Diversity Spotlight Thursday #7 – By Asian Authors


Welcome to my seventh Diversity Spotlight Thursday! ❤ This wonderful weekly blog meme was created and is hosted by Aimal at Bookshelves and Paperbacks! For more information about the meme, please read the announcement post here.

My participation in this meme is to help me with one of my reading goals: to read books with a variety of perspectives, especially ones different from my own. Every two weeks I will share with you:

  1. A diverse book you have read and enjoyed
  2. A diverse book that has already been released but you have not read
  3. A diverse book that has not yet been released

This week’s theme for Diversity Spotlight Thursday is: books by Asian authors!


A Book I Have Read

Zeroboxer by Fonda Lee

“A rising star in the weightless combat sport of zeroboxing, Carr “the Raptor” Luka dreams of winning the championship title. Recognizing his talent, the Zero Gravity Fighting Association assigns Risha, an ambitious and beautiful Martian colonist, to be his brandhelm––a personal marketing strategist. It isn’t long before she’s made Carr into a popular celebrity and stolen his heart along the way.

As his fame grows, Carr becomes an inspirational hero on Earth, a once-great planet that’s fallen into the shadow of its more prosperous colonies. But when Carr discovers a far-reaching criminal scheme, he becomes the keeper of a devastating secret. Not only will his choices place everything he cares about in jeopardy, but they may also spill the violence from the sports arena into the solar system.”



I’ve never been one for sports let alone books about sports, but holy heck, Zeroboxer is one wickedly awesome sports science-fiction. I loved the world that Lee created and also the conception of Zeroboxing (derived from Lee’s expertise in martial arts!). The fights and action were just so, so cool, and listening to the audiobook, which I did, made it even cooler.

The book features multiracial characters and an Asian love interest. The book also includes fascinating speculation of Earth’s technological developments in the future, which I found compelling and perhaps even a little excited for the future.

Add this book on Goodreads | My review on Goodreads


A Book On My TBR

Freedom Swimmer by Wai Chim

Ming survived the famine that killed his parents during China’s ‘Great Leap Forward’, and lives a hard but adequate life, working in the fields…When a group of city boys comes to the village as part of a Communist Party re-education program, Ming and his friends aren’t sure what to make of the new arrivals. They’re not used to hard labour and village life. But despite his reservations, Ming befriends a charming city boy called Li. The two couldn’t be more different, but slowly they form a bond over evening swims and shared dreams…But as the bitterness of life under the Party begins to take its toll on both boys, they begin to imagine the impossible: freedom.


Isn’t that just such a profound and incredible synopsis?

I studied China’s Great Leap Forward when I was in university, but I feel like I ought to read a book that gives this piece of history a human voice. The issue with learning about history is that sometimes we can feel ‘divorced’ from the tragedies that happened, no matter how sad or immense they are. I feel like Freedom Swimmer will be a book that will change my game in reading – maybe even change me.

Freedom Swimmer is very, very high on my priority list, and I expect I’ll be reading it before Chinese New Year ends, which gives me — 2 days? Challenge accepted.

Add this book on Goodreads


A Book That Hasn’t Been Released Yet

I Believe In A Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo

“Desi Lee knows how carburetors work. She learned CPR at the age of five. As a high school senior, she has never missed a day of school and has never had a B in her entire life. She’s for sure going to Stanford. But—she’s never had a boyfriend. In fact, she’s a disaster in romance, a clumsy, stammering humiliation-magnet whose botched attempts at flirting have become legendary with her friends. So when the hottest human specimen to have ever lived walks into her life one day, Desi decides to tackle her flirting failures with the same zest she’s applied to everything else in her life.

She finds her answer in the Korean dramas her father has been obsessively watching for years—where the hapless heroine always seems to end up in the arms of her true love by episode ten. It’s a simple formula, and Desi is a quick study. Armed with her “K Drama Rules for True Love,” Desi goes after the moody, elusive artist Luca Drakos—and boat rescues, love triangles, and fake car crashes ensue. But when the fun and games turn to true feels, Desi finds out that real love is about way more than just drama.”



What did we ever do to deserve this book?

When I read the synopsis for this book, I was ecstatic. First, a Korean model on a book cover? YES. Second, a book that promises romance, Korean drama references (even though I don’t watch K-Dramas, but I totally feel it anyway!), and cuteness? YES, YES. Third, a book written by a Korean character by a Korean author? Yes, yes, YES. 

I cannot, cannot, CANNOT wait to read this book! Which reminds me… I’m going to preorder this right away!

