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Diversity Spotlight Thursday | #17

diversity spotlight thursday

Diversity Spotlight Thursday is a weekly meme created by Aimal! 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.

Guys, I’m so excited to be taking part in my first Diversity Spotlight Thursday. I think this feature is a fantastic idea. It allows us to share our love for a book we’ve already read & then we also get to talk about books we want to get all grabby hands over. I’m just thrilled to share more diverse books! Let’s do this! 🙂

diversity spotlight 17

READ DIVERSE BOOK
E M P R E S S  O F  A  T H O U S A N D  S K I E S  B Y  R H O D A  B E L L E Z A 

This was a semi recent read for me and oh my goodness, I absolutely loved it. I actually have a review of it on the other blog I co-blog at, Novel Ink, that you all can check out here. I’m in a huge reading slump and this book really helped me start to get out of it so heck yes to that. This is a SFF that will have you intrigued from beginning to end. The plot was somewhat predictable but I was still 100% into the story. Not only did I love the whole storyline, but I adored each character. The characters were so wonderful and I really connected with them which was fabulous. You really just feel apart of the world when your’e reading Empress of a Thousand Skies. 

G O O D R E A D S  |  A M A Z O N

TBR DIVERSE BOOK

I R O N  C A S T  B Y  D E S T I N Y  S O R I A 

This book. I don’t know why I haven’t picked it up yet because I have heard so many rave reviews. Okay, I lied, I know why I haven’t picked it up yet. I’m not into historical fiction that much, but I think this one will blow me away and put my dislike towards the genre in the dust. I just keep hearing about how every aspect of this book keeps you intrigued. The only thing that I have heard bad about this book is the first 50 pages are a bit slow, but then it just takes off and has blown it’s readers away. Really, guys, I’m super excited to read this book and I have it from the library right now so I’d say…keep an eye out for my review in the near future! 😉

G O O D R E A D S  |  A M A Z O N

COMING SOON DIVERSE BOOK

1 0  T H I N G S  I  C A N  S E E  F R O M  H E R E  B Y  C A R R I E  M A C

Goodreads Summary:

Think positive.
Don’t worry; be happy.
Keep calm and carry on.

Maeve has heard it all before. She’s been struggling with severe anxiety for a long time, and as much as she wishes it was something she could just talk herself out of, it’s not. She constantly imagines the worst, composes obituaries in her head, and is always ready for things to fall apart. To add to her troubles, her mom—the only one who really gets what Maeve goes through—is leaving for six months, so Maeve will be sent to live with her dad in Vancouver.

Vancouver brings a slew of new worries, but Maeve finds brief moments of calm (as well as even more worries) with Salix, a local girl who doesn’t seem to worry about anything. Between her dad’s wavering sobriety, her very pregnant stepmom insisting on a home birth, and her bumbling courtship with Salix, this summer brings more catastrophes than even Maeve could have foreseen. Will she be able to navigate through all the chaos to be there for the people she loves?

This book sounds wonderful and I don’t know why it wasn’t on my TBR (*hint* it is now). I feel like the topic that it covers will reach out to many people, if done well, and I think that is much needed. Keep your eyes peeled for 10 Things I Can See From Here.

R E L E A S E  D A T E :  2 8 T H  F E B R U A R Y

G O O D R E A D S  |  A M A Z O N


P O S T S  F R O M  A R O U N D  T H E  B L O G O S P H E R E

Sanne @ Sanne in Bookland | Jo @ Once Upon a Bookcase

Diversity Spotlight Thursday | #16

DIVERSE SPOTLIGHT


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. 🙂


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25526296Every 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!


Goodreads | Amazon

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28763485The 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.


Goodreads | Amazon

coming soon

32075671The 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?

 This novel releases on February 28th, 2017

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Diversity Spotlight Thursday: #15

DIVERSE SPOTLIGHT


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.

P.S. if you decide to participate (yay!), please feel free to use the graphics in this post. No credit is required! Also, if you link back to this post or the announcement post, and I’ll add a link to your post to mine!


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 all the lightAll the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

“Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.”

I read this book last year, I believe, and I really enjoyed it – you’ve probably heard of it now, but you may not know that the protagonist of this book is blind. I’d never read a book with a blind protagonist before, and I was blown away by the beauty with which Doerr writes the world as Marie-Laure experiences it; his descriptions are almost tangible, the feelings he injects into his prose are incredible. This is a sad, devastating book and it will break your heart, but it’s such a wonderful, poignant read- you need it in your life.


