Blog Meme

Top Ten Tuesday | Books on my Fall '16 TBR

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Hello everyone! It’s that time of the week again! Top Ten Tuesday is a book meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Basically, you get a different bookish topic every Tuesday, and you comprise a list of ten (or however many you’re able to list) relating to said topic.

This week’s topic is “Ten books on your Fall TBR.” Now this time of the year is both elating and devastating- elating because so. many. good. books, devastating – well, mainly for my bank account. And because there are simply so many books I want to get to this season, here are just a few that are top-priority. Since I tend to read more fantasy and paranormal than anything else in the fall, winter months, this list will be heavy with those genres. So, let’s get into it!


Crooked Kingdom (The Dregs #2) by Leigh Bardugo

Is this a surprise? It really shouldn’t be. Crooked Kingdom is my most anticipated release of the year; Six of Crows was one of my favorite books of last year, and I’m so excited to touch base with these characters, dive back into the world. Fully prepared for it to break me, though.


Goodreads | Amazon

The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

This is (most probably) the October pick for the new Keep It Diverse Book Club that a few friends and I created. I’ve heard fantastic things about this book, so I’m super excited to get into it. This is one I will definitely be getting to in October.


Goodreads | Amazon

The Devourers by Indra Das

Mostly a cover-buy, but the fact that it revolves around South Asian/Indian mythology was also a selling-point. I recently listened to a podcast with the author, and he sounded like such an intelligent, lovely guy. After listening to the podcast, I bumped it up near the top of my TBR!


Goodreads | Amazon

The Young Elites by Marie Lu

I probably (morally speaking) should read Legend before I read The Young Elites, but TYE just sounds so much more appealing? The protagonist is not a hero! Books like that are automatic loves for me. With the last book coming out very soon, this series is just pulling me in!


Goodreads | Amazon

Fire Boy by Sami Shah

I might already have finished this book by the time this post goes live (I’m scheduling ahead, wow I can’t believe I’m actually being productive), but I’m so excited to be reading this book! It’s set in the urban capital of Pakistan (Karachi) and is a genre fiction horror/fantasy/paranormal about djinn and the creepiest creatures in South Asian mythology. The author is a prominent Pakistani comedian, and I genuinely love his work. Already started reading this, and I’m terrified but loving every second of it!


Goodreads | Amazon

Iron Cast by Destiny Soria

I have an e-galley of this book, and I’m super excited to get to it (I’ve been saying this about all the books in this post, haven’t I?) I’ve heard really great things about this book, and I know that it’s a diverse read- bonus points!


Goodreads | Amazon

This Is Our Story by Ashley Elston

Again, not gonna lie- this was a cover-discovery. I came across the cover on Netgalley and I knew I had to request it. So glad my request was granted; I love thrillers, and this book has great ratings on Goodreads so far! Will be reading it around Halloween, hopefully.


Goodreads | Amazon

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

I was a little late to the Lunar Chronicles party- I started reading after Cress had been released, but I grew to really enjoy that series. I’ve only ever read one Alice in Wonderland retelling (Splintered), and I despised it- hopefully, this one is better. I trust Marissa Meyer to give me a cohesive, entertaining story!


Goodreads | Amazon

Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman

This is another one I’ve heard really great things about. It also fulfills one of the categories in the Fall Book Bingo challenge, so that’s a plus. I also know that the author is a historian, and she mixes a ton of fantasy and history together to make for a compelling read. Hopefully I’ll be able to read the first two books in the series before the third comes out next year.


Goodreads | Amazon

Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil by Melina Marchetta

I’ve only read Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta, but I remember loving it. It was profound- beautifully written and so, so heartbreaking. I plan on reading Finnikin of the Rock soon too, but I’ve got my eyes set firmly on this one. I’ve heard it has a ton of representation too!


Goodreads | Amazon

That’s it for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday! Have you read any of these books, or plan on reading them in the fall too? Let me know in the comments below; as always, thanks for stopping by and happy reading! 🙂

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Diversity Spotlight Thursday | #6

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!


Hi, everyone! So I know I’ve been super inactive recently- that’s because school has come at me with guns blazing, and I’m trying to be good at my internship too, ha. I haven’t been reading much because of this, and that’s why I missed last week’s DST post too. 🙁 Sorry about that! I’ll try to catch up this weekend, because I don’t have much homework to do.

