The Diversity Corner #2 : March Updates, Asian Representation, and April New Releases

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Hello everyone, welcome to the second edition of The Diversity Corner! ♥

ICYMI, I talked about Muslim representation in books on my first edition, you could read it here. Today I’ll be talking about Asian representation and I teamed up with several Asian bloggers to put this post together! 😀 But before we get there, as usual, I’m bringing you some diversity-related news and updates ♣

P.S. it’s gonna be long, so grab your drink, settle into a comfortable position, and read 😉

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Diversity news & update is basically an update about diversity related news that I could find around the blogosphere or the publishing industry.

This month has been tough, not for me personally, but for the bookish community in general. So many stuffs happened from the good to the bad, and I’m gonna try my best to sum it all up ♣

ARO/ACE ERASURE IN RIVERDALE
Going off books for a while, but I feel like this is relevant. You probably have seen both the tweets &  the show, but if you haven’t here’s a quick recap : Riverdale is a tv series based off of Archie Comics. In the comics, the main character Jughead Jones is canonically aromantic & asexual but in the tv adaptation it was changed. Jughead wasn’t aroace anymore. Changing the MC sexuality isn’t okay, it’s erasure. So many aroace people have been waiting for canon characters who would represent them but now their only chance was taken away. I’m not gonna talk too much because this isn’t my lane, but here are several posts from aro/ace bloggers regarding this topic : 

THE BLACK WITCH HAD BEEN CALLED OUT FOR BEING RACIST, ABLEIST, AND HOMOPHOBIC
If you’re on book Twitter, you probably have noticed that The Black Witch by Laurie Forest had been called out for being extremely problematic. I haven’t (and will not) read it, but I’ve read enough reviews to know that it’s offensive and hurtful. I made a Twitter thread about it here :

I hope people won’t continue supporting problematic books but at the end of the day, it’s your choice. I just hope everyone will make a wise decision 🙂 here are some reviews and blog post related to it :

JULIE LONEWOLF, A WOC, TOOK HER OWN LIFE AFTER BEING HARASSED
This is one of the most heartbreaking story I’ve ever heard. Even worse that I’ve never heard about her before, and the first time I did was because she died 😦 Julie took her life in February after being targeted, stalked, & harassed by members of the online writing community. I hope nothing like this will ever happen again. Here’s a thread that talked about it in details.

THUG IS ON NYT BEST SELLER LIST!
On a better note, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas is now on New York Times Bestseller List!! This is a notable achievement for black woman & author and I hope more and more amazing #OwnVoice books like this will get the recognition they deserve ♦ I’ve read it and the hype is totally well deserved. My review will be up early April 🙂

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SAINTS AND MISFITS COVER REVEAL ♥
Another good news. On March 16th, S.K. Ali finally revealed the cover for her debut novel, Saints and Misfits. I was so excited because it’s about a Muslim hijabi girl!! And the cover… we have a hijabi girl on cover! It’s also really cute so double win for us 😀

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In this section, I’m going to introduce some incredible diverse book bloggers along with some of their most notable posts. I’ll also try to match it with the theme, i.e today the theme is about Asian representation, then I will introduce you some of my favorite Asian bloggers 🙂

CW @ READ THINK PONDER
I’ve been in love with CW’s blog ever since the first time I stumbled across it. She lives in New Zealand but her parents are South East Asia and she’s a wonderful advocate of diversity. All her posts are so important and eloquent, her blog so pretty and her graphics are amazing, not to mention that CW is one of the sweetest person I’ve ever known ♥ Definitely follow her if you haven’t already 😀 some of CW’s most notable posts :

SHENWEI @ READING (AS)(I)AN (AM)ERICA
I just started following Shenwei’s blog recently but I can vouch for its amazing contents! They wrote a lot of important posts & review mostly Asian and/or diverse books ♦ their blog is really a precious resource for someone who’s looking for diverse read recommendations 🙂 Shenwei also offered sensitivity reading services so definitely check out their service! Some of Shenwei’s most notable posts :

