The Year of The Asian Readathon Wrap-Up

Hey everyone!

If you’ve seen my last post you will know that I mentioned joining in two yearly readathon and well this is the second one, The Year of the Asian Readathon, so now it is time to wrap up all that I’ve read. 

 
Firstly, let’s talk about what this readathon is? 

It is a readathon where you read as many books by Asian authors across the whole year. You set a goal and go.

Thank you to CW @ The Quiet Pond, Lily @ Sprinkles of Dreams, Shealea @ Shut Up Shealea & Vicky @ Vicky Who Reads for hosting this readathon.
 
How did I do??? 

I was aiming for the ‘Indian Cobra’ which was 11-20 books but I actually ending up reading 31 (maybe 32) books so I surpassed my goal. However, I actually had a lower proportion of Asian books to total books read than I had planned so I would like to improve on that next year. 

 
My final badge ended up being…. 
The giant panda: 31 to 40 books readGreen and blue award badge with a Giant Panda in the center, and with four gold stars above the award.

divider. In centre is a red and pink mushroom/toadstool, on the left and right are pink swirls.

THE BOOKS

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A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir//★★★★.5// ahhh… I loved this! It has been my favourite in the ’ember’ series so far. The characters. The stakes. It was all happening.

Wildcard by Marie Lu//★★★// The main conclusion was a little unsatisfying, but I still liked the action and characters throughout this book, so it kept me hooked.

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan//★★★★// I thought this was a really solid first book in a YA fantasy series as it has action, romance and more. It was slightly predictable but still a compelling read. 

The Rose Society by Marie Lu//★★★★// This was such a strong sequel. I really loved it. The characters. The events. I know it is a pretty big fantasy series, but I wish I saw more talk/fanart for it because I really loved it.

The Midnight Star by Marie Lu//★★★★// This one has more mixed reviews and I can see where they are coming from, but I still really loved seeing how this series ended. There was always something happening, and I loved the character set-ups throughout this series.

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Love from A to Z by S. K. Ali//★★★★// I LOVED it. I would say it is one of my favourite contemporaries. I love the characters, the romance and how it was written with the ‘marvel and oddity’ style. 

Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee//★★★// This had such a fun superhero aspect and I really liked watching the events unravel and seeing what the characters would do.

The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco//★★★// This book had such a cool world building concept making it really intriguing. I loved how the plot was leading to a point and you were just waiting for it. I think it had a few pacing concerns and I wish I was more attached to the characters, but still a solid read.

Caster by Elsie Chapman//★★★★// I loved the magical tournament element which it turn made the plot and pacing really strong. I wish I had a stronger attachment to the characters, but I really liked it still. 

Our Wayward Fate by Gloria Chao//★★★// This book suffered from a strong case of insta-love but it still had enjoyable moments with a lot of emotion, so I stayed invested in the journey. The link to the past was also really cool, I actually really enjoyed that aspect. 

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The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar//★★★★// This was such a good contemporary. I love Nishat’s character, her sister relationship and the themes it dealt with. I highly recommend.

The Weight Of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf//★★★★★// I loved this book. It was poignant, well-written with characters that you really cared for. This book took you on a journey and delivered emotions at each stage expertly.

Not Your Villain by C.B. Lee//★★★// I think this ended up being my favourite in this series so far, even though I think the pacing was the weakest. I really liked Bells as a character and seeing the whole squad together.

Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman//★★★★// I loved the beautiful writing and the way the story focused on what art meant to Kiko. It was an extremely character driven, hard hitting read but I love the way the emotions were written. I wish we got to explore some other things more deeply but overall, a very good read.

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon//★★★// There were a lot of things I liked from this book making it an easy, quick read but I had a few issues too. I would have liked more from some things whereas other things I was less interested in.

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If at First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again by Zen Cho//★★★★// This was a really good short story with an excellent message, and I loved the use of mythology. As it was short, I didn’t fall completely in love though.

Not Your Back Up by C.B. Lee//★★★// I really loved the superhero focus in this book and the message written in the story but overall, I felt like it dragged a little bit as not much was happening until the end.

The Terracotta Bride by Zen Cho//★★★// Another short story but I didn’t enjoy this one as much. I think it had an interesting premise and I really liked the idea and themes surrounding it. I just wasn’t able to connect to the story given the time.

Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali//★★★.5// I love how this book was able to uncover so many mixed emotions over an array of topics and explore them well. I was able to connect to the characters too so I am very excited for the sequel. There were just a few things that didn’t work for me and the pacing felt off throughout the novel.

10 Minutes, 38 Seconds in This Strange World by Elif Shafak (translated by Natalia Wisniewska)///I liked how this was able to highlight not only the injustices of society, but the way the injustices are handled thereafter. It shone a light on the problems of society with lots of different layers to make you feel an array of emotions.

