21 books to read for the Year of the Asian Reading Challenge – #YARC2020

Hi friends! I’m not really the kind of person that does a whole damn lot of reading challenges. I know, I just joined the Pondathon, but well…. aerm.
Yet, last year, I participated in the Year of the Asian Reading Challenge and, surprisingly, I made it. I think it’s due to two reasons:

  1. It’s a year long reading challenge, which means I don’t feel that pressured to get through all the books in a certain amount of time, and
  2. I already had a couple books fitting the challenge I was planning on reading during that year, so…. it was a win-win, really.

I was so, so happy to see that the wonderful souls behind the #YARC2020 challenge were back to it once again this year, but it took me a couple weeks to tell myself I would, could participate. I told myself in my reading resolutions for 2020 that this should be a low-key, fun reading year…. then, I started compiling a list of books fitting this challenge, for no reason and realized I had over 20 books I wanted to read fitting this.

So I told myself, why the hell not?

Long story short…. I’m going to join the Year of the Asian Reading Challenge once again this year.

The Year of the Asian Reading Challenge’s goal is to read as many books by Asian authors as you can. Here are the wonderful creators of this challenge.

For this year, I’m aiming again to reach the Philippine Tarsier goal, meaning I’m aiming to read 1 to 10 books fitting the challenge.

Now, beware because here’s my list of 21 books I could read for this challenge and… there were more, but for your sake and mine, I just decided to keep it at that random number. Whether you’re doing this challenge or not, I hope you’ll find some books to read!

You can click on the covers to get to the goodreads page of the book!

πŸ‚ Backlist Titles by Asian Authors

The Storyteller, Traci Chee

Why I want to read it πŸ”Ž I loved the first two books in the series so much, even if I have to admit that I’m a tiny bit terrified by them, too. They’re fascinating and just so well thought out and damn, this is why I adore these kind of books. I can’t wait to see how it all ends in The Storyteller.

πŸ“– read my full review of the reader

Wildcard, Marie Lu

Why I want to read it πŸ”Ž I really enjoyed Warcross when I read it… a long time ago now, and I’m really hoping to get to the sequel soon. I’ve heard it’s kind of disappointing, so I’m a little nervous to get into it, but I also really want to know how it ends?

The Downstairs Girl, Stacey Lee

Why I want to read it πŸ”Ž I want to read ALL of Stacey Lee’s books. I only read The Secret of a Heart Note so far, but I loved it and am just eager to read more from the author now. The Downstairs Girl sounds wonderful and I am in love with that cover okay.


The Kiss Quotient, Helen Hoang

Why I want to read it πŸ”ŽΒ  An adult read, for a change! I’m hoping to get to reading this book soon, as I’ve heard some great reviews about it so far and, when I’m in the mood for romance and adult reads, it sounds like I’d enjoy that one!


This time will be different, Misa Sugiura

Why I want to read it πŸ”Ž This Time will Be Different sounds like the kind of contemporary I’d fall for. A main character with a skill and passion her mom doesn’t really understand, complex family vibes, apparently great friendship and incredible character growth… this is my kind of contemporary.


Spin The Dawn, Elizabeth Lim

Why I want to read it πŸ”Ž I’ve been wanting to read Spin the Dawn ever since it released and even before. This just sounds SO good and everyone I know has loved this and yes okay I might be a tiny bit influenced. Also I mean this is Project Runway meets Mulan, this has magic dresses and romance and hello where is my copy?


Picture Us in the Light, Kelly Loy Gilbert

Why I want to read it πŸ”Ž I honestly want to read this because of May’s wonderful recommendation. I also feel like I’m going to cry while reading this and isn’t that a good enough reason? This has a best friend romance and family secrets and one of the best covers as well and ahh. I need this.