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For this month discussion, I teamed up with 7 fabulous Asian bloggers. Here we have CW @ Read Think Ponder, Shenwei @ Reading (AS)(I)AN (AM)ERICA, Anisha @ Sprinkled Pages, Wendy @ Written in Wonders, Shahirah @ Book Loves Reviews, Jeann @ Happy Indulgence, Janani @ The Shrinkette, and me, yours truly ♥ We are Indonesian, Malaysian, Taiwanese, Indian, and Chinese. I need to make it clear that we DON’T represent all Asians. We don’t even represent all the people from our own ethnicity, so what we said here might or might not be accurate to other Asian readers 🙂

There are a lot of books with Asian characters and/or set in Asia, but most of the characters are sidekick, or stereotypical. Today we’ll be talking about Asian representations in books ♣

The Common Misconceptions

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THE TIGER PARENT NARRATIVE
I’m sure you’re all familiar with this, Asian character with strict and oppressive parents who only want them to focus on studying. While it’s true that a lot of us have strict parents and place high values on educational achievement, there are those of us with much more chill parents. Shenwei, Anisha, and I are on the same page in this. My parents do place a high value on educational achievement, but it’s not the ONLY thing that matter.

ASIANS ARE NERD, OVER-ACHIEVER, AND GOOD WITH MATH
Another overused stereotype that you must have read AT LEAST once 😂 not all of us are academic genius and bad with sports. Some of us might be, but then again, it’s kind of dangerous to assume that all Asians are the same while in fact I know a lot of people who are very well rounded. A lot of us aren’t do good with math or science and instead are good with art and sports. We need more variety in Asian characters.

ASIANS = CHINESE
In a lot of books, we’ve seen Asian characters depicted as only those from China, having slanted eyes, and are petite, pale, and skinny while the truth is, Asia is a large continent. Asian people come in all shapes and sizes and skin tones, and we should celebrate that diversity instead of boxing them into a stereotype that can lead to serious issues. Not all Asians have fair skin – black Asians and brown Asians exist! More so, skin colour is not limited to ethnicity and geography. People from South Asia are brown, and even people from Indonesia, which is part of South East Asia, are light brown. Another is the idea that Asian women are these delicate, meek, passive exotic flowers. It’s such a harmful stereotype, because it affects how people perceive us in real life.

MORE COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS :

  1. The stereotype that all Asian Americans are upper-to-middle class. There are significant populations of Asian Americans who are living in poverty.
  2. Mainstream Western media focuses on the exotic aspects of Asian cultures like food and entertainment, reinforcing the idea that we’re only valuable for white people’s consumption, rather than recognizing our stories and voices as equals.
  3. The idea that Asian women are submissive. We are so different from each other, some of us are quiet, some of us are loud, some of us prefer to listen, some of us prefer to speak, some of us will take a seat back, some of us will lead the way. These differences should be celebrated

Asian Cultures in Real Life

The truth is, there are a lot of cultural differences of Asia from those of the Westerners. But instead of those stereotypes you all see in books, we’re bringing you some of Asia’s most notable cultures 😀 of course, all of these are based on our own experience so it might or might not apply to all Asians 🙂

  1. Respect for elders and high value placed on family are common across many Asian cultures. Shenwei, Jeann, and I all agree on it. We generally do not call our elders by their given name, we typically use a title or familial term if they are related to is. This extends even to people in your own generation. As an example, we don’t call our older siblings by their given names even if we’re only a year apart.
  2. More of a collective, such as family, focus rather than individual one. Most of Asian families are very close compared to other cultures. If you look at the Malay/Indonesian families, you can bet our family tree expands wide beyond our imagination where we can’t possibly name every one of the family members. It’s not unusual for three generations to live together in the same home.
  3. Shahirah believes the way we approach marriages and careers are a bit different than the way the Westerners do and I have to agree with her. We can see in conservative Malay/Muslim families where values of purity and innocence (like a girl’s virginity) are put at high importance when marriage takes place. Other values include our interaction with the opposite gender, how we approach feminism as a culture, and society’s expectations for each gender.
  4. Food has importance beyond filling your stomach, and food has a lot of symbolic meanings
  5. Shenwei said that it’s rude to impose on other people, so whenever they’re a guest at someone’s house they tend to decline offers for food/drink unless they’re very close friends with the person.

