The Year of the Asian Reading Challenge 2020: Sign-Up/Update Post + TBR!

i’m back to normal, with the usual asian book love!

just kidding, i’m still struggling in all aspects of my life* and i like to represent that by refusing to type with proper capitalization. i’m not like other girls!

but Yes, i am here writing a post? that is not just a wrap-up? which is something i’m choosing to be proud of right now. and i really wanted to finally make my official sign-up (and update!) post for the year of the asian reading challenge, 2020 edition!

this reading challenge is hosted by lilycw, vicky, and shealea. the goal is to read as many books by asian authors as you can this year. please check out any of the posts linked to find out more info!

*i’m doing much better right now though!! thank you all for the love recently <33

fae divider (2)


badge_cobralast year, my goal was the indian cobra level (11-20 books). i chose it because i usually read about 100 books a year and i thought more than a fifth of my books being by asian authors would be more difficult for me to achieve. but i actually ended up reading 18 books by asian authors last year, and i’m really happy about that!

this year i think i’m also going to aim for the indian cobra level, but i’m secretly hoping i’ll hit maybe 21 books (which is the malayan tapir level), since i ended up doing a lot better last year than i expected!

fae divider (2)


there are a bunch of books on my tbr last year that i never ended up reading, but i don’t feel like putting them on this year’s tbr simply because i’m a mood reader. and for that same reason, this is a very VERY tentative tbr. my mood reading is much more pronounced and unpredictable when i’m in a slump (which i’ve been in for a year now).

i still have a goal to read more books by non-east asian authors (or at least non-chinese, since last year most of my authors were chinese), so i tried to make sure my tbr choices were diverse in that sense. east asian stories are more prevalent in publishing, so i’d like to give some attention to other equally valuable stories as well!

⇒ i try to include the author’s ethnicity but sometimes i’m not certain and don’t want to pry!

berry 2  THE DRAGON REPUBLIC  berry 1

The Dragon Republic (The Poppy War, #2)i read the poppy war in january and it was absolutely Phenomenal!! so i’m very excited to read the sequel and see what happens to rin. and from the reviews i’ve read, rin, kitay, and nezha become like the golden trio and i’m VERY excited for them!!!! and also scared for them!!!!! (update: i’m reading it right now and i ADORE it. ms rf kuang gave me my entire life.)

author: Chinese

berry 2  JADE WAR  berry 1

Jade War (The Green Bone Saga, #2)look another sequel!! i read jade city last year, and i easily became obsessed with it. i definitely should have read this sooner, seeing as how my memory is terrible and i only distinctly remember maybe five things, but i’m still very intrigued to see what happens next! (but the fact that WAR is really big on the cover scares me)

author: Chinese

berry 2  THE SILENCE OF BONES  berry 1

The Silence of Bonesi’ve heard some pretty amazing things about this one, namely that it’ll break my heart and make me cry, and i love that in books!! yes, it’s historical fiction and i am notorious for hating/being utterly unable to read historical fiction. HOWEVER, this one involves murder and asians and heartbreak and i’m too weak to resist the pull of that.

author: Korean

berry 2  KINGDOM OF BACK  berry 1

The Kingdom of Backi love marie lu with my entire heart and soul. do i really know what this book is about besides mozart? no. do i pretend mozart is my favorite composer when in actuality it’s one of his songs that’s my favorite and i can’t name any of his other music? yes. but i’m still reading it for marie lu!!!

author: Chinese

berry 2  THE HENNA WARS  berry 1

The Henna Warsi’m mutuals with adiba on twitter and she is just like. so cool and i love her!! it’s been really amazing and inspiring to go from seeing her agent announcement to her book deal announcement and now to her book release. and i think her book is going to sweep us all away (sapphic asian mc!!!) and i can’t wait to read it!

