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Friday Feature #4 - Asian Representation in YA

Friday, 11 March 2016

Feature Friday is a new meme by yours truly, Meleika from Endless Pages, where I let other bloggers flaunt their own opinions through reviews or have them post a discussion about anything and everything. Anyone can feature ! If you'd like to, contact me. 

(Disclaimer: All posts are done by different bloggers and I may or may not agree with what they like to post. We are all different people and will share different views and opinions. Everything is open to discussion. If anyone finds anything offensive, feel free to contact me)

Today I'm featuring Claire from Blank Slaters Reads ! She is such a lovely person and I hope everyone gets to know her! 

Hey guys! Meleika was super kind and let me do a guest post on her lovely blog! You probably don’t know me, I’m a newer blogger. My name is Claire and I blog over at BlankSlaters Reads! Some things to know about me is I am a lover of love triangles, my favorite YA series is the Throne of Glass series, and I hate tea. I’m probably part of the 2% of Asians that hates tea.

Now, onto the actual post part. I’m asian, chinese to be specific and I want to talk about Asian Representation in Young Adult Novels. Meleika actually gave me this discussion topic. Anyways, I want you to think real hard about how many asian characters exist in YA.

Here’s a list of the first asian characters that come to mind.

  • Jie, Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
  • Lara Jean, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
  • Tomohiro, Ink by Amanda Sun
  • Park, Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
  • James Carstairs, The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare

THREE YOU GUYS. That’s all I could think of. Do you know how sad that is? I can’t even believe that. I can agree that diversity has become a bigger part of the YA book community, with more LGBT books and variation of races, but that’s not the point. I personally think that Asian...shall I say representation? is something that needs to be more included in YA.

To be honest, I really don’t know why the asian race isn’t represented better in YA. I really can’t. But I could guess that maybe it’s along the lines of that debut authors look up to the authors that created characters lacking diversity and when the time comes to write their own characters, they write a cookie cut character!

As a blogger, I write shorter but sweeter discussion posts. Why? So you guys have room to add in what you think about the whole matter in general. If I were to write 600 words worth of discussion, well - I probably covered everything you might have to say. So what do you think of asian representation? Do you agree that we need more of it? And can you name any other asian characters in the world of YA?

Thank you Meleika for having me on your blog! This is my first guest post ever so this was a very fun experience! Bye guys! :)

What I Saw Review

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Title: What I Saw
Author: Beck Nicholas

First Published: March 2016
Publisher: Harlequin
Source: Harlequin Australia (Thank you so much for the review copy)

In no way did the receiving of an advance copy render my opinion of the book.


One punch will shatter a town. But is anyone ready for the consequences of telling the truth? A stunning new YA novel about the complicated romance between a girl with everything on the line and a boy with nothing to lose following a king hit incident that leaves the high school golden boy in a coma, from the author of FAKE.

My Thoughts

Once I heard about What I Saw, I had to read it. A good girl – one who has a scholarship in fact – doesn't really want to do the good ‘deed’ and a bad boy who didn’t do the bad ‘deed’ of putting someone in a Coma. I’m not going to lie, but this book hit home. What I Saw pulled at my emotions, clawing at heart, making me feel the feels because of its premise which is a topic that is important and popular in my part of Australia.

Rhett, one of two protagonists, was a bad boy who cared so much for his sister and that was what I adored about his character. He grows on you and he turns out to be another boy who everyone just assumes to be the bad guy; but he turns out to be, basically great guy with a big heart. The other main character for What I Saw, isn't really as great as Rhett (character development and personality wise). She's always uptight and is expected to do what her family (parents) say, when deep down she wants to break free and pursue whatever she wants. Callie’s voice was very hard to read at times because she wanted to be perfect but she didn’t. (??) She’s just very confusing at times. Plus her, I guess ‘motivation’/’reason’ to tell the truth was just a very bad one. A VERY BAD ONE. Couldn’t she have come forward because it was the right thing to do? Rhett encouraging her not to come forward too was also just ‘ugh’. I didn’t like this interaction. It was my least favourite in the whole book. I so badly wanted to put some sense into Rhett and tell people not to assume things as well.

These two characters were great but at times they felt too cliché. I mean I love this cliché, good girl and bad boy falling in love but they were indeed just undeniably unbearable at times. See, the two characters fall in love in a short amount of days. (Yet I really don’t know if I should label it as Insta Love because these kids go to school together, they’ve known each other before the incident happen, but they didn’t have romantic feelings for each other. It’s quite confusing really.) The romance just occurred and conjured real fast. If the two characters had feelings for each other before the incident or even if the storyline dragged on into weeks or even months, I think I’d love this romance sub plot, but I didn’t, I just tolerated it. See, the romance felt like it overrode the main message of the book and this is why it was very uncomfortable and unbearable to read.

