A Thousand Beginnings and Endings
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. Fifteen 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, the authors included in this exquisite 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 young man learns the true meaning of sacrifice. A young woman takes up her mother’s mantle and leads the dead to their final resting place.From 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.

A Thousand Beginnings and Endings Details

TitleA Thousand Beginnings and Endings
Author
ReleaseJun 26th, 2018
PublisherGreenwillow Books
ISBN-139780062671158
Rating
GenreFantasy, Short Stories, Young Adult, Anthologies, Mythology

A Thousand Beginnings and Endings Review

  • Emily May
    January 1, 1970
    This is definitely one of the better YA short story collections I have read. As with all anthologies, some stories are much stronger than others, but I enjoyed far more than I disliked. Plus, it was just so great to see the exploration of mythologies we don’t often see in the mainstream. My average rating over the fifteen stories was 3.7.A few years ago, collections like these might have just been a way for me to go on some literary tourism of other cultures, but it's now very important to me on This is definitely one of the better YA short story collections I have read. As with all anthologies, some stories are much stronger than others, but I enjoyed far more than I disliked. Plus, it was just so great to see the exploration of mythologies we don’t often see in the mainstream. My average rating over the fifteen stories was 3.7.A few years ago, collections like these might have just been a way for me to go on some literary tourism of other cultures, but it's now very important to me on a personal level. My two sons are mixed race - Japanese and British - and it is so so important to me that they see their Japanese heritage represented in all forms of art and media. And, honestly, it's just so refreshing to see fantasy stories outside of the vaguely-Medieval Euro-centric books we've come to expect. There's a whole world of fascinating history and culture out there - it's time to explore it!Forbidden Fruit by Roshani Chokshi - 5 starsThe collection gets off to a bang with this gorgeous Filipino fairy tale and love story. I didn't love Chokshi's first novel The Star-Touched Queen, but I have to say that her flowery, poetic writing works MUCH better in a short story. It's lush and vivid, raising goosebumps along my arms at its end. A goddess falls in love with a human man - oh, what could possibly go wrong? 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. Olivia’s Table by Alyssa Wong - 4 starsThis was a little strange, but in the best possible way. Wong takes on the Chinese Hungry Ghost Festival in her story. A young girl who has lost her beloved mother makes it her duty to feed crowds of ghosts. It's a tale about grief, told in sweet, subtle interactions. There is something so wonderful and sad about this uniting of the living and the dead through food. Don’t talk to strangers, Mom had said, over and over. And don’t trust the ghosts, especially not during the Ghost Festival. Steel Skin by Lori M. Lee - 3.5 starsIf I was rating the ending alone, this would probably get five stars. It's a science-fiction story with androids, but also about grief and the loss of a loved one. There's the familial aspect: the narrator's relationship with her father hasn't been the same since her mother died; and also a mystery aspect: she teams up with a friend to uncover the truth behind the androids that were recalled. For the most part, I glided through the story, kinda enjoying it but not really loving it like the previous two. And then the ending happened. Perfection. And now that she knew the truth, who would she decide to be? Still Star-Crossed by Sona Charaipotra - 2 starsIt's a shame about this one because it took some interesting steps but stopped very abruptly and strangely. I turned the page and was shocked to discover that it was over! It's a Punjabi folktale retelling and the authors explanation for the story was really interesting, but I didn’t think her intentions came across at all. The main guy was pretty creepy, too. You don’t know, Bebo, what you’ll do,” my mother says, a sudden anger simmering under her words. “You don’t know how to choose until you’re right there, on the precipice, giving away your everything for something that may be real or may be a shadow, a ghost you’re chasing.” The Counting of Vermillion Beads by Aliette De Bodard - 4 starsLike a lot of these stories, this one was quite weird. Though I found myself really liking it. I also found myself doing some reading into the Vietnamese story of Tam and Cam, which starts like something of a Cinderella tale, in which a jealous sister envies the other's beauty and it leads to tragedy. Here, Bodard rewrites it with a more positive spin, showing the power of sibling love above all else. “So many precious places to discover. Come on, Lil’sis. Let’s go see them together.” The Land of the Morning Calm by E. C. Myers - 5 starsAww. This was one seriously emotional, beautiful story about loss and gaming. As gaming is such an important part of Korean culture, it was great to see it explored here. And while I usually find video game-centred stories too light and silly, Myers did a fantastic job of showing how a game can be really important for someone. It can be a much-needed escape, a creativity outlet, or a doorway to an unending universe. I liked this story so much because it took something I don't usually love and did something new and deeply moving with it. “I finally know how it ends.” The Smile by Aisha Saeed - 4 starsWell, I always like a good feminist fairytale! And I LOVE what Saeed did with this one. She takes a tragic love story and rewrites it to give a king's courtesan choice, freedom and agency. It's a gorgeously-written South Asian addition, and somehow both happy and sad. Happy, because it is about a woman finally getting to make her own choices and understanding what love really is. But sad, because much must be given up for the sake of freedom. The prince always said I belonged to him. I had thought this word protected me and kept me safe, but now I understood. 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. Girls Who Twirl and Other Dangers by Preeti Chhibber - 3 starsThis was okay. I enjoyed the alternating between Hindu myths and a modern-day celebration of Navaratri, a holiday I had never heard of before. But, though educational, I didn't feel as much of a spark with this one as I did with the others. It was light, but fairly bland. It seemed a little too long, too.Nothing into All by Renée Ahdieh - 4 starsI really enjoyed this one! It's a retelling of the Korean folktale Goblin Treasure and I loved what the author did with it. A girl makes a trade for goblin magic so she can achieve her dream of going away to music school, but her brother becomes angry that she isn't using the magic to make gold that could benefit the family. It's a tale about siblings, forgiveness, the decisions we make and how bad actions can be hiding a good person. It is Chun’s fault he has become a thief. But please let him have the chance to make it right. Give him the chance to become a great man. Spear Carrier by Rahul Kanakia - 2 starsToo long and emotionless for my tastes. I felt like this story was droning on and on in parts, and I neither learned something new from it, nor experienced an emotional response to it. The protagonist goes on and on about wanting to be a hero, and about life and death, and I just took so little away from reading it.Code of Honor by Melissa de la Cruz - 2 starsThere was a definite slip right around this later middle part of the book. My two least favourite stories were lumped together here. Melissa de la Cruz's work seemed to be a companion to her Blue Bloods series, which I have not read and don't particularly have any interest in. This story was about Filipino aswangs - vampires witches - and contained a lot of gore and gruesomeness, but not a lot of emotion. A potentially interesting concept that left me feeling cold. “I almost murdered a girl yesterday.” Bullet, Butterfly by Elsie Chapman - 4 starsGorgeous. Chapman retells the Chinese tale of the Butterfly Lovers - a "tragic tale of two young lovers kept apart by familial duty". Set during a war, this reimagining sees a boy posing as a girl and falling in love with another girl called Zhu. The author breathes new life into a very old concept - that of forbidden love and being torn between duty and what your heart truly wants. Beautifully-written with a touching ending. “Promise me, Lin,” she said, “that wherever we end up stationed, we’ll stay alive long enough to find each other again, to be friends always.” Daughter of the Sun by Shveta Thakrar - 4 starsInspired by two stories from The Mahabharata, this is a powerful feminist tale about sticking to your guns and putting your true