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Explore Celeste Ng’s books in order here. I read them all and listed, rated, and ranked them for you. You’ll easily decide which one to read first or next, so let’s get literary!

Little fires Everywhere by Celeste ng in front of a bookshelf.

Celeste Ng Books in Order

  1. Everything I Never Told You (2014)
  2. Little Fires Everywhere (2017)
  3. Our Missing Hearts (2022)

Celeste Ng Books Ranked

  1. Little Fires Everywhere (my top pick and the most popular overall)
  2. Everything I Never Told You
  3. Our Missing Hearts

Book Reviews of Celeste Ng’s Fiction

Everything I Never Told You (2014)

  • New York Times bestseller and Notable Book of 2014
  • Amazon’s #1 Best Book of 2014
  • Winner of the Massachusetts Book Award, the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, and the ALA’s Alex Award
  • A best book of the year in over a dozen publications

My Review: ★★★☆☆

Everything I Never Told You is a family drama book that begins by telling the reader that sixteen-year-old Lydia is dead. The backstory to this shocking revelation is that of a mixed-race Chinese-American family in 1970s Ohio, where Lydia was the beloved middle child.

As the reader uncovers what happened to Lydia, the book is not as mysterious as it may seem. Instead, it’s a sweeping characterization of the remaining members of her family. They are coping with her death and revealing their own secrets in an effort to understand how they got there and how they can move forward.

Mixed-race marriages were still uncommon at that time, and the novel explores the backgrounds of Lydia’s parents (and their families). The reader learns what led them to each other, as well as how all of those events, feelings, and family relationships impacted the lives of Lydia and her siblings.

This book was recommended to me when I was first getting back into reading, and it holds a special place in my heart as being the kind of book that both keeps you captivated and makes grand statements about life through beautiful prose.


Little Fires Everywhere (2017)

  • #1 New York Times bestseller
  • #1 Indie Next bestseller
  • Amazon’s Best Fiction Book of 2017
  • Winner of the Ohioana Award
  • Goodreads Readers Choice Award 2017 in Fiction
  • A Best Book of the Year by over a dozen outlets
  • Reese’s book club pick

My Review: ★★★★★

Little Fires Everywhere is a book about mothers set in Shaker Heights, Ohio, a planned community in the 1990s. There, “do-gooder” Elena Richardson, the matriarch of a white upper-class family lives with her husband and four teenage children.

The story begins not just with a little fire, but with the Richardson home being burned to the ground. Then, it dives back into how the characters got there.

It all started when Elena rented a duplex to a Black single mother, Mia Warren, and her teenage daughter, Pearl. As the two families bond, the mothers begin to clash when a heated custody battle over an Asian American baby in their community places them on opposing sides of the aisle.

Dark secrets are revealed, and Elena’s and Mia’s families are jeopardized in the process. The novel impactfully touches upon complex issues of motherhood, class, race, and identity in this small suburban neighborhood. And, as the reader knows from the first page, the results are explosive.

Little Fires Everywhere is a character-driven novel that is also a page-turner. You will find yourself thinking about it for years to come (I certainly did). The HULU TV series is also absolutely fantastic — one of my all-time favorite adaptations.

Related Post: Little Fires Everywhere Book Club Questions


Our Missing Hearts (2022)

  • Instant New York Times bestseller
  • Reese’s Book Club pick

My Review: ★★★☆☆

Our Missing Hearts is another Asian American book, but here it’s a dystopian novel told through the eyes of twelve-year-old Bird, an Asian American boy who lives with his father after his Chinese American mother, a poet, left three years prior.

Bird’s world is one in which the Preserving American Culture and Traditions Act results in the children of Asian dissidents being relocated.

A cryptic letter he receives sends him on a journey to find his mother. In the process, Bird explores the intersection between these laws and his mother’s art, as well as the effects of the laws on real American families, and how change may ultimately come.

This book has stunning prose and felt very timely to me, leaving the modern reader with a lot to think about. But, it did feel slow-paced and lacked the character depth of her other novels for me. I did enjoy it overall, especially actress Lucy Liu’s heartfelt narration of the audiobook and the powerful ending to which the story thoughfully builds.

About Author Celeste Ng (And How to Pronounce Her Name)

about

Celeste Ng (pronounced “Ing” according to her Instagram handle: pronounced_ing) is a Harvard-trained author of contemporary literary fiction. She is known for writing modern literary fiction with well-crafted prose that tackles issues related to family, motherhood, and the Asian American experience.

She has been awarded the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Fiction and the Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts in the US and Canada.

She resides in Massachusetts with her husband and son.

Frequently Asked Questions

What was Celeste Ng’s first novel?

Celeste Ng’s first novel, Everything I Never Told You, was published in 2014. It is a gripping family drama that explores themes of identity, race, and the secrets that bind and break families.

Is Little Fires Everywhere a true story?

No. It is a fictional novel by Celeste Ng set in the suburban community of Shaker Heights, Ohio, and explores themes of family dynamics, identity, and race.

What is the book Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng about?

Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng is about a dystopian future where a boy embarks on a journey to find his mother, a poet. The novel explores themes of censorship, authoritarianism, and the power of storytelling in resisting oppression.

What else has Celeste Ng written?

Celeste Ng has written three fiction books: Everything I Never Told You, Little Fires Everywhere, and Our Missing Hearts.

Conclusion

Celeste Ng’s books in order showcase a range of modern literary fiction with well-crafted prose that tackles issues related to family, motherhood, and the Asian American experience. Little Fires Everywhere is my top pick and most popular overall, so it’s definitely the one I recommend you read first.

Books And Authors Like Celeste Ng

For more like Celeste Ng, check out these books and authors. I selected similar ones that offer literary fiction and themes of diversity and/or motherhood for you.

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