top 5 recommendation | YARC books

This year I’ve joined YARC – the year of the Asian reading challenge! At the time of writing I’ve read 10 books out of my target of at least 11. And some of them have been awesome!

A brief explanation of YARC: The 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 even ARCs. Any genre, any format, and any length.

In order for a book to count, you must start and finish it in 2019 because the challenge ends on the 31st of December this year. This means that books started in 2018 and finished in 2019 do not count. Likewise, any books started in 2018 and finished in 2019 do not count either. Rereads count, too, as long as you reread them within 2019.

You can join in at any time in the year! The sign-up form will remain open until 2019 ends.

The hosts are:

SO, what are some of the best YARC books I’ve read so far? Let me tell you!

  1. Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram – THIS BOOK! I read it during the Mental Health Book Bingo and I immediately became obsessed. It is about Darius, a fat, queer Iranian boy who has depression. It’s all about family and mental health and belonging.
  2. The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang – I didn’t know what to expect with this book – I’m not usually a fan of fantasy, let alone 500+ page fantasy! However I can honestly say that this is one of the best fantasy books I have ever read. It is so grand in scale, and yet still takes time to focus on characters and relationships. I can’t wait to read the sequel.
  3. Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman – I loved Akemi’s first book, so I had high expectations for this one. It follows Rumi, an acerbic mixed-race teenager, after the death of her sister. It touches on grief, music, and queerness, among other things. It was beautiful and difficult and I loved it. Read my review here.
  4. It’s Not About the Burqa edited by Mariam Khan – I learned so much from reading this book. It is a collection of essays by Muslim women, and it talks about everything – from fashion to queerness to sex. It exists as a space for Muslim women to talk about aspects of their lives besides whether they wear a veil or not. There wasn’t a single essay that wasn’t incredible.
  5. The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco – two fantasy books on this list?! You better believe it. I was seriously impressed by The Bone Witch. I bought it because of the hype, and I’m so glad that I did! The world-building was incredible, and the character arc for the main character, Tea, was brilliant. I actually loved the fact that it was a slower-paced fantasy, because it allowed me to really get to know Tea, and understand her motivations.

5 books that I want to read include:

  1. The Way You Make Me Feel
  2. The Kingdom of Copper
  3. The Downstairs Girl
  4. Hungry Hearts
  5. The Bride Test

Are you participating in YARC? What books have you read so far?

10 thoughts on “top 5 recommendation | YARC books

  1. Lydia Tewkesbury says:

    Loved The Bone Witch! Though I haven’t picked up the sequel yet. I need to get around to that.

    I think on this list I’m most intrigued by It’s Not About The Burqua. I love an essay collection – and weirdly I hadn’t heard of this one!


    1. whatthelog says:

      Me too! It’s one of the few series which I’m actually planning on finishing.

      It is SO good. I’d recommend following the editor Mariam Khan on social media as well.


  2. christine @ lady gets lit says:

    I’m so glad you loved Darius the Great because it’s on my TBR for YARC and I don’t know why I’ve been putting off reading it honestly. I also really want to read Summer Blue Bird and I haven’t read Starfish yet either (I know, shame on me).


    1. whatthelog says:

      All three of them are ridiculously good. I know you were disappointed with the ending of GoT (I was too) and I think that The Poppy War would be a great example of worldbuilding done right!


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