Now that we covered some important misconceptions and Asian cultures in general, it’s time to talk about what we need to see more in books involving Asian characters

What We Want to See MORE

For me, it’s definitely more intersectionality. I want to see more Muslim South East Asian characters because most books I read only feature Muslim characters from South Asia (India, Pakistan, etc). I also want to see more Asian characters who belong in the LGBTQIA+ spectrum. We are not as liberal as the Westerners so I want to see how those issues being handled. Now let’s take a look at the others’ wish list ♥

SHENWEI More depictions of religion and spirituality that don’t exoticize them or depict them negatively. Asian religions are often stigmatized as wacky at best or backward at worst, so I want to see more positive and empowering representations of religious Asians.

ANISHA →  More Indian MCs & maybe more ‘normal’ Asians. People who, other than study, actually have lives and are not sidekicks to someone else’s story.

WENDY → More ownvoices representation of cultural festivals and traditions, e.g. (from China) Lunar New Year, the Mid-Autumn Festival, etc. Intersectionality is also important, because the way mental illness and queerness interact with Asian cultural ideas and values are unique experiences which are rarely, if ever, represented.

SHAHIRAH → I would like to see more of Thai/Vietnames/Malay/Javanese/Korean/Syrian cultures infused, not only in YA, but historical fiction and general fiction. For instance, Korean culture is so different than Japanese/Chinese but people tend to assume these are similar to one another.

JEANN → More discussion about Asian cultural traditions, like being brought up to respect and honor your parents and elders and eating with chopsticks to be integrated into books. More discussion about having to fit into two cultures when living in a Western country.

JANANI → More characters from underrepresented countries (Pakistan. Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Indonesia, etc.) and the diaspora. Too often, Asian and Chinese have been used interchangeably especially in the US. As for Indian rep- I’d like to see more South Indians characters (usually Indian characters are North Indian) and more queer/disabled/intersectional Asian characters.

CW → I’d love to see characters go to eat yumcha/dimsum, have older folks come together just to play mah-jong and have fun, and tea ceremonies in Chinese weddings. As far as values go, I’d really love to see a character that tries to uphold filial piety – that is such a big value in Chinese culture, and something I hold onto very dearly myself.

How to Describe Asian Characters

Often we see authors and publishers being called out for using certain phrases to describe Asian characters. We don’t want more of it. We want Asian characters to be described properly and not in a hurtful and offensive way. So here’s a list of how not to describe Asian characters 🙂

  1. Don’t use the word “exotic.” Just don’t. We’re normal.
  2. Don’t say someone “looks Asian” because there are so many different physical traits possible among Asians. At the very least specify a geographic region, like East Asian or South Asian.
  3. Don’t focus too much on describing Asian characters’ eyes unless they are relevant (expressing emotion, for example).
  4. Don’t call them “Oriental.” This is an obsolete and offensive term.
  5. Don’t call Asians in white-dominated diaspora FOBs or fobby (FOB=”Fresh Off the Boat”) because this stigmatizes people who aren’t “sufficiently assimilated” into mainstream white culture.
  6. Don’t use the term “Asian accent.” There’s no such thing. Accents are based on specific languages. “Asian” is not a language.
  7. Don’t use food term to describe our physical features
  8. Don’t use the stereotypes and misconceptions above
  9. No talking about our “skinny frames and good skin” please. Not all Asians are a monolith
  10. Not all Asians are only from East Asia (Korean, Chinese, Japanese, etc.) and there are many other South East and West Asian countries out there that are (almost never) represented in YA

Problematic Representations

I’ve come across so many books that portray Asian characters in a stereotypical way, but some books are just straight up problematic and hurtful. I only just noticed this but turned out there are so many books that fall into the latter category 😦 Here are some of the books that have problematic representation.

