Monday, March 30, 2020

Diversity in YA Books

I love the fact that there are more and more YA books with a non-white main character in the market right now. For years, I was raised with a steady diet of blonde, blue-eyed characters that sometimes seemed unrelatable for people of color like me. I think it's refreshing to see books featuring a non-white girl on the cover not just because I'm Asian but there are stories to be told from a different point of view.

These are some of the books that I've read so far that represent such diverse characters. What are your favorites? Any recommended YA book with diverse characters? 

I do wish that there are more coloured protagonist in YA fantasy. For now, there seemed an abundance of African/Korean/Chinese/Indian American main characters in YA contemporary but not in fantasy. So writers/publishers out there, listen up! We need more diversity in YA fantasy, ok! 

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Can't Wait Wednesday #91

Can't Wait Wednesday is a wonderful meme hosted by Wishful Endings based on Waiting on Wednesday created by Jill from Breaking the Spine where we highlighted an upcoming release that we're eagerly anticipating. 

The Boundless (The Beholder, #2) by Anna Bright 
Expected Publication: June 9th, 2020

When Selah found true love with Prince Torden of Norway, she never imagined she’d have to leave him behind. All because the Beholder’s true mission was a secret Selah’s crew didn’t trust her to keep: transporting weapons to the rebels fighting against the brutal tsarytsya, whose shadow looms over their next port of Shvartsval’d. A place Selah hoped she’d never go. But gone is the girl who departed Potomac filled with fear. With a stockpile of weapons belowdecks and her heart hanging in the balance, Selah is determined to see the Beholder’s quest to its end. 

The book has such a stunning cover! It took me some time to warm up to Selah since she's such a damsel in distress. But after finishing the first book and finding out about that twist, in the end, I just can't wait to get my hands on this one. 

Monday, March 23, 2020

Review: The Beholder

The Beholder (The Beholder, #1)
by Anna Bright
ebook, 435 pages
June 4th, 2019
by HarperTeen
ARC from Edelweiss

Selah has waited her whole life for a happily ever after. As the only daughter of the leader of Potomac, she knows her duty is to find the perfect match, a partner who will help secure the future of her people. Now that day has finally come.

But after an excruciatingly public rejection from her closest childhood friend, Selah’s stepmother suggests an unthinkable solution: Selah must set sail across the Atlantic, where a series of potential suitors awaits—and if she doesn’t come home engaged, she shouldn’t come home at all.

From English castle gardens to the fjords of Norge, and under the eye of the dreaded Imperiya Yotne, Selah’s quest will be the journey of a lifetime. But her stepmother’s schemes aren’t the only secrets hiding belowdecks…and the stakes of her voyage may be higher than any happy ending.

I ended up liking this book which is quite surprising since the female protagonist came off as a sheltered, naive weakling in the first few chapters. And the premise of setting on an adventure to desperately seek a potential suitor just offend my feminist inclinations. (Sorry not sorry). But along the way, our weakling finally learns to stand up for herself. Thank god. And the potential suitors certainly have quite a few tricks up their sleeves which make this story a lot more interesting.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Review: Yes No Maybe So

Yes No Maybe So
by Becky Albertalli, Aisha Saeed 
ebook, 448 pages
Published February 4th 2020 
by Balzer + Bray
ARC from Edelweiss  
Goodreads AmazonB & N TBD

Jamie Goldberg is cool with volunteering for his local state senate candidate—as long as he’s behind the scenes. When it comes to speaking to strangers (or, let’s face it, speaking at all to almost anyone), Jamie’s a choke artist. There’s no way he’d ever knock on doors to ask people for their votes…until he meets Maya.

Maya Rehman’s having the worst Ramadan ever. Her best friend is too busy to hang out, her summer trip is canceled, and now her parents are separating. Why her mother thinks the solution to her problems is political canvassing—with some awkward dude she hardly knows—is beyond her.

Going door to door isn’t exactly glamorous, but maybe it’s not the worst thing in the world. After all, the polls are getting closer—and so are Maya and Jamie. Mastering local activism is one thing. Navigating the cross-cultural romance of the century is another thing entirely. 

This has to be one of the most adorable teen romance I've ever read! Jamie's super awkward, dorky personality and his crazy family just made me smile so much. I ship Jamie and Maya so hard. Although that kiss might be controversial for Muslims. The cross-cultural romance and the political setting might raise some eyebrows but I love how it's handled. I've never read any book by Becky Albertalli before but after this, I definitely will.