Ellen Oh: A Thousand Beginnings and Endings



Up until recently I ve loved any books with Asian influences I could get my hands on but always felt like they were missing something This anthology is amazing in that it doesn t only focus on East Asia but on other parts of Asia as well I was ecstatic when I read stories from the Philippines and stories about darker skinned Asians I keep saying this this month but it feels surreal to see myself represented in fiction when I hadn t experienced it for most of my life I wish I had something to read like this when I was ounger and used to favor characters with brow ARC provided by HarperCollins in exchange for an honest reviewThis is the anthology I ve been waiting my entire life for As a Filipina woman I have no words to express how happy my heart is to just read a collection of short stories that are all ownvoices And at the end of each short story is an author note on why they wrote the story that they did And I think I cried reading at least 75% of the author s notes This anthology is so beautiful so powerful and it means to me than I have word combinations to express We fell in love with all those myths about powerful gods being vulnerable about humans becoming heroes Such stories taught us about mythology about the beauty of folktales and legends and about how stories of gods and goddesses are also stories about the human heart But we never found similar compilations that were distinctly Asian Friends please preorder this and fall in love too If The Hype Machine: How Social Media Disrupts Our Elections, Our Economy and Our Health – and How We Must Adapt you d like to get me a birthday gift thisear please just preorder this read and review this collection Honestly it s the only thing I want in 2018 I ll beg I ll plead I ll scream from the rooftops please preorder this anthology and show the world that Asian stories can not only sell but can also change lives I will cherish this book forever and ever While also apparently rereading Roshani s from my ARC copy over the phone to my grandmother 100 timesThis collection honestly has so many amazing additions but my personal favorites were Forbidden Fruit by Roshani Chokshi Olivia s Table by Alyssa Wong The Crimson Cloak by Cindy Pon and Eyes like Candlelight by Julie Kagawa But my all time favorite of the collection was The Land of the Morning Calm by E C MyersBut I m going to break down each short story with my thoughts opinions and individual star rating Forbidden Fruit by Roshani Chokshi Filipino It was an ill fated thing to claim that a heart is safe Hearts are rebellious The moment they feel trapped they will strain against their bindings I am in tears writing this Best opening story of any anthology ever This is a version of the Philippine mythos of Maria Makiling that my grandma has been telling me stories of since I was a little girl And Roshani s take on it was beyond words beautiful This opening story was enough for me to preorder three copies of this book And I know I m being completely biased but this was nothing short of magnificent and I ll cherish it forever and ever Roshani thank Bush Versus the Environment you with every bone in my body thankou Olivia s Table by Alyssa Wong Chinese Can t they see the ghosts all the time she asked Not like Girl on a Motorcycle you and I can The Festival is when ghosts are most themselves instead of what the living want them to be Not everyone will like what they see tonight Everyone knows I m a huge fangirl of Alyssa Wong but the reason for that is because she truly writes the best short fiction out there right now There are so many amazing authors out there but talent like Alyssa s where it just shows that she was meant to weave words together and craft these life changing stories is so rare but so awe inspiring She is such a blessing to the literary world and I m forever thankful Every anthology collection I ve read that includes a story from her ends up being ten times better for the inclusion And her story always ends up completely stealing the show my soul and my heart while also becoming my favorite And Olivia s Table was no different This is a perfect story about a girl dealing with grief and depression but honoring her family by cooking at the Hungry Ghost Festival And this was such an honor to read and I know I ll carry this tale with me forever TWCW loss of a loved one terminal illness grief and depression Steel Skin by Lori M Lee Hmong The brain is just a highly complex circuit of electrical impulses so it stands to reason that it can be artificially manufactured Scientists have been trying to understand this process for decades What Makes Emotion This is a sci fi tale about a girl and her strained relationship with her father who hasn t been the same since her mother died TWCW loss of a loved one grief and abandonment But she and her friend soon start to unravel a mystery concerning the androids that were recalled long ago for being too intelligent And this was such a beautiful story with such an amazing ending And the end note about this reimagining of The Woman and the Tiger a Hmong folktale completely made me fall even harder in love Still Star Crossed by Sona Charaipotra Punjabi You don t know how to choose untilou re right there on the precipice giving away The Classics Veganized: Over 120 Favourite Comfort Food Recipes for a Vegan Lifestyle your everything for something that may be real or may be a shadow a ghostou re chasing This one wasn t my favorite in the collection just because it stars a Yeshe Lama young girl at a club with her friend when a strangeoung man appears and keeps following them I mean all the red flags right And even though his intentions always seemed good it still made me uncomfortable to read I did love the author s note for this one I just sadly didn t love this vision But oh my gosh the atmosphere and