ELEANOR AND PARK BY RAINBOW ROWELL
Shenwei stated that this book is one of the worst offenders and it always makes them angry to see how popular it remains despite the criticisms from multiple East Asian readers. CW also agreed on it and kindly provided us with the links to those own voice reviews :

Ellen Oh’s thoughts on Eleanor and Park •• Laura’s review •• Alexa’s review

THE LUNAR CHRONICLES BY MARISSA MEYER.
I really loved this series but I have to admit that it is, in fact, problematic. Shenwei said that the world building for that series relies on imagining all of Asia as a single political entity called the “Eastern Commonwealth.” If that wasn’t bad enough on its own, she even made it a monarchy based in “New Beijing” ruled by a Japanese family, which is incredibly offensive given Japan’s history of imperialism in China and the rest of Asia. Moreover, Cinder’s character is ethnically ambiguous and frankly, probably white, so it’s something of a white savior narrative. The reference to Chinese and Japanese culture in Cinder are twisted out of shape and nonsensical.

MEMOIRS OF GEISHA
It’s a book CW used to love in her youth, but is extremely problematic – not only did the author violate her conditions of anonymity by naming her as a source and profited off her life story, but Memoirs of a Geisha has a very Orientalist narrative that exoticizes Japanese culture, which can be very harmful. CW suggests reading Geisha, A Life by Mineko Iwasaki, the geisha that Arthur Golden stole from.

More books with problematic representation :

  1. Soundless by Richelle Mead, tries to pass itself off as Chinese but fails miserably in the execution. It’s also very ableist in its portrayal of the main character’s disability.
  2. Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff. It’s cultural appropriation of Japanese culture and portrays Japanese culture as exotic.
  3. Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow. It featured a biracial side character and he was referred to as a “half breed”, someone who had “squinty eyes and a big beak-like nose” and most offensively, someone who “could act really white even though he isn’t a white boy”.

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Alright, now let’s talk about the books that portray Asian characters correctly. Hhere are some recommendations of books with Asian characters and/or written by Asian authors. I am beyond excited because there are a lot! Too many to fit on this post alone hahaha in case you haven’t noticed, we’re already at 3000 words here and I don’t want to bore you 😛 so I’m gonna keep this brief and if you’re interested to know more about these books, go check them out on goodreads (I’ll provide links) ♥

MY PICK

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han • Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde • You’re Welcome Universe • Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza

SHENWEI’S PICK 

Kingdom of Xia duology by Cindy Pon • Serpentine duology by Cindy PonHuntress by Malinda LoAsh by Malinda Lo • More recommendations on Shenwei’s blog

CW’S PICK

Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee • The Paper Menagerie by Ken Liu  • When The Sea Turned To Silver by Grace Lin • Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho

ANISHA’S PICK

The Star Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee AhdiehWintersong by S. Jae-Jones •  Written In The Stars by Aisha Saeed

WENDY’S PICK 

Outrun the Moon by Stacey LeeHer Father’s Daughter by Alice Pung • Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata • Preloved by Shirley Marr

SHAHIRAH’S PICK

Wing Jones by Katherine Webber • Harmless Like You by Hisayo Rowan Buchanan

JEANN’S PICK

Cloudwish by Fiona Wood • Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan • Freedom Swimmer by Wai Chim • Mao’s Last Dancer by Li Cunxin

JANANI’S PICK

The Bollywood Bride by Sonali Dev • When The Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore • American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang • Boxers and Saints by Gene Luen Yang

BOOKS TO LOOK FORWARD TO

Here are some of upcoming releases books with Asian characters and/or written by Asian authors. We have read some of the ARCs and are excited for the rests, so prepare your money and start pre-ordering these books! 😛

Noteworthy by Riley Redgate • When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya MenonWant by Cindy PonForest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie Dao

I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene GooAlways and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny HanFlame in the Mist by Renee AhdiehWarcross by Marie Lu

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In this last section, I will show you some diverse books that will be released in the following month. Since this is March, I’m gonna make a list of April diverse releases that I’m most excited for ♥ If you have more recommendations, don’t hesitate to leave a comment or link me to your post 😀

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THE UPSIDE OF UNREQUITED BY BECKY ALBERTALLI
Release date : April 11th

Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love. No matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. If Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back.

