Word Wonders’ TBR Expansion: Books with East and South East Asian Main Characters

East and SE Asian.png

Hello friends!

I’m back again with a book list post that takes a WHOLE DAY (literally) to make but hey! No regrets, even though I hate making these, I love making them. Forgive me if this doesn’t make sense, it’s well past two am as I’m typing this and I might or might not be delirious with fatigue, but shhhh. ANYWAY. As I was working on my #YARC2019 TBR last month, I realized that although I have lists that include South and West Asian books, I still hadn’t done one with books that have East or South East Asian main characters, but FRET NOT, I’m here to remedy that today. And so far, this is the list I’ve compiled that has the most books with 70+ items.

I will try to include content warnings for as many of them. The ones that I couldn’t find content warnings for will have a (*) in front of their titles.

1

Contemporary

American Panda – Gloria Chao (taiwanese)

35297380

CW: Ableist language, slutshaming, colorism, fatphobia, germophobia, medical talk, disowning, death of family member, mention of suicide.

Emergency Contact – Mary H. K. Choi (korean)

35297272

CW: sexual assault, rape, racist microagressions, panic attack, ableist language, slutshaming.

To All the Boys I’ve loved before – Jenny Han (korean)

15749186

Noteworthy – Riley Redgate (chinese)

31447601

CW: Forced Outing, lack of discourse around cross-dressing.

29 Dates* – Melissa DelaCruz (korean)

40798092

Starfish – Akemi Dawn Bowman (japanese)

40611543

CW: Sexual abuse, emotional abuse, anxiety, panic attacks, ableist slurs.

I Believe in a Thing Called Love – Maureen Goo (korean)

31145133

Somewhere Only we Know – Maureen Goo (korean)

36992163

Imagine Us Happy – Jennifer Yu

35750270

CW: depression, suicidal ideations, self-harm, drinking, toxic relationship, emotional abuse, domestic conflict.

I love You so Mochi – Sara Kuhn (japanese)

39828159

The Secret of a Heart Note – Stacey Lee (chinese)

25165389

CW: Anaphylaxis, blackmail or gay side character will be outed, close to drowning.

Picture us in the Light – Kelly Loy Gilbert

35960060

CW: Suicide, adoption, poverty, immigration issues, blackmail, institutionalized racism, child kidnapping, mention of death, grief.

Patron Saints of Nothing* – Randy Ribay (filipino)

41941681

This time will be Different* -Misa Sugiura (japanese)

36220348

Something in between* – Melissa de la Cruz (filipino)

28688476

The Astonishing Color of after – Emily X. R. Pan (taiwanese)

35604686

CW: Depiction of suicide, suicidal thoughts, depression, insomnia, death of a sibling, grief
SFF

Want – Cindy pon (taiwanese)

32333174

CW: Kidnapping, death, pandemic disease, corruption, explosion

Empress of All Seasons – Emiko Jean (japanese)

37569318

CW: Death, child taken away after birth, parental abuse, self harm imagery, passing mention of rape and victim blaming, gore, mention of suicide, slavery

The Reader – Traci Chee

25064648

CW: Gore, death, blood, mention of suicide, cannibalism, panic attacks, kidnapping.

Not your sidekick – C.B. Lee (chinese/vietnamese)

29904219

CW: Kidnapping of parents.

Warcross – Marie Lu (chinese)

29385546

The Epic Crush if Genie Lo – F. C. Yee (chinese)

30116958

CW: Ableist language.

Shadow of the Fox – Julie Kagawa

36672988

CW: Physical and emotional abuse, heavy violence, threat of rape, blood and gore, manipulation, self harm, talk of suicide, war, arachnophobia.

Spin the Dawn* – Elizabeth Lim

36683928

CW: Cis crossdressing plotline, character fakes a disability, magically cured disability.

Ash* – Malinda Lo

6472451

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

35430013

CW: death of parent (The Land of the Morning Calm; Olivia’s Table; Steel Skin), death of significant other (Forbidden Fruit; Bullet, Butterfly; The Crimson Cloak; Eyes Like Candlelight), animal death/blood associated with vampirism (Code of Honor).

The Bone Witch – Rin Chupeco

30095464

CW: Death of a relative, death of a significant other, queerphobia, queerphobia, transphobia, sexism, chronic/terminal illness, mind control.

Huntress – Malinda Lo

9415946

CW: Death, animal death, graphic injuries, mind invasion, enslavement, antagonistic mother/daughter relationship.

Descendant of the Crane – Joan He

36430989

CW: murder, burning, hanging.

Girls of Paper and Fire – Natasha Ngan

34433755

CW: Attempted rape, violence, blood, completed rape (off page), pedophilia, death of a loved one, death, grief.

Rebel Seoul – Axie Oh (korean)

34931621

CW: Violence, explosions, domestic violence, child abuse, blood.

Wicked Fox – Kat Cho (korean)

42133479

CW: Murder, rape mention, abuse mention, abusive parent, bullying, parental death.

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns – Julie C. Dao

40204841

CW: Torture, gore, animal death/cruelty, murder, abusive parent, cannibalism.

Half World* – Hiromi Goto (japanese)

6289599

Historical Fiction

Outrun the Moon – Stacey Lee (chinese)

26192915

CW: Racism, death of loved ones, animal death, school lashings, physical fight, earthquake.

Under a Painted sky – Stacey Lee (chinese)

22501055

CW: Death, murder, violence, illness, attempted rape, racism.

