When my debut novel, Silver Phoenix, released back in 2009, it was the only Asian fantasy out there and one of the few YA books that featured an Asian protagonist. Oh, how times have changed! I’m delighted to say that nearly a decade later, there are many more YA novels with Asian protagonists to choose from, besides my own near-future thriller Want—the first YA science fiction set in Taipei (which is available to read as an extended excerpt until July 3rd)! Below is my list of seven YA novels recently released or soon to be released, each an excellent read!
7 Rad Books Featuring Asian Protagonists
Not Your Sidekickby
Not only is Lee’s debut accoladed (the book was a finalist for both the Bisexual Book Award and LAMBDA Literary Award), it has fans raving about both the entirely fun superhero romp and the great representation, including our heroine Jess, who is a bisexual Vietnamese Chinese American and kicks butt all day long!
I Believe in a thing called loveby
When varsity soccer star and Stanford-bound perfect girl, Desi Lee, decides to tackle her love life by using her “K Drama Steps to True Love,” nothing could go wrong, right?? I just did an author panel and signing with Maurene and I loved everything she had to say about this book! Read it!
The Library of Fatesby
A romantic coming-of-age fantasy tale steeped in Indian folklore, perfect for fans of The Star-Touched Queen and The Wrath and the Dawn, The Library of Fates follows Princess Amrita, who is stripped of everything she loves and forced to become a fugitive. Her only chance to reverse her and her kingdom’s fate is to find the fabled Library of All Things and wind back time to save her kingdom. Wow!!
The Epic Crush of Genie Loby
Genie Lo has to juggle college applications and getting into her top-tier choices with… fighting hell-spawn straight from Chinese folklore in her sleepy little Bay Area town?? Does a girl have to do everything around here? Apparently so! It’s fun and action packed!!! Go Genie!!
Pacific Rim meets Korean action dramas in this mind-blowing, New Visions Award-winning science fiction debut; I had the pleasure of reading Rebel Seoul early! Set in a near-future Seoul, Korea, this debut has everything you love about SF: the tech, the action, great battles! But at the heart of it, what I truly loved about Oh’s novel is her complex and layered characters and their relationships and dynamics. I loved what Oh had to say about family, loyalty, and friendships, and ultimately, about humanity and war
A Line in the Darkby
The line between best friend and something more is a line always crossed in the dark.What happens when friendships cross the line? I love this thriller by Lo because it’s so wonderfully crafted! Lo draws you in from the very beginning, and keeps you guessing about what happened on that fateful night at every turn. One of my favorites by Lo!
I loved Chee’s debut, The Reader, and this second book follows Sefia and Archer further on their journeys as they seek to recover from the painful memories and traumas of their past, and find ways to fight against the cruel impressors. Even as Sefia continues to try and unravel the mysteries of the Book, can she save Archer from a grim and violent destiny?