Goodreads | Amazon

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5997336Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie

“Beginning on August 9, 1945, in Nagasaki, and ending in a prison cell in the United States in 2002, as a man is waiting to be sent to Guantánamo Bay, Burnt Shadows is an epic narrative of love and betrayal.

Hiroko Tanaka is twenty-one and in love with the man she is to marry, Konrad Weiss. As she steps onto her veranda, wrapped in a kimono with three black cranes swooping across the back, her world is suddenly and irrevocably altered. In the numbing aftermath of the atomic bomb that obliterates everything she has known, all that remains are the bird-shaped burns on her back, an indelible reminder of the world she has lost. In search of new beginnings, two years later, Hiroko travels to Delhi. It is there that her life will become intertwined with that of Konrad’s half sister, Elizabeth, her husband, James Burton, and their employee, Sajjad Ashraf, from whom she starts to learn Urdu.

With the partition of India and the creation of Pakistan, Hiroko will find herself displaced once again, in a world where old wars are replaced by new conflicts. But the shadows of history—personal and political—are cast over the interrelated worlds of the Burtons, the Ashrafs, and the Tanakas as they are transported from Pakistan to New York and, in the novel’s astonishing climax, to Afghanistan in the immediate wake of 9/11. The ties that have bound these families together over decades and generations are tested to the extreme, with unforeseeable consequences.”

Kamila Shamsie is arguably one of Pakistan’s most well-known authors, and I’m ashamed to say that I’ve never read anything by her. When I was browsing her books online, this was the one that struck out to me the most- particularly because it’s about a Japanese woman living during and after the India-Pakistan partition. I’m interested to see how Shamsie deals with themes of war and displacement- sounds complex!


Goodreads | Amazon

coming soon

29073707It’s Not Like It’s a Secret by Misa Sugiura

“Sixteen-year-old Sana Kiyohara has too many secrets. Some are small, like how it bothers her when her friends don’t invite her to parties. Some are big, like that fact that her father may be having an affair. And then there’s the one that she can barely even admit to herself—the one about how she might have a crush on her best friend.

When Sana and her family move to California she begins to wonder if it’s finally time for some honesty, especially after she meets Jamie Ramirez. Jamie is beautiful and smart and unlike anyone Sana’s ever known. There are just a few problems: Sana’s new friends don’t trust Jamie’s crowd; Jamie’s friends clearly don’t want her around anyway; and a sweet guy named Caleb seems to have more-than-friendly feelings for her. Meanwhile, her dad’s affair is becoming too obvious to ignore anymore.

Sana always figured that the hardest thing would be to tell people that she wants to date a girl, but as she quickly learns, telling the truth is easy… what comes after it, though, is a whole lot more complicated.”

Biracial f/f contemporary? That sounds freaking awesome? This isn’t a book that’s “coming soon” per se (May’s pretty far away tbh), but it’s one that I very recently came across and wanted to tell you all about.

This book releases on May 9th, 2017


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Diversity Spotlight Thursday Posts from Across the Blogosphere

Rachel @ Lone Bear Book Club | CW @ Read Think Ponder

Diversity Spotlight Thursday: #14

DIVERSE SPOTLIGHT


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.

P.S. if you decide to participate (yay!), please feel free to use the graphics in this post. No credit is required! Also, if you link back to this post or the announcement post, and I’ll add a link to your post to mine!

I’m so sorry that I’ve been flakey with this feature for the past couple of weeks- school’s been a little nuts, and so has my job. I only have two more weeks for my internship to end, and three weeks til finals are over and then I’m sure I’ll be more regular. <3 To those celebrating, happy Thanksgiving! As you all sit down for your family dinners, I beseech you to remember all the Native Americans who lost their lives, who face persecution to this very day, and who are being shot at and maced for protesting the violation of their basic human rights at the Dakota Access Pipeline. I do not ask you to stop celebrating Thanksgiving; just that you acknowledge the struggles North America’s indigenous population goes through every day since the Europeans landed. <3


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shockThe Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer

“‘I’ll tell you what happened because it will be a good way to introduce my brother. His name’s Simon. I think you’re going to like him. I really do. But in a couple of pages he’ll be dead. And he was never the same after that.’

Debut novel about one man’s descent into mental illness, following the death of his brother in childhood. Filer is a mental health nurse with a unique and startling insight into mental illness, and this book highlights a much-neglected subject.”

