Year of the Asian Reading Challenge Sing-Up Post!

Hi, everyone!

Vicky @ Vicky Who Reads, Xiaolong @ The Quiet Pond, Shealea @ Shut Up, Shealea and Lily @ Sprinkles of Dreams have created the Year of the Asian Reading Challenge! 

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Here are the official rules:

GUIDELINES

The aim of this challenge is to read as many books written by Asian authors as you can! These books can be backlist titles (i.e. released in 2018 or earlier), new releases, and ARCs. We welcome books of any genre, any format, and any length. Check out the levels we have made for this challenge (I drew them too!) and set your sights on a level you want to achieve.

In order for a book to count, you must start and finish it within 2019; the challenge will end on the 31st of December of this year. (This means that books started in 2018 and finished in 2019 do not count!) Likewise, any books started in 2019 and finished in 2020 do not count either.

We want this to be a relaxing and, above all else, fun challenge, so you can join in at any time in the year! The sign-up form will remain open until 2019 ends.

Follow us on Twitter (@YearOfTheAsian) for announcements, surprises, and more bookish fun. The official hashtag for this reading challenge is #YARC2019.

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HOW TO JOIN

  1. Announce your intention to participate in YARC in any online platform (e.g. blog, Twitter, Goodreads) and create a progress tracker. Place the link to your progress tracker in our sign-up form below.
    1. If you’re a blogger, announce your participation via blog post, which will serve as your update post. Please make sure to link back to this sign-up post so that other people can join in, too!
    2. If you’re a reader without a blog, you can either create a Goodreads shelf that’s dedicated to the books for this challenge, or create a Twitter thread for tracking. Use the hashtag (#YARC2019) for the latter! Please make sure to link back to this sign-up post so that other people can join in, too!
  2. Select your target level and grab your badge! Display your badge on your blog, or share it on social media.
  3. Start reading and keep track of your progress!
  4. Share your updates on social media using the official hashtag: #YARC2019.

CHALLENGE LEVELS

Everyone who participates begins at the 1st challenge level, the Phillipine Tarsier. Each time you read the next tier of the challenge level, you move onto the next one!

  • Philippine tarsier: 1 to 10 books read
  • Indian cobra: 11 to 20 books read
  • Malayan tapir: 21 to 30 books read
  • Giant panda: 31 to 40 books read
  • Asian elephant: 41 to 50 books read
  • Bengali tiger: More than 50 books read

I’m aiming for the Asian elephant, but really, if I get the Bengali tiger I will be elated and proud of myself!

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MONTHLY LINK-UPS & GIVEAWAY

  • Monthly link-ups will be posted by Shealea on the 2nd day of every month and will close on the 15th day of the next month (e.g. the January form will expire on February 15).
  • For the monthly link-up, you can submit any of the following links:
    • Your updated progress tracker (e.g. blog post, Goodreads shelf, Twitter thread).
    • Your review of an Asian book that you read for that month. This could be a review on your blog, on Goodreads, on Amazon, or anywhere online. The review itself does not have to be elaborate; any length will do.
  • Every link you submit is counted as an entry for the mysterious grand giveaway, which will be drawn once the year ends. (It’s mysterious because we’ll be revealing the prize later on. Be patient!)

MONTHLY PROMPTS & RECOMMENDATIONS

  • We’ve prepared fun prompts for each month of the year! These prompts will be released quarterly (i.e. January, April, July, October).
  • Take note that you are free to read whatever you want, but if you want to make this challenge a bit more difficult and exciting, then participate in these prompts.
  • Because we are the kindest souls ever and we love talking about books written by Asian authors, we will pick three featured books based on the monthly prompts. These featured books will be included in the monthly link-up posts.
  • Lily, Vicky, and I will also post a list of recommendations every 1st day of the month to help you build up your TBR.

TWITTER CHATS

  • Once every two months, there will be a fun #YARC2019 Twitter chat. These chats will be held either on the 3rd or 4th week of the month.
  • The host for #YARC2019 is @YearOfTheAsian, so don’t forget to give us a follow on that account!

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Does it sound exciting? I’m ready to rock this challenge and I hope you will sign-up too!

