top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: New-to-Me Authors I Read in 2021

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

I really like this yearly topic because I get to highlight some new authors I discovered the year before. If you’re interested, you can also look back at the new authors I found in 2020 here.

1. Loan Le

My boyfriend is Vietnamese and I loved this contemporary about feuding Vietnamese restaurants. It brought so much culture (and delicious food!) Into a cute romance story that there’s pretty much nothing to complain about. I’m so glad I found Loan’s book and look forward to more!

2. Tashie Bhuiyan

Another great author who taught me so much about a culture outside of my own, I loved how she brought me into the perspective of a Bangladeshi family while also being a cute contemporary. This was one of those books that surprised me and I couldn’t have been happier I had the ARC.

3. Michelle Quach

Who knew feminism from an Asian protagonist’s voice was even more compelling than either topic alone? I loved this perspective because I could relate so much to the protagonist and her culture (her family spoke my family’s dialect!) while also asking myself the question of what I’d do to support a society that held women equal to men. A fantastic read.

4. Jennifer Yen

Okay, I read a lot of Asian authors last year. I think that’s evident, but I’m so glad they’re being published and being heard. This Taiwanese baking contest book made me hungry but was also a decent debut highlighting more Asian cuisines and also a love story loosely based on Pride and Prejudice.

5. Namina Forna

Opening up my cultural perspectives even more, Namina’s fantasy story with a POC protagonist made me wish we continue to have more stories such as this one! I loved the action and the intrigue of the world and can’t wait for the sequel coming out this year.

6. Maria E. Andreu

I rarely think about immigration although my parents are immigrants themselves to my country. I know I was blessed they went through that hardship so I could have the life that I have. Maria’s book gave me a lot of insight into ESL students (and their families) who are trying to start a better life in North America. What a language barrier it is and the culture shock to adjust into a new place so different from your own! I have so much respect for immigrants and their experiences.

7. Sarah Suk

This enemies to lovers story was another interesting Asian debut featuring Korean entrepreneurial students running rival businesses at school. I loved the concept and all the references to K-pop and culture that I hope to see more of in books in general. We need to normalize this!

8. Rachel Solomon

2021 was clearly a great year for contemporaries. I discovered Rachel’s fake dating coworker story and it’s just a great combination of laughter and feels ‘cause you know things are gonna get messy before it gets happy. I need more light books in my life, especially now, so I’m happy to have found her at such a time.

9. Sophie Gonzales

I really enjoyed the premise of this book because it looks at bi visibility where people who identify as such may sometimes feel like they fall in between the cracks even in the community. It was an interesting perspective I never thought about and it definitely brought about a lot of reflection, which is so important in reading.

10. Kate Quinn

I’m picky about my historical fictions but Kate Quinn is clearly a master at her art. So well researched and thrilling with brilliantly written characters, I never felt bored and learned so much about world war history I was never taught in school. Who said reading fiction couldn’t be ways of teaching real life things?

Bonus! Ali Hazelwood

I have to end this post with Ali because she’s a scientist like me and I felt so seen in this book in a way I’ve never felt in fiction books. I love the way she incorporates STEM into a romance story, and she knows her stuff because I got all those little science references she hid in there. I absolutely can’t wait to see what’s next from her this year!

And that’s a wrap! Have you read any of these authors before? Clearly I read a lot of POC authors and books that I knew would give me a different perspective I don’t see in the books I read before. I hope 2022 continues that trend forward.

12 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: New-to-Me Authors I Read in 2021”

  1. Yeahhhh Maria E. Andreu! This book was great, despite my disinterest in the love triangle, and I thought her debut was even better, as revealing about what it’s like to come of age in a country without papers even though you’ve lived there basically your whole life as this one is in its depiction of what it’s like to arrive legally but completely out of your element — neither of which I had any understanding of prior to reading.

    I think she occupies a really niche place in YA lit and I hope she publishes more; it was a long seven years between books for me!

    Liked by 1 person

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