passion first. Always. I loved reading about the two stories this was based on - about “Savitri and Satyavan” and “Ganga and Shantanu”. The theme of a smart woman cleverly tricking a god or demon or jinni seems to come up a lot in South Asian folktales and I must confess: I like it. Together, her voice sparkling like diamond dust, his smooth as clove smoke, they ensorcelled the audience as they had ensorcelled each other. The Crimson Cloak by Cindy Pon - 5 starsOh, I loved this! I'm not sure why but I sometimes love it when the narrator speaks directly to the reader with a conspiratorial wink (You can never out wait a goddess, Dear Reader. I have all the time in the world.). In this, Pon retells “The Cowherd and the Weaver Girl”, which is itself a wonderful folktale, but here becomes even more so. It's very romantic, definitely a love story, but it's a good one. The author gives a voice to the mostly silent weaver girl in this version, allowing her to tell the story from her perspective. I couldn't stop smiling as she tells us: “All the storytellers get it wrong.” Eyes like Candlelight by Julie Kagawa - 4 starsI wonder if this story has anything to do with Kagawa's upcoming novel Shadow of The Fox because it is also about foxes (well, kitsunes, to be precise). Takeo, the protagonist in this story, is an extremely likable hero and we get pulled along for an adventure with one of Japan's most loved mythical creatures: kitsunes. Typically, human/fox shapeshifters. It's also a little creepy, too. Kagawa captures the eerie small-town setting perfectly and, let's not lie, there's something deeply unsettling about never knowing whether a human is really a human or something else. Takeo never saw the fox again. But sometimes, on warm evenings when he was outside, he could almost imagine he was being watched. Overall, this was a stunning anthology. I would really love to see more fantasy short story collections exploring mythologies around the world with own voices authors. If you like fantasy and you like short stories, I highly recommend these.Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube
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  • Melanie
    January 1, 1970
    ARC provided by HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review.This 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 more to me than I hav ARC provided by HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review.This 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 more 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 you’d like to get me a birthday gift this year, 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 times!) This 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. Myers.But 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 you, with every bone in my body, thank you. ➽ Olivia’s Table by Alyssa Wong - ★★★★★Chinese “Can’t they see the ghosts all the time?” she asked. “Not like 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. TW/CW: 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 (TW/CW: 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 until you’re right there, on the precipice, giving away your everything for something that may be real or may be a shadow, a ghost you’re chasing.” This one wasn’t my favorite in the collection, just because it stars a young girl at a club with her friend when a strange young 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 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 Tấm and Cám, 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 anything 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 years 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 more 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 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 let you all know how perfect this was and how much this story meant to me. TW/CW: 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 more. 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 Navrātri!” 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 Renée Ahdieh - ★★★★Korean “Many 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 unique spin on The Goblin Treasure, which is actually a story I grew up hearing, too. But Renée 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 what you set out to do or winning the battle you set out to fight. There are a ton of lighthearted pop culture references in this, but a ton of hard-hitting questions 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 girl yesterday…” 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, TW/CW 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 more 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 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 Mahābhārata. 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 your heart, regardless of the outcomes and/or 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 without you.” Please, excuse me while I go buy more 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 more 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 men. Out 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 more to me than I have words for. And I truly hope you all pick this up upon release. Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Youtube | Twitch The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.
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  • destiny ☠ howling libraries
    January 1, 1970
    We would have been overjoyed to have found this anthology, filled with characters with skin and hair and names more like ours, in our beloved libraries. It’s the book that was missing in our lives for far too long. I have been so excited about this collection ever since I first heard about it. Ellen Oh is a wonderful woman (you may know her as one of the co-founders of the #WeNeedDiverseBooks movement!), and I knew that her co-editing efforts would lend to a perfectly wonderful anthology. I lov We would have been overjoyed to have found this anthology, filled with characters with skin and hair and names more like ours, in our beloved libraries. It’s the book that was missing in our lives for far too long. I have been so excited about this collection ever since I first heard about it. Ellen Oh is a wonderful woman (you may know her as one of the co-founders of the #WeNeedDiverseBooks movement!), and I knew that her co-editing efforts would lend to a perfectly wonderful anthology. I love retellings, but more than anything, I was obsessed with the idea of this collection being written singlehandedly by Asian authors, writing Asian stories. Honestly, this is the kind of diverse representation we need more of in the bookish world!It’s hard to narrow down my favorites to just a few, but if I had to pick a top 3, it would go to:Olivia’s Table by Alyssa WongThe Crimson Cloak by Cindy PonEyes Like Candlelight by Julie Kagawa → Forbidden Fruit — Roshani Chokshi ★★★★★ ← They were beautiful in their fragility, disappearing as fast as a bloom of ice beneath sunlight. What a stunning introduction to the collection! I’ve never read any of Roshani’s work before, but this made me immediately wish to do so. It’s the retelling of an old myth about Maria Makiling, a goddess associated with Mount Makiling in the Philippines, and her mortal lover. The writing felt so reminiscent of a classic, old myth or legend, in all the best ways, and I only wish it could have been longer!Origin: Filipino → Olivia’s Table — Alyssa Wong ★★★★★ ← “If you honor everything I’ve taught you, then I promise that I will never leave you.” Alyssa Wong is probably my singular favorite short story author, and she always writes these gorgeous, haunting tales (typically with some horror-esque or death-related vibes, and often a queer protagonist, which this story features both of). This did not disappoint at all. It’s about a Chinese-American teen who takes over preparing the Yu Lan (Hungry Ghost Festival) meal at a hotel in Arizona, after her mother—who had spent many years holding the task—has passed away. It not only displays the importance of remembering and honoring your ancestors and culture, but it also offers a brutally honest look into how it feels to mourn a lost loved one. I cried through probably half of this story, and now I just want to go hug my mom, but kudos to Alyssa for breaking my heart in the sweetest possible way, as usual.Origin: Chinese → Steel Skin — Lori M. Lee ★★★☆☆ ← Yer’s father was an android. This sci-fi piece is a retelling of a children’s story, and in this rendition, Yer is a young girl who believes her father has been replaced by a coldhearted, emotionless android. I didn’t have any complaints about the story, but I wasn’t particularly sucked in, either—it was an interesting concept, but I thought the ending was kind of predictable, and it isn’t a story that I think will stick with me in any way.Origin: Hmong → Still Star-Crossed — Sona Charaipotra ★★★☆☆ ← “You don’t know how to choose until