the food descriptions Perfection Like don t read this if The Snow Beast you re hungry because my stomach is growling just thinking about the food and drinks from this short story The Counting of Vermillion Beads by Aliette De Bodard Vietnamese We can t go home but that doesn t mean we have to be caged I loved this tale about two sisters and that unconditional bond This story felt so full so atmospheric so perfect This story was inspired by T m and C m but the version that Aliette De Bodard created is so heartwarming and so inspiring This is an empowering little tale that truly emphasizes that we can be an. Star crossed lovers meddling immortals feigned identities battles of wits and dire warnings these are the stuff of fairy tale myth and folklore that have drawn us in for centuries Thisoung adult novel is an excellent choice for accelerated tween readers in grades 7 to 8 especially during homeschooling It's a fun way to keep our child entertained and engaged while not in the classroomSixteen bestselling and acclaimed authors reimagine the folklore and mythology of East and South Asia in short stories that are by turns enchanting heartbreaking romantic and passionate Compiled by We Need Diverse Books's Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman who both contributed stories to this edition as well the authors included in this exuisite collection are Renée Ahdieh Sona Charaipotra Preeti Chhibber Roshani Chokshi Aliette de Bodard Melissa de la Cruz Julie Kagawa Rahul Kanakia Lori M Lee E C Myers Cindy Pon Aisha Saeed Shveta Thakrar and Alyssa Wong A mountain loses her heart Two sisters transform into birds to escape captivity A oung man learns the true meaning of sacrifice A oung woman takes up her mother's mantle and leads the dead to their final resting placeFrom fantasy to science fiction to contemporary from romance to tales of revenge these stories will beguile readers from start to finish For fans of Neil Gaiman's Unnatural Creatures and Ameriie's New York Times bestselling Because You Love to Hate Me.

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Ything we want in this world with whoever we are in this world regardless of what others want to shape and mold us to be The Land of the Morning Calm by E C Myers Korean I finally know how it ends I cried through 80% of this story Easily this was one of my new favorite short stories of all time I will never forget this story for as long as I live And I am immediately buying everything E C Myers has created This is a story about a gwisin ghost and a girl that is still dealing with the death of her mother five ears later It doesn t help that she s still living with her father and her mother s father her grandfather who reminds her of her mother s presence constantly But it is undeniable when the MMO that was her mother s life and the reason her parents met is being shut down forever but has drawn Sunny into playing again And Sunny has just found out about a new private server that will preserve the game and maybe the memory of her mother I loved this than words MMORPGs have meant so much to me during my life I have played them since high school and I have some of my very best friends and loved ones to this day because of them And this short story is a love letter to video games and the impact they can make on Classic Rough News Phoenix Poets Series your life And video games are such a huge part of Korean culture and the significance and importance shined through this story so very brightly This story just had such a profound meaning to me because it made me realize that one day I m hopefully going to be a mom that is a gamer and a con lover and a writer and so many of the things that Sunny viewed her mom as Like I promise I was bawling through almost this entire story This was beyond words beautiful I have no word combination to string together to letou all know how perfect this was and how much this story meant to me TWCW death loss of a parent And RIP to my favorite NPC of all time Ephoenix Ezra Chatterton The Smile by Aisha Saeed South Asian Belonging meant he could place me wherever he liked whether in his bed or in this dank tower Belonging is not love It never was This was so beautiful I couldn t help but fall in love I need a full length of this story I need to know what happens next I need so much But I guess that s the beauty of this tale anything could happen next This is an extremely feminist short story about a girl who serves a prince who is in love with her But this story is about love and how it should only be given freely and to those deserving Seriously this is such a treat of a story I think this will be one that everyone who picks up this anthology will love Girls Who Twirl and Other Dangers by Preeti Chhibber Gujarati There are three reasons I know fall is awesome the most anticipated Bollywood movies are always on a fall release schedule my mom starts practicing her delicious party dishes and it means it s time for Navr tri I loved this adorable story that switched between Hinduism mythos and to current time to a girl celebrating Navaratri at a party with her friends while they also plot revenge on a boy that s being rather rude Navaratri is celebrated in honor of good defeating evil and the battle of Durga and Mahishasura a buffalo demon And Preeti Chhibber does such a wonderful job transitioning and showcasing these two stories together Also I just loved learning about this Hindu holiday that s so empowering to women This was expertly crafted and such a joy to read Nothing into All by Ren e Ahdieh Korean Many Body by Darwin years ago a girl and a boy lived with their parents in a bark shingled home near a flowing river s edge Oh this was such a fun and whimsical read This was a super uniue spin on The Goblin Treasure which is actually a story I grew up hearing too But Ren e Ahdieh did such a