At the end of March, I made a first Year of the Asian Readathon Challenge update post (what a mouthful that was), to let you all know which books by Asian authors I had read in the first three months of the year. I want to keep creating update posts every 3 months, so I can share my progress throughout the year and keep myself accountable.
If you’re unaware, YARC is a year-long reading challenge hosted by Shealea @ Shut Up, Shealea, CW @ The Quiet Pond, Lily @ Sprinkles of Dreams, and Vicky @ Vicky Who Reads, encouraging us all to read books by Asian authors.
What was my goal?
The hosts made different tiers based on wonderful animals, and I chose the level of Philippine tarsier, which meant reading 1-10 books for the challenge in 2019.
When I posted my first updated in March, I had already read 9 books for the challenge and knew for sure I’d pass the Philippine tarsier level. I’ve been reading a lot of manga this year, which are all by Japanese authors – obviously…
I won’t choose a new level, even though I’ve already surpassed the one I’d chosen at the start of the year. I’m just going to continue reading all the Asian authors and see how much I’ll end up with at the end of the year.
What did I read in April, May, and June?
The Shadowglass (The Bone Witch #3) by Rin Chupeco – ★★★★★ – a new favorite
This was an obvious read for me this year. I absolutely adore this trilogy, and the final book was one of my most anticipated releases of 2019. I may have shed a tear or two while reading this on public transport, but I don’t regret it whatsoever. If you somehow haven’t read this series yet, please do me a favor and give it a try.
Death Note Black Edition Vol. 1 by Tsugumi Ohba – ★★★★ – really liked it
A while ago, I read the first volume of Death Note and didn’t really love it. However, this manga is so popular I didn’t want to give up either. I bought the black editions that contain two volumes per book, and gave it another go. This time around, I really liked it! The translations in the first volume feel a little bit awkward, but that problem gets resolved by the second one. I knew I had to continue with this manga asap.
The Wrath and the Dawn (Wrath and the Dawn #1) by Renée Ahdieh – ★★★ – it was okay
I finally read this hyped up novel during the OWLs readathon in April, and I’m grateful the readathon gave me the push to pick this up. I’d been putting it off because I had a feeling I wouldn’t really love it, and I was right. I couldn’t get into this novel, and the romance made me cringe.
Fullmetal Alchemist Vol. 2 by Hiromu Arakawa – ★★★★ – really liked it
I read the first volume at the start of the year and fell in love with it. When the sequels I ordered finally arrived, I continued the manga immediately. I really love the story line, the characters, and the humor of Fullmetal Alchemist.
Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata – ★★★★ – really liked it
Another book I read for the OWLs readathon in April! This is an adult contemporary novel about a Japanese woman who works in a convenience store and loves the routine her life has, the part she plays in the cycle of society. However, people tend to look down on her because she isn’t married and works in a store. To make her family happy, she tries to break out of her self-assigned role. It’s such an interesting read, and I would highly recommend it!
Black Butler Vol. 2 by Yana Toboso – ★★★.₅ – liked it
I quite enjoyed the first Black Butler volume so I picked up the second one in April. Unfortunately, I didn’t love it as much as the previous volume… I will continue the manga, but it’s not a priority anymore.
Fruits Basket Vol. 1 by Natsuki Takaya – ★★★★ – really liked it
After reading a few action-packed and “serious” manga volumes, I wanted to read one that was more light-hearted. Enter Fruits Basket! I had never read the manga nor watched the anime, so had no idea what to expect going in. I ended up really enjoying it, and will be buying the Collector’s editions so I can continue the manga!
The Three-Body Problem (Remembrance of Earth’s Past #1) by Cixin Liu – ★★★★.₅ – loved it
The Three-Body Problem had been on my to-read list ages before reading it. I was quite intimidated by this epic Chinese science fiction series because a) I’m still not used to reading hard sci fi, and b) I was afraid I wouldn’t love the translation, or that it wouldn’t come across as well as the original. I shouldn’t have been scared. This novel is fantastic, and I can’t wait to continue the series.
Death Note Black Edition Vol. 2 by Tsugumi Ohba – ★★★★★ – a new favorite
As I mentioned earlier, I knew I wanted to continue with the Death Note manga soon. The second volume of the black editions ended up blowing my mind. The sequels were even better than the first volumes. This volume solidified my need to own all the other volumes and read them soon.
Fullmetal Alchemist vol. 3 by Hiromu Arakawa – ★★★★ – really liked it
As mentioned earlier, I’ve been enjoying the Fullmetal Alchemist manga so much. I always look forward to reading it, and once I’ve picked a volume up I don’t want to put it back down at all.
Death Note Black Edition vol. 3 by Tsugumi Ohba – ★★★★ – really liked it
While I didn’t love this volume as much as the previous ones, it’s still an incredible series.
Death Note Black Edition vol. 4 by Tsugumi Ohba – ★★★★ – really liked it
This volume blew my mind. Something unforgivable happened, and I still haven’t entirely recovered. I truly sped through this manga, because I loved it so much.
Death Note Black Edition vol. 5 by Tsugumi Ohba – ★★★★ – really liked it
Once I finished volume 4, I knew I couldn’t wait to finish the series. There was no time to pick up something else first. I had to know how this manga ends! It’s just such a wild ride. If it wasn’t obvious already, I highly recommend this manga, if you haven’t read it already.
Death Note Black Edition vol. 6 by Tsugumi Ohba – ★★★★.₅ – loved it
The ending has come. I finished it. I binge-read Death Note, and now I’ve come to the end of the tunnel. What an emotional rollercoaster it has been. I absolutely adore this manga. I only have one issue with it overall, but I’ll get into that in a later review. I can’t wait to watch the anime!
Fullmetal Alchemist vol. 4 by Hiromu Arakawa – ★★★★ – really liked it
In my effort to crawl out of the black hole the ending of Death Note left me in, I continued the Fullmetal Alchemist manga. This one is just so much fun. It’s packed with action, yet isn’t as serious or psychological as Death Note. I’ve grown so attached to these characters, it’s insane.
Fullmetal Alchemist vol. 5 by Hiromu Arakawa – ★★★★ – really liked it
I’m running out of things to say here. I think you get the gist, right? I’m loving this manga so much.
Fullmetal Alchemist vol. 6 by Hiromu Arakawa – ★★★★★ – a new favorite
This volume. CATCH ME CRYING. Volume 6 focuses on the backstory of the brothers. It talks about their childhood, their relationship with their parents, and what happened after their mother died – no, that’s not a spoiler. All the emotions, people. I just want to protect them!!
Fullmetal Alchemist vol. 7 by Hiromu Arakawa – ★★★★ – really liked it
While it can’t top how I felt about the previous volumes, I do like where the story is going. After finishing this volume, I bought 4 of the 3-in-1 editions of the manga because I wanted to start collecting those instead. I can’t wait to continue!
I’ve read quite a lot towards the Year of the Asian Reading Challenge, mostly thanks to my love for manga. I’ve been in such a manga mood lately, and while I do want to branch out with regards to the ethnicities of the authors, I don’t want to stop reading manga either. I guess we’ll see what the next 3 months bring!
Have you read any of these books? Have any recommendations for me?