you’re right there, on the precipice, giving you’re your everything for something that may be real or may be a shadow, a ghost you’re chasing.” Unfortunately, this piece didn’t work well for me, either. It’s a very loose retelling, and depicts a young woman who’s trying to learn how to press her parents’ boundaries through partying and letting loose, when she meets a young man who swears he knows her, though she can’t fathom why. There isn’t much I can say without spoiling the ending, but this was an odd story with an ending that I honestly found slightly disturbing (and not in a good way). I didn’t hate it, but I can’t say I enjoyed it much, either.Origin: Punjabi → The Counting of Vermillion Beads — Aliette De Bodard ★★★☆☆ ← But nothing gets through the wall. Not leaves, not birds, not girls—not the sister of her heart, the one who’s always had enough fire for both of them, dragging her into scrapes and trouble as if there were no other way to live. Two young women have been taken to live in the Emperor’s Palace, working as accountants, but the Palace is surrounded by a massive wall that nobody can overcome, and they desperately want to go home to their families. I loved the bond between these two sisters, but the story itself didn’t hold a lot of interest for me. I thought it was a little bit jumpy and would have benefited from being about twice as long and having room for more explanation of what was happening to the girls.Origin: Vietnamese → The Land of the Morning Calm — E. C. Myers ★★★★★ ← I don’t believe in ghosts in the real world, but that’s the joy of the Three Kingdoms. This story was so sweet, and sad, and precious. Sun’s mother passed away when she was 11 years old, and her biggest tie to her mother’s life is The Land of the Morning Calm, an MMORPG, which is scheduled to be shut down in just over a week. Sun revisits the game and finds a familiar spirit trapped therein. Not only is it a sweet reunion story, and a gorgeously modernized folklore retelling, but it also presented an interesting view into both sides of a popular debate: video games can be bonding experiences and create wonderful memories for families who play together, but all hobbies have to be kept in moderation, as we see through Sun’s lamenting over the times she didn’t get to spend with her parents because of their gaming habits.Origin: Korean → The Smile — Aisha Saeed ★★★★★ ← Belonging is not love. It never was. This reads so beautifully like old folklore, with a brilliant young dancer who has found herself trapped in an unhappy relationship with a jealous prince. The depiction of the courtesan was so brave and empowering, and there was an incredibly authentic feeling in the darkness of the tale as she was forced to choose between her freedom or her life.Origin: South Asian → Girls Who Twirl and Other Dangers — Preeti Chhibber ★★★☆☆ ← Let the gods have their battles of good and evil. We were here to dance. This installment was fun in that it paralleled the original story and the retelling, one piece at a time; on the one hand, we had the infamous Hindu legend of the battle between Durga and Mahishasura, while on the other, we had a story of three young girls celebrating Navaratri and seeking revenge on a rude boy from their community. I enjoyed how heavily inspired the story clearly was by the legend, and I liked how heavy-handed the Hindu references were (I had to look some of them up, admittedly, but it was a great opportunity to learn more about the religion and celebration). Unfortunately, my complaint is just that the writing felt so young—I think this story would’ve been better suited as middle grade than YA. It almost felt like a modern parable, which isn’t what I expected.Origin: Gujarati → Nothing into All — Renée Ahdieh ★★★★☆ ← But in truth the brother and sister were searching for something else entirely. Something they’d sworn to keep secret. Something they’d caught sight of only once, eight years ago: Goblins. It’s no secret that I love stories relating to all manner of feyfolk, including coldhearted, greedy little goblins, so I knew I would like this one. I strongly believe whimsical fantasy is where Renee’s writing niche is, and I felt so sucked into this retelling of these siblings seeking goblins—one for simple magic in her life, the other for gold.Origin: Korean → Spear Carrier — Rahul Kanakia ★☆☆☆☆ ← But a hero wouldn’t be so lonely and so afraid. A hero wouldn’t shout for help, and then, hearing only silence, go back to his trench and cry. I genuinely hoped that I would not be 1-starring a single story in this collection, but this was awful. It’s about a kid who dreams his whole life of becoming a hero, so when a god randomly appears and asks him to join in some celestial warfare, he agrees without knowing what he’s signing up for. The stream-of-consciousness writing is not well done, the narrator comes across as very juvenile, and there are some downright insensitive quips about people who die for others or for the furthering of knowledge and science.Origin: South Asian → Code of Honor — Melissa de la Cruz ★☆☆☆☆ ← I almost murdered a girl yesterday. Literally. I recently read a short story by this author that I adored, so I hoped I would love this, too, but this was definitely not my cup of tea. It’s hard to root for a narrator who feels this much like a mid-2000s Mary Sue protagonist, much less when she’s busy slaughtering poor baby animals to calm herself down from her “rages”. This story also just felt so weird and out of place to me, and after I learned that this story apparently ties into the author’s Blue Bloods series, it felt too self-serving for me to give it much merit. Origin: Filipino → Bullet, Butterfly — Elsie Chapman ★★★★★ ← The commanders keep telling us we’re so close to finishing the way, that it’s almost the end—but whose end? This story was breathtakingly beautiful, and so sad. A retelling of “The Butterfly Lovers”, a two-thousand-year-old Chinese legend of star-crossed lovers, it depicts a China in which war has ravaged everyone, forcing young women to work in factories creating weapons for young men to utilize. When Liang is awaiting his station, he dresses as a girl to visit the factory, and falls in love with a young woman therein. The writing in this piece is so powerful, and I loved every word of it.Origin: Chinese → Daughter of the Sun — Shveta Thakrar ★★★★★ ← Savitri Mehta’s parents had named her for light. I enjoyed this story so much, as it portrays a young woman—born with the light of the sun in her chest—who seeks a companion, finding it in a boy full of moonglow—a boy who’s been doomed to die in one year. This is such a gorgeous story, but more than anything, I loved the fact that, despite having been inspired by a mix of two stories instead of one, I could absolutely feel the resemblance to the Mahabharata. My favorite stories in this collection have mostly been the ones that felt like folklore to me, and this one is a shining example of that.Origin: South Asian → The Crimson Cloak — Cindy Pon ★★★★★ ← All the storytellers get it wrong. I have never read Cindy Pon’s work before, but after this story, I absolutely must, because this was astoundingly beautiful. In the original story of “The Cowherd and the Weaver Girl”, despite the Weaver Girl being a goddess, she is given no real autonomy or dialogue; in Cindy Pon’s retelling, however, she is the one who makes the first move, who plays her charms, who gets her way. It is so empowering and sweet, and the bits regarding how fast her mortal loved ones’ lives flash before her eyes was tremendously poignant. Throughout the story, I kept thinking about how much I would adore a full novel or even novella extension of this little masterpiece.Origin: Chinese → Eyes Like Candlelight — Julie Kagawa ★★★★★ ← Takeo never saw the fox again. But sometimes, on warm evenings when he was outside, he could almost imagine he was being watched. Julie Kagawa is another author in this collection whose work had been on my TBR for a while, so I was particularly excited about this story, and it definitely did not disappoint. I’ve always loved Japanese lore and stories about kitsune in particular, and I thought this piece had such a sweet, sad little twist to it. I especially loved the ending; even though it was sad, it went above and beyond to display the depth of emotions that Japan’s most infamous trickster spirits are capable of. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to scurry off and read Julie’s entire bibliography.Origin: JapaneseFINAL AVERAGE RATING: 3.87/5Normally, I’d round this up to a solid 4/5, but honestly, there are so many gems and this collection feels so important that I didn’t hesitate to give this 5 stars. ♥All quotes come from an advance copy and may not match the final release. Thank you so much to Greenwillow Books for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!You can find this review and more on my blog, or you can follow me on twitter, bookstagram, or facebook!