There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker, Reid. He’s a chubby Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. Right?

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THE EDGE OF THE ABYSS BY EMILY SKRUTSKIE
Release date : April 18th

Three weeks have passed since Cassandra Leung pledged her allegiance to the ruthless pirate-queen Santa Elena and set free Bao, the sea monster Reckoner she’d been forced to train. The days as a pirate trainee are long and grueling, but it’s not the physical pain that Cas dreads most. It’s being forced to work with Swift, the pirate girl who broke her heart.

But Cas has even bigger problems when she discovers that Bao is not the only monster swimming free. Other Reckoners illegally sold to pirates have escaped their captors and are taking the NeoPacific by storm, attacking ships at random and ruining the ocean ecosystem. As a Reckoner trainer, Cas might be the only one who can stop them. But how can she take up arms against creatures she used to care for and protect?

Will Cas embrace the murky morals that life as a pirate brings or perish in the dark waters of the NeoPacific?

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MEG & LINUS BY HANNA NOWINSKI
Release date : April 18th

Meg and Linus are best friends bound by a shared love of school, a coffee obsession, and being queer. It’s not always easy to be the nerdy lesbian or gay kid in a suburban town. But they have each other. And a few Star Trek boxed sets. They’re pretty happy.

But then Sophia, Meg’s longtime girlfriend, breaks up with Meg. Linus starts tutoring the totally dreamy new kid, Danny—and Meg thinks setting them up is the perfect project to distract herself from her own heartbreak. But Linus isn’t so sure Danny even likes guys, and maybe Sophia isn’t quite as out of the picture as Meg thought she was. . . .

From crowdsourced young adult imprint Swoon Reads comes Meg & Linus by Hanna Nowinski, a fun friendship story about two quirky teens who must learn to get out of their comfort zones and take risks—even if that means joining the drama club, making new friends, and learning how to stand on your own.

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LET’S TALK

  1. What do you think about all the things that happened in the bookish community recently?
  2. What do you think about Asian representation in books? Do you find a lot of books with (accurate) Asian rep? Did my discussion clear the misconception and help you understand more about us? 😀
  3. What are your favorite books with Asian protagonists? Are you interested to read the books on my recommendation list?
  4. I had a hard time coming up with diverse books for April release, but who else are excited for them? ♥

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Alright everyone, that’s the end of the second edition of The Diversity Corner! 😀 As usual, it took me so much time and energy to put this post together but judging from the response to the 1st edition, I’d say it was worth it ♦ Thank you so much for all the bloggers who had helped me with this post. 

NOW LET’S TALK! Go answer my questions, go ask your own questions, or we can discuss anything! As usual, I’m looking for advice to improve and kindly asking for you to share this post 🙂 next edition will be up on April 22nd!

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT
In the light of the appropriative nature of Maggie Stiefvater’s upcoming release All Crooked Saints, I want the next edition of The Diversity Corner to be about Latinx Representation in Books. BUT, I’m in no place to talk about it at all, so I’m looking for Latinx book bloggers to guest post on my next diversity corner ♥ if you’re interested or have recommendations, please let me know in the comments below and then we could talk about details. Thanks in advance! 😀

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48 thoughts on “The Diversity Corner #2 : March Updates, Asian Representation, and April New Releases

  1. I love these types of posts. I also love how you have different bloggers guest post so we can see different points of views and a large array of different books. I always end up leaving the post with a list of books to avoid or check out!
    I’ve read Cinder which is deemed problematic and I never moved onto the other books in the series. I didn’t really enjoy it (could possibly be the only person ever haha)

    I can’t wait to see the next part in this series!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been low-key looking forward to this post since your first Diversity Corner 🙂

    I was particularly struck by the common misconceptions section of this post. This could be my perception, but I think Asian stereotypes are incredibly prevalent but also hard to catch and call-out. The fact is, white Americans just don’t know ~anything~ about Asian cultures unless we choose to seek it out, and we’re also not aware sometimes of the problematic representations that are out there. All we can do is listen to what you and others are saying and work at it, but I’m so grateful to people like you who are writing about diversity.

