My TBR for Asian Heritage Month & Some Recommendations!

Hello, it’s May!!

Which is Asian Heritage Month (which is pretty obvious due to the title of this post)!

I’ve been wanting to read more books by Asian authors for longer than I’d like to admit, and I’m using this post as a reason push myself to do just that! I’ll be listing some Asian books on my TBR that I’m hoping to read this month! I’ll also be recommending books with Asian characters by Asian authors that I’ve enjoyed and/or felt represented by in the past (this is just an excuse for me to talk about the same books again 😌).

black water sister

I’ve been so intrigued about this because a Malaysian-set contemporary fantasy about a lesbian and gods, ghosts, and family secrets is something I desperately need right now! I’ve also heard many good things about it and I’m practically vibrating with anticipation (and also the tiniest bit intimidated because it has the potential to emotionally wreck me). It comes out May 11 and I cannot wait to get my hands on this soon!!

a wish in the dark

This is a Les Misérables retelling set in a Thai-inspired world that I am honestly very excited to start!! It explores the topics of poverty, wealth disparity, and equality, and sounds exactly like something I’d love. I also haven’t been reading as many middle grade books as I’d expected, so I hope this is only the start of reading more MG!

summer bird blue

I’ve been wanting to read this for a while now, especially after hearing about how beautiful it is, and after reading the masterpieces that were Starfish and The Infinity Courts. And I’ve heard it’s heartwrenching, so sign me up! (I am in dire need of some more crying books.) It also has multiracial, mental health and queer rep and my expectations are going 📈📈 !! (I think this is very fitting, since I believe May is also mental health awareness month!)

the best lies

The Best Lies is a psychological thriller that I’m scared of! It’s currently sitting on my shelf and I’m afraid to pick it up because I’m easily scared and can’t handle thrillers/murder mysteries!! However, I’m going to read it in May anyways because of curiosity (and because my library loan is due soon lmao). It’s full of dark things, twisted relationships, and plot twists, following Remy, a girl whose boyfriend was shot dead by her best friend but can’t remember why. I . . . am utterly terrified. But I’d eat the lollipop on the cover.

the bone witch

This is one of those books I feel like you either love or hate because there are a lot of mixed reviews, but it’s about bone witches, necromancy, and elemental magic (I cannot resist!!) And I enjoyed The Never Tilting World by same author, so I’m looking forward to reading another book by them.


This is about two girls on opposite sides of a war who realize they’re fighting for a common cause and fall for each other. It also has found family, mecha-deities, and cyberpunk weaponry. (Hold me, I’m weak.) I’ve been waiting to read this one ever since I first heard about it, but I made myself wait until this month to read it :’)

jade fire gold

I feel very lucky to have an eARC of this; it’s a combination of everything I could possibly ask for: The Tiger at Midnight, Girls of Paper and Fire, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Chinese mythology, and this gorgeous cover. This book is about magic and an alliance between a peasant girl and an exiled prince!!

some recommendations

Hello, I am here once again to recommend Starfish for the 230948th time! It’s truly so gorgeous and hard-hitting in the very best ways with quotes so lovely they made my heart ache. It’s a love letter to those who struggled with their identity and still are, those who have survived trauma, or simply those who are still healing and learning to live for themselves. I personally related so much to the topics discussed in this; it brings me comfort in a way I can’t explain, and will forever go down as one of my favorite books.

These Violent Delights is one of those books that will destroy you without mercy, a knife into your heart. This brilliant Romeo & Juliet retelling set in 1920’s Shanghai is one not to be missed, and the hype for it does not lie. The ending left me hanging and I need the second book immediately, although I know there will be pain, something I find in everything Chloe Gong writes. And, to the readers eager to pick this up, take note: opening yourself up will end in bloodshed, it is only a dream that costs blood where no one escapes unscathed.

But if you’re more in the mood to read contemporaries with cute romances, my number one recommendation would be The Henna Wars. It’s an f/f romance between two business rivals with side commentary on social issues such as racism and homophobia. It was so emotionally touching and so underhyped and I think you should go read it soon!!

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The books above are other books by Asian authors I’ve enjoyed and highly recommend!!

do you have any Asian book recommendations?? what are you planning to read in May? have you read any of these books?

40 thoughts on “My TBR for Asian Heritage Month & Some Recommendations!

  1. Haven’t read any of these but so so many are on my tbr! I’m especially excited for These Violent Delights. I’ve finally finished school for the summer so I’m excited to have more time to read now!


  2. love this post Katie!! you mentioned so many incredible books ahhh 🤩 i really loved Summer Bird Blue – it was such a touching exploration of grief and made me feel so soo much :’) i agree that Starfish is a beautifully written and emotional book as well, and the anxiety rep made me feel so seen ❤ i'm really excited to read The Infinity Courts and experience more of Akemi Dawn Bowman's gorgeous writing!! also yes TVD is absolutely incredible hehe and i actually cannot wait for Our Violent Ends 👀 wonderful post!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. omg katie! i love your list so much! i have an ARC of gearbreakers and i can’t wait to get it – plus black water sister sounds SO good?? jade fire gold is something i KNOW will break my heart, and i cannot wait till it’s out and it breaks my heart 👀 also cannot wait till our group read of the best lies 💓🍭(lmao it feels wrong to be calling it a buddy read when there are 4 people) i love all your recs sm too!

    lovely post 💞

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Gosh, I feel like I only read Asian books. 😂 They’re important to me!! I ABSOLUTELY recommend Folklorn by Angela Hur. It is…. beautiful. It really captures the Asian Diaspora experience so well. It’s like my new favorite book. 🥰

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  5. Okay so I’m really excited for you to read A Wish in the Dark because it’s super good.
    Also: I NEED to read Summer Bird Blue. I’ve been wanting to read it for a long time because aro/ace spec rep but I’m also terrified of picking it up because I’ve heard it’s so sad. Do you want to buddy read it with me this month (depending on if/when I can get it in from the library)?
    I’ve been looking for more contemporary/realistic fiction to read recently so I think I’d like to pick up starfish and henna wars as well. Obviously I’ve heard a LOT about the Poppy Wars but I’m terrified of that as well because I’ve heard that it’s so heavy. I may have to read that one soon.
    Awesome post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. yess i’m so excited to get to it!! of course! <33 alsdkfjlksjd starfish and the henna wars are amazing and i couldn't recommend them more, i'm so glad you're thinking of finally reading them! the poppy war is definitely really dark, but it's definitely worth the read :')

      Liked by 1 person

  6. These Violent Delights is on my TBR this month! Also sooo jealous of your eARC for Jade Fire Gold haha can’t wait for your review!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great recs!! All of these are on my tbr but I felt so happy to see them here anyway…I’m going to read These Violent Delights soon so I can’t wait to see what I think of it!! Lovely post💕

    Liked by 1 person

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