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  • joanna ☽
    January 1, 1970
    ALERT ALERT ALERTI JUST FOUND OUT THAT THERE IS A FILIPINO STORY IN THIS BOOKas in filipinolike me!!!!i am crying actual tears of joy right now! i've never felt truly represented in any books before and this feels like such a huge step. i love the publishing industry. i love everyone. if you're reading this, i love youso guess what i'm reading next
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  • Rachel Strolle
    January 1, 1970
    Hands down the best anthology I’ve read. I LOVED EVERY STORY. I never thought I’d be able to say that about an anthology
  • Aila
    January 1, 1970
    Every story was absolutely amazing.These are the stories of my childhood, the stories that are rarely explored in Young Adult fiction.15 short stories, 15 #ownvoices reads... From mountain spirits to mischievous devils to ancestral ghosts, each story brings alive a vastly unique and refreshing folklore dug from the roots of Asia. Each author adds a short explanation of the original story and why they chose to write what they did at the very end. The settings also range from present-day America t Every story was absolutely amazing.These are the stories of my childhood, the stories that are rarely explored in Young Adult fiction.15 short stories, 15 #ownvoices reads... From mountain spirits to mischievous devils to ancestral ghosts, each story brings alive a vastly unique and refreshing folklore dug from the roots of Asia. Each author adds a short explanation of the original story and why they chose to write what they did at the very end. The settings also range from present-day America to the palaces of Asia. A Thousand Beginnings and Endings is glorious and spellbinding - any lover of legends and folklore needs to pick this one up.
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  • Ellie (faerieontheshelf)
    January 1, 1970
    “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.” Well, this was amazing. I posted a longer review of this on my blog , but here I'm just going to say that this was a wonderful read and I'm so excited for it to go out into the world!! Asian folklore is just as worthy of admiration as the Greek epics and the Nordic myths, and this collection of stories shows it – and will hopefully inspire rea “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.” Well, this was amazing. I posted a longer review of this on my blog , but here I'm just going to say that this was a wonderful read and I'm so excited for it to go out into the world!! Asian folklore is just as worthy of admiration as the Greek epics and the Nordic myths, and this collection of stories shows it – and will hopefully inspire readers go seek more. - Story 1: ‘Forbidden Fruit’ by Roshani Chokshi Fantasy / MythologyBased Upon: Maria Makiling [Filipino] 5 stars ☆- Story 2: ‘Olivia’s Table’ by Alyssa WongContemporary; ParanormalBased upon: The Hungry Ghost Festival [Chinese]4 stars ☆- Story 3: ‘Steel Skin’ by Lori M. Lee Science FictionBased Upon: The Woman and the Tiger [Hmong]3.5 stars ☆ - Story 4: ‘Still Star-Crossed’ by Sona CharaipotraContemporaryBased Upon: Mirza and Sahiba [Punjabi]4 Stars ☆ - Story 5: ‘The Counting of Vermilion Beads’ by Aliette de BodardFantasyBased Upon: Tấm Cám [Vietnamese]5 Stars ☆- Story 6: ‘The Land of the Morning Calm’ by E.C. MyersContemporaryBased Upon: Chasa Bonpuri [Korean] 3.5 Stars ☆ - Story 7: ‘The Smile’ by Aisha SaeedFantasy Based upon: The Story of Anakarli [South Asian]5 Stars ☆- Story 8: ‘Girls Who Twirl and Other Dangers’ by Preeti ChhibberContemporaryBased Upon: Navaratri [Gujaratti]4 Stars ☆ - Story 9: ‘Nothing At All’ by Renée AhdiehFantasyBased Upon: The Goblin Treasure [Korean]4 Stars ☆ - Story 10: ‘Spear Carrier’ by Rahul KanakiaFantasy / ContemporaryBased Upon: The Mahabharata [South Asian] 4 Stars ☆ - Story 11: ‘Code of Honour’ by Melissa de la CruzContemporaryBased Upon: Aswangs [Filipino] 3.5 Stars ☆ - Story 12: ‘Bullet, Butterfly’ by Elsie ChapmanDystopiaBased Upon: The Butterfly Lovers [Chinese]4.5 Stars ☆ - Story 13: ‘Daughter of the Sun’ by Shveta ThakrarContemporary / FantasyBased Upon: The Mahabharata [South Asian]3.5 Stars ☆- Story 14: ‘The Crimson Cloak’ by Cindy PonFantasyBased Upon: The Cowherd and the Weaver Girl [Chinese] 5 Stars ☆ - Story 15: ‘Eyes Like Candlelight’ by Julie KagawaFantasy / Historical Fantasy (?)Based Upon: Kitsune [Japanese]4.5 Stars ☆
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  • Alyssa
    January 1, 1970
    5 stars. My heart is full. Special shout-out to the South Asian stories, including Sona Charaipotra's, Aisha Saeed's, Preeti Chhibber's, Rahul Kanakia's, and Shveta Thakrar's. <3 All of the stories in this anthology are lovely, but I have to especially appreciate the South Asian ones. =)***Review to come***
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  • Xandra (Literary Legionnaire)
    January 1, 1970
    *grabby hands* WHY DO I HAVE TO WAIT 2 YEARS FOR THIS
  • Alexandra
    January 1, 1970
    I received an e-ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Review can be found on *Milky Way of Books* This delightful anthology gathers everything I love about the authors mentioned and creates an amazing showcase of Asian mythology, ranging from contemporary to science fiction! I have always admired Asian mythology through the whole continent and not only because of my historical interest but also because of how tragic many of the stories can be. How misunderstandings and talking ani I received an e-ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Review can be found on *Milky Way of Books* This delightful anthology gathers everything I love about the authors mentioned and creates an amazing showcase of Asian mythology, ranging from contemporary to science fiction! I have always admired Asian mythology through the whole continent and not only because of my historical interest but also because of how tragic many of the stories can be. How misunderstandings and talking animals can lead the heroes and gods to clash together or die for one another.I loved Julie Kagawa's, Roshani Chokshi's and Cindi Pon's stories very much which also made me cry...again!