The Downstairs Girl* – Stacey Lee (chinese)

33224061

The weight of our Sky – Hanna Alkaf (malaysian)

35614314

CW: graphic violence, death, racism, OCD, anxiety triggers.

2

Contemporary

The Kiss Quotient – Helen Hoang (vietnamese)

36199084

CW: Graphic sex scenes, forced kissing, parent with chronic illness.

Hold Me – Courtney Milan (vietnamese)

24348034

CW: Mentions of part transphobia, anxiety, panic attacks.

Trade me – Courtney Milan (chinese)

23566506

CW: Eating disorder, drug abuse.

Natalie Tan’s book of Luck and Fortune – Roselle Lim (chinese)

42051103

CW: Death, gentrification, fire, marital discord, parental death.

Love at first Run* – Angel C. Aquino (filipino)

39962846

Chasing Mindy* – Carla de Guzman (filipino)

39667518

A River of Stars* – Vanessa Hua (chinese)

36978059
The Leavers* – Lisa Ko (chinese)

30753987

Sounds like Summer – Six de Los Reyes (filipino)

33615970

CW: Depression, mention of suicide, anxiety, self-harm.

Kiss and Cry* – Mina V. Esguerra (filipino)

43839355

If the Dress Fits – Carla de Guzman (filipino)

32328505

CW: fatphobia, fatphobic micro-agressions, attempted fatshaming, mention of eating disorders.

What We Were Promised* – Lucy Tan (chinese)

32349400

Out – Natsuo Kirino (japanese)

25365

CW: Sexual relationship with an underage character, murder of sex workers.

Fly with Me – Hudson Lin (chinese)

43823638

CW: Explicit sexual content, sexual harassment.

SFF

The Poppy War – R. F. Kuang

35068705

CW: Self-harm, suicidal ideations, suicide, rape, Sexual assault, Murder, Massacres, torture, gore, Substance abuse, Emotional abuse, Physical abuse, Relationship abuse, Human experimentation, Chemical warfare, Genocide, racism, colorism, fatphobia, bullying, ableism.

Heroine Complex – Sarah Kuhn

27209443

CW: Bullying, emotional abuse, past infidelity, professor/student relationship, absent parents, death, sex, alcohol, racism, description of past parental physical and sexual abuse, fire, ableist language, aro and ace antagonistic language.

Jade City – Fonda Lee

43587154

CW: sex scene, ableist language, suicide mention, sexual child abuse mention, cockfighting, death of MC.

The Three-body Problem* – Cixin Liu (chinese)

20518872

Sorcerer to the Crown* – Zen Cho

23943137

The Tensorate – J.Y. Yang

CW: Death of family members.

In the Vanisher’s Palace – Aliette de Bodard (vietnamese)

41724928

CW: Suicidal ideations, gruesome death, graphic plague/illness description.

Ninefox Gambit – Yoon Ha Lee

26118426

CW: Death, mass shooting, blood, suicidal ideation, manipulative behavior, sexually assault, mentions of torture, ableist assumptions are explicitly challenged, ableist slurs aren’t. graphic animal death, suicide (side characters, in the past), colonization.

The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories – Ken Liu (chinese)

24885533

CW: graphic depiction of torture, death, racism.

The Ghost Bride* – Yangsze Choo (malaysian chinese)

16248223

Rupert Wong, Cannibal Chef* – Cassandra Khaw (malaysian chinese)

26869689
Historical Fiction

Pachinko – Min Jin Lee (korean)

34051011

CW: Dubious consent, suicide, sexual assault, pedophilia, depictions of the aftermath of torture.

Human Acts* – Han Kang (korean)

30091914

Man Tiger – Eka Kurniawan (indonesian)

23012658

CW: Murder, parental abuse, mutilation by an animal, graphic rape scene, domestic violence, death of an infant, violence.

Insurrecto * – Gina Apostol (filipino)

40237027

Bury What we Cannot Hide* – Kirstin Chen (chinese)

40662037

Everything I Never Told You – Celeste Ng (chinese)

18693763

CW: Suicide, sexual harassment, alcohol, drunk driving, drowning, racism, adultery, parental neglect, sexism, sexuality as a plot point.

The Third Son* – Julie Wu (taiwanese)

15954691

Green Island – Shawna Yang Ryan (taiwanese)

25763894

CW: stalking, kidnapping, torture.

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That’s it until next time.

Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.

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21 thoughts on “Word Wonders’ TBR Expansion: Books with East and South East Asian Main Characters

  1. fadwa, hats off to you for pouring all that hard work for this post! i’m so happy it exists, going to be boksting this forever (along with your west asian/south asian rec post!) there are so many great books here, and that makes me so happy. definitely using this for YARC 2019. happy reading!!

    Like

  2. Amazing list! I’m currently listening to The Night Tiger which follows multiple Malaysian Chinese in the 1930’s. It’s the latest book by the author of The Ghost Bride and it’s sooooo good. I highly recommend it!

    Like

  3. You are such an EPIC human being for taking so much time to make lists like this one! As someone who’s always trying to read more diversely, it really helps that I can always pop over to your blog and find amazing books I haven’t heard of yet. You’re doing amazing work and I just hope you know how appreciated you are ❤

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  4. Great list! I’m actually feeling really happy now because I’ve read a half dozen of these and have read reviews of maybe half, so doing okay in this area. But of course I’ll be adding many of the others to my TBR also!

    Like

  5. Pingback: To sum up: March 2019 | Word Wonders
  6. Pingback: Month in Review // The Month From Hell – March – Use Your Words

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