The past two weeks me, Lucia of iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books and Izzy of My Words Ate Me have been celebrating all things Asian from Asian authors and bloggers to Asian book characters and food. We've had tons of awesome guest posts, interviews, and of course GIVEAWAYS! For links to every single post be sure to check out the official All Things Asian event page!
All Things Asian wouldn't be complete if I didn't share with you guys my personal favorite Asian related books. So here are some of my favorite books with Asian characters, themes, or written by Asian authors!
It's hard not to notice Terra Cooper.
She's tall, blond, and has an enviable body. But with one turn of her cheek, all people notice is her unmistakably "flawed" face. Terra secretly plans to leave her stifling small town in the Northwest and escape to an East Coast college, but gets pushed off-course by her controlling father. When an unexpected collision puts Terra directly in Jacob's path, the handsome but quirky Goth boy immediately challenges her assumptions about herself and her life, and she is forced in yet another direction. With her carefully laid plans disrupted, will Terra be able to find her true path?
I LOVE this book. Not only is it written by Justina Chen (who is by far my favorite Asian author EVER) but it also has one of the most swoonworthy fictional guys ever: Jacob! Unfortunately that just conjured up images of Jacob Black in my mind. Curse ye Twilight! The Jacob in North of Beautiful is MUCH better than Jacob Black. At least I think so. He's Asian, and goes geocaching, and is totally artsy and emo-esque and I want him to be real so he can be my boyfriend. :P
Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer--they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one terrible and wonderful summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.
I think you would have to be living under a rock to not know about this series. Take note: If you have not yet read the Summer trilogy DO IT. Especially over the summer. These are the PERFECT summer beach reads! And that is why I love them. Jenny Han is such an awesome Asian author and her next book series is written by both her and Siobhan Vivian. I can hardly wait! I just know it's gonna be awesome. :D
Tree-ear, an orphan, lives under a bridge in Ch’ulp’o, a potters’ village famed for delicate celadon ware. He has become fascinated with the potter’s craft; he wants nothing more than to watch master potter Min at work, and he dreams of making a pot of his own someday. When Min takes Tree-ear on as his helper, Tree-ear is elated–until he finds obstacles in his path: the backbreaking labor of digging and hauling clay, Min’s irascible temper, and his own ignorance. But Tree-ear is determined to prove himself–even if it means taking a long, solitary journey on foot to present Min’s work in the hope of a royal commission . . . even if it means arriving at the royal court with nothing to show but a single celadon shard.
One of the first Asian related books I ever read! My mom had us kids study this in school and I love her for it. If you have yet to pick up a Linda Sue Park book what are you waiting for? They're so good. My favorite historical fiction for sure. :)
Two theater-mad, self-invented fabulositon Ohio teenagers. One boy, one girl. One gay, one straight. One black, one white. And SUMMER DRAMA CAMP. It's a season of hormones, gold lame, hissy fits, jazz hands, song and dance, true love, and unitards that will determine their future --and test their friendship.
Okay so this book really isn't that Asian related but there is one Asian character AND HE IS SO SWOONWORTHY GUYS OH MY GOSH! Theo is every musical theatre girl's dream boy. He's straight, adorable and Asian, and he can play the piano like no one's business. Gosh can he just marry me know? Just a heads up if you are reading this and you happen to be a straight musical theatre performing and piano playing Asian guy then I will so date you. Just saying. :P So yeah I love this book because it totally plays to my musical theatre loving self. It's a total guilty pleasure. I've read it at least 4 times. >.<
Millicent Min is having a bad summer. Her fellow high school students hate her for setting the curve. Her fellow 11-year-olds hate her for going to high school. And her mother has arranged for her to tutor Stanford Wong, the poster boy for Chinese geekdom. But then Millie meets Emily. Emily doesn't know Millicent's IQ score. She actually thinks Millie is cool. And if Millie can hide her awards, ignore her grandmother's advice, swear her parents to silence, blackmail Stanford, and keep all her lies straight, she just might make her first friend. What's it gong to take? Sheer genius.
Stanford Wong is having a bad summer. If he flunks his summer-school English class, he won't pass sixth grade. If that happens, he won't start on the A-team. If *that* happens, his friends will abandon him and Emily Ebers won't like him anymore. And if THAT happens, his life will be over. Soon his parents are fighting, his grandmother Yin-Yin hates her new nursing home, he's being "tutored" by the world's biggest nerdball Millicent Min--and he's not sure his ballpoint "Emily" tattoo is ever going to wash off.
I did a post last week about why I love diversity in YA and I mentioned these books specifically because they are AMAZING. Never have books captured Asian humor so perfectly and been so relatable. I don't know how they read if you aren't Asian but personally I found these hysterical and I just absolutely love them.
What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.
From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.
Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.
An awesome dystopian novel written by an awesome Asian author? YES. I loved this book so much and the main guy character is even a hapa! This was definitely one of my favorite dystopians of 2011. If you haven't read it yet you need to. Seriously, it's amazing.
"Getting her fortune told by a Taiwanese 'belly-button grandmother' (who feels up her navel) instead of attending the spring dance is just one of the joys of being Patty Ho, a covertly snarky 'hapa' (half Asian, half white) struggling with her dual heritage. Patty's domineering mother is determined to make her a good Taiwanese girl. Gangly Patty, no 'China doll,' longs to be white like her long-gone father...readers will find a compelling narrative, and a spunky, sympathetic heroine. This book should enjoy wide appeal."
This list would not be complete without Nothing But the Truth (and a few white lies) by Justina Chen. IT'S ALL ABOUT BEING A HAPA GUYS! In fact it was this book that introduced me to the term hapa that then inspired my blog name. Nothing but the Truth is definitely a fairly accurate portrayal of what it's like to grow up hapa and for that I love it. <3
So those are some of my favoritest Asian related books! I hope you guys get a chance to read them and be sure to leave suggestions of some of your favorite Asian related books in the comments!
Don't forget to check out all of the All Things Asian posts by visiting the official event page and of course be sure to enter all the giveaways for chances to win some of these books I mentioned, awesome swag, gift cards, and more!
Did you guys love All Things Asian as much as I did? Let me know in the comments what you thought and be sure to drop me an email if you want to get involved with next years All Things Asian celebration!