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  • Kristi Housman Confessions of a YA Reader
    January 1, 1970
    I really loved this book and read the whole thing yesterday.  I'm only going to write a small amount about each story or this review would be way too long.*If I spelled anything wrong, I apologize.  I was taking notes while reading and they are super sloppy.  I can barely read my own handwriting.  It's shameful.*Forbidden Fruit by Roshani Chokshi  5 starsMy only real complaint with this one was how short the story was.  I love Roshani's writing and this was such a sad story about love and hearta I really loved this book and read the whole thing yesterday.  I'm only going to write a small amount about each story or this review would be way too long.*If I spelled anything wrong, I apologize.  I was taking notes while reading and they are super sloppy.  I can barely read my own handwriting.  It's shameful.*Forbidden Fruit by Roshani Chokshi  5 starsMy only real complaint with this one was how short the story was.  I love Roshani's writing and this was such a sad story about love and heartache.  This was based off a Fillipino Folktale Maria Makiling.Olivia's Table by Alyssa Wong  5 starsThis was such a neat story about ghosts and moving on.  It was based off the Hungry Ghost Festival, a Chinese Tradition.Steel Skin by Lori M. Lee  4 starsThis was more of a sci fi story about androids that were recalled and a father who is still working on them.  It's based off The Woman and the Tiger, a Hmong Folktale.Still Star-Crossed by Siona Charaipotra  5 starsI really liked this story about soulmates.  "True love is in the eyes, in the reuniting of two souls."  This was based off of Mirza and Sahiba, Punjabi Folklore.The Counting of Vermillion Beads by Aliette de Bodard  4 stars This one is a story of two sisters who are census girls.  One girl turns into a bird while trying to escape from the palace.  It's based off of Tam Cam, a Vietnamese Folktale about reincarnation in various forms.The Land of the Morning Calm by E. C. Myers  5 starsThis was one of my favorite stories in the book.  It's about a girl who lost her mom years before.  Her grandfather swears that her mom's ghost is there.  The daughter plays a game for the first time and finds that her mom's character is still active.  This was based off of The Chase Bonpuli, a Korean Epic.The Smile by Aisha Saeed  4  1/2 starsI thought this was such an interesting story because the girl got to chose her future.  She is a dancer that the prince was attracted to.  So he brought her to his home and fell in love with her.  But he's very jealous and she realizes that it wasn't love when all the choices belonged to him.  This was based off The Story of Anarkali, a south Asian legend.Girls Who Twirl and Other Dangers by Preeti Chhibber   5 starsThis one was a story about three girls going to a dance.  One girl remembers a time years before where a boy made her lose her skirt and everyone saw her underwear.  That same boy is there again and is not being nice to the girls around him.  So they decide to get revenge and embarrass him.  It's based off of Navaratri, a Hindu Festival that celebrates the divinely feminine. Nothing Into All by Renee Ahdieh  5 starsThis is my first experience with Renee's writing and I'll definitely be reading more from her.  I loved this story about a brother and sister searching for Goblins.  The brother ends up being very selfish and the sister realizes that she enabled him for years.  This story was based off A Goblin Treasure, a Korean Fairy Tale.Spear Carrier by Rahul Kanakia  3 starsWhile this wasn't a favorite, I still thought the story was interesting.  A boy wanted to be a hero and then was given a choice to fight and die a hero or go back home.  It's based off The Mahabharata, A south Asian epic about a conflict between cousins where almost everyone dies.Code of Honor by Melissa de la Cruz  3 starsI think my problem with this story is that it was too short.  I did enjoy it because I've read her Blue Bloods series.  So I understood what was going on.  But it might be too little for those who never read them.  This is a story about a vampire witch that moves to NYC.  The story is based off of Aswango, a Fillipino Folktale.Bullet, Butterfly by Elsie Chapman  4  1/2 starsA sick boy dresses as a girl to sneak into the armory.  He meets a girl there and has to go back to see her.  He doesn't tell her that he's a boy and they become close.  Once he falls in love with her, he finally comes clean (after she sees him outside as a boy).  The girl loves him, too, but it's too late.  He is being traded to marry someone else.  While reading this, I got romeo and juliet vibes, so it was cool to see that it was based off The Butterfly Lovers, a Chinese Romeo and Juliet.Daughter of the Sun by Shveta Thakrar  4 starsThe daughter of the sun had a mini sun in her chest.  She had to wear black and try to hide the light.  She was told that she would one day meet someone who reflects light back to her, gold and silver.  She was so tired of being alone.  A boy was leaving (his fate), but she saw that he had silver and knew she had to save him.  She was so desperate to have someone as a companion that she changed his future without asking what he wanted.  This was based off Mahabharata, a south Asian epic.The Crimson Cloak by Cindy Pon  5 starsI really loved this story and I'm looking forward to reading more by Cindy.  In this one, the youngest daughter of the Jade Emperor had the power of flight and could weave colors into the sky.  She comes across a boy and his ox and decides that she wants to get to know him.  They fall in love, but she's immortal and he's mortal.  It was such a beautiful, heartbreaking story of love and loss.  This one was based off The Cowherd and the Weaver Girl, a Chinese legend.Eyes Like Candlelight by Julie Kagwa  5 starsThis is another first time author for me and I loved the story so much. I need more Kitsune stories.  In this one, Takeo wanted to be a samurai.  He rescues a fox from dogs, but only thinks about it once in awhile.  He knew that if others found the fox, it would be killed.  There were stories about the Kitsune and the village was afraid of them (or didn't trust them).  As he grew, he became a farmer.  There was a drought and they wouldn't be able to pay the rice tax, so Takeo went to make an offering.  He woke up in a house with a girl who seamed to know him.  This is another story that was sad, but I really loved it.  It's based off of Kitsune, a Japanese myth.Overall, I loved this book and gave it 5 stars.  There were stories that brought tears to my eyes and it introduced me to authors I've never read before.  I highly recommend picking this one. Thank you to Edelweiss and HarperTeen for the chance to read it early.
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  • Elise (TheBookishActress)
    January 1, 1970
    what if this cover just murdered me, right where I stand // reimagined South Asian folklore! also, anthology! also, COVER!
