• katchowrites

Book Recs for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month!

Hi all! I know that this blog is supposed to veer more toward my journey as an author, but I figure reading good books lands solidly in the realm of being a good author. After all, if we’re not reading widely then we’re missing out on the chance to be inspired by all the amazing stories out there!

So, since May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, I thought I’d give some recommendations for Asian American and Pacific American authors that I’ve been really into lately!

First, I’ll shamelessly push my Youtube video on the same subject that I made last year! I talk about books like REBEL SEOUL by Axie Oh, THE GAUNTLET by Karuna Riazi, THE GIRL FROM EVERYWHERE by Heidi Heilig and many more!

📚 Favorite Asian Authors❤️📚 I’m so excited about the cover reveal for REBEL SEOUL by Axie Oh! I was inspired to make a video of some of my favorite Asian Authors in Middle Grade(MG) and Young Adult(YA)!

Now, I will list some more/new authors that I wasn’t able to get to in this video! (also, this will probably find it’s way into another vlog because I can’t help stealing my own ideas from myself across all mediums)

THE GHOST BRIDE by Yangsze Choo

Kat’s Thoughts: A beautifully haunting portrait of a time and place in history that we never really hear about. Through the practice of ghost brides we learn about a culture that is on the brink of change and a girl who doesn’t quite fit in. I’d also recommend checking out the audiobook, Yangsze Choo narrates it and it’s SO well done!


PROPHECY by Ellen Oh

Kat’s Thoughts: This was the first Young Adult Fantasy where I saw an amazingly proud, well-developed Korean main character. She was strong and flawed and dynamic and so authentic in how she perceived her place in her culture. I loved this adventure with all my heart.


Kat’s Thoughts: I was honestly done with vampires and then Julie Kagawa pulled me back in! By combining dystopian with vampire lore she made a new landscape for her story. Plus she included a Japanese main character that I absolutely loved.


EPIC CRUSH OF GENIE LO by F.C. Yee

Kat’s Thoughts: This is such an imaginative retelling of the Chinese epic tale, Monkey: Journey to the West. It’s got great humor and a really kick-butt herione that reminds me of Buffy. So I was in already with that!


THE READER by Traci Chee

Kat’s Thoughts:  I am SO jealous of how clever Traci Chee is! She was able to create this unconventional formatted story and make me second guess everything I thought I knew the whole time! Plus she includes diversity so seamlessly with no need to explain or give reasons. It just is and I adore that in a fantasy.

Sefia lives her life on the run. After her father is viciously murdered, she flees to the forest with her aunt Nin, the only person left she can trust. They survive in the wilderness together, hunting and stealing what they need, forever looking over their shoulders for new threats. But when Nin is kidnapped, Sefia is suddenly on her own, with no way to know who’s taken Nin or where she is. Her only clue is a strange rectangular object that once belonged to her father left behind, something she comes to realize is a book. Though reading is unheard of in Sefia’s world, she slowly learns, unearthing the book’s closely guarded secrets, which may be the key to Nin’s disappearance and discovering what really happened the day her father was killed. With no time to lose, and the unexpected help of swashbuckling pirates and an enigmatic stranger, Sefia sets out on a dangerous journey to rescue her aunt, using the book as her guide. In the end, she discovers what the book had been trying to tell her all along: Nothing is as it seems, and the end of her story is only the beginning.

THE ASTONISHING COLOR OF AFTER by Emily X.R. Pan

Kat’s Thoughts: A beautiful and heartbreaking story about a girl’s journey to find her late mother and her path to reconnect with family, a past love, and herself. Be prepared to cry!

Leigh Chen Sanders is absolutely certain about one thing: When her mother died by suicide, she turned into a bird. Leigh, who is half Asian and half white, travels to Taiwan to meet her maternal grandparents for the first time. There, she is determined to find her mother, the bird. In her search, she winds up chasing after ghosts, uncovering family secrets, and forging a new relationship with her grandparents. And as she grieves, she must try to reconcile the fact that on the same day she kissed her best friend and longtime secret crush, Axel, her mother was taking her own life. Alternating between real and magic, past and present, friendship and romance, hope and despair, The Astonishing Color of After is a novel about finding oneself through family history, art, grief, and love.