A few friends and I have also started a monthly bookclub that strives to read at least one diverse book every single month. If you’d like to check it out, here’s the Goodreads group, the Twitter and the Instagram. 🙂


READ

we awaken coverWe Awaken by Calista Lynne

Victoria Dinham doesn’t have much left to look forward to. Since her father died in a car accident, she lives only to fulfill her dream of being accepted into the Manhattan Dance Conservatory. But soon she finds another reason to look forward to dreams when she encounters an otherworldly girl named Ashlinn, who bears a message from Victoria’s comatose brother. Ashlinn is tasked with conjuring pleasant dreams for humans, and through the course of their nightly meetings in Victoria’s mind, the two become close. Ashlinn also helps Victoria understand asexuality and realize that she, too, is asexual.

But then Victoria needs Ashlinn’s aid outside the realm of dreams, and Ashlinn assumes human form to help Victoria make it to her dance audition. They take the opportunity to explore New York City, their feelings for each other, and the nature of their shared asexuality. But like any dream, it’s too good to last. Ashlinn must shrug off her human guise and resume her duties creating pleasant nighttime visions—or all of humanity will pay the price. 

This was my first book revolving around an asexual character, and it was also a lesbian romance! I learned a lot from this book, and despite not enjoying it fully, I appreciate reading it. If you want to learn more about asexuality and are also looking for more lesbian romances, I’d definitely recommend this one!


Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository | Barnes & Noble

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Juliet Takes a BreathJuliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera

“Juliet Milagros Palante is leaving the Bronx and headed to Portland, Oregon. She just came out to her family and isn’t sure if her mom will ever speak to her again. But Juliet has a plan, sort of, one that’s going to help her figure out this whole “Puerto Rican lesbian” thing. She’s interning with the author of her favorite book: Harlowe Brisbane, the ultimate authority on feminism, women’s bodies, and other gay-sounding stuff. 

Will Juliet be able to figure out her life over the course of one magical summer? Is that even possible? Or is she running away from all the problems that seem too big to handle? 

With more questions than answers, Juliet takes on Portland, Harlowe, and most importantly, herself.”

I can’t say I’ve heard too much about this book, just that I’ve heard nothing but fantastic things. I haven’t read many books with PoC LGBTQ+ characters, so I’m very excited to get my hands on this!


Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository | Barnes & Noble

coming soon

when the moon was oursWhen the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore

When the Moon Was Ours follows two characters through a story that has multicultural elements and magical realism, but also has central LGBT themes—a transgender boy, the best friend he’s falling in love with, and both of them deciding how they want to define themselves.

To everyone who knows them, best friends Miel and Sam are as strange as they are inseparable. Roses grow out of Miel’s wrist, and rumors say that she spilled out of a water tower when she was five. Sam is known for the moons he paints and hangs in the trees, and for how little anyone knows about his life before he and his mother moved to town. 

But as odd as everyone considers Miel and Sam, even they stay away from the Bonner girls, four beautiful sisters rumored to be witches. Now they want the roses that grow from Miel’s skin, convinced that their scent can make anyone fall in love. And they’re willing to use every secret Miel has fought to protect to make sure she gives them up.”

I’m so honored to say that I have this book on my Netgalley shelf (I know, it’s not that big of a deal but I still get surprised whenever I’m approved for an ARC, tbh), and I will be reading it very, very soon. I haven’t read a book about a transgender individual before, and this sounds like a beautiful, poignant read. Look out for my review some time before this month ends (hopefully).

This book releases on October 4th.


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(P.S. This book features all purple books- this was unintentional, but a neat coincidence since it’s Bisexual Awareness Week. XD)


Diversity Spotlight Thursday Posts from Around the Blogosphere:

Monique @ That Wild Soul | Shahirah @ Bookloves_Reviews | Caitlin @ Words and Other Beasts | Alexandra @ Salsera Beauty Reads | Clemence @ Clemi’s Bookish World | Nagina @ Oh Bookish | Vivian @ A Haven for Book Lovers

Top Ten Tuesday | 8 of My Favorite Music Artists

Top Ten Tuesday Photo Banner


Hello everyone! It’s that time of the week again! Top Ten Tuesday is a book meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Basically, you get a different bookish topic every Tuesday, and you comprise a list of ten (or however many you’re able to list) relating to said topic.