  • Cindy ✩☽ Savage Queen ♔
    January 1, 1970
    Wow, this cover just exudes Asian vibes
  • Justine (Milkz)
    January 1, 1970
    Here, diasporic Asians reimagine their favorite Asian myths and legends from their own viewpoints. We would have been overjoyed to have found this anthology, filled with characters with skin and hair and names more like ours, in our beloved libraries. It’s the book that was missing in our lives for far too long. The above quote is so right, 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 a Here, diasporic Asians reimagine their favorite Asian myths and legends from their own viewpoints. We would have been overjoyed to have found this anthology, filled with characters with skin and hair and names more like ours, in our beloved libraries. It’s the book that was missing in our lives for far too long. The above quote is so right, 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 younger and used to favor characters with brown hair because I thought they were closest to being like me.—1. Forbidden Fruit by Roshani Chokshi – ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐I am so happy that Filipino stories are in this anthology and that this was the first! Totally biased review here because I’m Filipino, and I want more Filipino stories. I will say that I was a little hesitant to read this because I recently DNF’d a book by this author, but I was pleasantly surprised. This was a beautiful retelling of Maria Makiling, a mountain spirit that is always depicted as breathtakingly beautiful with white hair. I thought this was the perfect choice for a Filipino retelling because it is set on and near a mountain near a small village which is something you see a lot in Filipino mythology (from what I’ve read and been told about anyways). I am also always for deities falling in love with human stories. I need more!2. Olivia’s Table by Alyssa Wong – ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐I’ve seen a lot of shows with night parades that featured ghosts, but I didn’t know they originated from Chinese mythos. This story is about a young girl who cooks for ghosts trying to cross over to the afterlife during the Hungry Ghost Festival. The way Alyssa Wong delicately deals with death and moving on is so tenderly done that I was left feeling warm and secure rather than dreadful. I read this at the perfect time because many people I know have loved ones who have passed on recently, so I’ve been feeling the need to hold on and show my parents how much I love and cherish them.3. Steel Skin by Lori M. Lee – ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ This wasn’t what I was expecting because it’s sci-fi, and I thought there would be more fantastical elements. This take on the Hmong folktale The Woman and the Tiger features a young teenager, her father, and their strained relationship that was caused by the death of a loved one. I thought the ending was pretty good, but wasn’t completely impressed with the story as a whole or with the mythology tie-in.4. Still Star-Crossed by Sona Charaipotra – ⭐ ⭐ This is a retelling of the Punjabi folktale Mirza and Sahiba. I would definitely be interested in reading a different retelling of this folktale because I’ve always had a thing for stories about soulmates. However, I was not feeling the main male character. The author purposely meant for him to be stalkerish in her rendition of the story, but it felt disturbing to read through.5. The Counting of Vermillion Beads by Aliette De Bodard – ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐This is probably my favorite story in this anthology. I loved everything about it! It is about two sisters who have been taken from their home to live in the palace and work on the Census. One sister believes in magic and making a way for herself and one sister is more realistic and believes in working hard to get what you want. From what the author says, the tie-in is more uplifting than the original Vietname legend of Tam Cam, and though I went into this anthology looking for close-to-the-original retellings, I still found this a pleasurable read. From its gorgeous, fantastical prose to its message about the power of choice and sibling love, this was complete perfection.6. The Land of the Morning Calm by E. C. Myers – ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐If you’ve ever been a tiny bit obsessed with Korean MMORPG’s you’re going to love this one. This is another story about a young girl and her father overcoming the death of a loved one but with a heavy emphasis on Korean MMO’s. I never thought I would ever read a story that delves so deeply into the MMORPG gaming experience and how gaming can become so much more than that. When I was younger my online gaming friends and I would question if you could really be friends or start a relationship with someone you haven’t met in person and later on I decided that my answer to that was yes. I used to feel uncomfortable talking about my gaming friends or relationships because it’s often looked down upon as weird. But if you think about it, you meet and play with the same people for multiple hours a day, and there’s tons of talking that inevitably leads to getting to know each other because you can’t communicate through real life actions when gaming. I found this story amazing because creating relationships through gaming is normal and not ever questioned.7. The Smile by Aisha Saeed – ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐This is a feminist retelling of The Story of Anarkali from South Asia. In this story a courtesan learns that belonging doesn’t mean affection and being free doesn’t guarantee happiness. Slightly unpopular opinion, but my one complaint about this story is that I thought it was too short. Something happens and that’s it. What happens next?? I want more!8. The Girls Who Twirl and Other Dangers by Preeti Chhibber – ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐I liked this one a lot more than I thought I would! This story switches between modern day where a young girl and her friends celebrate Navaratri and Hindu mythology. Somehow, the author was able to pack a lot of her culture into such a short story. It made want to know even more about Hindu mythology.9. Nothing into All by Renée Ahdieh – ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐Nothing into All is a retelling of the Korean folktale Goblin Treasure. In this story, a girl wants to use Goblin magic to get into music school, but her brother becomes angry because she doesn’t want to use the magic to help their family. Renee Ahdieh is another hit or miss author for me, but I adored this story.10. Spear Carrier by Rahul Kanakia – ⭐ ⭐ This story details the authors thoughts on the South Asian Epic poem Mahabharata. It is a story about a boy who is thrust into a war he knows nothing about and questions why everyone is fighting. I think the concept of someone waking up and finding themselves in a war among gods sounds interesting, but I don’t think I was in the right mood for this story. There is a ton of harsh language, and because I had already read many mythical stories with , I wasn’t in the right mindset for this one.11. Code of Honor by Melissa de la Cruz – ⭐ ⭐ I am so upset that I didn’t like this one because though I knew others gave this a low rating, I hoped I would love it! This is about an aswang (Filipino witch/vampire) that disguises herself as a high school student to find others like herself. When I was little my friends and then cousins in the Philippines used to tell scary stories about an aswang called Manananggal. She was a vampire like creature whose upper body was separated from her lower body and whose long tongue was used to suck the lives out of animals, people, and children. I used to be terrified of Manananggal whenever I had to be in the dark, and when I visited the Philippines my cousins and I roamed the market place at night and freaked out because we thought Manananggal was chasing us (it was a goat…). I didn’t feel scared at all while reading this, and I think it’s because there was more telling than showing.12. Bullet, Butterfly by Elsie Chapman – ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐Ah man, this one gave me so many kinds of feels. This is a retelling of the Chinese legend of the Butterfly Lovers. In this, a boy disguises himself as a girl and falls in love with a healer who treats him. When he confesses to being a boy and loving her, the girl becomes angry but still admits to loving him, too. Unfortunately, they are unable to be with each other because of their duty to the war. The story along with the writing left me heartbroken.13. Daughter of the Sun by Shveta Thakrar – ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐This story is a retelling of two stories from the Mahabharata. In this story, a lonely daughter of the sun finds the lonely son of the moon and decides to save him from drowning. The son of the moon is taken from her, but the daughter of the moon cleverly gets his capturer to allow him to come back to her. Like the author, I enjoyed how feminist the original stories sound, and I also enjoyed how Shveta Thakrar incorporates those feminist aspects into her retelling.14. The Crimson Cloak by Cindy Pon – ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐This story is a retelling of the Chinese legend The Cowherd and the Weaver Girl. In this story, a goddess sets the records straight and tells her story of seeing the man she fell in love with first and how she got him to fall for her. This was a funny and adorable read with a playful and flirty narrator.15. Eyes like Candlelight by Julie Kagawa – ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐This is the one story I think many people will already know something about because kitsunes come up a lot in popular cultures. This is a lovely yet creepy ending to the anthology that tells the story of a boy and then man who comes across the Japanese kitsune. In this story, a boy comes across a kitsune and lets her go while promising not to tell anyone he’s spotted her. Years later, his village is unable to reach their rice quota and the kitsune decides it is the perfect time to help him.—Again, I loved this anthology and know I will be reading it and referencing it throughout my lifetime. If I ever have children, you bet I will be reading some of these stories to them because I want them and other children to grow up knowing that these cultures are beautiful and they shouldn’t feel the need to push them aside because it doesn’t seem “right” to most of society.I gave this anthology 5 stars even though I didn’t give every story 5 stars because I am in awe of it as a whole, and I think it’s important that others read it. I also encourage you to seek out own voice reviewers because their experience with some of these stories are most likely much different from my own.This review can also be found at Milkz' Bookshelf—This ARC was provided to me by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. All quotes were taken from an uncorrected proof and may not be the same in the finished work.