wonderful job making me feel every single thing for this set of siblings And there is such a wonderful message about how we all carry goodness and badness inside of ourselves but how we choose our actions based on which is what is truly important Spear Carrier by Rahul Kanakia South Asian When I d agreed to his offer it was because I had thought I d be a hero This is a long short story about what it truly means to be a hero and if being a hero only means accomplishing whatou set out to do or winning the battle The Dark Tower you set out to fight There are a ton of lighthearted pop culture references in this but a ton of hard hitting uestions of war and what is worth losing one s life for I just thought that sometimes the writing was a little too harsh and a little too dry for me Code of Honor by Melissa de la Cruz Filipino I almost murdered a girlesterday Friends I m heartbroken I was supposed to love this one I just read the Fresh Ink anthology and Melissa de la Cruz s story was easily my favorite out of the entire collection But this This just didn t work for me at all It s about a vampire that is living in hiding but has lost her journal that has a spell attached to it so no human can read it But it is still causing her a lot of trouble Also TWCW for sort of a graphic animal comment since she feeds from them One line in this kind of made me shudder upon reading so use caution But I think this might be a set up or something for her series Blue Bloods but it just really felt strange being a part of this anthology and I really didn t enjoy it as much as it pains me to say Bullet Butterfly by Elsie Chapman Chinese Don t forget we re only ever soldiers here in Shangyu and soldiers never get to be the ones who wake up from a spell or who even get to break a spell We re just the dragons guarding the gate ordered to keep breathing the fire of those who cast the spell in the first place I loved this so much I loved this than words This is a reimagining of the Chinese legend Butterfly Lovers and it was so beautiful and so impactful The theme of loyalty to one s family but also to one s heart and happiness is constant throughout this tale And just all of the ways that war impacts every single person whether they are forced to create forced to fight or forced to any duty against their true heart s desires This story was wonderful and made me such an emotional mess For sure a highlight in this already amazing anthology Daughter of the Sun by Shveta. Star crossed lovers meddling immortals feigned identities battles of wits and dire warnings these are the stuff of fairy tale myth and folklore that have drawn us in for centuries This The Complete Idiot's Guide to Beekeeping young adult novel is an excellent choice for accelerated tween readers in grades 7 to 8 especially during homeschooling It's a fun way to keepour child entertained and engaged while not in the classroomSixteen bestselling and acclaimed authors reimagine the folklore and mythology of East and South Asia in short stories that are by turns enchanting heartbreaking romantic and passionate Compiled by We Need Diverse Books's Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman who both contributed stories to this edition as well the authors included in this exuisite collection are Renée Ahdieh Sona Charaipotra Preeti Chhibber Roshani Chokshi Aliette de Bodard Melissa de la Cruz Julie Kagawa Rahul Kanakia Lori M Lee E C Myers Cindy Pon Aisha Saeed Shveta Thakrar and Alyssa Wong A mountain loses her heart Two sisters transform into birds to escape captivity A Dead Giveaway young man learns the true meaning of sacrifice Aoung woman takes up her mother's mantle and leads the dead to their final resting placeFrom fantasy to science fiction to contemporary from romance to tales of revenge these stories will beguile readers from start to finish For fans of Neil Gaiman's Unnatural Creatures and Ameriie's New York Times bestselling Because You Love to Hate Me.

Thakrar South Asian She sang for her parents for the hue switching heavens for herself She read fairy tales epics and legends and imagined performing them on a stage draped in velvet But it wasn t enough She longed for a friend This was a beautiful story inspired by two of the stories in the longest epic poem in history The Mah bh rata One about Princess Savitri and Prince Satyavan and one about Ganga and Shantanu This was a moving story about destiny and sacrifice and how important it is to always follow Slim to None : A Journey Through the Wasteland of Anorexia Treatment your heart regardless of the outcomes andor circumstances And I was high key living for the feminist undertones that were expertly woven throughout this The Crimson Cloak by Cindy Pon Chinese whatever I might make for myself in this life hearth home or family they would mean nothing withoutou Please excuse me while I go buy from Cindy Pon because this story was one of the greatest blessings of 2018 And this is her version of the Chinese folklore tale of Cowherd and the magical girl who saw him first I actually had never heard of this tale before so I spent some time afterwards reading everything I could and I am even in love This is for sure one of the best stories in this anthology and Cindy Pon s giving a voice to this magical fairy weaver girl is something so beautiful I don t even have words for it One of the most romantic short stories I ve ever read too All the feels all the happiness all the tears Eyes like Candlelight by Julie Kagawa Japanese She could charm bears with that smile Takeo thought If he were a bear he would lie down with his head in her lap and not move until the hunters came for him I loved this with every fiber of my being I loved this writing so much that I think I m actually going to pick up everything I ve been neglecting on reading from Julie Kagawa too Like this was the perfect closing