13 may 2022 releases: asians be thriving

Hello friends! I’m back with the monthly shoutout for new 2022 releases. For the month of Asian/Pacific American Heritage, there are quite a few Asian authors releasing their books in May. Xiran Jay Zhao’s a talented writer and I’m obsessed with Iron Widow, so it’s unsurprising that Zachary Ying is in this list.

I need Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation Volume 2 ASAP because Wei Ying and Lan Zhan’s love story is a masterpiece to behold. Within this list, Ann Sei Lin is the only new-to-me author as she is debuting with Rebel Skies. Everyone else, I’ve read from before.

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book of night
โ€“ holly black

standalone
May 3rd 2022 by Tor Books
age range: adult
genre: fantasy, paranormal, mystery

trigger and content warnings:
  • a lot of blood depiction, self harm to get blood because of the magic in this book, very brief mention of cancer, gore, violence, death, murder, child abuse, toxic living situations, depression, grief depiction, panic attacks, anxiety, gun violence, drinking, brief mention of alcoholism, drugging, throwing up, captivity / themes of being forced into places
  • taken from melanie’s goodreads

In Charlie Hallโ€™s world, shadows can be altered, for entertainment and cosmetic preferencesโ€”but also to increase power and influence. You can alter someoneโ€™s feelingsโ€”and memoriesโ€”but manipulating shadows has a cost, with the potential to take hours or days from your life. Your shadow holds all the parts of you that you want to keep hiddenโ€”a second self, standing just to your left, walking behind you into lit rooms. And sometimes, it has a life of its own.

Charlie is a low-level con artist, working as a bartender while trying to distance herself from the powerful and dangerous underground world of shadow trading. She gets by doing odd jobs for her patrons and the naive new money in her town at the edge of the Berkshires. But when a terrible figure from her past returns, Charlieโ€™s present life is thrown into chaos, and her future seems at best, unclearโ€”and at worst, non-existent. Determined to survive, Charlie throws herself into a maelstrom of secrets and murder, setting her against a cast of doppelgangers, mercurial billionaires, shadow thieves, and her own sisterโ€”all desperate to control the magic of the shadows.

๐Ÿ’ฎ I don’t really know what Book of Night will entail but I’m honestly looking forward to an adult fantasy novel by Holly Black. So far, I’ve only read The Folk of the Air trilogy starring Cardan and Jude.

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i kissed shara wheeler
โ€“ casey mcquiston

standalone
May 3rd 2022 by St. Martin’s Press
age range: young adult
genre: contemporary, romance
rep: lgbt (bi MC, sapphic LI, gay SC, lesbian SC, non-binary SC, bi SC)

Chloe Green is so close to winning. After her moms moved her from SoCal to Alabama for high school, sheโ€™s spent the past four years dodging gossipy classmates and a puritanical administration at Willowgrove Christian Academy. The thing thatโ€™s kept her going: winning valedictorian. Her only rival: prom queen Shara Wheeler, the principalโ€™s perfect progeny.

But a month before graduation, Shara kisses Chloe and vanishes.

On a furious hunt for answers, Chloe discovers sheโ€™s not the only one Shara kissed. Thereโ€™s also Smith, Sharaโ€™s longtime quarterback sweetheart, and Rory, Sharaโ€™s bad boy neighbor with a crush. The three have nothing in common except Shara and the annoyingly cryptic notes she left behind, but together they must untangle Sharaโ€™s trail of clues and find her. Itโ€™ll be worth it, if Chloe can drag Shara back before graduation to beat her fair-and-square.

Thrown into an unlikely alliance, chasing a ghost through parties, break-ins, puzzles, and secrets revealed on monogrammed stationery, Chloe starts to suspect there might be more to this small town than she thought. And maybeโ€”probably not, but maybeโ€”more to Shara, too.

๐Ÿ’ฎ I Kissed Shara Wheeler has a similar mysterious vibe as One Last Stop. The main character from both books are searching for the missing person that somehow became important in their life.

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rebel skies
โ€“ ann sei lin

trilogy: rebel skies #1
May 5th 2022 by Walker Books
age range: young adult
genre: fantasy
rep: Japanese

Kurara has never known any other life than being a servant on board the Midori, but when her party trick of making paper come to life turns out to be a power treasured across the empire, she joins a skyship and its motley crew to become a Crafter. Taught by the gruff but wise Himura, Kurara learns to hunt shikigami – wild paper spirits who are sought after by the Princess. 

But are these creatures just powerful slaves for the Crafters and the empire, or are they beings with their own souls – and yet another thing to be subjugated by the powerful Emperor and his Princess?

