The Leavers by Lisa Ko: A Journey of Emotional Providence Amid the Intimacies of Diasporic Othering – Book Review

The Leavers by Lisa Ko is Chinese-American fiction literature book that centres on the lifelong consequences and ramifications of abandonment, and how it contributes heavily to cultural identity crises of multicultural children adopted into white families. We follow Deming Guo, a Chinese-American adoptee that lives in the suburbs with his white parents amid forced assimilation into a world of racist white privilege.

Burning Roses by S.L. Huang: A Beautifully Dark & Queer Re-Imagining of Many Fairy Tales – Book Review

Burning Roses by S.L. Huang is an adult own-voices Queer Chinese fantasy novella about Rose (a.k.a. Red Riding Hood) and an archer named Hou Yi. Together they join forces to stop deadly sunbirds from ravaging the countryside. Their journey shall take them into a reckoning of terrible sacrifices, a mourning of mistakes, of choices, and also of family amid a quest for immortality.

The Moon in the Palace by Weina Dai Randel: A Slow-Paced Retelling of Empress Wu’s Beginnings – Book Review

The Moon in the Palace by Weina Dai Randel is an own-voices Chinese historical fiction novel that is the first in a duology chronicling the life of Empress Wu as she rose from a simple concubine to become one of the most powerful rulers in Chinese history. The story begins with a little girl named Mei who is picked to become a potential paramour for the Emperor. In the wake of her father’s demise, she is whisked away to the palace, never to see her family again.

These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong: An Outstandingly Lyrical & Savagely Imaginative Re-Telling of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet

These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong is an own-voices Chinese young adult historical fiction story that is an imaginative re-telling of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. This breath-taking debut novel takes place in 1920s Shanghai where a blood feud between the Scarlet Gang and the White Flowers runs the streets, leaving the city in the grips of chaos. At the heart of it all is eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, a former flapper that has assumed the role of proud heir to the Scarlet Gang, and Roma Montagov, who happens to be the White Flowers heir apparent, as well as Juliette’s first love… and first betrayal.

The Imperial Alchemist by A.H. Wang: An Ordinary Yet Culturally Rich Historical Adventure – Book Review (#OwnVoices Chinese Fiction)

The Imperial Alchemist by A.H. Wang is an #OwnVoices Chinese historical thriller that alternates between two time periods. In 210 B.C.E. China, we follow the country’s most powerful emperor and his search for the elixir of life while his existence dangles on the brink of death. In the present era, we get acquainted with renowned…

The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See: A Precise, Poignant, & Purposeful Narrative on Cultural Identity & the Strength of Women – Book Review (Historical Fiction)

The Island of Sea Women by Chinese-American author Lisa See is historical fiction story about two women—Mi-ja and Young-sook—who developed a deep-seated friendship as children; one that would follow them throughout their lives, via every obstacle and awe-inspiring challenge that befell them, together and as individuals. Their journey is set on the Korean island of…

The Crystal Ribbon by Celeste Lim – Book Review

The Crystal Ribbon by Celeste Lim is an #OwnVoices Chinese literature, young adult fantasy novel. Even though the novel has a twelve-year old main character and is classified as a middle-grade read, the content and subject matter of the  book would be more appropriate for mid-to-older teens, personally speaking. It was originally published in January…