story And it surrounded one of my favorite mythical creatures of all time Kitsunes Again the writing was so perfect I was instantly teleported into this small village The main character Takeo was the sweetest little cinnamon roll And this short story was honestly perfect in every way And the ending of this was absolutely haunting I would buy and read anything else about this heartbroken girl and the small boy that missed so much because of evil menOut of a possible 75 stars 5 stars possible for each of the 15 stories this collection accumulated 63 stars 84% But I am giving this five stars regardless because I loved it so much The stories in this collection meant to me than I have words for And I truly hope En bur av guld you all pick this up upon release Amazing book of reworked folktales some reads are accessible than others ifou re not culturally intune with everything Asia Exact average of my different star ratings 33 5However I loved many stories in this anthology I actually finished this anthology a very first for me I m not really into short stories AND I didn t hate any of them some were really just uninteresting in my opinion and one was actually not good Or that s my opinion at eastTWCW 5 of those 15 stories include or are even about dead mothers 4 of those 5 stories are among the first 6 of the anthology so it feels really like a lot from the very beginningForbidden fruit Roshani Chokshi 3 starsIt was nice and pretty but it was a myth told like a myth and it was very short so it wasn t anything specialOlivia s table Alyssa Wong 4 starsFOOD I love when there s descriptions of food in books movies etc and I really liked the story theme it was great and for the length it brought up a lot of thingsSteel skin Lori M Lee 2 starsThat was very weird and I don t see how it s a retelling of the story of the tiger I m so confused right nowStill star crossed Sona Charaipotra 4 starsI liked the story though there were many words I didn t understand However I didn t really like the explanation of how it came to be if that was the intend it didn t really work imo But by itself the story was niceThe counting of Vermillon beads Aliette De Bodard 45 starsI love the idea to take a folk tale about Omen s rivalry and jealousy and make it with women supporting each othersThe land of the morning calm EC Myers 4 starsWell I have a soft spot for Korean culture and folklore as I lived in Seoul for 2 Surrounded by Spirit years and a half so I really enjoyed this one though I could have done without a 4th story about a dead motherThe smile Aisha Saeed 4 starsReally liked that one too I like the reasons behind the change in the myth too it s importantGirl who twirl and other dangers Preeti Chhibber 3 starsIt s funny how the two stories involving Indian Americans were so similar in some waysAnyway I liked the contemporary part of this story I was however confused by the mythological parts and how they fit into the storyCw trans exclusionary languageNothing into all Ren e Ahdieh 35 starsThis one maybe could have been a bit longer but it was okaySpear carrier Rahul Kanakia 35 starsARJUNA this is where my nephew s name comes from Also the story was fun it s an interesting way to look at a well known storyCode of honor Melissa de la Cruz 1 starThis was really not good Well whenou give eternal vampires that decide to go to high school Playing with Fire Of Angels and Demons you can be sureou re not going in the right direction But overall very weak story and charactersBullet butterfly Elsie Chapman 5 starsIt made me tear up so instant 55 from me To do that in 20 pages is pretty badassThe crimson cloak Cindy Pon 255Nothing special I like the concept and the reason behind the storyEyes like candlelight Julie Kagawa 55WHAT Also I cried again I m so thankful that this collection exists I m happy to have read these amazing retellings by Asian authors and that they have included the original Asian mythologiesfolktales where the retellings are based off of My personal favorites were Forbidden Fruit by Roshani Chokshi based on Philippines goddess Maria Makiling Olivia s Table by Alyssa Wong features the Chinese Hungry Ghost Festival The Land of the Morning Calm by E C Myers focuses on Korean culture such as online gaming and Chasa BonpuriThe Smile by Aisha Saeed based on a South Asian folktale Anarkali and Bullet Butterfly retelling of a Chinese legend The Butterfly Lover. Star crossed lovers meddling immortals feigned identities battles of wits and dire warnings these are the stuff of fairy tale myth and folklore that have drawn us in for centuries This The Sussex Murder young adult novel is an excellent choice for accelerated tween readers in grades 7 to 8 especially during homeschooling It's a fun way to keepour child entertained and engaged while not in the classroomSixteen bestselling and acclaimed authors reimagine the folklore and mythology of East and South Asia in short stories that are by turns enchanting heartbreaking romantic and passionate Compiled by We Need Diverse Books's Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman who both contributed stories to this edition as well the authors included in this exuisite collection are Renée Ahdieh Sona Charaipotra Preeti Chhibber Roshani Chokshi Aliette de Bodard Melissa de la Cruz Julie Kagawa Rahul Kanakia Lori M Lee E C Myers Cindy Pon Aisha Saeed Shveta Thakrar and Alyssa Wong A mountain loses her heart Two sisters transform into birds to escape captivity A The Outliers young man learns the true meaning of sacrifice Aoung woman takes up her mother's mantle and leads the dead to their final resting placeFrom fantasy to science fiction to contemporary from romance to tales of revenge these stories will beguile readers from start to finish For fans of Neil Gaiman's Unnatural Creatures and Ameriie's New York Times bestselling Because You Love to Hate Me.