Additionally, Rhett and Callie’s voice were hard to differentiate. They were very similar – VERY similar – and for the first couple of pages I didn’t even feel drawn to the pair. They both eventually grew on me but not to the extent of actually loving the pair, just liking them, and having the ability to tolerate them too.

What I Saw had a great premise but I like books with plot twists and actual heart breaking growth in the main characters and this didn’t occur – at all. I mean we saw the snowballing and the aftermath of a king hit (a punch) but done in the voices of two characters whose voices were merging and becoming way too similar, it didn’t feel right, but it did feel authentic and that’s probably why I kept on reading.

That’s why What I Saw is such an important book. One Punch deaths are occurring in my city and is a crime that is taken very seriously in Australia at the moment. I’ve witnessed suburbs mourn and friends losing a school mate. It’s hard to process that a kid my age lost his life to alcohol fuelled violence. What I Saw will be an eye opener for many and confronting for all the right reasons. The message the book tells through Rhett and Callie is a fundamental one for all youths in Australia.

I would definitely recommend this book for those who’d be interested about the topic of king hits in books. That’s probably the only topic I’d recommend this book for as the other storyline (the romance) isn’t something I really enjoyed.

The Verdict

A Tangle of Gold - Blog Tour

Saturday, 5 March 2016

A Tangle Of Gold

What a beautiful novel to end the stunning, Colours of Madeline trilogy. The book wrapped the series in a beautiful fashion, with hints of comedy, action and some mind boggling concepts all woven throughout the book making it my favourite book out of the series (with the second book being my second favourite now). 'A Tangle of Gold' also has a stunning cover, if not one of my favourite covers! It's just screams 'take me everywhere, show me to your friends. Take photos of me. All the time. Everywhere!"

The Colours of Madeline was an awesome series. A refreshing concept on fantasy and world building – literally, I love how Cello is different to other worlds I’ve read about and compared to the other fantasy worlds, Cello really stands out.

To those who may have been sceptical on picking up the series before, I am here to tell you to pick up the first book and fall in love with Madeline and Elliot and the world of Cello. The first book is an easy read, as it’s very addictive, making you want to read more after finishing it. The second book slightly dwindles this addiction as it pulls you deeper into the world Jaclyn has created.

The first two books were very enjoyable with me loving the series (and Jaclyn) more after each book. The third and final book ‘A Tangle of Gold’ really delivered and was very thought out. The book is told in 3 perspectives; we get Madeline, and Elliot and then we get more of Keira. I liked her in the previous book, but in ‘A Tangle of Gold’ she is now just a precious character. I love her to pieces and just admire her so much. (I’m honestly hoping for a novella of some sort or even an exclusive scene told in her perspective because I love her ‘voice’ so much)

Jaclyn just blows you away in ‘A Tangle of Gold’ with plot twists that we never see coming (well, I never saw coming). She will have you going “ooouu” and “ahhh” and she changes your mind about so many things and then you change them again because of other facts and twists that are revealed.

Jaclyn Moriarty is a simple genius, a wordsmith and possibly even a wizard. She has written a book – a series - that has such a great plotline. I adore this series so much fellow readers. I wouldn’t mind raving about all the time if I could. ‘A Tangle of Gold’ was really just a perfect book. Everything became ‘full circle’ and we learnt so much more about the colours.

It’s quite surreal to see an ending, a final book, for the colours of Madeline series. It was a wonderful journey to see the vast characters grow, especially Madeline and Elliot. I will adore these two so much and their slow burning love. Their relationship and characters were things that I adored about the two. Holly’s humour was wonderful and I kind of wanted more Corrie-Lyn. It’s tremendously sad to say goodbye to all these characters.

In conclusion, The Colours of Madeline series is a must read as I think it’s one of the most well-written and beautifully thought out fantasy series out there, if not one of my all-time favourite series as well (alongside The Infernal Devices). I hope to read more of Jaclyn’s books as this series was very addictive. I will reread the series again later on in the year because I never want to leave the world Jaclyn has created. I've given the final book 5 stars

Follow the rest of the blog tour ! Also thank you Pan Macmillan Australia for the review copy. I absolutely adored this series !