Mini Reviews #7: Asian YA Authors Edition

Hey y’all! First I want to apologize for my absence on here. I thought I’d be more active in the blogosphere in April, but that hasn’t quite panned out and I’ve fallen behind on tags and reviews. However, my blog did hit a milestone during my absence: 500 followers. Thank you so much to each and everyone of you that follow, read, comment, and like my content. I’m very grateful and hope to host a giveaway next month to celebrate.

In my March wrap up I mentioned that I wanted to try something new on the blog because I’m kind of bored with monthly wrap ups. I don’t want this post to turn into a discussion about blogging pressures, but I strongly believe in making this a space that gives me the freedom and flexibility to do what I want. I haven’t quite determined the best way to do that yet so I decided to just do a roundup of every 3-5 books I read.

So far, I’ve read 10 books in April, so here’s a wrap up for a few books I finished at the beginning of the month. All three books are ownvoices.

Title: Legend (Legend #1)
Author: Marie Lu
Published November 29, 2011 by Putnam Juvenile
Genre: Science Fiction | Audience: Young Adult
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I had no interest in this series before the magical readathon and no intention of continuing the series after the readathon. This book worked for a prompt and that’s all I wanted; however, this book surprised me in so many ways. It’s a dual POV dystopian novel set in California. It follows two characters, June and Day. June is a prodigy from a wealthy family and Day is the Republic’s most wanted criminal. The two cross paths when Day becomes the Republic’s prime suspect in a murder.

I wasn’t expecting much from this book, but I ended caring about the characters more than I thought I would. The story is flawed and the world-building could’ve been fleshed out a little more, but it’s fun and the characters are easy to root for (and against). Legend is one of two Marie Lu books that I actually like and the writing didn’t feel like something was missing.

My biggest criticism of this book is Day, who came off as a really naive and too trusting throughout the book. I expected more from someone who’s lived on the streets for so long. Otherwise, this was a pleasant surprise and the narrators did a fantastic job.

Title: The Beauty of the Moment
Author: Tanez Bhathena
Published February 26, 2019 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Genre: Contemporary | Audience: Young Adult
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I picked up this book on whim while I was at Barnes & Noble (I’m totally on a break from B&N but that’s a story for another day). I read the first two lines in the synopsis…

“Susan is the new girl—she’s sharp and driven, and strives to meet her parents’ expectations of excellence. Malcolm is the bad boy—

…and immediately abandoned my magical readathon TBR to read this.

I love a good good girl/bad boy/forbidden love trope and this book delivered in such a mature way. This book follows two characters, Susan and Malcolm. Susan recently moved to Canada and has a lot going on with her family. Malcolm is still processing his mother’s death, his relationship with his father, and a recent breakup. We follow them until eventually their paths crossed.

I loved the romance in this book. It was so cute and fluffy. There were times when I thought the author was going to make this super cliche, but most things were handled well (except for the jealous ex subplot). I also liked that this book was more than just a cute story. It tackled important topics like immigration, refugees, heartbreak, and more. After I finished this book, I wished it had been longer because I wanted more of Malcolm and Susan. Definitely keeping an eye out for more cute romcom books from this author.

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

Published April 26, 2016 by St. Martin’s Griffin
Genre: Fantasy | Audience: Young Adult
Series: The Star-Touched Queen #1
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

I’m conflicted. This book was confusing but enjoyable? The world was interesting, the writing was full of imagery and lush, but also confusing? I don’t know how else to explain it. I liked it though. A lot. But I also didn’t realize The Star-Touched Queen was a Hades and Persephone retelling until after I finished it.

This is the third book I’ve read by Roshani Chokshi and TSTQ was the second book that left me confused about the world. Completely went over my head. I liked the characters enough to know that I want to read this again because I think a re-read might help me appreciate it more. I plan to read the next book in this series, Crown of Wishes, because I own a copy of it and my interest in this world is piqued.

Have you read any of these books? Let me know your thoughts in the comments! Thanks for reading!

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12 thoughts on “Mini Reviews #7: Asian YA Authors Edition

  1. Great reviews, Merline! I’m so glad you enjoyed Legend, I think it’s one of the great dystopian books out there 😀 I love TSTQ, but I agree that I was confused most of the time. For me, being familiar with both the greek and hindu mythology help me navigate the story a bit more and I love the magical feeling of it, so I can safely say I don’t mind being confused! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I want to re-read TSTQ because I think that may help me understand it better. I really liked it and the writing was BEAUTIFUL, but it felt like I was missing something.


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