author: Bangladeshi


Darius the Great Deserves Better (Darius the Great, #2)this is ANOTHER sequel (i hope i look like a god to all you non-series-finishing fools), but i’m genuinely so excited for this one, because i absolutely adored the first book. and i’m telling you, if i, a depressed gaysian who convinced multiple people to read book 1, don’t get an arc of this book, i’m going to riot!!!! (also this book involves a love triangle and i usually hate those, but i’m choosing to be confident in adib khorram)

author: Iranian

berry 2  I HOPE YOU GET THIS MESSAGE  berry 1

I Hope You Get This Messagei feel like i haven’t been reading as much sci-fi as i should be, so here’s to hoping i can remedy that! i’ve seen a copy of this book at the library multiple times now, but i never checked it out because i’m [whispers] a mood reader. but one day!! i will be in the mood to read this and i will love it. (i might be reading it this month actually with the book bound society, which i’m a moderator for now!)

author: Pakistani

berry 2 LIKE A LOVE STORY berry 1

Like a Love Storyi’ve heard amazing things about this book, and i think after checking it out a few times but never picking it up, it’s finally time for me to actually read this. the cover is just so beautiful!!! plus, it’s a story set during a historical crisis (the 1980’s AIDS epidemic) that is such a big part of gay history but is often erased, making it all the more important to read it.

author: Iranian

berry 2  LOVE FROM A TO Z  berry 1

Love From A to Zi think i meant to read this one last year because of the amount of people who just ADORED it and said it made them really happy, and i love happy books!! i really do!!! so i hope i get around to this one soon, because it looks like it’ll be the perfect book to take my mind of off things. and one of the main characters also has a chronic illness, which is so rarely represented in ya!!

author: Indian

fae divider (2)


last updated 11/11/20

here is where i’ll be keeping track of all the books i read. i know no one actually looks after they first see this, but it was just really cool for ME last year to come back and see the list grow as i read more and more books from asian authors!


The Poppy War (The Poppy War, #1)THE POPPY WAR (jan)

i love fang runin and i will let her step on me any day, every day. this was so good and genuinely an absolute masterpiece ★★★★★ [4.5]

⇒ author: Chinese

The Dragon Republic (The Poppy War, #2)THE DRAGON REPUBLIC (mar)

that ending was BRUTAL thank you so much for the pain ms. kuang!! but i am so excited and so scared for book 3 ★★★★☆

⇒ author: Chinese

The Best LiesTHE BEST LIES (mar)

i really needed a good thriller and this was it! i loved the characters and their relationships a lot, super bingeable too ★★★★☆

⇒ author: Chinese

Loveboat, Taipei (Loveboat, Taipei, #1)LOVEBOAT, TAIPEI (mar)

this was a liiiittle too dramatic for me and conflicts were resolved too quickly. characters are charming at first but have no real substance ★★☆☆☆ [2.5]

⇒ author: Chinese, and Filipino-Indonesian

This Is How You Lose the Time WarTHIS IS HOW YOU LOSE THE TIME WAR (mar)

the writing was so very beautiful and i loved the Yearning, but i would’ve liked to have known what the hell was going on ★★★☆☆

⇒ author (Amal El-Mohtar): Lebanese

Quiet Girl in a Noisy World: An Introvert's StoryQUIET GIRL IN A NOISY WORLD (apr)

this was a quick fun fun read that was relatable to me but also kinda felt like it was trying to be a Bit too “not like other girls” ★★★☆☆

⇒ author: unsure

The Mermaid, the Witch, and the SeaTHE MERMAID, THE WITCH, AND THE SEA (apr)

lots of great rep and had tons of potential, but underdeveloped romance, weird pacing/plot, and characters i couldn’t connect to ★★☆☆☆

⇒ author: Japanese

Book LoveBOOK LOVE (apr)

this was a quick read and it’s definitely relatable to book lovers but the whole thing fell flat for me since the jokes are old to me ★★★☆☆

⇒ author: unsure

The Henna WarsTHE HENNA WARS (may)

i really adored the qpoc rep and sister relationship in this, and the romance was also so sweet! bingeable and addicting too ★★★★☆

⇒ author: Bangladeshi/Bengali

Love From A to ZLOVE FROM A TO Z (may)

i love adam and zayneb so much, they are so cute!! it was such a great balance between more serious topics but also happy fluff ★★★★☆

