I am once again thrilled to have participated in the Asian Readathon. Just like last year I was able to discover new books and authors that weren’t on my radar beforehand. It has also encouraged me to try and participate in other Readathons throughout the year to see what novels I can find I might not have discovered or picked up on my own.
My eyes have once again been opened to the vast amount of literature I have yet to get to and has thankfully broken me out of the reading slump I’ve found myself in the last couple of months. I read some fantastic books during this Readathon – even though I didn’t get to as many books as I did last year – and look forward to picking up more books by Asian authors in the future.
Without further ado, here’s my reading stats for this month:
For reference: Physical books, eBooks, and AudioBooks. Library books.
Total books completed: 9
Total pages read: 2008 pages (avg. 223 pages per book)
- Sea Prayer by Khaled Hosseini [5 stars]
- Subaru by Masahito Soda, Vol. 1 & 2 (Subaru, Vol. 1 & 2)[4.5 stars]
- Subaru by Masahito Soda, Vol. 3 – 6 (Subary, Vol. 3 – 6)[4 stars]
- Ash by Malinda Lo (Ash, Book 1)[3.75 stars]
- Shadow Frost by Coco Ma (Shadow Frost, Book 1)[4.5 stars]
Started and soon to be completed Books:
Dedicated Blog Posts:
- Sea Prayer by Khaled Hosseini
- Subaru, Vol. 1 & 2 by Masahito Soda
- Subaru, Vol. 3 – 6 by Masahito Soda
- Ash by Malinda Lo
An illustrated book written in response to the refugee crisis. It’s written in the form of a letter from a father to his son, reflecting on the dangerous sea crossing before them.
Impelled to write this story by the haunting image of young Alan Kurdi, the three-year-old Syrian boy whose body washed upon the beach in Turkey in September 2015, Hosseini hopes to pay tribute to the millions of families, like Kurdi’s, who have been splintered and forced from home by war and persecution, and he will donate author proceeds from this book to the UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency) and The Khaled Hosseini Foundation to help fund lifesaving relief efforts to help refugees around the globe. Hosseini is also a Goodwill Envoy to the UNHCR, and the founder of The Khaled Hosseini Foundation, a nonprofit that provides humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan.
This is a compelling read about the refugee crisis that continues to plague the world. While many of us live in a life of relative luxury and will never have to worry about becoming refugees, the truth is that there’s many people in the world that will never get to go back to or even see their homelands. This short read is a powerful glimpse into one such life.
Five year old Subaru no longer has time for friends or play. Kazuma is dying and slowly forgetting everything, even his twin. Subaru visits him every day, talking and dancing all to try to make him remember her. And he always does by the end of the day. Encouraged by a friend to try a ballet class, Subaru does and falls in love with the dance.
It’s clear that Subaru has a love and passion for dance locked inside of her that’s straining to be released. With the guidance of an amazing teacher almost anything is possible. Having learned to love the freedom of dance myself, I greatly enjoyed seeing one dancer’s journey.
After her father’s death, Ash finds herself at the mercy of her cruel stepmother. Filled with grief, the only bright part in Ash’s life is rereading the fairy tales her mother once told her.
The day she meets Kaisa, the King’s Huntress, her heart begins to changed. Instead of chasing fairies, Kaisa teaches Ash how to hunt. Instead of staring at the past, Ash learned to look at the future. But Sidhean has claimed Ash as his own, forcing Ash to choose between her fairy tale dreams and true love.
This is a fantastical LGBTQ+ retelling of the classic Cinderella tale. If you’re a fan of retellings like me, and are looking for a good lesbian lovers read, I’d consider giving this read a try. While not my favourite Cinderella retelling of all time, it was still quite the enjoyable read.
Asterin Faelenhart, Princess of Axaria and heir to the throne, discovers that she might very well hold the key to defeating the mysterious demon terrorizing her kingdom. And she’s vowed not to rest until the beast has been slain.
Together with her friends – and powers she doesn’t yet fully understand – Asterin sets out on her mission. Her only task? To kill the demon. Yet as they hunt, they unearth a plot to assassinate the Princess herself. Uncovering lie after lie, Asterin and her friends struggle to figure out how much of their lives have been lies. With no one else to turn to, they must decide who they’re willing to sacrifice in order to protect the only world they’ve ever known.
That is, of course, as long as the demon doesn’t get them first.
This might very well be one of my favourite debut novels in a long time. Ma did a fantastic job at creating a world and a magic system that’s both unique and strong. I enjoyed getting to know the main cast of characters and watching them grow not only as people and magic wielders but also as a team. I look forward to readying what Ma releases next and would recommend giving this read a try if you like YA fantasies.
P.S. I would definitely recommend picking up the AudioBook version of this read as it was fantastically read/performed.
The Downstairs Girl:
By day, Jo Kuan works as a lady’s maid for the cruel daughter of one of the wealthiest men in Atlanta. By night, Jo moonlights as the pseudonymous author of a newspaper advice column for the genteel Southern lady. When her column becomes wildly popular, she uses the power of pen to address some of society’s ill. Yet she isn’t prepared for the backlash that follows her challenging of fixed ideas about race and gender.
Her opponents clamor to uncover her secret identity while a mysterious letter sets Jo on a search for her past and the parents that abandoned her as a baby. When her efforts put her in the cross-hairs of Atlanta’s most notorious criminals, Jo must decide if she – a girl used to living in the shadows – is ready to step into the light.
This historical fiction read was the novel I chose to complete the 4th Reading Challenge of the Readathon. One of the major reasons that I didn’t get this book finished in May was that I was in line for the eBook version of this book at my local library until the end of the month. Thankfully, while Libraries themselves might not be open, most libraries have eBook and AudioBook affiliates (such as Libby) which would allow you to check new books out during events such as this quarantine where you can’t physically visit a library. While I didn’t manage to complete it within the time frame, I certainly look forward to finishing this read in June.
Little Fires Everywhere:
Elena Richardson embodies the rule following nature of Shaker Heights, a progressive suburb of Cleveland. When Mia Warren – enigmatic artist and single mother to a teenage girl – rents a house from the Richardsons, all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo. When an old family friend attempts to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that drastically devised the town and leaves Elena and Mia on opposite sides of the divide.
This was the Read/Watch-along book of this year’s Asian Readathon. While I didn’t manage to finish it within the month of May, due to a general lack of motivation in the middle of the month to do anything while stuck inside, this is one of the first books I look forward to finishing in June. If you have managed to finish this book and haven’t yet done so, check out the Readalong Live Show here. As well, the second half of the month was dedicated to watching the TV adaptation of the show. If you’ve watched the show, check out the Watchalong Live Show here.
While I didn’t manage to read everything that I set out to this month, as stated in my TBR for this Readathon, I’m still content with the amount that I read, all things considered. I managed to complete most of the Readathon Challenges and plan to complete the books that I started that will finish the Challenges for this year. I also plan on going back and reading/listening to the books that I planned on reading in my TBR but haven’t yet gotten to.
My favourite thing about this Readathon is the fact that it allows people to explore their reading tastes and check out authors they might not have otherwise read. The fact that this Readathon comes along with a list of suggested reads, helpfully broken down by Author’s ethnicity and the book’s genres, makes it that much easier to find a book that interests you.
I know I’m going to keep checking back on this list throughout the rest of the year when I’m looking for a new read to try out.