Want, Cindy Pon

Why I want to read it πŸ”Ž I think I will always remember CW’s recommendation when thinking about Want. This is a dystopia where rich people buy longer lives, this is about environmentalism and seems to have such a badass cast and apparently is a thrilling undercover-befriending enemies kind of read and I’m just excited to read this!

I Love You So Mochi, Sarah Kuhn

Why I want to read it πŸ”Ž You know me. I’m here for adorable contemporaries and I Love You So Mochi fits the bill just right. The main character goes to Kyoto to meet her grandparents for the first time and also tries to figure out her passion and this sounds soft and heartwarming and here for it. Also Kat heavily recommends it and I trust her!

A Reaper at the Gates, Sabaa Tahir

Why I want to read it πŸ”Ž I need to read this book this year, SOMEONE MAKE ME OKAY. I’ve been loving this series a whole damn lot, but I haven’t gotten to A Reaper At The Gates because…. I’m terrified. It’s a brilliant series, really. The world-building, the characters, the tension, I LOVE it all and can’t wait to see what happens next. but.scared.

We Hunt The Flame, Hafsah Faizal

Why I want to read it πŸ”Ž Okay so I’ve read snippets and quotes from this here and there and… I really want to discover the author’s writing style. I’ve heard mixed reviews about this book, but I am personally still curious about the world, the writing and its characters!

A Match Made in Mehendi, Nandini Bajpai

Why I want to read it πŸ”Ž This book sounds like so much fun! The main character makes a matchmaking app to pair up her schoolmates, this is about technology and tradition and has really cute romance vibes and I’m so curious about it!

Frankly in Love, David Yoon

Why I want to read it πŸ”Ž I’ve heard that Frankly in Love is pretty incredible and okay, I’ll bite. This has the fake dating trope and apparently it’s kind of a hard-hitting contemporary, too and I’m very much here for these kind of books.


πŸ‚ New YA Releases by Asian Authors – 2020

We Are Totally Normal, Rahul Kanakia

Why I want to read it πŸ”Ž Ahh I’m very very hyped about that one, as I’ve heard incredible things about it already. It’s about questioning your sexual identity, it’s about finding yourself while going through high school and it sounds lovely and I’m just so excited to read this!


The Silvered Serpents, Roshani Chokshi

Why I want to read it πŸ”Ž I really really loved The Gilded Wolves, it was such a fantastic, thrilling read and I AM SO HYPED to get to the second book and to see what happens next, especially given what has happened at the end of The Gilded Wolves.

πŸ“– read my full review of The Gilded wolves

Parachutes, Kelly Yang

Why I want to read it πŸ”Ž I only recently found out about this book, but it sounds so good and I adore that cover, I can’t wait to read it. It’s about teenagers staying in private homes in the US while their parents remain in Asia, about them trying to navigate this new freedom and life and it sounds really good.


Of Curses and Kisses, Sandhya Menon

Why I want to read it πŸ”Ž I already mentioned this book in my most anticipated reads and I can mention it here, too, because it fits the bill and it sounds really good. It’s a Beauty & The Beast retelling set in boarding school and has everything I could love in stories and I am excited!!


Scavenge the Stars, Tara Sim

Why I want to read it πŸ”Ž Another most anticipated reads of mine! Scavenge the Stars is a Monte Christo retelling and a story about revenge and my mind can’t help but think of the tv show Revenge that I loved, too and I can’t wait to try out that one.


Anna K, Jenny Lee

Why I want to read it πŸ”ŽΒ  This book gives me all the Gossip Girl drama vibes with its setting in Manhattan, its cast of diverse, rich and flawed characters and messed up lives and I’m just so very excited to read this okay.


Where Dreams Descend, Janella Angeles

Why I want to read it πŸ”Ž Where Dreams Descend sounds atmospheric and magical and I’m very excited to discover this debut novel that was blurbed as a mix of Phantom of the Opera and Moulin Rouge and promises to be an exciting read!!

