photo of woman reading book in room full of books

#AsianReadathon Book Review (Only a Month Late)

As posts before indicated, I bit off a lot more than I could chew in May. I told myself that I could totally read four books for the #AsianReadathon in May but honestly it took me far longer…mostly because the first two weeks was just me sleeping off a surgery. I didn’t finish my last two books until June but I thought it was still important to read them. I had been looking forward to them in April so why wouldn’t I finish them?

Plus, I wanted to tell you about them. So apologies to WithCindy for making this post in the middle of June. But I loved the challenge and found authors I’ll keep an eye out for in the future as well. So it won’t just be a month of specific reading for me anymore (in fact another book on the list I wanted to read showed up in my holds at the library just yesterday).

This won’t be like my normal, absurdly long reviews I normally post. I wanted to give just my first impressions and what I loved (or didn’t) about the books. There might be some spoilers, so be careful reading ahead.

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

This wasn’t the first book I was going to read but it was recommended to me a thousand times I decided to add it to the list after I couldn’t find the one I wanted to start with.

The beginning made me wince. The full on sexual harassments from her coworker was a lot. And then she googled escorts on her work computer? That was a lot for me right at the beginning. I know the story was about escorts and love but it hit me pretty hard that all this went on at work and not home…

Pushing past that, the writing is lovely and engrossing…so it was a bit easier to continue past the things that made me uncomfortable.

And the writing was also very spicy, very quick. The whole story started fast and hard and then unraveled into a slow burn. It was a beautiful story about an autistic women trying to be accepted and a criminal’s son trying so hard not to hurt her. It was a beautiful love story and honestly I’d read more from this author…just for how beautiful she tells a story.

But the coworker…I wanna fight him myself.

Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen

First, I recommend audiobooks for so many of these books. Especially when they add bits of music, have a better understanding on how words are pronounced than myself, and the voice of the narrator is great. I loved the sound of mandarin as the story went along.

Second, this book was so good. It had the ultimate coming of age, fake relationship, dance, history and culture. I loved every second of this book. I worried there was going to be a love triangle, but the main character was smart and harsh and wonderful as she grew into the power of her voice. Her actions in the “love triangle” isn’t love but revenge and heartache. I was frustrated for her and what she did but it was fantastic.

This was a story that involved kids who had to be too grown up already. I understand parts of this in ways I can’t explain. I have no Asian decent in me but my parents had a high standard. I had to grow up very young because of things that happened to my family. I can see how big and heavy the world is when you already have to grow up too much. When you’re still a teen and the pressures of your families and life all on you.

I highly recommend this book 10/10. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions and lives. I wish I could read it fresh again.

Sorry I’m Late, I Didn’t Want to Come by Jessica Pan

I’m an introvert who somehow still wants to be an extrovert. I get sad when I’m not included but somehow hates being included. So this book hit close to home.

I think the most interesting part was that you can make yourself more extroverted, but in the end you still have to recharge because deep down, it still takes a lot for an introvert to be an extrovert.

I’ve found that to be true. I have gotten better at speaking to people.

“I can be scared, and still do it anyway.”

The chapter about loneliness was the hardest. When I moved to be with my boyfriend, the only person I had was my boyfriend. Most of my coworkers were much older than me.

Monstress, Vol. 1: Awakening by Marjorie Liu

I knew that at some point I was going to pick up a comic in the mix of this. I love art and comics so there was no point in avoiding them when challenging myself to read more authors of different backgrounds. Besides the art of Monstress was beautiful and the cover just pulled me in.

I unfortunately had to read it on my tablet and not in my hands (which is my favorite way to consume a comic or graphic novel), but the images were still beautiful.

The story is something I might read but never would have thought to pick up in a graphic novel. It’s dark and full of mystery and horror (just like the genre says) and though it wouldn’t normally be my pick (I tend to read lighter more brightly colored graphic novels) I definitely will keep on this.

Since starting this review, I’ve already started two other books from the list put up by WithCindy (another arrived yesterday and I am excited). I also have a dozen more in my Goodreads list. There were also books I wanted to read for this challenge but weren’t available yet (dang you library for only having one copy), so I’ll definitely be snatching those up when I can. This challenge opened my eyes to more authors, more genres that I normally didn’t like, but loved by these authors.

Let me know in the comments below if you took part in the challenge, if there are any books you love written by Asian authors, or if you’re an Asian author yourself! I’d love to hear from you!

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