This week’s topic is an audio freebie, which basically means that you can do anything related to audio, such as favorite audiobooks, favorite albums, favorite songs etcetera. I decided to showcase some of my top artists because I don’t often talk about music on my blog, and it’s an integral part of my life. Many of these bands have been there for me in the darkest days of my life. You’ll definitely notice that the most prominent music I listen to is alternative rock, but you’ll see some outliers here and there. So, here we go!


Linkin Park

In all honesty, if I was being totally objective and judging solely on musical quality, Linkin Park would probably not top the list. I feel like a traitor for simply saying something like that. But despite that little preface, I can never imagine having a different answer to the question of what my favorite band is. I’ve been listening to Linkin Park since I was a chubby middle-schooler (so, 2006 if you want a date). I was extremely shy, and I had just lost a family member who I was extremely close to. It was a dark, dark period of my life where I didn’t have many friends, and I felt like I couldn’t lean on my parents because I felt they had enough to worry about. A cousin of mine introduced me to their music, and that eleven-year old girl fell in love with their songs.

Even now, after ten years, their music speaks to me like nobody else’s. Their old stuff is a little too heavy for my taste now- I used to listen to hard, heavy rock and have since started listening to softer stuff, but I still resonate with all their music. Tell me a lyric, and I can tell you the song in two seconds. I kid you not: my best friend used to throw a random LP lyric at me, and I would name it in the blink of an eye. It’s still like that, and it will probably never change. At the risk of sounding cheesy and over-the-top emotional, I probably would not be who I am if it were not for this band. And for that, I am eternally grateful.

Favorite Album: Minutes to Midnight on Amazon

Kings of Leon

If I were judging solely on music quality, Kings of Leon would probably top the list. Their stuff is so unique, and it’s another band that I’ve been listening to for a pretty long time. They were also the first concert I ever attended. I love the gritty, southern quality of the lead singer’s voice. Their lyrics are a little difficult to resonate with, but I enjoy the narrative, quirky quality to them. I guess I don’t have too strong of an emotional bond, but I keep going back to their music – whether that’s their older, heavier stuff or their newer, more mellow tracks. Every couple of months, I go back and listen to all their albums. Also, they are INCREDIBLE live. I cannot stress how good they are.

Favorite Album: Only By the Night on Amazon

Hozier

Hozier came into my life two years ago, and has since completely taken over it with his debut album alone. His songs are very literally poetry. I love the quality of his voice, and his music is incredibly complex but I take such an immense amount of pleasure in analyzing, breaking apart and hanging on to his lyrics. He also touches on some very important issues in his songs that don’t necessarily relate to him, but are important to him nonetheless. “Take Me to Church” is about the relationship between church and sexuality (particularly based on Russia), and Hozier is not gay. “Cherry Wine” is about an abusive relationship where the female is the abuser (in the video, the male is the abuser), but Hozier has not gone through that. “To Be Alone” is about heroin addiction, and he’s not an addict. So his lyrics are both profound and incredibly important. He’s going to go a long, long way.

Album: Hozier on Amazon

Zayn

Ha, have you found the outlier? Don’t roll your eyes at me, you knew it was coming. Or maybe you didn’t if you don’t follow me on Twitter…

I was never a One Direction fan, honestly. I don’t love pop music- I listen to it when I’m with friends or in the mood for an uplift but it’s not something I keep in my library, it’s not something I particularly remember. I would be lying if I said I didn’t set my sights on Zayn because 1) he’s ridiculously beautiful and 2) he’s half-Pakistani. But then, he released his first record and it blew me away. It has a certain sort of maturity to it that I had never seen from him before. Is he the best RnB singer out there? No. Does he make the best music? Absolutely not. But you know what he does do? Integrate parts of my and his culture into his music, which gives me the ability to see myself represented in his crazy riffs (or raags as well call it in the Indian subcontinent), in some of his lyrics, in some of his tunes. Don’t tell me that representation is not important when I cried listening to a song sang in my mother tongue on a record-breaking album. It just meant so much to me. And more than that, his music is good. I listen to it all the time, and I’m constantly wanting more. So, yeah, he makes the list.