    Thank you so much for putting in the work on this feature. You’re amazing! I can’t wait to check out all these book recommendations!

    Liked by 1 person

    • OMG REALLY?! Thank you so much you make this worth my effort ahaha me too, I think it’s my favorite part of this feature : shattering the stereotypes and misconception 😛 I agree, some of it comes from lack of information while some others are simply ignorant so I really help this post will shed some light ahaha thank you to you too Christine ❤

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  3. I only recently found your blog, and I love it!

    For a lot of these books, I hadn’t even realized their portrayals were problematic because Asian cultures isn’t something I know much about. So thanks for calling my attention to it. I’ll be sure to check out some on those recommendations!

    As for your next diversity corner post, I’d love to help you out with recommendations or whatever else you need. I can’t speak much about the appropriation in All The Crooked Saints, as I’m Cuban, and Cuban culture and Spanish is very different (I’m Cuban, and I was born in and live in the US). But let me know if I can do anything to help you with your post! I loved this one!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A diverse release coming out in April is The Takedown by Corrie Wang! The main character is a POC, and it’s a mystery/contemporary! I’m very excited for it (and Meg and Linus).

    I really love this feature; it’s always nice to see diverse book bloggers get their chance in the spotlight to talk about their own experiences and give great recommendations! ❤

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  5. YAY another Diversity Corner post!! 😁 I’ve been checking your blog hoping this would be up soon because the first one was so amazing. And yet again another incredible post, Puput. I love how much you and the bloggers who contributed put into this! ♥ Especially in terms of information, I always find myself learning something new from these posts. Also, I didn’t know that about Eleanor and Park. That’s the only one on your list that I have read and it’s been so long that I don’t remember anything aside from the character’s names. Thanks for pointing out that it’s problematic because I will definitely be checking out those reviews and keeping that in mind. Same goes for the two I have yet to read since The Lunar Chronicles is on my TBR. And thanks for all of the recommendations! All of your picks are actually on my TBR for this year but there are a lot that I’ve never heard of that I will be checking out. Great post and I look forward to the next one! 💕

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    • OMG REALLY?Hahaha thank you this makes it worth my effort 😛 even I learned so much from writing this post Melissa! I’m so thankful for all the bloggers who helped me put together this post, I learned so much from them 😀 I didn’t even like Eleanor and Park hahaha I’m on the unpopular side of opinion when it comes to Rainbow Rowell’s books :’) my picks are great and you should totally read them hahahaha especially Queens of Geek, I read it recently and absolutely adored it! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yep! A few days before you posted it I was actually blog hopping and said to myself, “I wonder when Puput is going to be posting this month’s Diversity Corner?” 🙈
        I don’t think I disliked Eleanor and Park but I also remember not being impressed by it. Everyone was raving when I read it but it didn’t wow me and knowing now about the problematic elements I didn’t noticed back then makes me think I wouldn’t like it if I reread it now. The only book by Rainbow Rowell that I’ve liked so far is Fangirl lol. And I plan on it! I plan on going on a mini contemporary binge in June and reading Queens of Geek, You’re Welcome Universe, and The Hate U Give. 😁

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        • Hiiii Melissa sorry for only replying, my job is keeping really busy </3 ahahah nahhh I didn't like it but I really want to read Fangirl because it sounds like something I would love, plus it's NA hahaha oh YAY THUG was absolutely amazing! I'm posting my review soon 😀

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  6. Amazing post! Being an Indian myself, I could find myself nodding at every little thing you wrote about Asian representation in books. I’m so tired of reading stereotypical books which portray Asian characters in a particular way. It’s wrong and I hope things change. It’s come to a point where, when I want to read about Indian characters, I only pick up books by Indian authors, it’s as if I can’t even expect other authors to proper portray Indians. Same goes with every other Asian culture actually. And thank you so much for addressing the problematic representations which authors often do about Asians.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Anushka, I’m so glad you could relate to this post 😀 me too! Almost all Asians are described in the same way like all Asians look the same 😦 me too, I really hop authors will do more research and preferably hire a sensitivity reader (if it’s not own voice) if they’re writing Asian characters. You’re welcome! I hope this post will help ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I adore your diversity corner posts Puput, you put so much research into them and the topics are always so educational and important. Thank you so much for including me in the Asian representation part of the novel, I’m looking forward to the Latinx edition as well! There is so much that is missing in YA when it comes to Asian representation that this is so important.

