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Review Round-Up: Fully Booked Reading Allies' Favorite Books Written by Filipino Authors

Review Round-Up: Fully Booked Reading Allies' Favorite Books Written by Filipino Authors

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.


More book news and reviews are available through our First Look Club reviewers, Reading Allies, and Fully Booked Online. Know more about the Fully Booked affiliate program at www.fullybookedonline.com/ReadingAllies.



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