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  • Cat (cat-thecatlady)
    January 1, 1970
    pretty amazing anthology. loved the diversity and there’s just so much to learn from it!
  • Alicia
    January 1, 1970
    Did I mention how much I'm loving the resurgence of short story collections in YA literature? Well, I love the resurgence of short story collections in YA literature. A lot. All day, every day. And Ellen Oh is a phenomenal collection of these Asian-inspired tales that represent groups with a rich history of oral tradition, folklore, and tall tales. So each fantastic author of Asian descent, picks a story they heard growing up or had some visceral connection to and retells it. Generally lengthier Did I mention how much I'm loving the resurgence of short story collections in YA literature? Well, I love the resurgence of short story collections in YA literature. A lot. All day, every day. And Ellen Oh is a phenomenal collection of these Asian-inspired tales that represent groups with a rich history of oral tradition, folklore, and tall tales. So each fantastic author of Asian descent, picks a story they heard growing up or had some visceral connection to and retells it. Generally lengthier than some of the other collections that I've read, it also includes a post-chapter written by the author telling readers a bit about the original tale and why or how they chose to adapt it. It's so readable and while just like any collection there are stronger stories than others (or rather ones I connected with more deeply), there is a power and strength in the collection that is unrivaled. A cool title and cover, it's a must-purchase.
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  • Scarlett
    January 1, 1970
    This collection of short stories, based on Asian mythology and folkore, was mildly enjoyable, considering that I don't like stories, much less a whole collection. I was drawn to this one only because it got great reviews from people I follow and, well, what do I know about Asian myths? I am very happy that I got the opportunity to learn about their symbolism, that defers a lot from European, while the general ideas are essentially the same. All these stories are written for young readers, some o This collection of short stories, based on Asian mythology and folkore, was mildly enjoyable, considering that I don't like stories, much less a whole collection. I was drawn to this one only because it got great reviews from people I follow and, well, what do I know about Asian myths? I am very happy that I got the opportunity to learn about their symbolism, that defers a lot from European, while the general ideas are essentially the same. All these stories are written for young readers, some of them are maybe too naive and simple for my taste. These retellings of popular myths are almost all set in some kind of dystopian world. Maybe I just god too tired of the same old futuristic premises and descriptions, but this choice to mix old and new didn’t really sit well with me. I can only point out that the first story in the collection, Forbidden fruit, stood out the most and I am certain it would bring out emotions in all readers. It was simple and elegant, the ending was heartbreaking and it made me think about it for days. The combined superstition and logical ending were a great mix. Several of the stories, such as this one, were Philippine myths, so if I take anything from this collection, it would be a new-found interest in South Asian culture. In addition, these stories explore some interesting never-ending woes of all people - jealousy, sibling rivalry, abandonment, fear of loneliness and the importance of forgiveness. While not all stories are of the same quality, they are all worth reading just for this soul food only. I am so grateful to HarperCollins for sending me this ARE!
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  • Angel
    January 1, 1970
    A lovely collection. Some particular favourites:- Forbidden Fruit by Roshani Chokshi- Olivia's Table by Alyssa Wong- Steel Skin by Lori M. Lee- Still Star-Crossed by Sona Charaipotra- The Counting of Vermillion Beads by Aliette de Bodard- The Land of the Morning Calm by E.C. Meyers
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  • Mackenzie Rose is on hiatus
    January 1, 1970
    Me: I won't add any more books to my To-Read pile.A Thousand Beginnings and Endings: *exists*Me:Me:Me: crap
  • Silanur
    January 1, 1970
    East/South Asian mythology? Gosh, normally I don't like anthologies, but I think I'll be giving this one a shot... :)
  • Vignesh Kumar
    January 1, 1970
    *screams loudly*Asian Mythology?!?!Roshani Chokshi!!Indian Authors.!! *whoops with joy*Can't wait to get this!!!!
  • Marshal (thebookishhowler)
    January 1, 1970
    Asian mythologies? Hell yes. And that cover is really GORGEOUS.
  • Nicole Wang
    January 1, 1970
    I am so freaking excited for an anthology of ASIAN RETELLINGS written by some of my favorite authors I'm honestly just ❤❤ I am so freaking excited for an anthology of ASIAN RETELLINGS written by some of my favorite authors I'm honestly just ❤️❤️
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  • Felicia
    January 1, 1970
    An varied, interesting collection of retellings and modern adaptations of Asian myths. I particularly enjoyed the stories that removed the myths from the past and retold the stories in contemporary or futuristic settings. My favourite story was probably “Olivia’s Table” by Alyssa Wong that focused on the Hungry Ghost festival but in a way that was unexpected and fresh. One minor gripe: too many stories focused on romance, though the cleverest did it well enough that as a collection, it didn’t gr An varied, interesting collection of retellings and modern adaptations of Asian myths. I particularly enjoyed the stories that removed the myths from the past and retold the stories in contemporary or futuristic settings. My favourite story was probably “Olivia’s Table” by Alyssa Wong that focused on the Hungry Ghost festival but in a way that was unexpected and fresh. One minor gripe: too many stories focused on romance, though the cleverest did it well enough that as a collection, it didn’t grate.