Album: Mind of Mine on Amazon

Coldplay

What can I say? This is another band that I’ve been listening to since I was a kid, and a band that never gets old. To be completely honest, I don’t like their new stuff. It has a completely different sound from when I started listening to their songs, but I’m not going to complain. Change is good- I just didn’t like it this time around. Chris Martin has such a beautiful voice, and they’re consistently doing something new. They were revolutionary then, they probably are even now. And I dig that.

Favorite Album: X & Y on Amazon

OneRepublic

Very similar to what I had to say about Coldplay. I loved, loved their old stuff much more than their newer sound, but I still like their new stuff. The only reason it’s ranked below Coldplay is because I just enjoyed Coldplay’s old material more than I liked OneRepublic’s. It’s stupid- I’m anal with rankings. My dad is actually in love with OneRepublic too, so he lets me play them in the car, ha.

Favorite Album: Dreaming Out Loud on Amazon

Brand New

Okay, so this is a band many, many people have never heard of. Brand New? That’s a stupid fucking name. It’s true. But I’ve been listening to Brand New since even before I started listening to Linkin Park. The first time I encountered this band was when I moved to London, and a cousin handed me their debut CD- this was 2004, maybe. And I fell in love with one song- a song I listened to on a loop for a good four months, ha. When I grew older, I decided to give their stuff another go – by that time, they had released more albums and I just… they’re so underrated. They’re so, so good. Their music’s a little bit on the heavier side, but it’s raw and emotional, and the lyrics are puzzles that I love to piece together. Check them out, please!

Favorite Album: Deja Entendu on Amazon

Imagine Dragons

This is another outlier, sort of. I know their stuff is a lot more pop-rock than alternative, but they had to be in the list because they make some catchy-ass music. I’ve seen them live too, and they know how to perform a killer gig. I quite like their latest album (Smoke + Mirrors), but I don’t think it gets the love it should so I’m including my favorite song.

Favorite Album: Night Visions on Amazon

That’s it for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday! What are some of your favorite bands? Do we share music tastes? Let me know in the comments below; as always, thanks for stopping by and happy reading! 🙂

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Diversity Spotlight Thursday | #5

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

A Little LifeA Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

“When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they’re broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their center of gravity. Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he’ll not only be unable to overcome—but that will define his life forever.

I’ve spoken about this novel a few times recently. When I went into this massive brick, I hadn’t expected it to have such a diverse cast of characters; we have several characters of color, several LGBTQ+ characters, and the protagonist is disabled in the way that he has problems with his legs after an accident left them severely impaired, as well as suffering from mental illness. I love this book- the characters are some of the most well-developed characters I’ve ever read, and the writing is just gorgeous.


Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository | Barnes & Noble

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7261699Eon by Alison Goodman

“For years, Eon’s life has been focused on magical study and sword-work, with one goal: that he be chosen as a Dragoneye, an apprentice to one of the twelve energy dragons of good fortune.

But Eon has a dangerous secret. He is actually Eona, a sixteen-year-old girl who has been masquerading as a twelve-year-old boy. Females are forbidden to use Dragon Magic; if anyone discovers she has been hiding in plain sight, her death is assured.

When Eon’s secret threatens to come to light, she and her allies are plunged into grave danger and a deadly struggle for the Imperial throne. Eon must find the strength and inner power to battle those who want to take her magic… and her life.

I’ve heard really wonderful things about this series, and although I haven’t looked into it enough to fully know what it’s about, I’m still extremely excited to give it a go! Also, that cover is one of the coolest fantasy covers I’ve seen around!


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coming soon

28114515The Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang

“Charles Wang is mad at America. A brash, lovable immigrant businessman who built a cosmetics empire and made a fortune, he’s just been ruined by the financial crisis. Now all Charles wants is to get his kids safely stowed away so that he can go to China and attempt to reclaim his family’s ancestral lands—and his pride.

Charles pulls Andrew, his aspiring comedian son, and Grace, his style-obsessed daughter, out of schools he can no longer afford. Together with their stepmother, Barbra, they embark on a cross-country road trip from their foreclosed Bel-Air home to the upstate New York hideout of the eldest daughter, disgraced art world it-girl Saina. But with his son waylaid by a temptress in New Orleans, his wife ready to defect for a set of 1,000-thread-count sheets, and an epic smash-up in North Carolina, Charles may have to choose between the old world and the new, between keeping his family intact and finally fulfilling his dream of starting anew in China.