๐Ÿ’ฎ Origami magic? Say no more. Rebel Skies is the first of Ann Sei Lin’s trilogy debut. Add in Japanese elements, and I’m sold.

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zachary ying and the dragon emperor
โ€“ xiran jay zhao

standalone
May 10th 2022 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
age range: middle grade
genre: fantasy
rep: Chinese

Zachary Ying never had many opportunities to learn about his Chinese heritage. His single mom was busy enough making sure they got by, and his schools never taught anything except Western history and myths. So Zack is woefully unprepared when he discovers he was born to host the spirit of the First Emperor of China for a vital mission: sealing the leaking portal to the Chinese underworld before the upcoming Ghost Month blows it wide open.

The mission takes an immediate wrong turn when the First Emperor botches his attempt to possess Zackโ€™s body and binds to Zackโ€™s AR gaming headset instead, leading to a battle where Zackโ€™s momโ€™s soul gets taken by demons. Now, with one of historyโ€™s most infamous tyrants yapping in his headset, Zack must journey across China to heist magical artifacts and defeat figures from history and myth, all while learning to wield the emperorโ€™s incredible water dragon powers.

And if Zack canโ€™t finish the mission in time, the spirits of the underworld will flood into the mortal realm, and he could lose his mom forever.

๐Ÿ’ฎ Xiran Jay Zhao’s Iron Widow left an impression in me that propelled me to fervently chase down any future novels published under their name. I wonder how different their book will feel like as Zachary Ying is a middle grade.

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a show for two
โ€“ tashie bhuiyan

standalone
May 10th 2022 by Inkyard Press
age range: young adult
genre: contemporary, romance
rep: LGBT (lesbian SC, bi SC), Bangladeshi-American MC

Mina Rahman has a plan for her future:
โ€ข Finally win the Golden Ivy student film competition
โ€ข Get into her dream school across the country
โ€ข Leave New York City behind once and for all

Minaโ€™s ticket to winning the competition falls into her lap when indie film starโ€”and known heartbreakerโ€”Emmitt Ramos enrolls in her high school under a secret identity to research his next role. When Mina sets out to persuade Emmitt to join her cause, he offers her a deal instead: he’ll be in her short filmโ€ฆifshe acts as a tour guide to help him with a photography contest.

As Mina ventures across the five boroughs with Emmitt by her side, the city she grew up in starts to look different and more like home than it ever has before. With the competition deadline looming, Mina’s dreamsโ€”which once seemed impenetrableโ€”begin to crumble, and sheโ€™s forced to ask herself: Is winning worth losing everything?

๐Ÿ’ฎ Tashie Bhuiyan was inspired from Tom Holland’s undercover mission at her high school. The end result is A Show for Two.

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siren queen
โ€“ nghi vo

standalone
May 10th 2022 by Tordotcom
age range: adult
genre: historical fiction, fantasy
rep: LGBT, Chinese-American MC

It was magic. In every world, it was a kind of magic.

โ€œNo maids, no funny talking, no fainting flowers.โ€ Luli Wei is beautiful, talented, and desperate to be a star. Coming of age in pre-Code Hollywood, she knows how dangerous the movie business is and how limited the roles are for a Chinese American girl from Hungarian Hillโ€”but she doesnโ€™t care. Sheโ€™d rather play a monster than a maid.

But in Luliโ€™s world, the worst monsters in Hollywood are not the ones on screen. The studios want to own everything from her face to her name to the women she loves, and they run on a system of bargains made in blood and ancient magic, powered by the endless sacrifice of unlucky starlets like her. For those who do survive to earn their fame, success comes with a steep price. Luli is willing to do whatever it takesโ€”even if that means becoming the monster herself.

๐Ÿ’ฎ Nghi Vo’s novellas always managed to captivate me. Unlike most novellas, I could relate to her characters and be immersed in the story plot.

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grandmaster of demonic cultivation volume 2
โ€“ moxiang tongxiu

series: grandmaster of demonic cultivation #2
May 17th 2022 by Seven Seas Entertainment
age range: adult
genre: fantasy, romance
rep: Chinese, LGBT (m/m romance)

Following the trail of a dismembered corpse, Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji arrive at the gates of Yi City: an old, abandoned town shrouded in mist and restless spirits. A fiendish foe awaits them in the shadows, heralding a tale of heartbreak and tragedy. When the mysterious corpseโ€™s identity is finally revealed, the hunt for its killer plunges Wei Wuxian back into the depths of the cultivation worldโ€™s politics, where he must keep his enemies close and Lan Wangji even closer. 

๐Ÿ’ฎ Do I even need to say anything about this? The books aren’t coming out fast enough.