Review: Mammoth by Jill Baguchinsky

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Mammoth by Jill Baguchinsky is a Young Adult contemporary novel which features girl who loves fashion and a paleontology nerd, in fact, Natalie was chosen as a recipient of a scholarship for an internship at an Ice Age site in Texas. While she’s there, she’ll see how hard this is a difficult world.Read More »

Review: Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman

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Title: Summer Bird Blue
Author: Akemi Dawn Bowman
Date: September 11th 2018
Pages: 368
Publisher: Simon Pulse

After reading Akemi Dawn Bowman’s debut novel Starfish (read my review here), I fell in love with this author. I couldn’t not read her new book: Summer Bird Blue. It’s a YA contemporary novel who follows Rumi during the months right after her sister’s death. She has been sent away to Hawaii by her mother and she has to learn to live with half of her heart gone while trying to regain her love and passion for music, a thing she shared with Lea.Read More »

Review: Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram

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Title: Darius the Great Is Not Okay
Author: Adib Khorram
Date: August 28th 2018
Pages: 320
Publisher: Dial Books

Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram is an own-voices YA book centering Darius Kellner’s journey to Yazd, his mother’s birthplace and the city where his grandparents and relatives live. He’s a half-American, half-Iranian boy who suffers of depression and who loves brewing and drinking tea.

I loved this book so much that I can’t even express how much I connected with the protagonist. Darius is me and I am he. He’s fat, depressed and he doesn’t fit in any group. He’s too American to be considered Persian, but he’s also too different to be considered 100% American, thus leaving him in a sort of limbo.

You know, two years ago I returned to China after a long time because my grandfather too was dying because of a tumor. It was awkward meeting him, after all, he was the remaining shell of what I am sure was a great man. And this is one of the things that Darius and I have in common, While in China, I started feeling like maybe there was a place for me, that if I wanted, I could belong somewhere.

It wasn’t like I didn’t want to talk to Mamou.

I always wanted to talk to her.

But it was hard, it didn’t feel like she was half a world away, it felt like she was half a universe away-like she was coming to me from some alternate reality.

It was like Laleh belonged to that reality, but I was just a guest.

I loved learning so much about a new culture: the food, the teas, the holidays, the language. Persian and Chinese have a period of history in common and this is why they both have an important thing in their culture: the taarof. I’ve always wondered about its rules, but I think I will never understand them.

The family dynamics resonated very much with me. The relationship between Darius and his father developed in a slow and beautiful way, like all the book honestly is. Darius the a Great Is Not Okay is raw and delicate at the same time. It makes you cry and it makes you smile.

I was one tiny pulsar in a swirling, luminous galaxy of Iranians, held together by the gravity of thousands of years of culture and heritage.

There was nothing like it back home.

Sohrab is a great friend, Darius’ only friend. He always try to make him comfortable and he doesn’t judge him for being depressed. This character always listened to Darius and helped him mature.

The writing style was captivating and this novel instantly became one of my all-time favorite books. If you’re looking for a heart-breaking and refreshing story, with descriptions of a culture totally different from yours, I highly recommend Darius the Great Is Not Okay. I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

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About the author

Adib Khorram is an author, a graphic designer, and a tea enthusiast. If he’s not writing (or at his day job), you can probably find him trying to get his 100 yard Freestyle under a minute, or learning to do a Lutz Jump. He lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where people don’t usually talk about themselves in the third person.

 

Book Tour with Giveaway: The Harper Effect by Taryn Bashford

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Title: The Harper Effect
Author: Taryn Bashford
Date: May 15th 2018
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary

THE HARPER EFFECT

Synopsis

Sixteen-year-old Harper was once a rising star on the tennis court–until her coach dropped her for being “mentally weak.” Without tennis, who is she? Her confidence at an all-time low, she secretly turns to her childhood friend, next-door neighbor Jacob–who also happens to be her sister’s very recent ex-boyfriend. If her sister finds out, it will mean a family war.

But when Harper is taken on by a new coach who wants her to train with Colt, a cold, defensive, brooding young tennis phenom, she hits the court all the harder, if only to prove Colt wrong. Read More »