One of my new year’s resolutions is read more. I took a long hiatus from reading for pleasure during and after college, as I had to crank out about 2-3 books per week for my English classes, and not the fun, light stuff. I’m talking 10 pound Norton anthologies and Milton’s prose. That was kind of a loss for me, as reading has always been an integral part of my life. As a child, I literally spent hours on our dusty brown corduroy couch reading with my mom. Me with my Chronicles of Narnia book or some other piece of young adult fiction, my mom with one of her favorite bounty hunter books from the Janet Evanovich series. Slowly, I started to get back into reading for fun, but I was looking for more. I wanted to read books that I could identify with. I wanted to read books where there were characters who looked like me. I wrote a part one to this post a little while back, so make sure to take a peek at that post if you haven’t yet. Since then, my collection of Asian-American books has grown and I’d love to share with you some more of my favorites.
To all the boys I’ve loved before by Jenny Han
I know this is YA, but I loved the Netflix adaptation and I love this series. This trilogy follows the main character Lara Jean Song Covey as she tries to navigate being in love, being in high school, and being part of her family. This is such a fun series, with plenty of crushes and romance, the relationship between the three Song sisters, and identity formation. So far, I’ve read the first book and am working my way through the second, P.S. I still love you. All are available in paperback so it’s the perfect book to take along with you on your next trip.
Am I There Yet? by Mari Andrew
Am I There Yet? is a collection of essays, short stories, and illustrations by Mari Andrew. Most people know Mari Andrew from her instagram account, bymariandrew where she drew lists and illustrations, diagrams and doodles dealing with everything from breakups, to illness, to moving to a new city. Her first book delves into many of these same themes in a very Mari-way. I love this book, because I think it’s the story of growing up and learning to be an adult that many in the millennial generation can identify with, definitely the loop-de-loop, zigzagging part. It’s a story that our own parents cannot help us with, as the way we grow up, our careers, and choices are quite different from when they were growing up. I like to share this book with my students, who are looking toward graduation and with my friends who have also had their own zigzagging journeys, like me.
Heroine Worship by Sarah Kuhn
The cover of this one is a bit misleading, as one might think it’s a graphic novel, (it’s not) but, in a way, its themes of superheroes and identify formation read almost like a graphic novel. This novel in the series is told from Aveda Jupiter’s point of view, giving us a look into her psyche and helping us understand why she is the way she is. There’s so much to love about this series, namely, Asian-American women superheroes defending the Bay Area against otherworld supernatural demons!!!
Heroine’s Journey by Sarah Kuhn
Aaaand, one more from this series, because I just finished it a couple days ago. I may or may not have stayed up until 1am, finishing it…This book is told from the younger of the Tanaka sibling’s point of view and is wonderfully angsty and full of Bea’s search for herself and how she fits in to the superhero narrative. I also heard that even though this was originally a trilogy, there will be more books coming down the line, because of the series’ popularity.