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  • KristynRene
    January 1, 1970
    AVG RATING: 3.5 Stars.Edelweiss gave me this ARC for an honest review.It has been maybe over a year since I've been able to pick up a book and actually finish reading it. Ever since I lost my twin brother, reading felt like a chore. This book (and all the 30+ ARCs I received from Edelweiss) kicked me into go-mode. "Forbidden Fruit" Roshani Chokshi 5/5Miss Chokshi, you are now on my priority to-read list because your writing is magical. For real though, you guys. This story...there's no other sto AVG RATING: 3.5 Stars.Edelweiss gave me this ARC for an honest review.It has been maybe over a year since I've been able to pick up a book and actually finish reading it. Ever since I lost my twin brother, reading felt like a chore. This book (and all the 30+ ARCs I received from Edelweiss) kicked me into go-mode. "Forbidden Fruit" Roshani Chokshi 5/5Miss Chokshi, you are now on my priority to-read list because your writing is magical. For real though, you guys. This story...there's no other story that could've started this book off with a bang! This story was magical and it has lingered ever since I read it. The magic in this story kept me going through this book until the end. I nearly clapped. The mountain is alive. And she's one badass bitch. "Olivia's Table" Alyssa Wong 4/5Alyssa Wong, write more books! Please! I need you to write more so I can devour your work like I devoured this story. Ghosts and Buffets, just YES GIVE ME. I connect so much with grief and mourning, that this story touched my heart. "Steel Skin" Lori M. Lee 3/5This story was pretty okay. Like in my updates, I felt kind of...incomplete. It was hard to keep up with, and it felt too short. It needed more. Though, a reader needing more and a reader wanting more, are two totally different things. "Still Star-Crossed" Sona Charaipotra 4/5Short. Sweet. Moving. So much culture wrapped up in a tiny box of a story. This author is now on my watch-out-for list. I was left wanting more. Ah! Such a wonderful story! Love, longing, culture. YES. Love the mother-daughter relationship here. "The Counting of Vermilion Beads" Aliette De Bodard 3/5...I was confused. A bit. After I read the author's influence for the story, I was even more confused. I mean, the writing was pretty but it almost seemed...too purple-prose-y. I was confused at to what was even happening at times. It felt sporadic. Flying into walls? Le wut? I'm all for shape-shifting, but this story seemed a mess. "The Land of The Morning Sun" E. C. Myers 5/5AH HOLY FUCKING WHAT THE HELL THIS STORY I NEED MORE GIVE ME EVERYTHING IN YOUR HEAD, MYERS! Ahem. This. Fucking. Story. I cried. I cried hard. Just read it. I'm not about to spoil anything for you (except that this story revolves around (view spoiler)[a beautifully crafted MMO that I honestly wish I could play now (hide spoiler)]). You won't get enough of this story. Join me in my sadness that it ended. "The Smile" Aisha Saeed 3/5This story failed to shine as brightly as the other stories. I highlighted plenty of memorable and beautifully crafted words, but it fell short of "magical". And I might've forgotten what this story was even about tbh... Which means it wasn't memorable. Not bad, but not amazing. Simply put, this story was enjoyable enough to continue reading until the end. "Girls Who Twirl And Other Dangers" Preeti Chhibber 2/5This story was horrendous. The packed in culture of this story was cool if not wonderful. But the message was terrible. I don’t think it’s okay to glorify harassing someone who harassed you in the name of vigilance. Especially female VS male. That’s such a negative message to send to this generation. We’re trying to FIX that, not AMPLIFY it! Ugh. No. This story was (in the words of Kelly Kapoor) irresponsible. "Nothing Into All" Renee Ahdieh 3/5The twists were good. Enjoyable. It just didn't steal my heart away, and I'm not a fan of how simplistic this story felt. I do enjoy goblins though. They're creepy and cool little creatures. "Spear Carrier" Rahul Kanakia 0/5 DNFTell me. How does one “piss and shit” in a “skintight bodysuit” with “no problems”...??? What the hell. is that. Listen. I took World Literature in College and loved learning about The Mahabharata. The Bhagavad Gita is a fantastic story about a vast philosophical conversation between two people in the middle of a battlefield. Profound. This short story? Not profound. Kind of boring to be honest. And not my cup of weird. "Code of Honor" Melissa De La Cruz 0/5 DNFI have decided I cannot stand this author's writing. I just can't. None of my TBR books are authored by her, and that is definitely for a reason. It's just...immature writing. I'm sick of reading of characters with the "better than thou" personality. Not for me. "Bullet Butterfly" Elsie Chapman 2/5Meh. That's how I felt about this story. Although tragic, it could not hold my attention. It was hard to connect with, and it was more on the "eh-you-cute" side of stories. "Daughter of The Sun" Shveta Thakrar 4/5The beginning had me leaning toward three stars but it picked up, and had me turning pages earnestly. This story was magical and it lingers inside you like the sun in Savitri’s heart. GOODNESS! When the weather is described as clothing, I wanted to write all of that down to reread it over and over later. Wonderful story. Someone please tell this author to write more fantastic work so I can eat. it. up. "The Crimson Cloak" Ciny Pon 4/5CINDY FREAKING PON. Holy hell that story. I need more, Cindy Pon. GIVE ME MORE! I NEED IT NOW!! Must. Read. More. Ah! This story was beautiful and I loved the wall breakage between character and reader. The world of painting skies was magically delicious! Damnit. This story needs a novel. Miss Pon. Hear my plea!! The culture in this little nugget of gold seriously moved my heart. So much gorgeous writing AND SASS! Cindy, I am watching out for you. "Eyes Like Candelight" Julie Kagawa 5/5 Miss Kagawa, you have redeemed yourself since Iron Fey. That was uncool of you to go playing with my heart. Excuse me while I go read every damn book you’ve ever written (you know, aside from Iron Fey). This was like reading anime. I'm still dreaming about it even now. This book could not have ended any better. KITSUNE! I MEAN! COME ON! I need a full series about Yuki. Now. (Disclaimer: I did not include the DNF ratings in my overall rating of this book.)Overall, A Thousand Beginnings and Endings is a novel jam-packed with culture and fantasy.Check. It. Out.
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  • Andrew
    January 1, 1970
    A stunning and gripping anthology of mythology and folktale retellings from various Asian cultures, and with every genre you can imagine! Not only did I immensely enjoy this book, but it makes me incredibly interested in learning and reading more about the folktales they're originally based off of! A Thousand Beginnings and Endings is a must-read collection.
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  • Kaitlin
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars - I loved some stories while others were less my thing, but overall a fantastic anthology of legends, myths, and fairy/folktales most Westerners won't have seen before.
  • Lauren ✨ (YABookers)
    January 1, 1970
    Disclaimer: I received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.There were a few stories that missed the mark for me, but still, there is so much talent in A THOUSAND BEGINNINGS AND ENDINGS. Some of the stories were so magical and sweet and a large variety of different stories: you want sci-fi? Got you covered. Contemporary? Check. Fantasy? You bet. Would definitely recommend you get this anthology on your TBR.
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  • Denisa
    January 1, 1970
    I NEED THIS SO BAD
  • MK
    January 1, 1970
    ARC provided by Edelweiss.As usual with a book of short stories, your mileage will vary. However, this book is chock full of excellent content with a huge variety of diverse authors. My favorite by far was Olivia’s Table, by Alyssa Wong, and The Land of the Morning Calm by E.C Myers. For myself as a reader, these stories worked best because, though had fantasy elements, they were more grounded than the other stories.Some of the stories were a bit too prose-y for my personal taste. The first stor ARC provided by Edelweiss.As usual with a book of short stories, your mileage will vary. However, this book is chock full of excellent content with a huge variety of diverse authors. My favorite by far was Olivia’s Table, by Alyssa Wong, and The Land of the Morning Calm by E.C Myers. For myself as a reader, these stories worked best because, though had fantasy elements, they were more grounded than the other stories.Some of the stories were a bit too prose-y for my personal taste. The first story, Forbidden Fruit, felt painfully short, as did some other ones I didn’t like as much. Some were less short stories than summaries of other, much more interesting full length tales that I would love to hear be told.Except for the Melissa de la Cruz one, Code of Honor. Cruz uses this book to tie into her YA book series Blue Bloods/Vampires of Manhattan, and it seems a little self serving while also being kind of distracting. Aside from that, lots of excellent content in here. 2018 seems to be the year of anthologies, with a lot of talent coming together for a lot of different stories from different perspectives.
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