA Releases of 2017 post. I love middle grade fiction and want to give it some love. ^_^

So the first book on this list is already out but I don’t have it yet, so I’m still anticipating it. ;D

Midnight Without a Moon by Linda W. Jackson (Jan. 3rd)

  • #ownvoices
  • Black MC
  • Historical fiction
  • Related to Emmett Till murder case

Stef Soto, Taco Queen by Jennifer Torres (Jan. 17th)

  • #ownvoices
  • Mexican American MC
  • Contemporary
  • Food, family, and friendship

The Crystal Ribbon by Celeste Lim (Jan. 31st)

  • #ownvoices
  • Chinese MC
  • Historical fantasy
  • Intelligent animal friends

Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly (Mar. 14th)

  • #ownvoices (for one MC)
  • Filipinx American MC (#ownvoices), Japanese American MC, d/Deaf MC
  • Contemporary
  • Friendship story

Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan (Mar. 14th)

  • #ownvoices
  • Muslim Pakistani American MC
  • Contemporary
  • Tackles issues of identity and Islamophobia

Cilla Lee-Jenkins: Future Author Extraordinaire by Susan Tan (Mar. 28th)

  • #ownvoices
  • Biracial white/Chinese American MC
  • Contemporary
  • Multicultural family story

The Gauntlet by Karuna Riazi (Mar. 28th)

  • #ownvoices
  • Bangladeshi American Hijabi MC
  • Fantasy, Steampunk
  • Puzzles and games

Lucky Broken Girl by Ruth Behar (April 11th)

  • #ownvoices
  • Jewish Cuban American MC
  • Immigrant story

The Emperor’s Riddle by Kat Zhang (May 2nd)

  • #ownvoices
  • Chinese American MC
  • Contemporary
  • Mystery and adventure story

One Shadow on the Wall by Leah Henderson (June 6th)

  • Black MC by a Black author
  • Senegalese MC
  • Contemporary
  • Magical realism

Jasmine Toguchi, Mochi Queen by Debbi Michiko Florence (July 11th)

  • #ownvoices
  • Japanese American MC
  • Contemporary
  • Family and food traditions

Spirit Hunters by Ellen Oh (July 25th)

  • #ownvoices
  • Biracial white/Korean American MC
  • Fantasy
  • Ghost story

Akata Warrior (Sequel to Akata Witch) by Nnedi Okorafor (TBD)

  • #ownvoices
  • Nigerian American MC
  • Fantasy
  • Nigerian/West African magic

The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora by Pablo Cartaya (TBD)

  • #ownvoices
  • Cuban American MC
  • Contemporary
  • Tackles issue of gentrification in Miami

Love Sugar Magic by Anna Meriano (TBD)

  • #ownvoices
  • Mexican American MC
  • Magical realism
  • Family of brujas (witches)

Weaving a Net is Better than Praying for Fish by Ki-Wing Merlin (TBD)

  • #ownvoices
  • Chinese American MC
  • 1st generation immigrant
  • Mystery/suspense

Peasprout Chen, Future Legend of Skate and Sword by Henry Lien (TBD)

  • #ownvoices
  • Chinese/Taiwanese(?) American MC
  • Fantasy
  • Sport that combines martial arts with ice skating

Asian Reads: Winter Edition

It’s winter here in the Northern Hemisphere (actually, Texas is not very wintery right now, it’s been as high as 85 degrees F, ~29 degrees C, in the past week), so I’m doing a short list of Asian lit with wintery themes. I’ve included 2 middle grade novels, 2 young adult novels, and 2 YA short stories (in that order).

