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!
Every Falling Star by Sungju Lee
“Every Falling Star, the first book to portray contemporary North Korea to a young audience, is the intense memoir of a North Korean boy named Sungju who is forced at age twelve to live on the streets and fend for himself. To survive, Sungju creates a gang and lives by thieving, fighting, begging, and stealing rides on cargo trains. Sungju richly re-creates his scabrous story, depicting what it was like for a boy alone to create a new family with his gang, his “brothers”; to be hungry and to fear arrest, imprisonment, and even execution. This riveting memoir allows young readers to learn about other cultures where freedoms they take for granted do not exist.”
Every Falling Star is the last book I read, and I have to admit that it was an eye-opening, harrowing read about a region I’m not too familiar with. It’s a memoir, so all the horrifying details are true, which adds such an intense layer to the novel. Sungju uses cultural references and lore, language and references so unapologetically, which is how I believe it should be. Although I ultimately gave it 3 stars – mainly because the writing style wasn’t for me – it’s a book I would recommend to everyone for the valuable insight it offers into this dystopia.
I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley, and okay this is cheating since this book can easily fit in the third category, but since I have read it… what the heck. 😛
If You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan
“Seventeen-year-old Sahar has been in love with her best friend, Nasrin, since they were six. They’ve shared stolen kisses and romantic promises. But Iran is a dangerous place for two girls in love—Sahar and Nasrin could be beaten, imprisoned, even executed if their relationship came to light. So they carry on in secret—until Nasrin’s parents announce that they’ve arranged for her marriage. Nasrin tries to persuade Sahar that they can go on as they have been, only now with new comforts provided by the decent, well-to-do doctor Nasrin will marry. But Sahar dreams of loving Nasrin exclusively—and openly.
Then Sahar discovers what seems like the perfect solution. In Iran, homosexuality may be a crime, but to be a man trapped in a woman’s body is seen as nature’s mistake, and sex reassignment is legal and accessible. As a man, Sahar could be the one to marry Nasrin. Sahar will never be able to love the one she wants, in the body she wants to beloved in, without risking her life. Is saving her love worth sacrificing her true self?”
If You Could Be Mine seems like the an intriguing read, mainly because it involves a lesbian romance in a culture where it is not accepted. I recently realized that I’ve barely read any female/female romances, and this one seems like the perfect read, especially since it sounds intense. I’m a little concerned about how sex reassignment will play a role in the novel, but I’m still intrigued.
Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas #1) by Zoraida Córdova
“Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives. Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation…and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can’t trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange marks on his skin.
The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland…”
I’ve seen a few reviews of this book floating around the blogosphere, and I’ve heard nothing but fantastic things. I’ve read witch books before, but never a book about Latinx witches so that sounds freaking awesome. Labyrinth Lost releases on September 6th.