Diversity Thursday

Diversity Spotlight Thursday | #7

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

every last wordEvery Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

“Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can’t turn off.

Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn’t help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she’d be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam’s weekly visits to her psychiatrist.

Caroline introduces Sam to Poet’s Corner, a hidden room and a tight-knit group of misfits who have been ignored by the school at large. Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself. Slowly, she begins to feel more “normal” than she ever has as part of the popular crowd . . . until she finds a new reason to question her sanity and all she holds dear.

I was looking through all my DST posts, and I realized that I hadn’t yet featured a book with a protagonist who has a mental illness. I’m studying Psychology in school, and I’m very passionate about how mental illness is portrayed in books. I think Stone did a wonderful job of depicting Samantha’s OCD; apart from being a good portrayal, it was a wholesome novel with strong friendships, a cute romance and strong family dynamics.


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more happy than notMore Happy than Not by Adam Silvera

In the months after his father’s suicide, it’s been tough for 16-year-old Aaron Soto to find happiness again–but he’s still gunning for it. With the support of his girlfriend Genevieve and his overworked mom, he’s slowly remembering what that might feel like. But grief and the smile-shaped scar on his wrist prevent him from forgetting completely.

When Genevieve leaves for a couple of weeks, Aaron spends all his time hanging out with this new guy, Thomas. Aaron’s crew notices, and they’re not exactly thrilled. But Aaron can’t deny the happiness Thomas brings or how Thomas makes him feel safe from himself, despite the tensions their friendship is stirring with his girlfriend and friends. Since Aaron can’t stay away from Thomas or turn off his newfound feelings for him, he considers turning to the Leteo Institute’s revolutionary memory-alteration procedure to straighten himself out, even if it means forgetting who he truly is.

Why does happiness have to be so hard?

Ha, I honestly cannot believe that I still haven’t read this book. I remember I was waiting for the hype to die down when it first came out, but now the hype’s kind of gone and I still haven’t seen anything but glowing reviews. I love Adam Silvera’s personality on social media, and this book sounds profound and heartbreaking, and just something up my ally. Really need to get to it soon!


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coming soon

always and forever lara jeanAlways and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before #3) by Jenny Han

“Lara Jean is having the best senior year a girl could ever hope for. She is head over heels in love with her boyfriend, Peter; her dad’s finally getting remarried to their next door neighbor, Ms. Rothschild; and Margot’s coming home for the summer just in time for the wedding.

But change is looming on the horizon. And while Lara Jean is having fun and keeping busy helping plan her father’s wedding, she can’t ignore the big life decisions she has to make. Most pressingly, where she wants to go to college and what that means for her relationship with Peter. She watched her sister Margot go through these growing pains. Now Lara Jean’s the one who’ll be graduating high school and leaving for college and leaving her family—and possibly the boy she loves—behind.

When your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?

I really loved the first book in this trilogy- the second one not so much, but I liked it enough to want to continue reading. I love Jenny Han’s portrayal of tight-knit families. The protagonist is biracial, and I enjoy seeing Jenny Han’s depictions of Korean culture. A little nervous about what is in store for Lara Jean and Peter, but excited nonetheless. 🙂

This book releases on April 4th 2017.


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Diversity Spotlight Thursday Posts from Across the Blogosphere

Nagina @ ohbookish | Kee @ Kee the Reader | Charlotte @ cahwrites | Diana @ A Haven for Book Lovers | Codie @ Reader’s Anonymous | Alexandra @ Salsera Beauty Reads | Esther @ Chapter Adventures | Sarah @ Reviews and Read-a-Thons | M @ A Blog of One’s Own | Meep @ Book 7

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.


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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

Diversity Spotlight Thursday: #4

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

persepolisPersepolis by Marjane Satrapi

“Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi’s memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, Satrapi tells the story of her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah’s regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq. The intelligent and outspoken only child of committed Marxists and the great-granddaughter of one of Iran’s last emperors, Marjane bears witness to a childhood uniquely entwined with the history of her country. 

Persepolis paints an unforgettable portrait of daily life in Iran and of the bewildering contradictions between home life and public life. Marjane’s child’s-eye view of dethroned emperors, state-sanctioned whippings, and heroes of the revolution allows us to learn as she does the history of this fascinating country and of her own extraordinary family.”

I read Persepolis a couple of months ago, and it completely blew me away. As someone who wasn’t familiar with Iranian culture and history, this graphic novel was an eye-opening experience into a country whose issues have been brushed aside because they are unglamorous or uncomfortable. It’s interesting how vastly different two Islamic societies can be. I have lived most of my life in Pakistan which is basically an Islamic country, but vastly different from Iran. Persepolis is tragic and memorable, and a book that everyone needs to read because it is true.


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the immortal rulesThe Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

“Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a walled-in city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten. Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them—the vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself dies and becomes one of the monsters.

Forced to flee her city, Allie must pass for human as she joins a ragged group of pilgrims seeking a legend—a place that might have a cure for the disease that killed off most of civilization and created the rabids, the bloodthirsty creatures who threaten human and vampire alike. And soon Allie will have to decide what and who is worth dying for…again.”

I’ve heard nothing but fantastic things about this series, and although I’d like to read her other series first, I have to be honest and say that this one just intrigues me more. A kick-ass Asian character who fights with a katana? That just sounds freaking awesome.


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coming soon
Tell the truth, shame the devilTell The Truth, Shame the Devil by Melina Marchetta

“Chief Inspector Bish Ortley of the London Met, divorced and still grieving the death of his son, has been drowning his anger in Scotch. Something has to give, and he’s no sooner suspended from the force than a busload of British students is subject to a deadly bomb attack across the Channel. Bish’s daughter is one of those on board.