THE SERPENT’S SECRET by Sayantani DasGupta

Kat’s Thoughts: Great world-building, spunky main character, and wonderful incorporation of Indian Mythology!


MY ANTICIPATED UPCOMING RELEASES!

A THOUSAND BEGINNINGS AND ENDINGS by Ellen Oh, Elsie Chapman

Renee Ahdieh, Sona Charaipotra, Preeti Chhibber, Roshani Chokshi, Aliette de Bodard, Melissa de la Cruz, Julie Kagawa, Rahul Kanakia, Lori M. Lee, E. C. Myers, Cindy Pon, Aisha Saeed, Shveta Thakrar, and Alyssa Wong.

expected pub: June 26 2018

Star-crossed lovers, meddling immortals, feigned identities, battles of wits, and dire warnings: these are the stuff of fairy tale, myth, and folklore that have drawn us in for centuries. Fifteen bestselling and acclaimed authors reimagine the folklore and mythology of East and South Asia in short stories that are by turns enchanting, heartbreaking, romantic, and passionate. Compiled by We Need Diverse Books’s Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman, the authors included in this exquisite collection are: Renée Ahdieh, Sona Charaipotra, Preeti Chhibber, Roshani Chokshi, Aliette de Bodard, Melissa de la Cruz, Julie Kagawa, Rahul Kanakia, Lori M. Lee, E. C. Myers, Cindy Pon, Aisha Saeed, Shveta Thakrar, and Alyssa Wong. A mountain loses her heart. Two sisters transform into birds to escape captivity. A young man learns the true meaning of sacrifice. A young woman takes up her mother’s mantle and leads the dead to their final resting place. From fantasy to science fiction to contemporary, from romance to tales of revenge, these stories will beguile readers from start to finish. For fans of Neil Gaiman’s Unnatural Creatures and Ameriie’s New York Times–bestselling Because You Love to Hate Me.

FOR A MUSE OF FIRE by Heidi Heilig

expected pub: sept 25 2018

A young woman with a dangerous power she barely understands. A smuggler with secrets of his own. A country torn between a merciless colonial army, a terrifying tyrant, and a feared rebel leader. The first book in a new trilogy from the acclaimed Heidi Heilig blends traditional storytelling with ephemera for a lush, page-turning tale of escape and rebellion. For a Muse of Fire will captivate fans of Sabaa Tahir, Leigh Bardugo, and Renée Ahdieh. Jetta’s family is famed as the most talented troupe of shadow players in the land. With Jetta behind the scrim, their puppets seem to move without string or stick—a trade secret, they say. In truth, Jetta can see the souls of the recently departed and bind them to the puppets with her blood. But the old ways are forbidden ever since the colonial army conquered their country, so Jetta must never show, never tell. Her skill and fame are her family’s way to earn a spot aboard the royal ship to Aquitan, where shadow plays are the latest rage, and where rumor has it the Mad King has a spring that cures his ills. Because seeing spirits is not the only thing that plagues Jetta. But as rebellion seethes and as Jetta meets a young smuggler, she will face truths and decisions that she never imagined—and safety will never seem so far away.

GIRLS OF PAPER AND FIRE by Natasha Ngan

expected pub: Nov 6 2018


THE GIRL KING by Mimi Yu

expected pub: Jan 8 2019


DRAGON PEARL by Yoon Ha Lee

expected pub: Jan 15 2019


RUMOR GAME by Sona Charaipotra

Expected pub: 2019


WHEN ASHISH MET SWEETIE by Sandhya Menon

Expected pub: 2019


DESCENDANT OF THE CRANE by Joan He

expected pub: 2019


INTERNMENT by Samira Ahmed

expected pub: 2019


THE TIGER AT MIDNIGHT by Swati Teerdhala

expected pub: 2019


THE CANDLE AND THE FLAME by Nafiza Azad

expected pub: 2019


Are there any Asian American or Pacific American books you’re looking forward to?

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