Add this book on Goodreads


I decided to showcase books by Asian authors for this week’s Diversity Spotlight Thursday to commemorate Lunar New Year! To those who celebrate, I hope all of you are having an amazing time eating lots of amazing food. To those who don’t, consider adding one of these books to your TBR! The next Diversity Spotlight Thursday will be published on the 23rd of February – see you all then!

  • Are you interested in reading any of these books? Are any of these already on your TBR or books you’ve never seen before?
  • What are some of your favourite books that have Asian protagonists or are by Asian Authors?
  • Did you participate in Diversity Spotlight Thursday this week? If so, please share your link with me! I’d love to see your three choices!

28 thoughts on “Diversity Spotlight Thursday #7 – By Asian Authors

  1. Freedom Swimmer is AMAZING and heartwarming. I was lucky enough to go to the book launch for it and chair the LoveOzYA panel with Wai (and Alison Evans) at National Young Writers’ Festival last year – it’s definitely a book I mention when people ask for diverse recs :D
    I just started To All the Boys I Loved Before (really enjoying!) by Jenny Han, and have Listen, Slowly by Thanha Lai next on my TBR

    • WOAH, that’s amazing Wendy! I never knew that about you!
      I really want to read it but it’s currently being held by someone at the library. Arghhhhh. But I definitely want to read it – Wai is such a lovely person from my interactions with her, and I want to support her book and the story. ❤

      Ooooh I’ve never heard of Listen, Slowly. I’ll check it out on GR! Thanks Wendy!

    • Hi Wendy!
      Ah yay, I’m glad to have brought these books to your attention!
      Oh gosh, I know. I can’t wait for IBIATCL. ;_; Kdrama is so widely watched nowadays, so I’m glad that a YA book can integrate it into its story. AHHHH I’m so excited. T~T

  2. If I wasn’t already doing another buddy read, I would jump up and read ‘Freedom Swimme’r this week too! (Will save it for March =) ‘Zeroboxer’ has always intrigued me. I really, really love the cover of ‘I Believe In A Thing Called Love.’ More POC on covers, please.

    Side-note: My friends and I almost ordered dumplings shaped like roosters for the new year. Wishing you a happy one too!

    • Glaiza! ❤
      OH Well, that might work quite well for me because Freedom Swimmer is currently inaccessible to me — but maybe we can read it together in March, if you are free? That’d be so cool!

      YESSS I feel like I never get to see Asian models on book covers, so I’m really happy that there is unambiguously an Asian mode on the cover of IBIATCL!

      Ahhh thank you! Sorry this is so late, hehe, but I’ve never heard or seen rooster dumplings! Were they yum? :D

      • Yay – glad March fits! Wendy lent me her copy, so I can start it whenever you do have access. Ahh the rooster dumplings, my friend wanted the fillings to have meat but I think the special ones had something else, so we didn’t end up ordering it in the end XD Though it would have been fun.

  3. Oh I love your recommendations so much, as always! I really, really want to read that last book, I Believe In a Thing Called love, because : that cover looks beautiful and so does that model and YES for Korean models, and that story sounds so cute. I’ll add it to my TBR right NOW :)

    • Hi Marie!
      Aw, thank you! YES YES I’m so excited for IBIATCL as well! The cover IS beautiful and I never seen Asian models so I am so excited to read it and purchase it so that my bookshelf is a little happier, hehe. :D

  4. Woo, I’m glad you liked Zeroboxer! It’s a bit underexposed, so I wasn’t expecting to find someone who’d read it.
    I also have both Freedom Swimmer and I Believe in a Thing Called Love on my TBR. I’m super excited for IBIATCL because it’s kdrama-inspired, and it’s about time kdramas got some exposure in YA given how wide and international their audience is.

    • Hi Shenwei!

      YES! Zeroboxer is such an awesome book, and I wish people knew more about it. If I’m not wrong, Fonda Lee recently released (or is due to?) her new book called EXO! I really want to read that too.

      I cannot agree more about IBIATCL and its inclusion of k-drama! I also find the synopsis so charming – I cannot wait to read it. ;___;

  5. Wow, these all sound like great reads! The first one is definitely the first of it’s kind I’ve heard of — sports, sci-fi, and mildly dystopian? I think I may have to read the last book even if it’s not my usual — I just have to read something that has K-dramas in it! I love kdramas! :))


    • Hi Gemma!
      Yesss Zeroboxer is a fantastic book with sports and sci-fi, but it isn’t dystopian! ^_^; It does deal with ideas like futurism and technology, so it’s very very interesting.
      Haha I do too! All the more reason to be super excited for IBIATCL. ❤

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