The Shock of the Fall is one of those books that stays with you for a long time, no matter how much you enjoyed or didn’t enjoy it while in the moment. It’s an incredibly accurate, harrowing portrayal of mental illness, the taboos surrounding it, childhood trauma and neglect. It is heart-breakingly realistic, and you will feel your stomach and heart drop at several instances. Not an easy read, but an important one.


Goodreads | Amazon

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everythingEverything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

“My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.”

I’ve heard nothing but fantastic things about Nicola Yoon’s book- I was interested in this one before her second book came out, but now that that one’s been getting rave reviews as well, I’m super excited. I’m certain that the main character in this book is biracial- half black and half Korean. I haven’t read nearly enough books with biracial protagonists, and I just ordered this from Book Outlet so hopefully, I’ll be getting to it very soon!


Goodreads | Amazon

coming soon

25014114History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

“When Griffin’s first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident, his universe implodes. Even though Theo had moved to California for college and started seeing Jackson, Griffin never doubted Theo would come back to him when the time was right. But now, the future he’s been imagining for himself has gone far off course.

To make things worse, the only person who truly understands his heartache is Jackson. But no matter how much they open up to each other, Griffin’s downward spiral continues. He’s losing himself in his obsessive compulsions and destructive choices, and the secrets he’s been keeping are tearing him apart.

If Griffin is ever to rebuild his future, he must first confront his history, every last heartbreaking piece in the puzzle of his life.”

I read More Happy than Not last month, and I fell in love with Adam Silvera’s writing, his storytelling and his characters. It’s definitely one of my favorite reads of the year. If I like his second book nearly as much as I liked his debut, I’m sure that it’ll make my favorites list as well. If you haven’t already read MHTN, what are you waiting for? 🙂

This book releases on January 17th, 2016


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Diversity Spotlight Thursday Posts from Across the Blogosphere

Avery @ The Book Deviant | Morgan @ The Backlist Babe | Esther @ Chapter Adventures | Arianny @ Behind the Stacks | Birdie Bookworm | Shahirah @ Bookloves_Reviews

Diversity Spotlight Thursday: #13

DIVERSE SPOTLIGHT


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.

P.S. if you decide to participate (yay!), please feel free to use the graphics in this post. No credit is required! Also, if you link back to this post or the announcement post, and I’ll add a link to your post to mine!

So, due to all the craziness of the week, I wasn’t really feeling up to posting anything on my blog, which is why I missed this week’s Diversity Spotlight. But since I didn’t have much to post over the weekend, I thought I’d catch up. So, here’s a late #13 Diversity Spotlight Thursday. 🙂


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aj fikryThe Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

“On the faded Island Books sign hanging over the porch of the Victorian cottage is the motto “No Man Is an Island; Every Book Is a World.” A. J. Fikry, the irascible owner, is about to discover just what that truly means.

A. J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. His wife has died, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. Slowly but surely, he is isolating himself from all the people of Alice Island—from Lambiase, the well-intentioned police officer who’s always felt kindly toward Fikry; from Ismay, his sister-in-law who is hell-bent on saving him from his dreary self; from Amelia, the lovely and idealistic (if eccentric) Knightley Press sales rep who keeps on taking the ferry over to Alice Island, refusing to be deterred by A.J.’s bad attitude. Even the books in his store have stopped holding pleasure for him. These days, A.J. can only see them as a sign of a world that is changing too rapidly.

And then a mysterious package appears at the bookstore. It’s a small package, but large in weight. It’s that unexpected arrival that gives A. J. Fikry the opportunity to make his life over, the ability to see everything anew. It doesn’t take long for the locals to notice the change overcoming A.J.; or for that determined sales rep, Amelia, to see her curmudgeonly client in a new light; or for the wisdom of all those books to become again the lifeblood of A.J.’s world; or for everything to twist again into a version of his life that he didn’t see coming.

The main character of this book is an Indian-American widower who is the owner of a bookstore. Zevin does such a brilliant job of interweaving culture while also making sure to humanize the protagonist, so he doesn’t come across as “the Other” as is common in books that rely on misrepresentation. A.J. Fikry is such a lovable, precious main character, and his grumpiness, his relationship with the people around him is moving and entertaining. This was a great book, and it’s one that every book lover should read. 🙂


Goodreads | Amazon

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11595276The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth

“When Cameron Post’s parents die suddenly in a car crash, her shocking first thought is relief. Relief they’ll never know that, hours earlier, she had been kissing a girl.