when-the-sea-turned-to-silver-full-jacket-spread
This cover is so gorgeous. I love it so much.
  1. When the Sea Turned to Silver by Grace Lin- This companion and sequel to Where the Mountain Meets the Moon and Starry River of the Sky begins with the line “When the sea turned to silver and the cold chilled the light of the sun, Pinmei knew the Black Tortoise of Winter had arrived with his usual calmness.” Like its predecessors, it’s a fantasy story embedded with mini-tales that are all intertwined with the primary narrative in some way. It was one of my favorite books of 2016 (you can read what I said gushing about it at the link). You can watch the book trailer here.peiling-and-the-chicken-fried-christmas
  2. Peiling and the Chicken-Fried Christmas by Pauline A. Chen – Although fifth grader Peiling Wang has lived in the U.S. since she was small, her Taiwanese family has never celebrated Christmas the all-American way, with the tree, stockings, carols, and presents. This year, Peiling is determined to make her family celebrate the holiday. Unfortunately, her parents have something a little less American and a little more Taiwanese in mind.girl-overboard
  3. Girl Overboard by Justina Chen – Syrah Cheng seems to have a lot going for her; her father is a billionaire, and she has a mansion, personal jet, and more. Under this gilded surface is a troubled teenage girl. Her parents barely notice her, her half-siblings hate her, her best friend’s girlfriend is ruining her friendship with him, and her boyfriend is a gold-digger. The only time she feels free is when she snowboards in the mountains. Unfortunately, an accident results in an injury that keeps her away from that beloved place. Now, aside from healing her knee, she must also heal her heart.huntress
  4. Huntress by Malinda Lo – Something is wrong with the world. Spring should have arrived, but it has not; the sun hasn’t shone for months, and crops are dying. The oracles cast their stones and select two seventeen-year-old girls, Taisin and Kaede, to embark on a dangerous mission to the city of the Fairy Queen. Despite their differences, the two girls come to depend on each other and even fall in love. However, fate may not have a happy ending in store for them…(This book is a prequel to Ash, but it can stand alone and reading the two in any order doesn’t spoil anything one way or another.)my-true-love-gave-to-me
  5. “Polaris is Where You’ll Find Me” by Jenny Han, included in the anthology My True Love Gave to Me edited by Stephanie Perkins – Fifteen Christmases ago, Santa was delivering presents in Seoul, South Korea, when he found an abandoned baby with a note that said, “내 딸을 부탁해,” meaning “Please take care of my daughter.” Santa adopted her, and ever since then, Natalie has lived at the North Pole, the sole human among a bunch of elves. Her life is a lonely one, but her handsome elf friend and secret crush Flynn brightens her days. This year, she may just tell him her feelings and get the kiss she’s hoping for…kaleidoscope
  6. “Double Time” by John Chu, included in the anthology Kaleidoscope: Diverse YA Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories edited by Julia Rios and Alisa Krasnostein, also republished online for free here at Lightspeed Magazine – This short story features Shelly (Chinese name: 何穎珊, pinyin: He Yingshan), a Chinese American figure skater who is trying to live up to her mother’s expectations and the legacy of her idol and namesake, Michelle Kwan(!). Skating has changed a bit since the time of Michelle Kwan: there is now the technology and option to skate “double time,” running through a skating routine a second time by jumping backward in time to skate with one’s past-self. Shelly hopes to place in the Nationals, but the thing she truly covets is her mother’s approval.

I didn’t intend to make this list all East Asian authors, but that’s how it turned out based on the books/stories I knew of, oops. I’m not sure if this result reflects a bias in my reading or a bias in publishing in general, or both. I combed through all of the books I’ve read and on my TBR, which includes Asian authors of non-East-Asian backgrounds, and this is what I found. If you know of any other Asian or otherwise diverse winter-related books, feel free to rec them. 🙂

Favorite Books of 2016

Well, it’s the beginning of a new year, so I’m listing my favorites out of the books I read (for the first time) in 2016. Most of them were published in 2016, but not all of them were. These are sorted into YA, MG, and NA/Adult and listed in order alphabetically by author’s last name. For the books I’ve reviewed, I’ve linked the review. For the others, there’s a brief summary/recommendation, and I’ll eventually post a full-length review for them. Books marked with an asterisk (*) are #ownvoices books.

Of course, since I’ve been focusing my energies on reading books by Asian authors and to a lesser extent, other marginalized authors, my sample is skewed. Also, there are so many 2016 releases that are sitting on my TBR still, so this is not meant to be any sort of objective survey of all 2016 releases, just my favorites out of what I managed to read during the course of the year. Without further ado, here you go!

Young Adult

The Reader by Traci Chee* – I’m so excited for the sequel, The Speaker, which has an expected release date of September 12th, 2017. The Diverse Science Fiction/Fantasy Book Club has chosen The Reader as its book of the month for January 2017, so keep an eye on the #DSFFBookClub tag on Twitter on January 31st for a book discussion. 🙂

Enter Title Here by Rahul Kanakia*

Memories of Ash (The Sunbolt Chronicles #2) by Intisar Khanani – This is the second book in the Sunbolt Chronicles, which was intended to be a novella serial until Book 2 became bigger than expected. The Sunbolt Chronicles feature Hitomi, a resourceful heroine with penchant for getting herself into trouble while trying to do good and play hero. If you’re looking for diverse fantasy, check out Sunbolt (Book 1) and Memories of Ash! (I’ll be reviewing both eventually.)