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once upon a k-prom
โ€“ kat cho

standalone
May 17th 2022 by Disney
age range: young adult
genre: contemporary, romance
rep: Korean

Elena Soo has always felt overshadowed. Whether by her more successful older sisters, her more popular twin brother, or her more outgoing best friend, everyone except Elena seems to know exactly who they are and what they want. But she is certain about one thing – she has no interest in going to prom. While the rest of the school is giddy over corsages and dresses, Elena would rather spend her time working to save the local community center, the one place that’s always made her feel like she belonged. 

So when international K-pop superstar Robbie Choi shows up at her house to ask her to prom, Elena is more confused than ever. Because the one person who always accepted Elena as she is? Her childhood best friend, Robbie Choi. And the one thing she maybe, possibly, secretly wants more than anything? For the two of them to keep the promise they made each other as kids: to go to prom together. But that was seven years ago, and with this new K-pop persona, pink hair, and stylish clothes, Robbie is nothing like the sweet, goofy boy she remembers. The boy she shared all her secrets with. The boy she used to love. 

Besides, prom with a guy who comes with hordes of screaming fans, online haters, and relentless paparazzi is the last thing Elena wants – even if she can’t stop thinking about Robbie’s smile…right?

๐Ÿ’ฎ I enjoyed the Gumiho duology by Kat Cho because it had elements of Korean mythology. In May 2022, we are getting a contemporary romance about a K-pop star showing up at Elena’s doorstep to ask her to prom. I’m ready for the K-drama swoon-worthy moments. Perfect for me.

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hide
โ€“ kiersten white

standalone
May 24th 2022 by Del Rey Books
age range: adult
genre: horror, thriller/mystery

The challenge: spend a week hiding in an abandoned amusement park and don’t get caught.

The prize: enough money to change everything.

Even though everyone is desperate to win–to seize their dream futures or escape their haunting pasts–Mack feels sure that she can beat her competitors. All she has to do is hide, and she’s an expert at that.

It’s the reason she’s alive, and her family isn’t.

But as the people around her begin disappearing one by one, Mack realizes this competition is more sinister than even she imagined, and that together might be the only way to survive.
Fourteen competitors. Seven days. Everywhere to hide, but nowhere to run.

Come out, come out, wherever you are.

๐Ÿ’ฎ Hesitating a little to read Hide since I’m struggling to read Kiersten White’s The Conqueror Saga but Hide is a standalone with about 256 pages. I’ll probably pick this up just to see if I should continue reading her books.

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a cruel and fated light
โ€“ ashley shuttleworth

series: the hollow star saga #2
May 24th 2022 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
age range: young adult
genre: romance, fantasy
rep: LGBT

After thwarting the man behind the gruesome ironborn murdersโ€”and breaking several fae laws to do soโ€”all Arlo wants is a quiet summer. As the deity of luckโ€™s Hollow Star, capable of bringing about endless possibilities, this shouldnโ€™t be too much to ask, right?

But someone is still trying to summon the mythical Seven Deadly Sins. All signs point to immortal meddling, and if this isthe godsโ€™ attempt at returning to the Mortal Realm, itโ€™s Arlo theyโ€™re going to use to do it.

When Queen Riadne offers to host Arlo at the Seelie Summer palace, she jumps at the chance. Sheโ€™ll get to see more of Vehan and Aurelian and perhaps even work out her complicated feelings for the gorgeous ex-Fury, Nausicaรค. But no one trusts the infamous Queen of Light, even as Arlo wonders if sheโ€™s just been greatly misunderstood.

With the Summer Solstice quickly approaching, everyone expects Riadne to finally challenge the High King for his crown. And as Arlo struggles to get control of her powers and take charge of her destiny, sheโ€™ll soon be faced with a choice that wonโ€™t only change the fate of the Mortal Realm forever but could condemn it to a cruelty the likes of which the Courts have never known.

๐Ÿ’ฎ Holy moly, this is 600+ pages. Though it’s not hugest tome I’ve read or in my TBR, A Cruel and Fated Light is pretty daunting still. Nevertheless, it’s going to be epic.

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flip the script
โ€“ lyla lee

standalone
May 31st 2022 by Katherine Tegen Books
age range: young adult
genre: contemporary, romance
rep: Korean

As an avid watcher of K-dramas, Hana knows all the tropes to avoid when she finally lands a starring role in a buzzy new drama. And she can totally handle her fake co-star boyfriend who might be falling in love with her. After all, she promised the producers a contract romance, and thatโ€™s all theyโ€™re going to get from her. 