But that relief doesn’t last, and Cam is soon forced to move in with her conservative aunt Ruth and her well-intentioned but hopelessly old-fashioned grandmother. She knows that from this point on, her life will forever be different. Survival in Miles City, Montana, means blending in and leaving well enough alone (as her grandmother might say), and Cam becomes an expert at both.

Then Coley Taylor moves to town. Beautiful, pickup-driving Coley is a perfect cowgirl with the perfect boyfriend to match. She and Cam forge an unexpected and intense friendship — one that seems to leave room for something more to emerge. But just as that starts to seem like a real possibility, ultrareligious Aunt Ruth takes drastic action to ‘fix’ her niece, bringing Cam face-to-face with the cost of denying her true self — even if she’s not exactly sure who that is.

Recently, I realized that I haven’t read nearly enough books with f/f relationships. It’s upsetting because it’s not like these books don’t exist- it’s that they are not hyped as much as those with m/m relationships. I really want to start reading more diversely within the diverse books I read as well, and this one sounds like a good place to start- I’ve heard really great things.


Goodreads | Amazon

coming soon

25164304Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst

Betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile lands. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift for the future queen of a kingdom where magic is forbidden.

Now, Denna must learn the ways of her new home while trying to hide her growing magic. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynaria’s formidable warhorses before her coronation—and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine (called Mare), sister of her betrothed.

When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. As the two work together, each discovers there’s more to the other than she thought. Mare is surprised by Denna’s intelligence and bravery, while Denna is drawn to Mare’s independent streak. Soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more.

But with dangerous conflict brewing that makes the alliance more important than ever, acting on their feelings could be deadly. Forced to choose between their duty and their hearts, Mare and Denna must find a way to save their kingdoms—and each other.

In a similar vein, this is a fantasy novel with a f/f relationship at the forefront, and I’m stoked to get to it. From what I’ve seen of ARC reviews, it’s been getting wonderful reviews. The author seems lovely on Twitter, and it just sounds like a fun ride.

This book releases on November 22nd, 2016


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Diversity Spotlight Thursday Posts from Across the Blogosphere

Morgan @ The Backlist Babe | Keeana @ Kee the Reader | Shouni @ Through the Book Portal | Codie @ Reader’s Anonymous | Wendy @ Falconer’s Library | 4thhousontheleft | Alexandra @ Salsera Beauty Reads | Birdie Bookworm | Diana @ A Haven for Book Lovers | Nagina @ Ohbookish

Diversity Spotlight Thursday: #12

DIVERSE SPOTLIGHT


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.

P.S. if you decide to participate (yay!), please feel free to use the graphics in this post. No credit is required! Also, if you link back to this post or the announcement post, and I’ll add a link to your post to mine!


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248704It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini

“Ambitious New York City teenager Craig Gilner is determined to succeed at life – which means getting into the right high school to get into the right job. But once Craig aces his way into Manhattan’s Executive Pre-Professional High School, the pressure becomes unbearable. He stops eating and sleeping until, one night, he nearly kills himself.

Craig’s suicidal episode gets him checked into a mental hospital, where his new neighbors include a transsexual sex addict, a girl who has scarred her own face with scissors, and the self-elected President Armelio. There, Craig is finally able to confront the sources of his anxiety.

It’s Kind of a Funny Story is one of those books that’s so incredibly moving that you won’t be able to stop thinking about it. From the get-go, the characters and their struggles draw you in. And I think it’s an incredibly difficult thing to do- pairing a topic as serious as depression with such light-hearted humor, but Ned Vizzini pulled it off. Of course, this is an Own Voices book. Ned Vizzini suffered from depression and spent some time in a hospital. Only after reading this book and Googling Ned’s name did I find out that he had tragically committed suicide, which gives this book so much more weight in my memory. I think Ned’s work needs to be immortalized- there’s nothing quite like it.


Goodreads | Amazon

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12109372Range of Ghosts by Elizabeth Bear

“Temur, grandson of the Great Khan, is walking away from a battlefield where he was left for dead. All around lie the fallen armies of his cousin and his brother, who made war to rule the Khaganate. Temur is now the legitimate heir by blood to his grandfather’s throne, but he is not the strongest. Going into exile is the only way to survive his ruthless cousin.

