Guess Who’s Participating in #YARC2019? (obviously, me) ft. my tbr & also my friend picks some books too

I mean, duh. Everyone knows that I love to promote and read Asian novels.

Or if you don’t, I love to promote and read Asian novels. Now you know.

Image result for the more you know gif
what it feels like to read my blog posts

When CW, Shealea, Vicky, and Lily announced that they would be hosting a reading challenge specifically focused on reading asian books I immediately cried and was like Yes.

There are so many Asian books coming out in 2019, and truly, it is the freaking Year of the Asian.

The tier that I’m aiming for is the Bengali Tiger (50+ books), but if not, I’d love the Giant Panda because PANDAS. SO OF COURSE.

Also!! I wanted to also do the “best friend picks your tbr” challenge, but I probably wouldn’t be able to give it its own separate post, so I just shoved that challenge into this challenge! I forced May to give me the titles of Asian backlist books! That she has read.

Y’all, I have never referred to May as a best friend before. This is wild. #milestones

Yeah I’m going to stop now.


books i’ve already read

35105833  39863498

The Girl king by Mimi Yu ★★★★★ [review]

  • Alright, so I really freaking loved this one even though it was slow-paced and incredibly long? (I’m SO SURPRISED AT MYSELF.) Also, this was my first read of 2019 aaaaah!!!

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi ★★★★★ [review]

  • Ahhhhh this one had the most amazing worldbuilding to ever exist, and Roshani Chokshi’s writing is like a freaking blessing from the heavens. Also, this was so much more fun than I expected, and the banter between all of the characters was so enjoyable!!!!!

Small anecdote: for some reason I thought You Asked For Perfect had a south Asian main character and I was excited that it was my second read of #YARC2019 but the main character is actually white. So that was awkward… (the author isn’t even Asian so it wouldn’t have counted anyways oh well)


may, my best friend i guess whatever, picks five* four backlist books

35960813  18693763

Final Draft by Riley Redgate

  • Oh hey wow Elise has been screaming forever to get people to read this, and I might… actually pick it up now? It has a main character of color, a love interest of color, and a freaking f/f romance!!! (Also, I’m so sorry but that cover is… not my favorite… this coming-of-age sapphic romance deserves more)

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

  • Oh look, another cover that has paper on it?? Is the paper aesthetic a thing, because I am not a fan. Anyways, I… probably wouldn’t have read this if May didn’t mention it, tbh. But!! This does sound very intriguing and it has a Chinese main character (oh?) and apparently is very dark and emotional. So I’m kind of hyped. Catch me crying in my closet!!

35716237  37506437

Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman

  • We’re moving onto the beautiful, amazing covers now! I adore Akemi Dawn Bowman’s covers… they’re so amazing and I honestly aspire to have a collection of them someday. Anyways, this is about a Hawaiin ace aro-spec girl who goes to Hawaii to live with her aunt and rediscovers herself!

Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram

  • Okay, so, I actually lowkey had no idea that May even read this, at all, but okay. Anyways, ahhhh this sounds so amazing and good and I actually have an arc of this from BookCon and I’ve just… been holding onto it because I KNOW I WANT TO READ IT. SOON. This is m/m, I believe, and has a half-Persian main character! And he goes to Iran! Tbh, I started this one, but I never actually… followed through and actually read it consistently.

*She was literally supposed to pick five and then she picked four and I tried to harass them to give me the fifth book but NO.div3

other backlist books

32768520  32333055  39088520

Mirage by Somaiya Daud

  • Okay, I know that this is a science fiction and not a fantasy even though the cover totally looks like one! But I heard that this was super important to Muslim readers and really meaningful. Soooo I need this in my life. Also, the sequel is coming out this year, I think!!!

Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali

  • This is about a an Arab Indian-American Muslim teen who aspires to be a photographer, and she was a victim of rape. I believe there’s also romance in it too! I think that this will be such a powerful novel and I’m so amazingly excited. Also, the cover!!!!!!! is so beautiful!!!! those pastel colors though!!

Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri

  • Ahhhhh I have a copy of this from BookCon and tbh, I did start it, but the writing feels very thick soooo I’ve just been holding off on it for now. This is an Indian-inspired fantasy!! And I think there is a hate-to-lovers romance. Or maybe not. All I know is that the romance is amazing.