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    • Thank you so much Jeann! I’m glad I could contribute to the diversity movement and the responses are always positive, so it’s worth the effort ahaha I loved having you here, thank you so much for your help! 😀 I agree, I hope authors will do better in the future ❤

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  8. wow – really enjoyed this post! Not only have you offered some fabulous book recommendations but you’ve addressed so many of the issues currently going on in the bookish community.

    I particularly liked ways not to describe asian characters – Its so true. Everyone always goes for the stereotypical slender figures and slanted eyes. The world is more diverse than that!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I’m glad you loved it and I hope this will help people understand Asians better 😀 ahaha me too, I only added this section but I think it’s so important and helpful for writers who might want to write an Asian character ❤

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  9. If you are looking for other books with Asian rep, I would like to recommend Scandalized by Tara Frejas. The main character is Filippina and the story takes place both in South Korea and the Philippines. Anyway, thank you so much for this very interesting and enlightening article. I am working on Cinder for my Master thesis and I will definitely keep this in mind. Have a nice day 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’d missed a couple of the things which had happened in the community recently. I’d heard about the problematic nature of the The Black Witch so knew to avoid that but I hadn’t heard about Julie Lonewolf or the issues surrounding Riverdale.

    Thank you for calling out the Asian stereotypes. I know I am guilty of making broad generalisations on Asian culture simply because I don’t know enough about the particulars. Asia is a massive continent which covers a lot of different cultures and I want to know more about the particulars. I love all of your wishlists for books because those are all things I would love to read about. That;s one thing which I love about books, they can teach you about different cultures without it seeming like you’re being taught about them. I always found the books written by those who have grown up surrounded by different Asian traditions are always going to write about them better, my favourites are To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before and Sonali Dev’s books.

    I hadn’t realised a lot fo the issues surrounding Memoirs of a Geisha either. I knew it wasn’t a truly accurate portrayal of geisha or Japan and thought there may be issues surrounding it but the breach of confidentiality is shocking. I am going to read that autobiography though. I am also adding a few of the recommendations to my list, there are some I’ve read and loved already, but a few I hadn’t heard of and will definitely be reading.

    Liked by 1 person

    • No worries! 😀 I realize most of the stereotypes come from lack of information so I really hope my post will provide more understanding about Asians 🙂 same!! If done right books really could teach us a bunch of important things ahaha I love TATBILB too and can’t wait for the final book 😀

      Yeahhh it really was an awful thing to do 😦 I hope you enjoy the autobiography, I haven’t read it myself but heard it was good! 🙂

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  11. Wow, once again such a lovely post, Puput💕

    Once again I learned so much that I didn’t know before and I absolutely adored this post! I really loved reading about all the misconceptions about Asians, as well as what you would love to see in books! I would also love to read more accurate Asian representations in books so I’m definitely going to be checking out loads of the book recommendations 😊

    I had no idea The Lunar Chronicles was problematic towards the Asian culture. I also didn’t know about Eleanor and Park – a book I haven’t read yet and I’m not sure I want to after reading this.

    I can’t wait to read the next installment of Diversity Corner 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I love this new feature, Puput. It’s super educational. I can’t speak on a lot of it one, because I’m not from any of the regions you speak of, and two, I am not educated enough on the topic to even pretend I know something. So, instead, I’m going to take all of your book recommendations and discussions from this post and get to reading! I definitely need to experience more stories. Thank you for such an in-depth post 🙂

    Molly @ Molly’s Book Nook

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  13. This is an incredible post, I really enjoyed reading it. I agree that it’s frustrating to see appropriative messes be lauded as the “best” books about your culture. I loved The Lunar Chronicles but it sucks that the author created the world with little thought to the political history behind it. I saw a couple of books I can add to my TBR!