Once-Princess Samarkar is climbing the thousand steps of the Citadel of the Wizards of Tsarepheth. She was heir to the Rasan Empire until her father got a son on a new wife. Then she was sent to be the wife of a Prince in Song, but that marriage ended in battle and blood. Now she has renounced her worldly power to seek the magical power of the wizards. These two will come together to stand against the hidden cult that has so carefully brought all the empires of the Celadon Highway to strife and civil war through guile and deceit and sorcerous power.

High fantasy set in non-Western settings is my weakness- and considering how much I’m into it, I haven’t read nearly enough. Books inspired by the Middle East especially are super intriguing to me, probably because the Middle East is so stigmatized and very rarely do we get non-agenda-pushing narratives that it’s nice to get away from the stigmas by delving into fantasy. Not going to lie- the cover drew me in more than anything. This HAS to be one of the greatest covers I’ve EVER laid my eyes on. But the book sounds bad-ass.


Goodreads | Amazon

coming soon

32182684The Blazing Star by Imani Josey

“Sixteen-year-old Portia White is used to being overlooked—after all, her twin sister Alex is a literal genius. But when Portia holds an Egyptian scarab beetle during history class, she takes center stage in a way she never expected: she faints. Upon waking, she is stronger, faster, and braver than before. And when she accidentally touches the scarab again? She wakes up in ancient Egypt—her sister and an unwitting freshman in tow.

Mysterious and beautiful, Egypt is more than they could have ever imagined from their days in the classroom. History comes alive as the three teens realize that getting back to the present will be the most difficult thing they’ve ever done. Stalked by vicious monsters called Scorpions, every step in the right direction means a step closer to danger.

As Portia and the girls discover that they’re linked to the past by more than just chance, they have to decide what it truly means to be yourself, to love your sister, and to find your way home.

I was recently approved on Netgalley for this, and I’m so psyched! I’m honestly trying to go into this book without knowing much – I haven’t even read the premise, so I can’t talk about it much. But YA fantasy set in Egypt? I’m so down.

This book releases on December 6th, 2016


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Diversity Spotlight Thursday Posts from Across the Blogosphere

Avery @ The Book Deviant | Clémence @ Clemi’s Bookish World | Meep @ Book 7 | CW @ Read, Think, Ponder | Marianne @ Boricuan Bookworms

Diversity Spotlight Thursday: #11

DIVERSE SPOTLIGHT


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.

P.S. if you decide to participate (yay!), please feel free to use the graphics in this post. No credit is required! Also, if you link back to this post or the announcement post, and I’ll add a link to your post to mine!


READ

I'll Give You the SunI’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

“Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life. The early years are Noah’s story to tell. The later years are Jude’s. What the twins don’t realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world.

I read this book back in 2014 and I’d be lying to you if I said I’d stopped thinking about since then. This book is so heart-achingly beautiful. Explores familial relationships, the meaning of love and loss, finding yourself and loving yourself. The relationships in this novel are almost tangible, and I especially love the stylistic choices Nelson makes. It’s divided into 2 parts; half the story is told from 13-year old Noah’s perspective, and the other half is told 3 years later from 16-year old Jude’s perspective. It’s an effective way to cover a long span and develop both characters without ever taking away from either narrative. If you haven’t done so already, please read this book!


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30199441A Taste of Honey by Kai Ashante Wilson

“Long after the Towers left the world but before the dragons came to Daluça, the emperor brought his delegation of gods and diplomats to Olorum. As the royalty negotiates over trade routes and public services, the divinity seeks arcane assistance among the local gods.

Aqib bgm Sadiqi, fourth-cousin to the royal family and son of the Master of Beasts, has more mortal and pressing concerns. His heart has been captured for the first time by a handsome Daluçan soldier named Lucrio. in defiance of Saintly Canon, gossiping servants, and the furious disapproval of his father and brother, Aqib finds himself swept up in a whirlwind romance. But neither Aqib nor Lucrio know whether their love can survive all the hardships the world has to throw at them.”

Um, hello there. I came across this book on the Barnes & Noble fantasy blog, and knew I immediately had to add it – without reading the synopsis. I love the books Tor puts out. Only later when I read the synopsis did I realize that this not only has an entirely PoC cast, but also a gay romance at the forefront. And it’s out! I’m SO HYPE. I need this in my life and so do you. 🙂

It’s also only $3 on Kindle. 🙂


Goodreads | Amazon

coming soon

american streetAmerican Street by Ibi Zoboi

“On the corner of American Street and Joy Road, Fabiola Toussaint thought she would finally find une belle vie—a good life.