Harley in the Sky, Akemi Dawn Bowman

Why I want to read it πŸ”Ž I loved Starfish so, so very much and I’m eager to read more from the author. Harley in the Sky is a book with a main character following her dreams to join a circus against her parents’ wishes and I’m eager to discover this world and this character following her dreams and figuring out what this really means.



Did you read any of these books? Did you enjoy them? Do you want to read them?

Do you have any recommendations for me for this challenge? Let me know in comments!





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Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. πŸ“š |🌍 | πŸ’ž Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

49 thoughts on “21 books to read for the Year of the Asian Reading Challenge – #YARC2020

  1. I hope you like Spin the Dawn! It was such an interesting twist on the fantasy competition trope.
    The Downstairs Girl and I Love You So Mochi (…it sounds so cute) are two I really want to get to this year as well. And I had never heard of Parachutes before, but it looks really interesting.
    Good luck with the challenge!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so so curious about Spin the Dawn I’ve heard so much about it, I can’t wait to read it!! πŸ˜€
      Thank you so, so much for your comment! ❀ I'm so happy I could make you discover another book πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I need to read that last book in Chee’s series too. I really liked it, and I should find out how it ends. I adored I Love You So Mochi, This Time Will Be Different, and TKQ. Those are three favorites there. Picture Us in Light was excellent too. I was good with Wildcard. It was a satisfying ending, and A Match Made in Mehendi was adorable. I have Anna K coming up on my TBR, and I have high hopes for it. I hope to read Menon’s new book(s) as well. Good luck with this challenge

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YAY! I’m happy you’re going to read it, this series is so underrated, we need more people to read it. I can’t wait to see how it ends πŸ™‚
      I’m SO happy to hear this, I’m so eager to read them all. I can’t wait to hear what you think of Anna K! πŸ™‚
      Thank you so much!! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I got an ARC of the Silvered Serpents, so I’m reading The Gilded Wolves and TSS this year as part of the challenge! I’m also re-reading a middle grade poetry book called Inside Out and Back Again that I loved when I was like, 12. πŸ˜‚ All of these books are absolutely fantastic! I hope the YARC goes great this year! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I can’t say I’ve read any of these books, but a lot of them are on my tbr list. The Kiss Quotient is literally going to be next read when I eventually finish a book haha. I had every intention of reading Spin the Dawn last year but didn’t get round to it. Good luck with the challenge.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I really want to read Picture Us In The Light and I Love You So Mochi!! And Frankly In Love was a pretty good novel… unfortunately, it didn’t quite fill my expectations, but I still liked it. πŸ™‚

    Good luck with the challenge, Marie!! You totally got this ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh yay, these two sound so good, I hope we’ll both love them πŸ™‚ I’m sorry to hear that Frankly in love wasn’t quite up to your expectations, but glad it still was a good read. I can’t wait to try it out πŸ™‚
      thank you so much!! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh gosh, A Reaper at the Gates nearly killed me. That ending. Part of me wishes that I’d waited until the new one was coming out before reading it, but I also felt so emotionally drained at the end (in a good way) that I’m kind of glad to have a lot of time in between. But it’s SO GOOD!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m….. very nervous now thank you πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ no but seriously, I’m really eager and curious to read A Reaper at the Gates. This series is hard on my emotions and nerves, but I love it ahah.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I just spent this entire post either nodding my head in agreement or frantically adding to my TBR πŸ˜‚ I really think I should consider joining this readathon, since so many of my high-priority TBR’s would probably qualify, but readathons TERRIFY me!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AH YAY my mission here is accomplishedπŸ˜‚ I hope you will join this readathon! What I love the most about it is how low-pressure it is, since it lasts all year long. I tend to be stressed about readathons, since they’re usually on a short timeframe, but here, I have all year to read at least one book, so… it seems doable and less terrifying! I hope you’ll give it a try πŸ˜€


  8. Stacey Lee, Sandhya Menon and Tara Sim are all authors I really want to try! I’ve heard amazing things about Empire of Sand, so I’m planning to pick that up for this reading challenge, and We Hunt the Flame is one I still need to cross off my TBR, too.