⇒ author: Indian

Like a Love StoryLIKE A LOVE STORY (may)

my most controversial opinion yet… i was annoyed by the main characters and there were a lot of things that i was super uncomfortable with ★★☆☆☆

⇒ author: Iranian

On Earth We're Briefly GorgeousON EARTH WE’RE BRIEFLY GORGEOUS (may)

such beautiful writing, and though it took me a bit to get into, it was just such an otherworldly experience to read ★★★★☆ [3.5]

⇒ author: Vietnamese

Amina's VoiceAMINA’S VOICE (may)

it was a sweet and warm book, but the ending was just so underwhelming and the book as a whole was too short ★★★☆☆ [2.5]

⇒ author: Pakistani

Not Your Sidekick (Sidekick Squad, #1)NOT YOUR SIDEKICK (may)

i had a few objective issues, especially with predictability, but it was just So much fun to read and the romance is so cute!! ★★★★☆ [3.5]

⇒ author: Chinese-Vietnamese

Unravel the Dusk  (The Blood of Stars, #2)UNRAVEL THE DUSK (may)

i don’t even know why i didn’t like this one besides literally just not caring about the characters. i also was eh on the ending ★★☆☆☆

⇒ author: Chinese

Harley in the SkyHARLEY IN THE SKY (may)

this was very well-written, especially in terms of harley’s mental health, but i just didn’t care about the characters! ★★☆☆☆

⇒ author: Japanese

Forest of Souls (Shamanborn, #1)FOREST OF SOULS (june)

i don’t even know why i didn’t like this one besides just not caring about the characters. i also was eh on the ending ★★☆☆☆

⇒ author: Hmong

Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Promise (Avatar: The Last Airbender, #1)A:TLA: THE PROMISE (june)

hated all of katara and aang’s “sweetie”s but even beyond the show Zuko’s arc is still 👌👌👌👌👌👌👌👌👌👌 ★★★★☆

⇒ author: Taiwanese/Chinese

Girl, Serpent, ThornGIRL, SERPENT, THORN (june)

this was solid! i kind of wanted more (more from the romance, more darkness from the mc) but it was overall still good ★★★☆☆

⇒ author: Persian

StargazingSTARGAZING (july)

cute but i wish it was longer! didn’t realize i was supposed to be emotionally impacted until i saw other reviews ★★★☆☆

⇒ author: Taiwanese

The Rise of Kyoshi (The Kyoshi Novels, #1)THE RISE OF KYOSHI (july)

loved this so much more than i expected!! kyoshi and rangi are so GAY and i adore them and this whole book overall ★★★★☆

⇒ author: Chinese

The Burning God (The Poppy War, #3)THE BURNING GOD (july)

the ending made me sob my eyes out!!! this was my least favorite of the trilogy and definitely the weakest but. still so good ★★★★☆ [4.5]

⇒ author: Chinese

Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Search (Avatar: The Last Airbender, #2)THE SEARCH (july)

answered a lot of questions from the show but Azula deserved better :(( ★★★☆☆

⇒ author: Taiwanese/Chinese

Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Rift (Avatar: The Last Airbender, #3)THE RIFT (august)

fun but the only thing I can think of is how Aang’s head looks like an egg ★★★★☆ [3.5]

⇒ author: Taiwanese/Chinese

The Bone Shard Daughter (The Drowning Empire, #1)THE BONE SHARD DAUGHTER (august)

was so surprised by this book: it was so different from my expectations and the plot twists were SO GOOD! ★★★★☆

⇒ author: Chinese

Darius the Great Deserves Better (Darius the Great, #2)DARIUS THE GREAT DESERVES BETTER (august)

the romance aspect wasn’t for me and Darius was a bit… weird at times, but I still really adore these books and the heart of them ★★★★☆

⇒ author: Iranian

Know My NameKNOW MY NAME (august)

such a heartbreaking book, but so powerful, emotional, and important. really recommend this one, especially the audiobook [no rating]