I have this book on my Netgalley shelf, and the few reviews I’ve read have raved about this book. During the fall, I tend to like darker reads but look for lighter, faster reads in between, so I feel that this will be the perfect book to fulfill those cravings.

This book releases on October 4th.


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Diversity Spotlight Thursday Posts from Around the Blogosphere:

Monique @ That Wild Soul | Eliana @ The Written Opinion | M @ A Blog of One’s Own | M. L. Ventura @ Unspoken | Salsera @ Salsera Beauty Reads | Eliza @ DuskAngelReads | Nagina @ Oh Bookish | Shouni @ Through the Book Portal

Top Ten Tuesday | Books on my TBR since Before I Started Blogging

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Hello everyone! It’s that time of the week again! Top Ten Tuesday is a book meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Basically, you get a different bookish topic every Tuesday, and you comprise a list of ten (or however many you’re able to list) relating to said topic.

This week’s topic is “Ten Books that Have Been on Your TBR Since Before You Started Blogging.” I’ve been blogging for over a year and a half now, and I’m ashamed at how many books I have on my Goodreads to-read shelf that I still haven’t read. Granted, I’ve managed to get some of them off my shelf this year, but I still have way too many.


Tess of the D’urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

I think Thomas Hardy is my favorite classics’ author, not that I have read many but still. I’ve read two books by him: Far From the Madding Crowd and The Mayor of Casterbridge. Tess is perhaps his most famous ones, and it’s been on my shelf for a good three years now. I can’t believe I still haven’t gotten to it but perhaps this year will be it.


Goodreads | Amazon

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

I’ve read The Kite Runner by Hosseini, and it’s a book that has stuck with me ever since I read it many, many years ago. Hosseini has since released two other books, both of which have gotten high praise. I’ve been eyeballing them for so long!


Goodreads | Amazon

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Honestly, this book ended up on my TBR when I was working at Barnes & Noble and I saw its new, bright red cover and fell in love with it. Then when I read the blurb and realized that it’s a modern classic – I knew I had to read it. And I do, but I still haven’t. >.>


Goodreads | Amazon

My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult

Another author whose work I have read and enjoyed. Nineteen Minutes is most definitely my favorite book on school shootings, and I know Picoult can handle sensitive, heart-breaking topics with poise. But I know this book is a hard one to digest, so I still haven’t gotten to it. Hopefully soon…


Goodreads | Amazon

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

I bought this book the day it was released. Started reading the first chapter, was so shocked by the drastic shift in writing from the Harry Potter series that I stopped. Never picked it up again. But ever since I’ve read and LOVED The Cormoran Strike series, I think I’ll give this one a go.


Goodreads | Amazon

The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien

I’ve tried reading this a few times, but I think I was too young to fully appreciate the vivid world-building. I love the movies – they’re some of my favorites of all-time, and I’m certain that I’ll love the books too. I just need to gather the courage and give them another chance.


Goodreads | Amazon

Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple

Honestly, this book made it onto my TBR because it has a sick cover. Added bonus that it was all anyone was talking about in late 2013, or early 2014.


Goodreads | Amazon

The Child Thief by Brom

This book is about an evil Peter Pan who steals boys. It sounds freaking awesome, and it has illustrations and is a favorite among fantasy-lovers. I’ve been interested in this for a long time, but I made the mistake of reading another book by the same author- and I wasn’t crazy about it. Which is why I’ve been putting off reading this. But I do plan on picking it up!


Goodreads | Amazon

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

Finished series are such a commitment. Something tells me I should read Passenger by Bracken before this one, but then I think that I already own a copy of the first book, and if I dislike Passenger, I won’t want to read it. It’s all very messy. #FirstWorldProblems


Goodreads | Amazon

Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

Palahniuk’s books have some of the most interesting covers, which I realized when I used to shelve them while working at B&N. But Fight Club is the only one that’s really pulled me in, and since everyone I trust loves either the book or the movie, I need to get to it like yesterday.