The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury*

The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf by Ambelin Kwaymullina*

Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee*

Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee*

Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older* – If that cover hasn’t won you over, I don’t know what will. Daniel Jose Older has reclaimed urban fantasy for the people it truly belongs to: black and brown POC. This book isn’t just fluffy fantasy, it gets real about racism, covering gentrification, police brutality, colorism, and cultural appropriation (and probably more, but that’s what I can remember). Sierra Santiago is Afro-Latina, and her powers as a shadowshaper are grounded in her Caribbean, Puerto Rican heritage. Her magic calls on her ancestors and transforms paintings, music, and stories into extraordinary works brimming with life. I have the companion novella, Ghost Girl in the Corner, on my Kindle waiting to be read, and I’m looking forward to the sequel, Shadowhouse Fall, which has an expected release date of September 12th, 2017.

Sacrifice (Sequel to Serpentine) by Cindy Pon*

Timekeeper by Tara Sim

The King of Attolia (The Queen’s Thief #3) by Megan Whalen Turner – I’d heard amazing things about Megan Whalen Turner’s Queen’s Thief series for a while but didn’t get around to reading it until earlier in 2016. Full of high-stakes quests, political intrigue, and memorable characters, these books have left a deep impression on me. Also, I think I just like thief characters a lot, haha. The fifth book, Thick as Thieves, has an expected release date of May 16th, 2017.

The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon*

Middle Grade

Unidentified Suburban Object by Mike Jung*

When the Sea Turned to Silver (Companion/Sequel to Where the Mountain Meets the Moon and Starry River of the Sky) written and illustrated by Grace Lin* – I was first introduced to Grace Lin’s books through The Year of the Dog, which I love dearly. I had a long reading slump from 2011-2015, so when I found out she had written 2 books for a fantasy series set in an alternate ancient China, I knew I had to read them. Then this third book was announced and I was super ecstatic because I left behind the first two hoping for more. Weaving together Chinese folktales and myths with her own original storytelling, Grace Lin creates memorable, enchanting tales about young protagonists learning and growing. Like her contemporary novels, WtMMtM and sequels use stories-within-stories to enrich the narrative. Familiar characters show up across all three books, sometimes where you’re not expecting them. Each chapter has its own custom header illustration by Grace Lin herself, and the text is interspersed with gorgeous full-color illustrations. In short, these books are truly works of Art. I’ll post a more detailed review later. 🙂

Saving Kabul Corner (Companion to Shooting Kabul) by N.H. Senzai – Set several years after the events of Shooting Kabul, Saving Kabul Corner focuses on Afghan American pre-teen Ariana. Ariana is a tomboy and feels like she has nothing in common with her feminine and traditional cousin Laila, who has just arrived in California from Afghanistan and is sharing a room with her for the time being. However, the two girls are forced to set aside their differences in order to unravel a mystery that has revived a generations-old feud with the family who has opened up a rival Afghan grocery market. This book celebrates female friendship and the resourcefulness of young people and makes for a suspenseful and fun read.

Ticket to India by N.H. Senzai*

Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor*

George by Alex Gino – We need more trans characters written by trans authors, and George is a welcome addition to trans kidlit. The story is about a trans girl (birth name George, chosen name Melissa) who wants to play the part of Charlotte in her school’s theater production of Charlotte’s Web. Unfortunately, her school’s policing of gender means that she’ll have to be sly about making this wish come true. With the help of her best friend Kelly, she may just get the role and show her true self to the world. A quick but engaging read.

New Adult/Adult

lf at the Door by J. Damask*

Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger

Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn* – Since Hollywood continues to disappoint us as far as Asian/Asian American superheroes go, Heroine Complex makes up for that by giving us not one, but TWO kickass Asian American superheroines. Evie Tanaka is used to playing the trusty sidekick to her best friend Aveda Jupiter (a.k.a Annie Chang), San Francisco’s local superhero and media darling. Aveda does the ass-kicking, and Evie handles the details, social media, public relations, branding, and so on. Unfortunately, the universe has other plans in mind for Evie, and a mysterious increase in demon attacks with a different manifestation than the usual pattern forces Evie to step up and take on a front-and-center role, testing her patience and control. Her latent firepower has been repressed for years, so she has to master them before she blows her top and lets loose a destructive inferno that could hurt more than just the demons she’s hunting. Juggling female friendship, sisterly bonds and troubles, unexpected sexy romance (warning: there are some intense makeout/sex scenes), and personal growth on top of action and mystery, Heroine Complex has it all. I’m pumped for the sequel, Heroine Worship, which set to release on July 4th, 2017.

Green Island by Shawna Yang Ryan*

My 25 Most Anticipated YA Releases of 2017

ETA: it has been brought to my attention that It’s Not Like It’s a Secret by Misa Sugiura is racist against Latinx people (see this Twitter thread), so I have crossed it out. Please let other people know about this issue and mention it to people who are giving the book buzz.