    I’m reading The Sword of Kaigen by M.L. Wang right now which is Japanese-inspired fantasy and it’s such a good book – I’d highly recommend it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh same, I’ve heard amazing things about these authors so I can’t wait to read their stories. And Empire of Sand, I’ve heard of that one as well! I’d love to hear your thoughts about it πŸ™‚
      Oooh, thank you for the recommendation, I’ll have to look it up πŸ˜€


  9. I adored The Kiss Quotient (and The Bride Test), and I’m incredibly excited for what Hoang has to offer in the future. Also, I definitely recommend reading the author’s note, because she discusses how the story is personal to her. πŸ™‚ Want is such a wonderful book, and tragically underhyped. 😦 I really enjoyed it and its sequel, Ruse, and I hope you well too. I need to read Stacey Lee’s books – I haven’t read any of them, but I badly want to – and I Love You So Mochi. I hope you’ll get to many of these books throughout the year, and that you’ll love them. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh yay that’s so good to hear! I can’t wait to read this book, I heard so many good things about it overall πŸ™‚
      I’m eager to read Want, I only heard little about it, but everything I’ve heard is good and it sounds exactly like the kind of read I’d like, so I’m pumped! πŸ™‚
      Thank you so, so much for your sweet comment, Veronika ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  10. This list is super useful and I’m definitely saving it for later!! I’m participating in YARC for the first time this year and aiming to read 11-20 books (slightly ambitious goal, but I found the cobra too cute to resist! xD). I’ve read A Match Made in Mehendi and I really, really enjoyed it, I hope you do too! ❀ Good luck!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh this makes me so happy thank you, Marta! ❀ I hope you'll love participating in this challenge and will read some great books, I can't wait to see which books you pick up πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m very excited to discover this debut novel that was blurbed as a mix of Phantom of the Opera and Moulin Rouge and promises to be an exciting read!! @artnhomede

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh thank you, Chana! I’m curious to read Wildcard and see whether I enjoy it or not, I’ve heard so many mixed reviews about it. And yeees We Are Totally Normal sounds amazing πŸ˜€


    1. I’m so happy you like it, thank you and I hope you’ll sign up for this challenge! πŸ˜€ I’m happy you liked Scavenge The Stars, I’m so, so curious about this one! πŸ™‚


  12. I loved reading about open TBR for YARC! It’s always great to have a lot of books to choose from depending on your mood πŸ₯° I also really want to read The Storyteller, I need to know how the trilogy ends! 😱 Personally, I loved Wildcard, even though it had a different tone from the last book and wasn’t what I expected, the conclusion still gripped me 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I so agree, that’s why I love this kind of challenge so much, I just feel so free haha πŸ™‚
      I can’t wait for us to read The Storyteller, hope we can read it soon! πŸ™‚ and I’m happy to hear that about Wildcard, there are such mixed reviews about it, I’m a little nervous to read it.
      Thank you!! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  13. A lot of these are books that I seriously want to try and get read this year. Especially the Reader series, An Ember In The Ashes, Spin The Dawn, We Hunt The Flame & Where Dreams Descend. I have a lot of Marie Lu books that I want to get to this year too. And I LOVED Revenge as well!!! It was such an addictive show to watch. Good luck with the reading challenge (: I’m setting myself a fairytale retelling one as I have some that I seriously want to read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhh yes yes! I’m so happy we have so many books in common and I can’t wait for you to start The Reader series, it’s so good! πŸ™‚
      Revenge was such an incredible show, right? I miss it ahha πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh thank you, Nicole! I’m so happy you loved Scavenge the Stars, I can’t wait to read that one πŸ™‚ VERY eager to hear your thoughts about WANT, too, it sounds so good!! πŸ™‚


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