Goodreads | Amazon

That’s it for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday! Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? Let me know in the comments below; as always, thanks for stopping by and happy reading! 🙂

Connect with me elsewhere:
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Diversity Spotlight Thursday: #2

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

28818317Every 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. 😛


Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository | Barnes & Noble

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18376070If 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.


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coming soon
27969081Labyrinth 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.


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Diversity Spotlight Thursday Posts from around the Blogosphere:

Esther @ Chapter Adventures | Monique @ That Wild Soul | Megan @ bookslayer | Eliana @ The Written Opinion | Estefani @ Fiction Jungle

Blog Meme Announcement: Diversity Spotlight Thursday

DIVERSE SPOTLIGHT


Background


So, a few days ago, I decided that I didn’t want to participate in both Top Ten Tuesday and Top Five Wednesday. It just seems a little much to me- compiling 15-item lists every single week. I find myself repeating a lot of the answers and I just wasn’t having fun. But I also knew that I wanted to have at least two blog memes in a given week- no more, no less. Top Ten Tuesday is too much fun to give up, so I needed a replacement for T5W. I know there are so many fantastic memes out there, but I decided to create my own: a weekly spotlight that illuminates diverse literature specifically.

If you’re active in the bookish community, you’re probably aware of the “We Need Diverse Books” movement. It’s so incredibly important that stories with diverse characters as leads are emphasized. For young children and young adults to read literature and see their cultures, their values, themselves reflected in what they are reading. We have been programmed to read about a character and automatically assume they are able-bodied, cisgender, heterosexual and Caucasian. And the vast majority of literature, specifically YA literature, features these characters. When in truth, people of all colors, faiths, ethnicities, sexualities exist and are just as important and interesting as anyone else. And they are just not represented to their fullest in literature.

But perhaps even more than that, I think it is incredibly important to feature diverse authors. Authors who are not Caucasian and are writing about their cultures: like Junot Díaz writes about his culture, like Jhumpa Lahiri writes about hers. It is important to give these authors a spotlight so that their work can also be brought to the forefront. Their own voices are more accurate and more sensitive- they let us step into their shoes and think about their work from a less objective point of view.

I’ve also noticed that a lot of people have come to expect every single author out there to include diverse characters in their casts, which is wonderful if they do, but these authors are bashed if they do not. The readers who bash them are generally those readers who only pick up the most talked-about books and do not make an effort to read diverse literature. If you are a proponent of diverse literature, you have to go outside your box and read those books that are less popular. It is up to you to read these books and give them the spotlight they deserve. Practice what you preach. 

Just a little note: while I know that many of my readers mostly read young adult literature, I will try my best to give you a more diverse range of genres in these posts. Since this meme is focused on diversity, I will try to include many different genres, including adult fiction. There are so many fantastic, international writers out there who do not write in the YA genre, and their stories are often overlooked by younger readers. These stories are full of multiculturalism, of hard-hitting experiences told with poignance and sensitivity. It’s so important that if you are a proponent of diverse literature, you need to read diversely as well.


What the Meme Will Consist Of


Diversity Spotlight will take place every Thursday, and it will be featuring three books in any given week:

  1. A diverse book you have read and enjoyed
  2. A diverse book that has already been released but you have not read
  3. A diverse book that has not yet been released

Talking about a book that you have read and enjoyed may give your readers a push to read it, and you have done something in spreading love for a diverse book. Talking about a book that you want to read may help readers of your blog tell you more about the book if they have read it, thus giving you a push to pick it up sooner than you otherwise would have. And finally, talking about an unreleased diverse book will hopefully help the book get some buzz before it hits the shelves.


Rules


I don’t require anything, but if you decide to participate, here are a few things that would be much, much appreciated.

  • In all your posts, if you could give a brief description of what the meme is and who hosts it (linking it to this post so new bloggers can get all the background and the intention behind the meme), that would be MUCH appreciated. But again, not required.
  • Feel free to use the banner above. No need to credit!
  • Please also feel free to leave your links in the comment section of my posts. That way, I can keep up with everyone participating while also adding more and more diverse literature to my TBR. 🙂
  • You can use the hashtag #DiversityThursday to feature your posts on other social media platforms
  • Have fun!

I don’t expect anything great from this meme or anything. It’s more for me than anything else, to talk about something that I’m passionate about. My first post will be up tomorrow. Until then, thank you for stopping by and happy reading! <3

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