But when showrunners bring on a new girl to challenge Hanaโ€™s role as main love interestโ€”and worse, itโ€™s someone Hana knows all too wellโ€”can  Hana fight for her position on the show while falling for her on-screen rival in real life?

-K-drama lovers will fall for all the fan-favorite tropes that make for a hit show.
-Romance is everywhere in this swoony, joy-filled novel, with fake dating, a secret relationship, and a classic love triangle!
-Visit South Korea as Hana takes readers through popular spots and hidden gems.

๐Ÿ’ฎ Absolutely adored I’ll Be the One by Lyla Lee after reading it in 2020. In 2022, we are getting Flip the Script! Another book to tide me through the post-Korea hangover.

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tokyo dreaming
โ€“ emiko jean

duology: tokyo ever after #2
May 31st 2022 by Flatiron Books
age range: young adult
genre: contemporary, romance
rep: Japanese

When Japanese-American Izumi Tanaka learned her father was the Crown Prince of Japan, she became a princess overnight. Now, sheโ€™s overcome conniving cousins, salacious press, and an imperial scandal to finally find a place she belongs. She has a perfect bodyguard turned boyfriend. Her stinky dog, Tamagotchi, is living with her in Tokyo. Her parents have even rekindled their college romance and are engaged. A royal wedding is on the horizon! Izumiโ€™s life is a Tokyo dream come true.

Only…

Her parentsโ€™ engagement hits a brick wall. The Imperial Household Council refuses to approve the marriage citing concerns about Izumi and her motherโ€™s lack of pedigree. And on top of it all, her bodyguard turned boyfriend makes a shocking decision about their relationship. At the threat of everything falling apart, Izumi vows to do whatever it takes to help win over the council. Which means upping her newly acquired princess game.

But at what cost? Izumi will do anything to help her parents achieve their happily ever after, but what if playing the perfect princess means sacrificing her own? Will she find a way to forge her own path and follow her heart?

๐Ÿ’ฎ After Korea, the next country in my bucket list is Japan. Hopefully Tokyo Dreaming will help me with my wanderlust. I want more of Izumi and her ex-bodyguard!!

๐ŸŒ‘ ๐ŸŒ’ ๐ŸŒ“ ๐ŸŒ” ๐ŸŒ• ๐ŸŒ– ๐ŸŒ— ๐ŸŒ˜

theo tan and the fox spirit
โ€“ jesse q. sutanto

series: theo tan and the fox spirit #1
May 31st 2022 by Feiwel Friends
age range: middle grade
genre: fantasy
rep: Chinese-American

After inheriting a grieving fox spirit, a Chinese American boy must learn to embrace his heritage to solve the mystery of his brother’s death in Jesse Q Sutanto’s magical, action-packed middle grade fantasy, Theo Tan and the Fox Spirit.

Theo Tan doesn’t want a spirit companion. He just wants to be a normal American kid, playing video games, going to conventions, and using cirth pendants to cast his spells like everyone else. But, when his older brother dies, Theo ends up inheriting Jamie’s fox spirit, Kai.

Kai isn’t happy about this either. Theo is nothing like Jamie, and the two of them have never gotten along. But, when they realize the mysterious journal Jamie left Theo is filled with clues and secret codes, it’s clear that something strange was going on with Jamie’s internship at Reapling Corp.

But the only way onto the campus is the highly competitive “Know Your Roots” summer camp program, a celebration of Chinese and Indian cultures designed to help connect students with their heritage. Theo and Kai will have to put aside their differences long enough to honor Jamie’s last wishes, or the mystery he died for will remain unsolved forever…

๐Ÿ’ฎ This is another of Jesse Q. Sutanto’s 2022 releases. I’m just here for her books, to be honest. At this point, I don’t even care what she’s going to be published next. As long as I know about it, I’ll be reading it.

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that’s it for May 2022 releases. i’ll probably read grandmaster of demonic cultivation volume 2, zachary ying and the dragon emperor, and tokyo dreaming within the month itself. what about you?

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10 thoughts on “13 may 2022 releases: asians be thriving”

    1. Right! i didn’t know about it until recently. need to get my hands on a copy. Japan just released news that they’re looking to open their borders. hopefully my wanderlust will be manageable until then haha

      Liked by 1 person

  1. So many of these releases are on my radar! I’m currently reading I Kissed Shara Wheeler and I’m enjoying it a lot but I’m even more excited to read my ARC of Tokyo Dreaming! I loved Tokyo Ever After so much when I read it last year and I can’t wait to see where the sequel takes us. I’m also looking forward to A Show for Two, it sounds absolutely adorable!

    Liked by 1 person

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