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A review is important to both authors and readers as it is a critical evaluation of a text, event, object, phenomenon, or, in our case, a book. Reviews give titles more visibility and a greater chance of getting discovered by more readers.
Read the Fully Booked Reading Allies’ recommended books written by Asian authors.
The Bone Witch Series by Rin Chupeco
Review by Rovie (@thecaffeinatedrareder)
This YA fantasy series is such an underrated one so I always recommend it whenever I get a chance to. This series is a mixed bag of wonderful things such as Rin's addictive writing, morally grey main character, dark magic, swoon-worthy romances, and well-crafted character dynamics. My tip is to make sure you have all the three books before you start reading, because once you do, you will not want to stop.
My Fate According to the Butterfly by Gail D. Villanueva
Review by Inah (@inahreads)
My Fate According to the Butterfly plays on the innocence and curiosity of Sab, while gently touching on the reality of the drug war. It also tackles issues such as socioeconomic inequalities, colonial mentality, and white privilege. I love that the author was able to navigate through these themes and contextualize them in the eyes of a Filipino kid without soft-pedaling their importance and meaning.
Karinderya Love Songs by John Pucay
Review by Andrea (@paperbackmermaid)
It talks about the struggle of finding one's self at the age of 20s and the struggle of looking for a partner, especially in modern dating. The way it is written is very open about how sex is part of one's life. The characters were introduced well and their character development was on point. Lastly, since the pandemic happened, the book provides nostalgia on how life is in Metro Manila if you grew up in the province.
Wicked As You Wished by Rin Chupeco
Review by Dani (@dmcireads)
This book is something I treasure and I believe this is an underrated series from her. My first book to encounter Filipino culture turns into fantasy, I’m lovin’ it. I love how Rin Chupeco has written it with Filipino characters and their famous lines and dialects PLUS the food that she shares in this book. I highly recommend this to every Filipino to read this one because it’s one fabulous ride from Makiling.
America Is Not the Heart by Elaine Castillo
Review by Hannah (@booksorfeelings)
This is the first internationally published book I've read where I genuinely felt seen. I think I teared up when, for the first time, I read the word "basang" in print, looking just at home on the page as the words surround it. What I love about this book is that even though so many things happen over the course of so many years, the book truly shines in the mundane, the ordinary moments that make real life feel the most real, and therefore the most beautiful.
It's a story about family, which, in the Filipino sense, can mean mom and dad and siblings, but also titos and titas from faraway lands plus their children plus their neighbors plus the people with whom they hear mass and share Sunday meals. I think Filipinos will find a bit of themselves in the characters, maybe one, maybe all. Perhaps the rest of the world will feel the same; at the very least, they will find themselves with a seat at the table, which means they are also part of the family.
The Wolf of Oren-Yaro by K.S. Villoso
Review by Kate (@yourtitakate)
Despite being a fantasy novel featuring things like dragons and magic, The Wolf of Oren-Yaro is an unapologetically Filipino book. It features Filipino cultural norms and sociopolitics, and it especially zooms in on the experience of the Filipino woman, wife, and mother via the main character Queen Talyien. But the author doesn't just portray uniquely Filipino things that we can be proud of. She also writes about parts of our culture that are wellsprings of toxicity and that we as a community need to overcome. Filipino culture is pretty much a two-edged sword; there are things about as a people that are great, but take those things too far and you get the tendency to corruption, greed, and an “us against the world” mindset.
Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala
Review by Dane (@goreadnow)
It’s not that dark and gory like most murder mysteries are but it still is a page-turner with lots of twists and turns. Who knew that a cozy mystery served with Filipino food would be a great combination! Not only will it make you enjoy the journey but it will also make you hungry!
Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay
Review by books.and.lommie
I find this book important. It's a different YA genre I've read last year. It has impacted me so much. My thoughts have caused me to think seriously about the current issues in the Philippines. A story that feels so real.
Homicide and Halo-Halo by Mia P. Manansala
Review by Sandra Isabel (@readsandramble)
This is the second installment of Mia P. Manansala’s cozy mystery series, and it’s the one I love the most so far! While this is a murder mystery book with A LOT of Filipino food references, it also tackles women’s empowerment, which makes this book a lot better! I love the fact that even though the story took place in the US, you’ll still feel homey because of the Filipino delicacies that were mentioned, and how the characters still practice our culture. Brace yourselves if you’ll read this one because it will make you hungry (the recipes at the end might suffice that hunger) from start to finish. If you’re into murder mystery books, you’ll surely love this one. And if you aren’t into that genre, who knows, maybe this book will change that.
