Currently Reading: YA Immigrant Stories & #OwnVoices Korean Historical Fiction

Reading has been really relaxing for me lately. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve been pacing myself with it and only reading one book at a time, or if I’ve just been picking the perfect titles for whatever my current mood or literary craving has been. Whatever the reason, it’s been such a welcome reprieve and I’m hoping this comfort shall last me through the rest of the Summer. If there’s anything that I would change slightly, it would be an effort to read more of the ARCs that I have sitting in my To-Be-Read stack.

A few months ago, I went on a Requesting Spree over on NetGalley, not really expecting to get approved for most of those books. Yet, my expectations completely blew up when nearly every request was granted. So, now I have a giant stack of upcoming 2020 novels to dive into. Luckily all the titles are from a diverse chunk of genres, which should help keep me from feeling burned out from reading them all.

Since I took a week or so off from blogging to recuperate my mental health, I thought it would be fun to share a couple of ARCs that are on my priority list for the upcoming week, as well as some older novels that my mood is driving me towards. This also helps me to get re-acclimated with writing posts again.

Come On In: 15 Stories About Immigration and Finding Home edited by Adi Alsaid: An anthology collection of stories by YA authors who are immigrants or children of immigrants that explore the immigrant experience, including the joys and hopes, as well as the sadness and heartbreak that goes with leaving your home behind to start anew somewhere else. I’ve read the first story in this so far and it was so evocative and heart-wrenching, but also quite beautiful. It reminded me a lot of what it was like to leave Fiji behind to move to the US. I’m eagerly anticipating the rest of the tales to come. This is an ARC.

Burning Roses by S.L. Huang: This #OwnVoices Asian fantasy novel is about Rose (a.k.a. Red Riding Hood) and an archer named Hou Yi. The duo join forces to stop deadly sunbirds from ravaging the countryside. The quest take the ladies into a reckoning of sacrifices made and mistakes mourned, of choices and family and the quest for immortality. Something about this fantasy novel just sounded so cool and it’s one of the releases for the year within the genre that I’m looking forward to the most! This is an ARC.

The Kinship of Secrets by Eugenia Kim: An #OwnVoices Korean historical fiction story that takes place in 1948. It follows Najin and Calvin Cho who travel from South Korea to the USA with their young daughter Miran in search for new opportunities and a better life. Wary of challenges that they know will await them, Najin and Calvin make the excruciating decision to leave their infant daughter, Inja, behind with extended family, hoping to return and reunite with her as soon as they are able to. Then war breaks out in Korea and there is no end to the separation. Miran grows up in the American suburbs while Inja has to grapple with a war-torn land a connection to a family she doesn’t remember. Even though the parents long to reconnect with their long, lost daughter over the immense distance, time, and war, deep family secrets threaten to upend everything.

Those are going to be my reads for the rest of this week and maybe into the next one a little bit. Come On In is one of my most-anticipated books for 2020, and I feel very blessed to have an opportunity to read and review it. So many marvellous authors have contributed to this anthology and I can’t wait to read and relate to their experiences, especially being an immigrant myself.

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5 thoughts on “Currently Reading: YA Immigrant Stories & #OwnVoices Korean Historical Fiction

  1. Those sound really interesting. I’ll be looking forward to the reviews! I’ve always thought it took immense courage to pick up and move to another country.

    • A lot of folx are just looking for a better life for their family. My family moved here from Fiji because political tensions made it dangerous for us to remain there, but I miss it every day. I can still remember the immense hardships my parents faced in a new country where they barely spoke the language. It was… so hard, to say the least. I definitely have mad respect for people who decide to undertake such a humongous change.

      • I’ve traveled quite a bit around the U.S.A. and I know how different people and customs can be only 100 miles apart – let alone a new country, a new language (!!!), a new climate… it would be so hard and so terrifying. I know some people do come following family members so at least they know a few people, but many more come without a single person they can rely on. And to come like that when you have children to care for and worry about? There are just no words for that kind of courage. It’s one thing to run into a burning building, or a hail of bullets when you are trained for it, and you are only risking yourself for a few minutes. To face day to day life where every moment is a struggle of some sort… if people really thought about it I’m sure they would offer far more understanding and help to immigrants. And yeah, no doubt you never stop missing your home country.

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