35068705  35791907  36301029

The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

  • Can’t believe I haven’t freaking read this one yet, tbh. I own a hardcover of it from someone gifting it to me for bookishwish (I’m so, so lucky to have it) and I know that it tackles colonialism and just! I need to read this freaking soon. I know the main characters are Chinese and that it’s very dark and gruesome. So, I’m scared.

The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo

  • This one is light and fluffy! And um. I started this one but I never fully finished it? I think I got like 10% in. Maybe. But the enamel pin for the preorder of this was actually so cute and I wish I actually had some MONEY so that I could’ve gotten this and the pin! Also shout out to Maurene Goo for writing stories with Korean protagonists. Truly, she is amazing.

A Thousand Beginnings and Endings edited by Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman

  • I have a copy of this from Jackie for our Secret Santa gift exchange, and ahhhh it’s so beautiful and the designs and details are just so Asian and I want to sob of happiness every single time I look at it. There are so many amazing authors that I’m so freaking excited to read from and I just!!!! Cannot hold in my excitement! Honestly, I’m kind of scared that I’ll want long versions of every single short story in this anthology, which I am so sure is going to happen.

Edit: Originally I had “Anger is a Gift” by Mark Oshiro instead of Saints and Misfits up there!!! I HAD A HUGE BRAIN FART AND ADDED A BOOK BY A LATINX AUTHOR. I’M SO SORRY WHY AM I LIKE THIS.div3

2019 releases

41104164  35858798  36683928

The Rise of Kyoshi by F.C. Yee

  • Listen up. Avatar. F.C. Yee, aka the author of one of my favorite books ever, The Epic Crush of Genie Lo??? Yes, MANY PEOPLE DISLIKED GENIE LO BUT LEAVE ME ALONE OKAY :’) It’s a freaking classic and I want to buy copies of it to give all of my Chinese friends!!! Anyways, I LOVE AVATAR SO MUCH AND I FEEL THAT F.C. YEE WILL COMPLETELY DO THIS JUSTICE.

Hungry Hearts edited by Caroline Tung Richmond and Elsie Chapman

  • This is an anthology featuring cultural foods and I just!!! And so excited!!! And look at that amazing bowl of noodles on the cover. Can each short story please have their each own individual doodle/illustration for the food item? PLEASE. I need it in my life. Also, Elsie Chapman is clearly doing some Important Good work by editing Asian-centered anthlogies! We stan!

Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

  • This is a novel set in fantasy China where a girl, posing as a male tailor, needs to create dresses out of impossible materials. And guys, look at this cover. Look at that girl. On that cover. I wasn’t sure how much I liked the cover at first but oh my god, it’s really growing on me.

40697008  39821312  36615393

A Match Made in Mehendi by Nandini Bajpai

  • This cover looks like it was constructed from my dreams or something, because look!! at the!! beautiful!! model of color!! and this color palette!! Diverse books are realy getting the covers they deserve this year oh my god. This is about an Indian girl who matchmakes a popular guy with a nerdy girl and “becomes enemy number one” which sounds very cliche and I absolutely freaking love it.

The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad

  • Listen up. This. Looks. Amazing. The author on Twitter is actually so freaking sweet, I love her so much, and the girl on the cover is actually gorgeous. (Is this my tbr post or just me sobbing over the Asian models? stay tuned.) This is set along the Silk Road!! And it’s feminist!! And there are djinn!! And I want to cry!!!

Tell Me How You Really Feel by Aminah Mae Safi

  • AHHHHHHHH AN ASIAN F/F NOVEL THAT’S ENEMIES-TO-LOVERS AND WHICH FEATURES A COVER IN WHICH THE GIRLS ARE CLEARLY VERY, VERY INTO EACH OTHER. I’m not 100% sure of the ethnicities of the main characters in this one, but look they’re brown!!!! I love this!! Also, I heard one of the main characters is Muslim!


Okay, so… this wasn’t nearly enough to show all of the Asian books that I want to read! I have a “diverse-to-read” shelf on goodreads which basically shows the diverse books I want to read, and if the book you’re seeing is an Asian book on that shelf, then I WANT TO READ IT.  Also, y’all should totally check out this list of Asian YA/MG in 2019 that I made on Goodreads and vote on it *wink wink* and also like it. If you want.

And then I made another list, inspired specifically by Darius the Great is Not okay & Summer Bird Blue that’s supposed to feature YA books about poc who go to their cultural homelands. So far… there are only three books on that list, but I’m positive that there are more that I’m forgetting! So, please add some!

