diverse books

Diversity Spotlight Thursday: #OwnVoices Books by East Asian Writers

Hi guys! Diversity Spotlight Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Aimal from Bookshelves and Paperbacks. Every week, you choose a book for each of these three categories: a diverse book you’ve read and enjoyed, a diverse book on your tbr, and a diverse book that hasn’t been released yet. This week all my picks are books written by East Asian authors.


To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Sixteen-year-old Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.


If you’re looking for a fun and fluffy YA contemporary, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before is the book for you. It has a really sweet love story, but my favorite part was reading about Lara Jean’s relationship with her dad and sisters – especially her sassy little sister Kitty, who deserves her own trilogy tbh!


Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Kiko’s always had a hard time saying exactly what she’s thinking. With a mother who makes her feel unremarkable and a half-Japanese heritage she doesn’t quite understand, Kiko prefers to keep her head down, certain that once she makes it into her dream art school, Prism, her real life will begin. But then Kiko doesn’t get into Prism and her abusive uncle moves back in with her family. So when she receives an invitation from her childhood friend to leave her small town and tour art schools on the west coast, Kiko jumps at the opportunity in spite of the anxieties and fears that attempt to hold her back. 

Of course it was the cover that caught my attention, but once I read the blurb I was even more intrigued. Contemporary isn’t my favorite genre, but I’m always drawn to these diverse coming of age stories that take on some darker themes. I also really like that the main character is an artist and that the love interest is her childhood friend.

The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo, May 8th 

Clara Shin lives for pranks and disruption. When she takes one joke too far, her dad sentences her to a summer working on his food truck, the KoBra, alongside her uptight classmate Rose Carver. Not the carefree summer Clara had imagined. But maybe Rose isn’t so bad. Maybe the boy named Hamlet (yes, Hamlet) crushing on her is pretty cute. Maybe Clara actually feels invested in her dad’s business. What if taking this summer seriously means that Clara has to leave her old self behind?


I’ve never read anything by Maurene Goo before, her other books just don’t appeal to me, unlike this one. I love that the main character is a bit of a rebel and practical joker, those are character traits you don’t see often in female protagonists. Plus it reminds me of my fave, Sirius Black. So I’m really excited to get my hands on this book and get to know Clara – cause she sounds awesome.

Have you read any of these books? Or are they on your TBR? What’s your favorite book by an East Asian author? 

12 thoughts on “Diversity Spotlight Thursday: #OwnVoices Books by East Asian Writers

  1. Great list! Starfish does have one of the best covers ever. The color scheme! The jellyfish! And The Way You Make Me Feel looks really good too.
    I am currently reading another contemporary book by an East Asian author, American Panda, and I like it so far.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This meme is great, I’m discovering so many diverse books through it. I’m currently reading Starfish (I received an e-arc copy through NetGalley) and I’m enjoying it so far. Will blog about it closer to the release date! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely list! ❤ Starfish has been on my TBR for so long, I can't wait to finally read it! And The Way You Make Me Feel sounds absolutely great, I'm looking forward to its release, I haven't read her other book either, but I want to! This is a great post, yaay for promoting own voices! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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