But after they leave Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Fabiola’s mother is detained by U.S. immigration, leaving Fabiola to navigate her loud American cousins, Chantal, Donna, and Princess; the grittiness of Detroit’s west side; a new school; and a surprising romance, all on her own.

Just as she finds her footing in this strange new world, a dangerous proposition presents itself, and Fabiola soon realizes that freedom comes at a cost. Trapped at the crossroads of an impossible choice, will she pay the price for the American dream?”

I don’t think I’ve ever read an immigration story before, which is weird- being an immigrant myself. I’ll definitely rectify that before the release of this book, but this sounds like an incredible, beautiful read. Gritty, honest, heartbreaking (I’m getting all this from the synopsis, wow me.) Wish it was releasing sooner.

This book releases on February 14th, 2017


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Diana @ A Haven for Book Lovers | Meep @ Book 7 | Codie @ Reader’s Anonymous | M @ A Blog of One’s Own | Avery @ Book Deviant | Shouni @ Through the Book Portal | Eliana @ The Written Opinion | Birdie Bookworm | Clemence @ Clemi’s Bookish World

Diversity Spotlight Thursday: #10

DIVERSE SPOTLIGHT


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.

P.S. if you decide to participate (yay!), please feel free to use the graphics in this post. No credit is required! Also, if you link back to this post or the announcement post, and I’ll add a link to your post to mine!


READ

the rest of us just live hereThe Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

“What if you aren’t the Chosen One? The one who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death? What if you’re like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again.

Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life. Even if your best friend is worshipped by mountain lions.

Patrick Ness is one of my favorite authors of all-time. He writes with such compassion; his novels are thematically brilliant with well fleshed-out characters and a gripping voice. Although this book is not my favorite of his work, I really appreciate its premise. It’s basically a satire of a popular YA trope, and has such a diverse cast of characters. It brings to light the stigmas around mental illness. Our protagonist’s love interest is a girl of color, and our protagonist’s best friend is gay. Patrick Ness is gay himself, and I know he’s very passionate about inclusivity in literature, about trying to make adolescents see themselves in his books. All his books have one ore more aspect of diversity, but I spotlighted this one because the premise is just so darn cool. 🙂


Goodreads | Amazon

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28503699Everyone We’ve Been by Sarah Everett

“Addison Sullivan has been in an accident. In its aftermath, she has memory lapses and starts talking to a boy that no one else can see. It gets so bad that she’s worried she’s going crazy.

Addie takes drastic measures to fill in the blanks and visits a shadowy medical facility that promises to “help with your memory.” But at the clinic, Addie unwittingly discovers it is not her first visit. And when she presses, she finds out that she had certain memories erased. She had a boy erased.

But why? Who was that boy, and what happened that was too devastating to live with? And even if she gets the answers she’s looking for, will she ever be able to feel like a whole person again?

Dammit, every time I look at that cover, I drool a little. Whoever designed it deserves all the cookies in the world. I’ve recently realized that I enjoy mysteries and thrillers A LOT, and I haven’t read nearly as many as I should have. I’d really love to get my hands on this soon. 🙂


Goodreads | Amazon

coming soon

the love interestThe Love Interest by Cale Dietrich

“There is a secret organization that cultivates teenage spies. The agents are called Love Interests because getting close to people destined for great power means getting valuable secrets.

Caden is a Nice: The boy next door, sculpted to physical perfection. Dylan is a Bad: The brooding, dark-souled guy, and dangerously handsome. The girl they are competing for is important to the organization, and each boy will pursue her. Will she choose a Nice or the Bad?

Both Caden and Dylan are living in the outside world for the first time. They are well-trained and at the top of their games. They have to be – whoever the girl doesn’t choose will die.

What the boys don’t expect are feelings that are outside of their training. Feelings that could kill them both.

I was just thinking the other day that we have so many love triangles all over the literary world, but I’ve never heard of a love triangle with a same-gender relationship. When I read the premise, I cackled because it goes a step further than that. From what I can tell, it’s about two boys who are ‘competing’ for a girl but end up falling for each other? I mean, that just sounds fucking amazing.

This book releases on May 16th, 2017


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Diversity Spotlight Thursday: #9

DIVERSE SPOTLIGHT


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.