    Oh! I’m a Latinx book blogger (Puerto Rican!) if you need some help.

    Like

    • Thank you so much Marianne! 😀 definitely! It’s so annoying when we have misrepresentation in books 😦 I loved TLC too but yeahhh it could have been so much better ehehe I’ll be so happy to have you on my post! I was busy last week but I’ll email you today 😀

      Like

  14. Can I just say how much I love your posts? Like they’re seriously amazing. ❤ You always bring up so many great topics and have such well thought out content. Thank you for taking the time to put this together – it's such an eye opening post and I'm definitely going to add all the books you've mentioned to my TBR.

    Like

  15. Pingback: March Wrap-up // One of My Best Reading Months Yet!! – Nerd In New York

  16. This is my first time reading your blog and I have to say the post was really informative and interesting.
    The post also got me thinking about misrepresentation. I’m a Korean living in Korea, but I lived in the US when I was young. Books like Eleanor & Park and The Raven King, both of which have been mentioned as problematic, didn’t strike me as such when I was reading them. So whenever terms like cultural appropriation and misrepresentation are discussed, I worry that I’m not critical enough or that something is offensive and I didn’t realize it, even though that’s my culture.
    Also the stereotype of Asians being overachievers is one that I think about a lot. My experience is limited to Chinese Americans and Koreans, and I can’t even speak for all of them. But on the whole, while my peers are well-rounded and have many interests, the pressure for academic excellence is very real for us.

    Wow, that got long. Thank you for such a thought-provoking post!

    P.S. here are some other books with Asian main characters that I read and enjoyed that weren’t mentioned above:
    Girl Overboard by Justina Chen/ Gilded series by Christina Farley/ The Dragon King Chronicles by Ellen Oh/ Vicarious by Paula Stokes/ Linda Sue Park’s books (MG)

    Like

    • First of all welcome to my blog and I hope you’ll stick around! 😀 I get what you mean. I’m not the best at detecting problematic elements either and most of the times, I missed them. But I guess that’s the good thing about being a part of the bookish community : someone with better knowledge will point it out to you and you’ll learn that what doesn’t hurt you might still hurt others, even if you’re from the group discussed hehehe thank you for the recommendations! I’ll be adding them to my TBR 😀

      Like

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  18. Pingback: To sum-up: March 2017 | Word Wonders

  19. This was a beautiful post, as always, thank you for writing all of this and taking the time to chat with other bloggers about all of this representation. I will add some books to my TBR here for sure 🙂

    Like

  20. Pingback: Monthly Recap: March 2017 – more adventurous

  21. I found your blog on bloglovin and I am so happy I did ^^ I love the way you write and was so excited to discover that you’re a muslim from Indonesia!!
    Now my thoughts about this post is that it’s amazing, loved the diversity and I agree on the part where you talk about stereotypes since I’m not from Asia and unfortunately the thoughts that remained on my mind about Asians are so limited and I’d love to see and read more diversity and more realness. I also related to the part about the importance of family and the difference in the marriage process since I am from Tunisia, a muslim country.
    I encourage you to continue on making great content and I will be looking forward to your next post.
    Lots of love ♡

    Like

    • Thank you!! 😀 welcome to my blog and I hope you’ll stick around 😀 ahh I’m so glad you found this post helpful, especially since you’re not from Asia. I hope this clears up any misconceptions you’ve heard before hahaha yayyy my next diversity corner will come this month so keep an eye for that ❤

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  22. Pingback: A Discussion About Asian Representation | READING (AS)(I)AN (AM)ERICA

  23. I love how informative this feature is, Puput! I think the misconceptions that Asians = Chinese is the one of stereotypes that frustrates me the most. It also doesn’t take into account that there are diasporas within Asia, i.e. I have a Chinese background but Indonesia’s political history means I was cut off from the culture for most of my childhood; just because I look Chinese doesn’t mean that’s the whole of my identity, so to speak. *coughs* Anyway, I love The Lunar Chronicles too, but I agree that its casting of Asia as a monolith is problematic (though I didn’t realise the royal family was Japanese). Thanks for including the recommendations – I certainly will be looking into them! 😀

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