So excited to share that I’m now writing book reviews for BookPage, and my very first review is for Lori M. Lee’s “Forest of Souls” – a YA novel taking cues from Asian-American culture, western fantasy and…spiders.
It was an honor to be writing my very first review on Lee’s novel, which many readers have been looking forward to for a long time.
I am so interested in the way Lee is using Hmong shamanism as an inspiration rather than claiming the novel to be a full representation of Hmong culture. I’ve always struggled with the idea that as an Asian-American writer, I have some sort of responsibility to be “accurately” represent of the Filipino-American experience in what I write. But there is no one definable cultural experience, and “Forest of Souls” demonstrates that Asian-American writers have the right to be inspired as well as to go beyond the inspiration.
Lee goes into detail about this idea in her conversation with Marissa Meyer on The Happy Writer podcast.
Let me know what you think of the book + stay tuned for more reviews in the future!