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Darius The Great Deserves Better by Adib Khorram//★★★★// I love the Darius series so much and I genuinely would read 10 more books with him. I thought this was a really strong sequel as it shifted onto a different part of Darius’s life and therefore the different emotions alongside it. The emotions in these books are perfect, I only wished for more family time in this one.

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong// Beautiful writing with the ability to touch on a wide variety of things in his life with a delicate but purposeful care. Unfortunately, I felt like I wasn’t able to appreciate everything as things went over my head.

Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay//★★★★.5// This was such a powerful read, dealing with a journey of yourself as much as with society. It was a very emotional and well written read. 

Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri//★★★★// A slow fantasy built heavily around a romance. It had beautiful writing and whilst I do the think the plot could have been improved; it didn’t necessarily affect my enjoyment.

Sofia Khan is Not Obliged by Ayisha Malik// Unfortunately I barely remember this read and it just went over my head. I wasn’t in the mood and kind of forced myself through it, so it didn’t really entice me at all. But I don’t think my opinion is the best because of how I was feeling so probably read some other reviews.

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The Vegetarian by Han Kang (translated by Deborah Smith)// You can take a lot out of this book as a mirror for society, so I think it was very clever how it used the story to do that. However, I didn’t get much enjoyment out of the story itself and it lacked a cohesiveness I would have liked, but that could be me missing points etc.

Rent A Boyfriend by Gloria Chao//★★★★// Such a fun read based around the ‘fake dating’ trope. I love Chao’s humour and addictive writing style. Plus, it deals with the themes of family and acceptance which I really love seeing in YA contemporaries.

The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen//★★★★// This was stunning. The art is distinct and magical. Plus, the story itself was full of themes of stories, identity, family and more. It was really good, so many people will love it. 

Forest of Souls by Lori M. Lee//★★★★// A really strong YA fantasy with a really interesting villain and magic system. I really enjoyed the setting, how the plot unravelled and the characters. Some things could have been explored more deeply but overall a really good read.

The Courage to be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga// I liked how the dialogue made this book effective at dealing with many points and challenging them in a format which was easy to understand. It was interesting to learn about Adler’s ideas and it gave me something to think about but I’m not sure I agree with everything said. I still consider it a good read though.

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These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong//★★★★// I loved the writing, the setting, the characters and the angst. I was able to read it in one day (I got a headache, but it was worth it which I think tell you everything you need to know). I do think the plot/mystery could have moved faster and for certain things to have been smoother but overall, it was really good, and I need the sequel.

A Sky Beyond The Storm by Sabaa Tahir// I’m currently reading this and I hope to finish it by the end of the year. BUT I probably won’t remember to update this if I do. 

divider. In centre is a red and pink mushroom/toadstool, on the left and right are pink swirls.

I really enjoyed this readathon as I don’t really track my reading like this, so it was interesting and beneficial to do. It definitely encouraged me to read more books by Asian authors which I intend to continue forever especially as there are so many greats books out there. I think going forward I would like to make sure I read from a variety of places across Asian as I have mostly read East Asian books this year.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think?

Have you got any Asian books I should add to my TBR?


27 thoughts on “The Year of The Asian Readathon Wrap-Up

    1. I was so surprised by how many books I managed to read this year to be honest. I think using free resources for the books like scribd and my library pushed me too as I kept seeing all these books and I pushed myself to read in a way. I also had more free time and kept staying up to 1am reading. It just happened so I’m sorry I don’t have lots of great advice for you. It was a really stunning read, I agree !!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Hi Sophie!
    Congrats on acing this reading challenge! I’ve been looking for a good graphic novel, and The Magic Fish might be just what I need 🙂 Wishing you a happy new year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Sophie!! Thank you so much, it was really fun to participate in it this year !! oohh… I hope you love The Magic Fish. It has a lot of good reviews and I definitely agree with them. Thank youuuuu, I wish you all the best for 2021 too !! 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  2. sophie you did so well on this challenge! i also participated this year with the goal of Indian Cobra, but last year my goal was the panda, which I missed by one book 😅 i also read on earth we’re briefly gorgeous and i too feel like things went over my head. things were made worse by the fact that i listened to it on audiobook—i am so bad at listening to audiobooks i literally space off every five seconds. and i’ve been meaning to read starfish for ages—i’m so happy you enjoyed it!

    p.s. your new blog aesthetic is so gorgeous 🥺 i’m so glad you’re back

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ahh.. thank you so much !! 💕 It was a really fun readathon to get involved with. aww.. one book so close but the main thing is enjoying the books (I say even though I was determined to reach 100 books at the end of last year and forced myself to finish books ahha)
      yeah some things just didn’t sink in and I feel like I missed the poignant meaning of everything at times. I listened on audio which I don’t think helped either. ohh.. I hope you enjoy it as well. I loved the art descriptions !!
      aww.. Caitlin, thank you so much 💕 it means the world, thank youuu! I’m glad to be back, I missed it and I missed talking to you too !

