10 Most Interesting Asian Myths and Retellings

I love that more and more diverse books by marginalized authors are coming out, but we haven’t reached a point where publishing is truly diverse. As an international blogger, I adopted this cause as my own at the start of the year and have been pushing as many diverse books as I can on my blog and bookish social media. However, I feel a certain kinship with Asian books because I can see more of myself on the page in them. So, this year I’ve been focusing on reading as many Asian books as I can and I want to talk about some of my recent reads as well as some that are on my TBR. I love retellings and I’ve recently read some amazing Asian ones, so I decided to recommend my favourites as well as highlight the myths behind them.

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Book Review: Shadow of the Fox

Author: Julie Kagawa

Genre: Fantasy

Age Range: 13+

Published: By HQ Young Adult on November 1st, 2018

Content Warning: Gory violence, animal abuse and death

Format I Read: Kindle e-book

Grade: Outstanding

Note: I received a free digital ARC of the book via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review

Book Review: Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa | Nandini @ Unputdownable Books (post graphic image)

Book Synopsis (section header)

One thousand years ago, the great Kami Dragon was summoned to grant a single terrible wish and the land of Iwagoto was plunged into an age of darkness and chaos. Now, for whoever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers, a new wish will be granted. A new age is about to dawn.

Raised by monks in the isolated Silent Winds temple, Yumeko has trained all her life to hide her yokai nature. Half kitsune, half human, her skill with illusion is matched only by her penchant for mischief. Until the day her home is burned to the ground, her adoptive family is brutally slain and she is forced to flee for her life with the temple’s greatest treasure — one part of the ancient scroll.

There are many who would claim the dragon’s wish for their own. Kage Tatsumi, a mysterious samurai of the Shadow Clan, is one such hunter, under orders to retrieve the scroll at any cost. Fate brings Kage and Yumeko together. With a promise to lead him to the scroll, an uneasy alliance is formed, offering Yumeko her best hope for survival. But he seeks what she has hidden away, and her deception could ultimately tear them both apart. With an army of demons at her heels and the unlikeliest of allies at her side, Yumeko’s secrets are more than a matter of life or death. They are the key to the fate of the world itself.

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5 Essential Things That Will Make Any Book Unputdownable

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. How it works is that each Tuesday the host assigns a topic and then posts their top ten list that fits the topic. Every blogger can create their own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well and link to the host’s. The topic for April 2nd, 2019 is: Top Ten Things That Make Me Immediately Want to Read a Book. I’m going to talk about my favourite tropes/elements in the sci-fi and fantasy genre in this post and also recommend one diverse book that uses a particular trope well.

5 Essential Things That Will Make Any Book Unputdownable | Nandini @ Unputdownable Books (post graphic image)
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Book Review: Internment

Author: Samira Ahmed

Genre: Contemporary, dystopia

Age Range: 13+

Published: By Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on March 19th, 2019

Content Warning: Islamophobia, racism, torture, mental trauma and death

Format I Read: Kindle e-book

Grade: Outstanding

Note: I received a free digital ARC of the book via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review

Book Review: Internment by Samira Ahmed | Nandini @ Unputdownable Books (post graphic image)

Book Synopsis (section header)

Set in a horrifying near-future United States, seventeen-year-old Layla Amin and her parents are forced into an internment camp for Muslim American citizens. With the help of newly made friends also trapped within the internment camp, her boyfriend on the outside, and an unexpected alliance, Layla begins a journey to fight for freedom, leading a revolution against the internment camp’s Director and his guards.

Heart-racing and emotional, Internment challenges readers to fight complicit silence that exists in our society today.

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5 Fantasy Books with Immersive Worlds

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. How it works is that each Tuesday the host assigns a topic and then posts their top ten list that fits the topic. Every blogger can create their own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well and link to the host’s. The topic for February 26th, 2019 is: Places Mentioned In Books That I’d Like to Visit.

5 fantasy books with immersive and lush world-building | Nandini @ Unputdownable Books (post graphic image)
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Book Review: Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Author: Becky Albertalli

Genre: Contemporary

Age Range: 13+

Published: By Balzer + Bray on April 7th, 2015

Content Warning: Homophobia, bullying and underage drinking

Format I Read: Audiobook

Grade: Exceeds expectations

Book Review: Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli | Nandini @ Unputdownable Books (post graphic image)

Book Synopsis (section header)

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

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5 Diverse Books That Deserve More Praise

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. How it works is that each Tuesday the host assigns a topic and then posts their top ten list that fits the topic. Every blogger can create their own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well and link to the host’s. The topic for February 19th, 2019 is: Books I LOVED with Fewer than 2,000 Ratings on Goodreads.

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50 Book Recommendations for Year of the Asian Reading Challenge 2019

As every good Asian blogger is wont to do, I squealed with excitement when the Year of the Asian Reading Challenge was announced by the wonderful hosts – Vicky, Shealea, CW and Lily. I also started Stars and Sorcery, a book club on Twitter, with the express wish to read more sci-fi and fantasy by authors of colour. My co-hosts Shruti, Charvi and Aditi are hatching plans with me to bring back Indian Lit Readathon around the same time this year too. 2019 will definitely turn out to be the Year of the Asian for me because of these three reasons but if you’re also looking forward to doing that, I wanted to give you a little nudge in the right direction by putting together a list of recommendations. I’d mentioned in my post about reading challenges a few weeks back that I’d do recommendations for all the challenges and here is the first one in the series. I have teamed up with 9 amazing Asian book bloggers to help you achieve the highest attainable level in this reading challenge – the Bengali Tiger. Please note that I’ve mentioned the rep wherever possible – I’ve only mentioned the main character’s Asian identity, and in some cases, the author is Asian but hasn’t written about Asian characters, so I have left those intentionally blank.

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5 Diverse Anthologies You Shouldn’t Miss in 2019

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. How it works is that each Tuesday the host assigns a topic and then posts their top ten list that fits the topic. Every blogger can create their own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well and link to the host’s. The topic for February 5th, 2019 is: Upcoming Releases I’m On the Fence About. I’m tweaking the topic a little to help you put these amazing books on your TBR.

5 Diverse Anthologies You Shouldn't Miss in 2019 | Nandini @ Unputdownable Books (post graphic image)
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Book Review: The Astonishing Color of After

Author: Emily X. R. Pan

Genre: Contemporary, magical realism

Age Range: 13+

Published: By Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on March 20th, 2018

Content Warning: Depression, suicide, death of a parent

Format I Read: Hardcover

Grade: Outstanding

Book Review: The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X. R. Pan | Nandini @ Unputdownable Books (post graphic image)

Book Synopsis (section header)

Leigh Chen Sanders is absolutely certain about one thing: When her mother died by suicide, she turned into a bird.

Leigh, who is half Asian and half white, travels to Taiwan to meet her maternal grandparents for the first time. There, she is determined to find her mother, the bird. In her search, she winds up chasing after ghosts, uncovering family secrets, and forging a new relationship with her grandparents. And as she grieves, she must try to reconcile the fact that on the same day she kissed her best friend and longtime secret crush, Axel, her mother was taking her own life.

Alternating between real and magic, past and present, friendship and romance, hope and despair, this is a novel about finding oneself through family history, art, grief, and love.

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