P.S. if you decide to participate (yay!), please feel free to use the graphics in this post. No credit is required! Also, if you link back to this post or the announcement post, and I’ll add a link to your post to mine!

I thought I’d give this week’s post a theme: South Asian literature. I know South Asian literature forms a minor niche in the book industry, and many really great books get overlooked because they’re considered “too foreign.” I made a discussion post a few days ago talking about this very thing, so I thought it fitting to spotlight South Asian books this week.


READ

fire boyFire Boy (Djinn-Son Duology #1) by Sami Shah

“Growing up in Karachi isn’t easy. Wahid has a lot on his mind: the girl he likes, mostly, but also choosing a good university and finding time to play Dungeons & Dragons. Oh, and the fact that he can see djinns, other-worldly creatures made of a smokeless and scorching fire. After a horrific car accident kills his best friend and djinns steal his girlfriend’s soul, Wahid vows to find out why. Fortunately, he has help in finding the djinns that tried to kill him. Unfortunately, that help is from the darkest of all spirits, the Devil himself …

Fire Boy is filled with supernatural entities and high-paced action, but it also gives the reader a vivid insight into life in Pakistan.”

I read this book fairly recently, but it’s become one of my favorites of this year. It was a genuinely terrifying read with creatures drawn from both Islamic and South Asian mythology, and was set in an authentic, nuanced portrayal of Pakistan’s urban capital, Karachi. I loved how Sami Shah didn’t concentrate on what was expected of him to concentrate on i.e. poverty, violence, misogyny- but instead wrote a captivating urban fantasy while never sugarcoating the problems that are obviously present in the region.

The e-book is also only $2.99 on Amazon!


Goodreads | Amazon

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29637673An Unrestored Woman: and Other Stories by Shobha Rao

“In An Unrestored Woman, the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947 cuts a jagged path through the lives of ordinary women and men, leaving ripples of sorrow through time and space. Each couplet of stories spans the Indian subcontinent, from refugee camps and torched trains to the spacious verandas of the British Raj, and billows into the wider world. An old woman recounts the murdering of what was most precious to her, and the many small cuts that led her to that act. A girl forced into prostitution wields patience as deftly as a weapon, and manages to escape her fate. An Indian servant falls in love with his employer, and spins a twisted web of deceit.

The characters in these fearless stories stumble – occasionally towards love, more often towards survival – and find that history, above all, is their truest and greatest opponent. And what emerges, in the midst of newly erected barriers, boundaries, and nations, is a journey into the centre of the only place that matters – the human heart.”

I’ve yet to read a book about the partition of the Indian subcontinent, but this one was recently brought to my attention and I knew I had to read it as soon as possible. The partition was such a pivotal moment in global history, taking place almost immediately after India kicked the British out. It was chaos, and entire families were torn apart. My grandparents used to tell me that borders were formed between neighborhoods; my grandmother’s best friend was in the same country as my grandma one day, and the next day, there was a border in between them. So many people died, so many tragedies occurred and I feel like these stories and voices are important to be told. But they don’t reach the international public. So I hope to read an #ownvoices book about this event.

Also, the beautiful cover has me shook (my Twitter slang is seeping into my blog too, send help).


Goodreads | Amazon

coming soon

28458598When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

“Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers… right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself. The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, why not? Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

This just sounds like such a fun, light-hearted, entertaining read. Arranged marriage plays such a prominent role in South Asia, and is considered tradition. The image Westerners get of arranged marriage is this archaic thing where the bridge and the groom are forced into a marriage without ever having interacted; most arranged marriages don’t work like that. The parents set up a meeting, the guy and girl interact and then collectively decide if they want to get married. Although forced marriage definitely exists and that narrative cannot and should not be ignored, I’m frankly sick of this one-sided, tinted look at foreign traditions. So I’m super excited to see how arranged marriage is dealt with in a lighter, varied tone.

This book releases on May 30th, 2017


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Diversity Spotlight Thursday Posts from Across the Blogosphere

Charlotte @ cahwrites | Morgan @ The Backlist Babe | Esther @ Chapter Adventures | Shahirah @ Bookloves_Reviews | Clemence @ Clemi’s Bookish World | Diana @ A Haven for Book Lovers  | Avery @ Book Deviant | Meep @ Book 7 | Sarah @ Reviews and Readathons | Jordyn @ JordztheBibliophile |

Diversity Spotlight Thursday: #8

DIVERSE SPOTLIGHT


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.

