By: Francine Cayanan
Welcome to OM in isolation! I hope you are all well, safe, and at home if you can be. For many of us the call to social distancing or self-isolation can be jarring and a little disorienting, especially if you are like me (a virgo) and live for the routine. In order to bring a little bit of structure back into our lives and as a way to fill in the extra time we all might have now, we’ve decided to put out daily content on Overachiever!
So hello! I’m Francine, Overachiever’s Managing Editor, a huge fan of the Oxford comma, and Tuesdays are my days. Every Tuesday I’ll be sharing book recommendations, book reviews, book tags… all things book related! I for one, am glad I now have an excuse to bundle up at home and read all day. (woot woot!)
Now onto this week’s book topic: if you liked… To All The Boys I Loved Before By Jenny Han…you might also like…
Needless to say, Jenny Han has taken the world by storm with To All The Boys I Loved Before (for my sake and yours, let’s call it TATBILB – yes, tat bilb) and has been an incredible source of Asian representation in mainstream media the past year. Han manages to weave Lara Jean’s culture seamlessly into the plot of the book so that it appears as organically as possible, not playing into any Asian tropes or stereotypes. TATBILB is simply a portrayal of an Asian teenage girl’s love life in a super cute and cheesy-in-all-the-best-ways contemporary young adult novel.
So if you liked these books and are itching for more stories about young love centered around an Asian cast, be sure to check these out:
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
Love the hate to love trope? Look no further! Menon puts a fresh twist on the hate to love trope by mixing it in with the topic of arranged marriage. Dimple Shah has her whole future figured out: she is determined, driven, headstrong, and ready for a break from her family and her mother’s obsession with finding Dimple the “Ideal Indian Husband.” On the other hand, Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic, believes in tradition, stability, and being part of something bigger than himself.
Dimple goes to the summer program to develop her skills and possibly land an amazing gig with her coding idol, while Rishi attends with the hopes of wooing his future wife – Dimple. But when they meet each other, they quickly realize that they may not have their lives as figured out as they think…
I Believe In a Thing Called Love by Maureen Goo
Desi Lee believes that everything works out if you have a plan. She’s student body president, a soccer star, and has a stellar plan on how she’ll get into Stanford University. She just thinks there is one problem…she has never had a boyfriend…and she’s absolutely horrible with romance.
So when an absolutely beautiful and Greek statue-esque guy walks into her life, what does she do? She consults Korean dramas for guidance. Yes you heard (read) me right. Korean dramas. Now if that isn’t enough to capture your attention! But it’s all fun and games for Desi until she realizes that real love might be more than what k-dramas entail.
Emergency Contact by Mary H.K Choi
A tale of digital love. High school for Penny Lee was nothing extraordinary. She had an okay friend group, her grades were fine, and she even managed to land a boyfriend (that doesn’t know anything about her). And when she moves seventy-nine miles to attend college to become a writer, she couldn’t be happier to leave all of that behind her. On the other hand, Sam is stuck. In every possible way. He works in a cafe and sleeps in the room upstairs, working his way to becoming a movie director.
When Penny and Sam cross paths, it isn’t really a cute and magical moment but rather one filled with awkwardness. Nevertheless, they exchange numbers and stay in touch – via text. Soon they’re digitally inseparable and share a deep bond without needing to see each other.
Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon
I’m sure many of you have heard of this book before, and perhaps if you’ve seen the movie adaptation of it that came out a few years ago, and might be wondering…wait…Madeleine isn’t Asian…? Maddy is actually half-Asian in the novel! Shoutout to all my mixed ladies out there!
Anyways! Our main character, Madeleine “Maddy” Whittier, has a rare disease and is under no circumstances allowed to leave her house or have people visit her. The only people she sees are her mom and her nurse, Carla, but Maddy has sort of always been alright with this way of life. But when Olly moves in next door, suddenly all Maddy can think about is leaving her bubble. This story follows Maddy as she encounters new feelings, new experiences, and new outlooks on life. An absolute must-read for hopeless romantics like me out there!
And those are some of my recommendations! If you have some of your own recommendations be sure to send them over to our IG: @overachievermagazine or our Twitter: @overachieverM. Thank you all for joining me today, we’d love it if you tuned in for more this week as we will be coming out with news posts on different topics each day of the week. I hope you are all taking care, and I am sending everyone bundles and bundles of love!