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An unforgettable alternative history fairy-tale series from the author of The Bone Witch trilogy about found family, modern day magic, and finding the place you belong.
Then hope for their abandoned homeland reignites when a famous creature of legend, and Avalon's most powerful weapon, the Firebird, appears for the first time in decades. Alex and Tala unite with a ragtag group of new friends to journey back to Avalon for a showdown that will change the world as they know it.
Get Wicked As You Wish, A Hundred Names for Magic Book 1 (Hardcover) by Rin Chupeco and other science fiction/fantasy books online and at Fully Booked bookstore branches in the Philippines.Learn More
Light and deep, smart and funny, crushing and hopeful all at the same time, My Fate According to the Butterfly will open your eyes to both the world's potential for magic, and to its harsh realities.
With her time running out, all she wants is to celebrate her birthday with her entire family. But her sister, Ate Nadine, stopped speaking to their father one year ago, and Sab doesn't even know why.
Get My Fate According to the Butterfly (Hardcover) by Gail Villanueva and other general fiction books online and at Fully Booked bookstore branches in the Philippines.Learn More
Named one of the best books of 2018 by NPR, Real Simple, Lit Hub, The Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, The New York Post, Kirkus Reviews, and The New York Public Library
An increasingly relevant story told with startling lucidity, humor, and an uncanny ear for the intimacies and shorthand of family ritual, America Is Not the Heart is a sprawling, soulful debut about three generations of women in one family struggling to balance the promise of the American dream and the unshakeable grip of history. With exuberance, grit, and sly tenderness, here is a family saga; an origin story; a romance; a narrative of two nations and the people who leave one home to grasp at another.
Get America Is Not the Heart: A Novel (Paperback) by Elaine Castillo and other contemporary fiction books online and at Fully Booked bookstore branches in the Philippines.Learn More
A powerful coming-of-age story about grief, guilt, and the risks a Filipino-American teenager takes to uncover the truth about his cousin's murder.
Jay Reguero plans to spend the last semester of his senior year playing video games before heading to the University of Michigan in the fall. But when he discovers that his Filipino cousin Jun was murdered as part of President Duterte's war on drugs, and no one in the family wants to talk about what happened, Jay travels to the Philippines to find out the real story.
Get Patron Saints of Nothing (Paperback) by Randy Ribay and other young adult books online and at Fully Booked bookstore branches in the Philippines.Learn More
Mia P. Manansala
The first book in a new culinary cozy series full of sharp humor and delectable dishes—one that might just be killer...
When Lila Macapagal moves back home to recover from a horrible breakup, her life seems to be following all the typical rom-com tropes. She's tasked with saving her Tita Rosie's failing restaurant, and she has to deal with a group of matchmaking aunties who shower her with love and judgment. But when a notoriously nasty food critic (who happens to be her ex-boyfriend) drops dead moments after a confrontation with Lila, her life quickly swerves from a Nora Ephron romp to an Agatha Christie case.
Get Arsenic and Adobo: A Tita Rosie's Kitchen Mystery (Paperback) by Mia P. Manansala and other contemporary fiction books online and at Fully Booked bookstore branches in the Philippines.Learn More
Mia P. Manansala
Death at a beauty pageant turns Tita Rosie’s Kitchen upside down in the latest entry of this witty and humorous cozy mystery series.
Things are heating up for Lila Macapagal. Not in her love life, which she insists on keeping nonexistent despite the attention of two very eligible bachelors. Or her professional life, since she can’t bring herself to open her new café after the unpleasantness that occurred a few months ago at her aunt’s Filipino restaurant, Tita Rosie’s Kitchen. No, things are heating up quite literally, since summer, her least favorite season, has just started.
Get Homicide and Halo-Halo: A Tita Rosie's Kitchen Mystery, Book 2 (Paperback) by Mia P. Manansala and other crime and mystery fiction books online and at Fully Booked bookstore branches in the Philippines.
"A high-fantasy Memoirs of a Geisha, Chupeco's latest excels in originality" ―Kirkus Reviews
A story of scorned witches, sinister curses, and resurrection, The Bone Witch is the start of a dark fantasy trilogy, perfect for fans of Serpent & Dove and The Cruel Prince.
When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother, Fox, from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she's a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training.
Get The Bone Witch, Book 1 (Hardcover) by Rin Chupeco and other young adult fiction books online and at Fully Booked bookstore branches in the Philippines.Learn More