Books for Lunar New Year

Happy Year of the Goat!

Golden-New-Year-Goat-2015

In honor of Lunar New Year (BTW, I was born year of the Tiger) I wanted to share some Asian-inspired reads. I may be wrong but it seems to me that there aren’t that many mainstream books with an Asian influence. Here are some that I’ve read and enjoyed. Leave a comment and let me know of your favorite Asian-inspired or Asian-centric books or movies. Thanks for reading!

The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan. Probably the most well known of this article. The movie was fantastic also. It follows 4 women and their female children as they come of age and come to terms with their mothers. A fascinating story and so well done!

Eon & Eona by Alison Goodman. This short fantasy series is an amalgam of Asian inspired culture and superstitions. It also speaks to drug use, gender issues, chauvinism and women’s roles in any culture. The dragons are a bonus. Well written, inventive, and exciting.

Gilded by Christina Farley.  After her mother’s death, Korean-American Jae-Hwa returns to Seoul with her father only to discover she is hunted by a demigod to be his mistress. Farley portrayed Jae-Hwa as a typical teenager that discounted everything her family cautioned her against and, if I must say, was a tad annoying because of it. However I enjoyed the story a lot overall and really appreciated the glimpse of Seoul – it was like taking a vacation.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. The least “Asian” story of them all. Park is half Korean in middle America during the 80’s. This love story is a must read for anyone who grew up in the era of big hair and power ballard or for fans of realistic YA. Rowell does an amazing job of writing about misfit teenagers falling in love. Fans of John Green will appreciate this story.

 

Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard

Pretty LiarsPretty Little Liars

I’m still here. And I know everything. –A

The first book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series that inspired the hit ABC Family TV show Pretty Little Liars.

In ultra-trendy Rosewood, Pennsylvania, four beautiful girls are hiding very ugly secrets. High school juniors Spencer, Hanna, Aria and Emily have grown apart since their best friend Alison DiLaurentis went missing three years ago. But now someone is sending them anonymous notes, threatening to reveal their darkest secrets. There’s only one person who knows that much about them, but Ali’s gone…isn’t she?

Full of unexpected twists and shocking revelations, this series opener that inspired the hit TV show is the perfect beginning for fans.

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Ani’s Review

So I finally broke down and read Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard.  I’ve waited so long because I really am not interested in a bunch of mean high school girls. Been there, done that, hope I was never as awful! However, I am also compelled to keep up with the times so I picked this up and am happy to say that it was well written and compelling. The down side for me was that it was about 5 main characters and it was very hard to keep them all straight. The even bigger down side for me was that there was no ending! I don’t usually do spoilers but I’m sure all of you have probably read this book or are watching the show (which is coming into it’s 5th season) so nothing is new to you except my opinion! As for that, I hated the ending. I hate all endings where you feel cheated. I spent all my time reading this book and all I get was…a lead into the next volume. It’s great for tv series and it’s obviously working out for them but I need some closure people! I did like Shepard’s writing though and she told a good story so I won’t disregard her stand alone books.

June Book Reviews At-a-Glance

June became a divergence from my normal routine. I had both kids at home for summer break and chaos ensued! Needless to say, I didn’t read much however, I did finally get on the band wagon for a fabulous TV show that many friends and family have been raving about. Thank you Amazon Prime for offering the first two seasons of Grimm! I’m very tempted to actually purchase the third season so I’m caught up on it all before the fourth season begins in October. I really shouldn’t watch that much tv though…sigh…Why do I feel  a lot less guilty reading a ton of books than I do watching tv? Of course, my favorites aren’t on anymore. Does anyone remember The Dresden Files? I found those books because of the show on Sci-Fi.  What are your favorite shows? I’ll add them to my list as well and who knows, maybe I’ll find time to watch them now that I’ve finished what I can of Grimm!

Here are the few book reviews that I did get to read this month! p.s. All of these images will take you to Amazon.com. If you like what you read here, use these links to purchase. It’ll help keep me in the book reviewing “business”. Thanks much!

Edgewood by Karen McQuestion Genre: YA Paranormal Russ is 15 and normal but unable to sleep at night so he sneaks out and goes for walks. During one of these walks he sees something incredible and his uncomplicated life changes drastically. This book was first person from Russ’s POV which I found kinda boring. I liked many of the other characters much better for some reason, maybe because there was no mystery about this kid? The story itself was a bit slow getting started but ended with a bit of a cliffhanger. I didn’t realize that this was the first in the series. I was happy to read that the next book is from a different POV and I am really intriguied by this character.

The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Here is the link to my full post. I read this for my YA book club. There were a lot of similarities between this and the Hunger Games and Divergent. Its also a short series I think only two volumes plus a short story so it’ll be an easy read for summer.

Awaken by Skye Malone Genre: Young Adult, Mermaid  Although I didn’t love the writing, it was actually a good read. I liked the paranormal twist to the mermaid archetype. I also did a full post on this one.

Into The Shadows by Karly Kirkpatrick Genre: Young Adult Contemporary, Paranormal  This story is about a Paivi, a 14 year old, who is hiding the secret that she has visions of the future. Shortly into her freshman year of high school, the government creates a task force to hunt down and segregate people that have special powers like her and her family. This first book follows her as she moves from clueless teen to government fugitive. I ended up liking this book because of the subject matter but I had some serious issues with the dialogue and even if this book is free on Amazon right now, there still needs to be some grammar and corrections! Pet Peeve!  Click on this image to buy.