20 BEST ASIAN AMERICAN YA BOOKS TO READ IN 2020

Looking to expand your reading list to include some books written by Asian American authors featuring Asian American protagonist? Look no further. Here are a few books to get you started!

AMERICAN PANDA BY GLORIA CHAO

Seventeen-year-old Mei’s life has already been mapped out by her parents. She’s set to become a doctor (despite falling asleep in her biology classes) and marry a Taiwanese boy, despite having a crush on her not-so-Taiwanese classmate, Darren. When Mei reconnects with her estranged brother, she starts to wonder if keeping these secrets is really worth it. But can she find a way to finally be herself and tell her parents the truth? Gloria Chao is also the author of Our Wayward Fate and the upcoming Rent A Boyfriend.

LIKE A LOVE STORY BY ABDI NAZEMIAN

It’s 1989 and Reza has just moved to New York City with his mother, terrified that someone will find out his secret. Despite being gay, he soon starts dating Judy, whose best friend Art is the only out and proud teen at their school, documenting the AIDS crisis through his photographs. But as Reza grows closer to them both, he struggles to find a way out of his deception that won’t break Judy’s heart and destroy the most meaningful friendships he’s ever known.

MARIAM SHARMA HITS THE ROAD BY SHEBA KARIM

When a scandalous photo of her friend Ghaz is made public, Mariam comes up with a genius plan to rescue her from her furious parents. Embark on a road trip with their friend Umar and escape New Orleans. So the three friends pile into a car and start driving, making all sorts of pit stops along the way. And though each mile brings them closer to their own truths, they know they can rely on their friendship, and laughter, to get them through it. Sheba Karim is also the author of That Thing We Call A Heart and Skunk Girl.

LOVE FROM A TO Z BY S.K. ALI

After Zayneb is suspended for confronting an Islamophobic teacher, she heads to her aunt’s house is Doha for a much-needed break. While waiting for her flight, her path crosses with Adam. Since being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, the same illness that took his mother’s life, he’s been trying to keep it together for his grieving family, locking away his thoughts in writing. Told in alternating journal entries, this is a love story of marvels and oddities and what happens when the two collide. S.K. Ali is also the author of Saints and Misfits.

MY SO-CALLED BOLLYWOOD LIFE BY NISHA SHARMA

Winnie Mehta’s fate is written in the stars. A pundit once predicted that she’d find the love of her life before her 18th birthday. So when she breaks up with her boyfriend Raj, who fits all of the criteria, she begins questioning the truth of the prophecy. Set to take back control of her story, she enlists the help of a fellow Bollywood film geek to pursue her dream of attending film school. Dev is smart and charming and not at all written in her horoscope but Winnie finds herself drawn to him anyway. And soon enough, her perfectly scripted life reaches its climax. The question is: will she get a happy ending?

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