P.S. if you decide to participate (yay!), please feel free to use the graphics in this post. No credit is required! Also, if you link back to this post or the announcement post, and I’ll add a link to your post to mine!


READ

Six of Crows & Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

six of crows“Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge. A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager. A runaway with a privileged past. A spy known as the Wraith. A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.  A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Kaz’s crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.”

With the recent release of Crooked Kingdom, I thought I’d talk a little about the diversity in this duology. I’ve spoken a little on other social media about how important it is to include diversity, especially in fantasy where it’s completely unrealistic to have a huge world with all cishet white able-bodied characters. I think all fantasy authors should look at Bardugo and use her as inspiration. We have six main characters- all very important people. You can say there’s one character that is held above the others, but the other five are on the same level.

Kaz Brekker is disabled and suffers from severe PTSD. Inej is brown- her culture is inspired by Hindu and South Asian culture. Nina is a larger woman who is bisexual, while Matthias is our brooding straight-white hero (so there’s that too). Jesper is black, and has an addiction to gambling. He’s also bisexual, and Wylan suffers from what I think is dyslexia and is gay. And they are all so beautifully developed and presented. I mean, honestly, this series has little to no flaws.


Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository | Barnes & Noble

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the summer of chasing mermaidsThe Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler

“The youngest of six talented sisters, Elyse d’Abreau was destined for stardom—until a boating accident took everything from her. Now, the most beautiful singer in Tobago can’t sing. She can’t even speak. Seeking quiet solitude, Elyse accepts a friend’s invitation to Atargatis Cove. Named for the mythical first mermaid, the Oregon seaside town is everything Elyse’s home in the Caribbean isn’t: An ocean too cold for swimming, parties too tame for singing, and people too polite to pry—except for one.

Christian Kane is a notorious playboy—insolent, arrogant, and completely charming. He’s also the only person in Atargatis Cove who doesn’t treat Elyse like a glass statue. He challenges her to express herself, and he admires the way she treats his younger brother Sebastian, who believes Elyse is the legendary mermaid come to life. When Christian needs a first mate for the Cove’s high-stakes Pirate Regatta, Elyse reluctantly stows her fear of the sea and climbs aboard. The ocean isn’t the only thing making waves, though—swept up in Christian’s seductive tide and entranced by the Cove’s charms, Elyse begins to wonder if a life of solitude isn’t what she needs. But changing course again means facing her past. It means finding her inner voice. And scariest of all, it means opening her heart to a boy who’s best known for breaking them.

I hadn’t heard much about this book until very recently when a blogger said that the representation in this one was so spot-on that she hadn’t even realized that it wasn’t an #OwnVoices novel. I’ve never read a book set in the Caribbean before, so I’m excited to see how this one fares.


Goodreads | Amazon (only $6 for a paperbacks!) | The Book Depository | Barnes & Noble

coming soon

beastBeast by Brie Spangler

“Tall, meaty, muscle-bound, and hairier than most throw rugs, Dylan doesn’t look like your average fifteen-year-old, so, naturally, high school has not been kind to him. To make matters worse, on the day his school bans hats (his preferred camouflage), Dylan goes up on his roof only to fall and wake up in the hospital with a broken leg—and a mandate to attend group therapy for self-harmers.

Dylan vows to say nothing and zones out at therapy—until he meets Jamie. She’s funny, smart, and so stunning, even his womanizing best friend, JP, would be jealous. She’s also the first person to ever call Dylan out on his self-pitying and superficiality. As Jamie’s humanity and wisdom begin to rub off on Dylan, they become more than just friends. But there is something Dylan doesn’t know about Jamie, something she shared with the group the day he wasn’t listening. Something that shouldn’t change a thing. She is who she’s always been—an amazing photographer and devoted friend, who also happens to be transgender. But will Dylan see it that way?

This is a Beauty and the Beast retelling with a transgender character! That’s so fucking awesome, don’t you think? I remember thinking that retellings are such an interesting way to include diversity in your stories- it much be fun to play around the tropes and see how gender-swaps and inclusion of different races or removing heterosexuality of the main couple would affect the story- if at all. This one sounds awesome because it’s a contemporary retelling, whereas most of the B&tB retellings I’m familiar with are fantasy. Very excited.

This book releases on October 11th, 2016


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