⇒ author: Chinese

Where Dreams Descend (Kingdom of Cards, #1)WHERE DREAMS DESCEND (august)

one of the worst reading experiences i’ve had… nothing happened and everything was boring and annoying until the last 5% ★★☆☆☆ [1.5]

⇒ author: Filipino

The Silvered Serpents (The Gilded Wolves, #2)THE SILVERED SERPENTS (september)

kind of felt like nothing was happening in the beginning but oh my god the ending… (I love and hate Severin) ★★★☆☆ [3.5]

⇒ author: Indian-Filipino

Avatar, The Last Airbender: The Shadow of Kyoshi (The Kyoshi Novels Book 2)THE SHADOW OF KYOSHI (october)

didn’t love as much as the first book but god… this almost made me cry. I love Kyoshi so much!!! ★★★★☆

⇒ author: Chinese

These Violent Delights (These Violent Delights, #1)THESE VIOLENT DELIGHTS (november)

didn’t quite live up to my expectations but god!! the angst!!! the tension the drama!!! also Juliette Cai step on me ★★★★☆

⇒ author: Chinese

shall we chat

are you participating in yarc 2020?? whether or not you are, please hmu if you want to read any of these books with me! what are some asian books you’re looking forward to reading this year? any recommendations for my tbr?

blog signoff

33 thoughts on “The Year of the Asian Reading Challenge 2020: Sign-Up/Update Post + TBR!

  1. I am not participating in yarc 2020 officially since I failed in yarc miserably last year. 🙈 But I do hope to read more Asian books this year. I would love to read love from A to Z and the kingdom of back if you are interested in buddy reading either of them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you tasya!! and yes, i totally get that. i’m a little scared for myself this year in terms of reaching my reading goal in general, but with my school closing from covid-19 i think i’ll be getting some reading done haha. hope you’re doing well!! 💕


  2. Good luck with your challenge! I’m not taking part in any challenges this year (i even set my goodreads challenge to 1 haha), but I have enjoyed seeing everyone’s TBRs and making a note of any books that catch my eye :D

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you so much!! and aahh i usually don’t participate in many challenges besides from the gr challenge, but i always love this one since it’s asian and low-pressure 🥰 i hope you enjoy all the books that have been catching your eye!!


  3. i’m not like other girls!! i dont understand grammar!! (or maybe that is like other girls and we’ve been pretending to have brain cells all this time hm hashtag late night thoughts)


    ‘kingdom of back’ absolutely has to be read this year, i can’t wait to read it and omg im still scared of dragon republic and jade city, help im baby and im not ready for pain (tell me if theyre going to hurt me pls)

    love from a to z!!!!!!!!!! i can’t wait for you to read it, it’s so soft but also has so much family moments and made me cry too but its CUTE so fjdljfklaj love it pls

    also let me know if you want some graphic novels by asian authors (you know to cheat your number and stuff) bc i’ve found a couple lately and theyre really wholesome and cute


    Liked by 1 person

    1. “late night thoughts” may you sent that comment at 10pm……. grandma

      and SHUT UP i shouldn’t have mentioned 21 books of course you’d yell at me like a grandma to reach it i can’t handle this pressure

      okay jade city will hurt and also the dragon republic will hurt. i think it’s because it’s 2am rn but i’m tearing up thinking about it so enjoy reading them!!!! :o)

      and aahhh not to be s*ft on you but i actually think of you every time i think of love from a to z 🥺🥺 ur influence is too strong

      and YES why would i not want some graphic novels!!! please give me these recs immediately. GOOD LUCK TO U TOO GRANDMA 💕💕

      Liked by 1 person

      1. you’re bullying a grandma, how does that make you feel??

        ok technically i only have 2 right now (i need to read more before i can recommend) but they are “almost american girl” and “quiet girl in a noisy world” theyre both graphic novels and really cute and sweet and fast to read!!! so go on cheat away!!