      Liked by 1 person

  3. WOW you read so much!! I’m so proud! These are also really great recs, so thank you a bunch for that!! <33
    Good luck for YARC this year! I want to join but I'm worried that I won't be able to make my goal, so I've been putting it off 😅 Also, I'll wait for your YARC 2021 post to see how to write mine.
    Once again, amazing post, and happy new year!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was a really good year for me reading wise and I can’t believe it really but thank you so much !! I’m so glad I could give you some recommendations and I really hope you love all the ones you decide to pick up.
      I’ve yet to see YARC announced for 2021 so I’m not sure if it is going ahead. I think I will continue to read Asian authors (obv) and track it as it is really helpful but I’m not sure if the readathon is going ahead, have you seen anything?? I know what you mean about having goals as they can add more pressure and take away from the enjoyment though.
      Thank you so much 💙💙💙 and Happy New Year !!

      Like

  4. fantastic post!! you read so many great Asian books 😊 i agree with your thoughts on Starfish, i first read it in 2017 and i remember that Kiko’s character really resonated with me, such a beautiful and moving read. i’m currently reading These Violent Delights and i’m really enjoying it!! it’s very intriguing and intense so far.

    Like

    1. Thank you so much 💕 there were definitely a lot of great books here !! I’m so glad you enjoyed Starfish, the writing really was stunning and it felt like a very personal connection to Kiko.
      Ahh… I’m so glad you are enjoying The Violent Delights and I hope you continue to. 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  5. ahh many of these books are on my tbr! i loved starfish, the weight of our sky and henna wars so much too! hope you have a great 2021 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. oohh I hope you get to read and love them !! ahh.. those all were amazing reads and I’m so glad I picked them up this year !! Thank you so much, I wish you a great 2021 too 💕

      Like

  6. I loved reading your YARC wrapup, it looks like you did really well! ❤ I have Empire of Sand on my Kindle TBR, so I’m happy to hear that you liked reading it! I also want to read Darius the Great Deserves Better this year 🥰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay, I’m so glad you liked reading it. Thank you so much!! Ohh I hope you end up really liking it as well, the writing is lush !! I hope you can get to it, I love these characters so much !! Thank you for reading !! 🥰

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Congrats on reading so much 😮!! For sure, I’m going to keeping checking on this post throughout the year for recs hahaha 😅. The Weight of Our Sky was one of my favorite books last year, and I think I may have read it because of you?? Reading more non-East Asian, Asian stories is something that I wanna be better about too 🙂!
    (also, sorry for spamming you with comments hahaha 😅. i’ve really missed your blog 🥺.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, it was definitely a good year reading wise ! aww.. yay, I hope you enjoy any of the books you check out !! Yay, I’m glad you enjoyed it so much too. It was such a great read and that’s so cool, it is always so wonderful to hear you loved a recommendation you may have gotten from me especially as this book deserves all the love 💕
      Hopefully we will both be able to achieve that, I know I have a lot of books on TBR !!
      It’s completely fine, thank you for reading my posts and commenting, it means the world and thank youuuu so much 💕💕

      Liked by 1 person

  8. ahh as an asian myself, i feel like i should be reading more asian books!! but because i only joined the blogosphere in autumn 2020, i wasn’t able to participate, and hopefully i will get the chance to this year (if school decides to give me a break lol)!! you read so many books this year, which is so amazing, because you made the most out of your 2020 :)) you did so well on this read-a-thon!! congratulations on getting the panda badge!! x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope you are able to read as many books as you want this year then, I know there are a lot of amazing Asian books about 💛 Aww.. That’s great that you recently joined the blogosphere, I hope you are enjoyed it 🥰 hopefully, school should really give you a break, it is the nice thing to do and I’m sure you deserve!! 🥰
      I was surprised by how many books I got to this year, I definitely wasn’t expecting it but I’m glad I could always rely on them 😊 thank you sooo much ❤️❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  9. ahh congratulations Sophie, you did so well on this challenge that’s wonderful ❤ I can't wait to read The Henna Wars, it sounds like such a lovely read. I also loved the first Darius book, I'm so happy to hear you enjoyed the sequel 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much !! I was definitely able to read more books than I expected last year which I was so grateful about. 💕 oohh I hope you love both The Henna Wars and Darius The Great Deserves Better, both were amazing books and I would love to know you thoughts on them !! 🥰

      Like

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