All in all, thank you so freaking much to the creators of this challenge, and I’m so happy to see the huge amounts of Asian young adult novels this year!!

tell me your thoughts 2

which of these books do you want to read? have you read any of these book? do you plan on participating in #yarc2019? if so, which level are you aiming for? are you going to vote on my goodreads lists? (yes)



  1. (just a heads up, I think you had some coding problems, because some of it shows, the text sizes and everything for the book titles 🙂 )
    YAY I am so, so happy you are doing this challenge as well! I really like your TBR, I’m excited to see Final Draft on here, I really , reaaaaaaally enjoyed this book, I hope you will too 🙂 I’m also excited to read Darius The Great, this book sounds amazing and I also have Spin The Dawn on my TBR, which sounds equally as incredible 😀
    happy reading!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ahhh, thank you so much for pointing that Marie!!

      YES I saw that so so many people loved Final Draft and it just sounds so good :’) even though I probably wouldn’t be that interested if so many didn’t love it so much! ❤ ❤ Yesss let's both love Darius & Spin the Dawn!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so excited for the YARC! When I saw the announcement I jumped up with joy because I was going to dedicate a lot of my reading year this year to Asian authors anyways. There are so many stunning novels coming out in 2019!!! The Gilded Wolves, The Poppy War, Something About Sweetie, Hungry Hearts, and so many more are top of my list for the challenge. I’m so so so so excited to see so many bloggers prioritize Asian books this year, I can feel the great reviews coming aaaaAAAHHHH 😍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YES OMG Rita exactly same!! I was already going to try reading so many Asian authors, and there are so so many amazing-sounding novels that are coming out in 2019 ahhhh! YES TO ALL OF THOSE BOOKS THAT YOU LISTED. TRULY THIS IS THE YEAR OF THE ASIAN.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Omg, I TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY APPROVE OF YOUR DOG’S NAME. That sounds actually amazing, and when I get a pet I WANT TO NAME IT SOMETHING FROM AVATAR. F.C. Yee is honestly amazing and you should check out his other book, The Epic Crush of Genie Lo!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. AHH YES YOU SHOULD NAME YOUR PET ZUKO OR TOPH. Because those two are *makes heart eyes* the best! And I actually checked out Genie Lo yesterday because you said it was so good. 🙂 I’m excited to start reading it!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. this challenge sounds like so much fun, and i need to get started on it like NOW, haha. your TBR looks great – The Way You Make Me Feel and ATBE were really good and I hope you love them!! I can’t wait for Hungry Hearts, and it sounds so good ahhhhh! I want to read so many books on this TBR that I can’t list all of them, haha. Happy reading 💛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LET’S BOTH ROCK THIS CHALLENGE! OMG yes The Way You Make me Feel and ATBE sound so amazing and I’m so so excited to starat reading them soooon. Ahhhh. HUNGRY HEARTS SOUNDS LIKE SUCH AN AMAZING ANTHOLOGY AND THE ART ON THE COVER IS SO SO PRETTY.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. At first I was all “I’m going to unofficially participate”, but after seeing SO MANY tbr’s, I really just want to officially join in. Which is what I’m going to do. I read two books that fit YARC already anyway so it’s not like it’s still an option to fail – HA.
    [Loved The Gilded Wolves! Unfortunately, I read The Girl King last year so that one doesn’t count, haha. I did read To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before so WHOOP. Makes two.]

    For now, I’m going to focus on my owned books though. I know there are so many new releases waiting to happen this year, but I can’t.. justify.. buying books right now.. so.. we’ll see. :’)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hehe YAYYYY I AM SO HAPPY THAT YOU’RE JOINING!! 💕 Wow, both of us already read two books # twinning. I’m so glad that you loved the Gilded Wolves!! How did you feel about The Girl King?

      Ooooh, yes, I applaud your choice to focus on already bought books! I hope you succeed in holding off from the new releases! 💜

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I actually liked it? I know there’s been a whole lot of negative reviews going around and people DNF’ing it, but I honestly enjoyed it.. Which makes me wonder if I simply was in a “weird, uncritical” mood or oversaw something that should’ve bothered me? I don’t know. Sometimes it’s so easy to start doubting yourself when you’re one of the odd ones out when it comes to reviewing a book!

        Thanks! So far, so good. Only read one 2019-release so far but.. it’s still January after all, haha.