        Liked by 1 person

    The Henna Wars looks so good! I’m looking forward to it as well :) and kingdom of back !! my dad is in the us right now and he’s going to try and find it for me because it’s like $40 aud wHICH IS TOO MUCH. lovely post :)))

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YES THERE IS!!! and i am very excited :o)

      aahh my hold for kingdom of back just came through so i’m excited to finally get to read it!! i think it’s going to be excellent. i hope you enjoy it (and the henna wars) whenever you read it!! 💖

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Good luck with the readathon! I’ve participated in YARC last year but barely managed to pass the book count for the badge I was aiming for. Not sure yet if I wanna join it again this year since I found my reading progress to be all over the place. Anyway your tentative TBR sure has some good books in there that I would love to read!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m also participating in YARC and I’m also aiming for the indian cobra hahaha I don’t think I’m doing very well so far, but I’ll take your TBR into consideration for ideas!! I really wanted to reach it! :D

    Liked by 1 person

    1. yay i’m so glad to hear you’re participating too!! and omg don’t worry about not doing well — i’m around like 2 books which is abysmal (though i’m trying to convince myself that 2 out of 12 total read books isn’t That bad). i hope you reach your goal — we both got this!! 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  7. it took all of my self restraint to not shout “MAY NO” at my computer and wake up all my family when I read “i like to represent that by refusing to type with proper capitalization. i’m not like other girls!”. I hope you’re proud

    (I’m sorry I don’t really do reading challenges so this is all I have to say on the subject apparently GDGHJGHFG)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m definitely not doing any reading challenges in any time because I’ve only read like 8 books this year and I have no motivation reading-wise at all, but all the books you chose on your TBR seem really interesting and I hope you like all of them! (Also, I love Mozart! You should totally listen to his violin concertos / sonatas, and pretty much any of his chamber music. ((but for some specific ones Oboe Quartet, Horn Quintet, and String Quartet No. 23)) He’s such a god) I haven’t read any of the books here, but all of them and the start of the series to the books that are in one are on my TBR.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ah i’m sorry to hear you’re hitting a bit of a slump! i also was doing kinda sucky at reading until recently when i went on spring break haha. but thank you!! and ahh thank you for the mozart recs! i’ve played a few pieces of his, so i think i’m pretty familiar with his style and i really like it, but i haven’t listened to too much so i’ll definitely check those out. hope you’re doing well, faith!! 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’d love to participate in YARC 2020, but I’m afraid of commitment and responsibility so I’m scared that if I *officially* join I’m just not going to read anything 😅 So for now, I’m an undercover participant.

    Dragon Republic has been on my TBR for ages but it’s just so big and scary and I’m terrible at keeping up with sequels…but I’ll read it eventually! Jade War also falls into the scary sequel class that I really want to read but will probably pick up in a few months. Aaah, I LOVED Steel Crow Saga!!! I really hope you like it!

    Like a Love Story…I had a few issues with, but I’ve seen loads of people who really love it! I Hope You Get This Message feels kind of appropo for nowadays since it kind of feels a little like the apocalypse 😂

    Hahahaha, you better get an ARC of Darius the Great Deserves Better! If not we’ll have to start a campaign called May Deserves Better all in order to get you an early copy of the book 😂 Best of luck with YARC 2020 May!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ah, i get that! i think the challenge is super lowkey and that’s why i like it so much, because it’s not lurking in the back of my head all year like the gr challenge is haha. but i’m glad you still will be “participating”, just not officially! ;)

      omg i was super scared by the dragon republic’s size as well, because i am so tiny and fragile, but as someone who regularly struggles to get through fantasy/adult writing, i truly flew through it! and aahh yep, i’m scared about jade war as well because i know it took me some time to get fully engaged in jade city, and jade war is humongous 😭

      oh, i’ll have to go see your thoughts on like a love story, since i’ve heard mostly only positive things! did you write a full review or anything? (it’s fine if not haha!!)

      oh my god that is the best idea, PLEASE start that campaign!!! i honestly am praying to the book gods that they’ll send me a copy aahhh


The Mango Queen demands your opinions.

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

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

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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