It took me forever to narrow this list down, but here it is! I’ve put the cover illustration (if it has one out), the release date (if it’s been set), and a quick bulleted rundown of what each book features. Links take you to the Goodreads page. (I’m making a separate post for middle grade books, so keep an eye out for that if you like MG.)


history-is-all-you-left-me

History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera (January 17th)

  • #ownvoices
  • Contemporary
  • M/M romance
  • Main character with OCD

american-street

American Street by Ibi Zoboi (February 14th)

  • #ownvoices
  • Contemporary
  • Magical realism
  • Haitian American main character

the-education-of-margot-sanchez

The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera (February 21st)

  • #ownvoices
  • Contemporary
  • Family drama
  • Latina main character

the-hate-u-give

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (February 28th)

  • #ownvoices
  • Contemporary
  • Inspired by real life issues, #BlackLivesMatter
  • Black main character

the-ship-beyond-time

The Ship Beyond Time (The Girl From Everywhere #2) by Heidi Heilig (February 28th)

  • #ownvoices
  • Time travel
  • Biracial Chinese main character
  • Persian love interest

queens-of-geek

Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde (March 14th)

  • #ownvoices
  • Contemporary
  • Geek Convention
  • Autistic main character
  • Bisexual main character (she’s Chinese-Australian, but the author is not Chinese)

a-crown-of-wishes

A Crown of Wishes (The Star-Touched Queen #2) by Roshani Chokshi (March 28th)

  • #ownvoices
  • Fantasy
  • Inspired by Indian folklore
  • Political intrigue

the-takedown

The Takedown by Corrie Wang (April 11th)

  • Near Future
  • Elite clique
  • Social Media Scandal
  • Asian American main character (probably Chinese based on last name; author is white though)

always-and-forever-lara-jean

Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before #3) by Jenny Han (May 2nd)

  • #ownvoices
  • Contemporary
  • Romance
  • Korean American main character

noteworthy

Noteworthy by Riley Redgate (May 2nd)

  • #ownvoices
  • Contemporary
  • Cross-dressing and a cappella
  • Bisexual Chinese American main character

its-not-like-its-a-secret

It’s Not Like It’s a Secret by Misa Sugiura (May 9th)

  • #ownvoices (ethnicity-wise, not sure if author is queer)
  • F/F romance
  • Japanese American main character
  • Latina love interest

i-believe-in-a-thing-called-love

I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo (May 30th)

  • #ownvoices
  • Contemporary
  • Romantic Comedy
  • Korean American main character

when-dimple-met-rishi

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon (May 30th)

  • #ownvoices
  • Contemporary
  • Arranged marriage
  • Indian American main characters

want

Want by Cindy Pon (June 13th)

  • #ownvoices
  • Near Future Thriller
  • Taiwanese main character
  • Class conflict, corporate corruption

Girl on the Verge by Pintip Dunn (June 27th)girl-on-the-verge

  • #ownvoices
  • Contemporary
  • Thai American main character
  • Female friendship

the-library-of-fates

The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana (July 18th)

  • #ownvoices
  • Fantasy
  • Inspired by Indian folklore
  • Female friendship, feminist themes

little-lion

Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert (August 8th)

  • #ownvoices
  • Contemporary
  • F/F romance
  • Black Jewish main character
  • Mental health and sibling relationship

Shadowhouse Fall (Shadowshaper #2) by Daniel Jose Older (September 12th)

  • #ownvoices
  • Contemporary
  • Afro-Latina main character
  • Protest novel fighting state violence, school to prison pipelines

Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore (September 26th)

  • #ownvoices
  • Magical realism
  • Latinx main characters
  • Garden estate hiding secrets

27 Hours by Tristina Wright (October 3rd)

  • #ownvoices
  • Science fiction
  • Queer main characters
  • War between human colonists and native beings on a distant moon

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao (October 3rd)

  • #ownvoices
  • Fantasy
  • Snow Queen retelling
  • Inspired by Asian mythology and folklore

Warcross by Marie Lu (October 3rd)

  • Science fiction
  • Virtual reality video games, teenage bounty hunters, hackers
  • Japanese American main character
  • Racially diverse cast of characters

My So-Called Bollywood Life by Nisha Sharma (TBA)

  • #ownvoices
  • Contemporary
  • Complicated love triangle
  • Film geeks
  • Indian American main character

Walking on Knives by Maya Chhabra (TBA)

  • Fantasy
  • The Little Mermaid retelling
  • F/F romance
  • Sea Witch’s sister falls in love with the Little Mermaid

Rebel Seoul by Axie Oh (TBA)

  • #ownvoices
  • Science Fiction
  • Secret weapons project
  • Genetically modified humans
  • Futuristic Korea

And that’s the end! If I made an errors in my descriptions, feel free to correct me. Comment with your own anticipated reads (link to a blog post/video is cool, too)!