From The Kiss Quotient to The Ex Talk, Here Are 11 Asian-American Love Stories to Read

Stephanie Nguyen

Despite how many books I devoured growing up, it was rare to read stories centered on main characters like myself: an Asian-American girl raised by immigrant parents. All the books I did read about Asian experiences tended to revolve around the narrative that the characters' struggles were somehow different or extraordinary, told from the perspective that they were "other." And while those stories are important, I remember thinking that I just wanted to read a book with an Asian character whose struggles were entirely ordinary - just an average person going through completely average things that anybody can experience regardless of race. I wanted confirmation that Asian people could be worthy of relatable experiences, too, and I wanted that normalized in the stories I read.

When I started reading contemporary romance as an adult, Asian-American main characters became even more rare. In fact, I don't think I read a single book with an AA lead until a few years ago - and I've been reading romance for at least 10 years now. The good news is that the romance landscape has been changing, with more representation in authors, books, and characters. Ahead are just some of these books, the ones I've read myself, that feature either one or both Asian-American main characters. There's still a lot of work to be done in portraying Asian love stories as worthy, but this is a start, and I'm excited to see this list grow.


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