Diversity Spotlight Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by yours truly. Every week, you come up with one book in each of three different categories: a diverse book you have read and enjoyed, a diverse book on your TBR, and one that has not yet been released. You can check out the announcement post for more information.
Hello, everyone! So, I know I’ve been neglecting this weekly feature for the past few weeks, and I’m really sorry about that, but there were several reasons. 1) I was on vacation in Los Angeles, and was so stupidly busy with family, which meant that 2) I wasn’t keeping up with book news, or reading. Which means that 3) I wasn’t reading nearly as much as I would have liked, and so I was lacking on recommendations for this post in general.
Now that I’m back home and am slowly getting back into the swing of things, I’m reading more and have been keeping an eye out for new releases. Hopefully I’ll be more regular now. 🙂
Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
This was a fairly recent read for me- I read it for one of the squares in the Diversity Bingo 2017 bingo sheet. I’ve only ever read one other book revolving around an asexual character, which was why this one immediately caught my eye. I wasn’t entirely sure what I was expecting when I went into it, but it certainly wasn’t what I got. Which isn’t a bad thing. It’s a strange mix of fantasy and magical realism, where teenagers who don’t feel like they fit in their mundane lives find doors or portals to worlds where they feel like they belong. Our main character is one such person who was taken to an underworld of sorts- but she was removed from her world and thrown back into our world. She’s sent to a school where teens who have gone through a similar process are trying to recuperate and get over their worlds.
The book definitely took a twist for the better; from a whimsical, magical read, it turned into a grotesque, dark read that never really left its whimsical tone. I flew through it – I’m pretty sure I read it in one day because I couldn’t put it down. It was far from perfect, but it’s one that I’d recommend to anyone looking for an interesting, fast-paced read. Also, there’s a trans side character!
The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
If you’ve keeping up with my seldomly-updated blog (honestly, props to you), you might know that I recently read Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. And I had very many problems; I don’t usually say I despise books, but Everything, Everything holds a special place in my “highly disliked books” list. It wasn’t because it was boring or badly written, or some problem or another with the characters; I just had many, many issues with the disability representation in the novel. If you’d like to read my review, you can find it here.
However, I’d still like to give Nicola Yoon a second chance- especially because I’ve heard that her new book is a massive improvement even from people that were hurt by the first one. The premise sounds interesting though it’s raised some red flags for insta-love. A girl, on the verge of being deported with her family to Jamaica, falls in love with Daniel- who’s a straight-cut teen who doesn’t believe in fate, whose plan didn’t include this. Insta-love is a hard sell for me, but from the reviews I’ve seen, this book apparently pulls it off. And I’m looking forward to digging in.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas has been making all the rounds recently, and with good reason. I was lucky enough to score an ARC of this late in November, and I started reading it almost immediately. It honestly blew me away. I’m always wary of books that have hype surrounding them, and this was #1 on the hype train for me, but Angie Thomas proved to be such a wonderful, poignant, empathetic writer. Her characters felt like real people; I grew so fond of the main character and her struggles, her relationships with her family, boyfriend and friends. I was hooked from start to finish, and it was a near-perfect book.
I’ve often said, with regards to this particular novel, that it’s going to be a game-changer. My feelings about that haven’t changed even two months after I turned the last page; this book is going to change the YA game, I can feel it. It covers so many important issues, like race relations in the United States, microaggressions in day-to-day life, socioeconomic status, racial profiling, police brutality, the Black Lives Matter movement, cultural appropriation, the role of media and social media networks in crime. The scope of issues this novel covers is far and wide, and each of these issues is done justice. It’s truly a beautiful read and if you haven’t pre-ordered it or added it to your TBR, what are you doing?