  5. i mean saints and misfits,,, is pretty bad and i’m not just saying that bc of the rep? i just felt the writing and the romance was so tacky? and there’s like lowkey girl hate but that’s just me! ENJOY.

    idk what spin of the dawn is about but it looks so pretty i NEED.


    i actually really wanted to read the glided wolves and the girl king but i’m broke. i tried bookish wish but nothing lmao so i guess i’ll never read them. XD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. wait omg WHAT I DIDN’T KNOW YOU HATED SAINTS AND MISFITS :((( should I just… not read it then 😦 SK Ali sounds so amazing and nice tho

      ALSO OMG I’M SO HAPPY FOR YOU please love Summer Bird Blue (yo we should try buddy reading it again)

      iweuroisdslz,xmc NOOOO ILSA!!! you should try again ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  6. OMG THAT GIF. IT’S TRULY HOW I FEEL THO c: c: c: c: c:

    I want to read The Girl King so much, especially bc I need something long and slow-paced sometimes?? idk I guess slow books force my brain to calm down XD

    + The Gilded Wolves was SO UPSETTING, bc of THAT SUNSHINE LAD, *****and that ending*******

    Also when I saw “everything I never told you” on your list, I was like, why does that book sound so familiar??? & I looked over at my book shelf and holy sh*t, I forgot I had a copy.
    *is v unorganized and immature*

    ++++I hope u love Darius the Great, I loved that book w my entire heart & it doesn’t get the Love and Attention it deserves,,,,,Darius is so ridiculously adorable

    this was a gorgeous post as always and I loved it and ily and I love this list ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OOOH I don’t know many people who specifically search for slow-paced books but I am SO happy that you want to read The Girl King!

      OMG THE GILDED WOLVES MADE ME DIE. that ending tho?? TBH I lowkey suspected that plot twist BUT I was STILL shocked. ALSO cant believe that _________ ****. And also that whole creepy birds thing????

      OMG haha I’m so disorganized with my books too!! IF YOU WANT TO BUDDY READ EVERYTHING I NEVER TOLD YOU, WE TOTALLY SHOULD.

      Yes, I haven’t even read Darius the Great is Not Okay but I wish it had more hype because it’s an m/m romance where the main character goes to his homeland!!! I neeeed!!!!

      Thank you so much, Malanie ❤️💞💓💖💚💕💝💓💖

      Liked by 1 person

      1. oh god i didn’t even suspect it, but then it “kind of happened” but it didn’t ACTUALLY happen? and i was so relieved, like “oh shit that was a close one lol phew!”

        BUT THEN IT TURNED AROUND AND ACTUALLY HAPPENED FOR REAL??? i do not have the capacity to handle this level of Stress. i srsly do not.

        ALSO omg i v much want to buddy read Everything I Never Told You w youuuuuu, now i’m so happpy bc i didn’t want to read it alone, but NOW I HAVE A FRIEND TO READ IT W ME HOORAY ❤ ❤

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I was so so glad that it didn’t happen but then Roshani was like “LOL. u thought!!!” and we all died internally and emotionally. my sad little heart actually broke.

          YES YES YES let’s br Everything I Never Told You!!! WANT TO CHAT ON INSTAGRAM?

          Liked by 1 person

  7. I HOPE YOUR ASIAN READING CHALLENGE GOES AMAZING AND YOU LOVE ALL THE BOOKS, there are so incredible books you got here and i cant wait to hear your thought on Everything I Never Told You bc WOWOWOOW celeste ng knows how to write

    saints and misfits and mirage were soooo good i hope you love them! and im totally adding all these books to my tbr bc I NEED MORE BOOKS BY ASIAN AUTHORS

    Liked by 1 person

    1. omg yeah I went to the gr page for Everything I Never Told You and I saw your review and I was just like MMHMM ❤ ❤ I'M MORE EXCITED NOW!! ❤

      YES ADD ALL OF THEM TO UR TBR AND LOVE THEM AND REVIEW THEM bc I want to hear ur thoughts. just do it.


  8. JULIANNNNNA I’m SO excited to see that you’re participating in YARC2019 with us. YAAAY. I love love the books that you’ve chosen for your backlist. I see some of my favourites – DARIUS THE GREAT IS NOT OKAY and A THOUSAND BEGINNINGS AND ENDINGS. Both are such good books and I think you’re going to have a very awesome and very Asian reading year this year.
    Good luck with the challenge!! 💛💛

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m participating in YARC too (I’m going for the Tarsier). I’m really excited to read The Gilded Wolves and seeing how much you loved it makes me even more excited!! I also want to read The Poppy War since I meant to get to it last year but never did. I have it waiting on my shelf though, lol

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s