Also on the bus is Violette LeBrac. Raised in Australia, Violette has a troubled background. Thirteen years ago her grandfather bombed a London supermarket, killing dozens of people. Her mother, Noor, is serving a life sentence in connection with the incident. But before Violette’s part in the French tragedy can be established, she disappears. Bish, who was involved in Noor LeBrac’s arrest, is now compelled to question everything that happened back then. And the more he delves into the lives of the family he helped put away, the more he realises that truth wears many colours.”

I think Melina Marchetta is one of the most talented authors out there. Although I’ve only read one of her books, it’s one that has stayed with me. I believe this book has a lesbian character, and Muslim main characters who are part-Egyptian. I’m looking forward to a story where people of color aren’t treated as “other,” where their stories are integrated seamlessly into the narrative. Also, I love thrillers.

This book has been released in the UK and Australia, releases on October 11th in the US


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Diversity Spotlight Thursday Posts from Around the Blogosphere:

Monique @ That Wild Soul | Clemi @ Clemi’s Bookish World | Eliza @ DuskAngelReads | Lilly @ LairofBooksBlog | Alexandra @ Salsera Beauty Reads | Esther @ Chapter Adventures | Eliana @ The Written Opinion | Amber @ BookStacksAmber

Diversity Spotlight Thursday: #3

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

eltyEverything Leads to You by Nina LaCour

“Emi is a film buff and a true romantic, but her real-life relationships are a mess. She has desperately gone back to the same girl too many times to mention. But then a mysterious letter from a silver screen legend leads Emi to Ava. Ava is unlike anyone Emi has ever met. She has a tumultuous, not-so-glamorous past, and lives an unconventional life. She’s enigmatic…. She’s beautiful. And she is about to expand Emi’s understanding of family, acceptance, and true romance.”

I haven’t read many LGBTQ books that don’t revolve around a character’s ‘coming out.’ This book is about one girl’s career, and her search for true love without it being about her sexuality- something that I hadn’t come across before. I really enjoyed Everything Leads to You. I’m not the biggest fan of contemporaries, but I loved how light it was without it being gimicky. It touched on important topics without seeming heavy-handed, and I really liked the backdrop of film sets and Los Angeles, in general.


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If I Was Your GirlIf I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo

“Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school in Lambertville, Tennessee. Like any other girl, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is keeping a secret. There’s a reason why she transferred schools for her senior year, and why she’s determined not to get too close to anyone. And then she meets Grant Everett. Grant is unlike anyone she’s ever met—open, honest, kind—and Amanda can’t help but start to let him into her life. As they spend more time together, she finds herself yearning to share with Grant everything about herself…including her past. But she’s terrified that once she tells Grant the truth, he won’t be able to see past it. Because the secret that Amanda’s been keeping? It’s that she used to be Andrew.”

I own a copy of this book, and I can’t wait to get into it. I haven’t read a book revolving around a transgender character before, and because I know this is an #OwnVoices book, I’m very, very excited to read it.


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coming soon
22082082Our Own Private Universe by Robin Talley

“Fifteen-year-old Aki Hunter knows she’s bisexual, but up until now she’s only dated guys—and her best friend, Lori, is the only person she’s out to. When she and Lori set off on a four-week youth-group mission trip in a small Mexican town, it never crosses Aki’s mind that there might be anyone in the group she’d be interested in dating. But that all goes out the window when Aki meets Christa.”

This week’s post seems to be all about “I’ve nevers.” I’ve never read a book centering around a bisexual protagonist, so I’m very interested in reading this. I know Robin Talley’s other book has gotten rave reviews in the past, which also involves LGBTQ elements, so I’m very excited to see what she has in store for me. I still have a long way to go before I can read this, but I have my antennas alert. Also, look how cute the cover is. >.<

This book releases on January 31st 2017.


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Diversity Spotlight Thursday Posts from Around the Blogosphere:

Monique @ That Wild Soul | Clémence @ Clemi’s Bookish World | Eliza @ DuskAngelReads | Nagina @ Oh Bookish | Courtney @ A Wonderland of Books | Eliana @ The Written Opinion | Megan @ bookslayer Reads | Estefani @ Fiction Jungle

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. 😛


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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

Diversity Spotlight Thursday: #1

DIVERSE SPOTLIGHT


Hello, everyone! Welcome to the first ever Diversity Spotlight post!
Diversity Spotlight Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by yours truly, and its aim is to shed light on diverse literature. 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!

READ

220px-aristotle_and_dante_discover_the_secrets_of_the_universe_coverAristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz | PoC Protagonists, M/M pairing

“Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.”

Ari & Dante is a wonderful tale of two friends. Our protagonists are both Mexican-Americans whose relationships with each other bloom from friendship into something much stronger. I am not going to sit here and exclaim that I know much about Latinx culture, but from what I have observed from experience and, let’s say TV, I have a strong feeling that family is prioritized a lot in Latinx culture. And that becomes obvious in this novel as adults and family play a huge role in our characters’ lives. It was a wonderful look into a culture I was not familiar with at the time, yet something I felt a part of. In my culture, family is considered the most important thing: South Asian families are very close-knit. I always feel a disconnect in books where parents are absent or simply indifferent; seeing reflections of my own culture in Ari & Dante was wonderful.


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Written in the StarsWritten in the Stars by Aisha Saeed | PoC protagonist, set in a foreign country

“Naila’s conservative immigrant parents have always said the same thing: She may choose what to study, how to wear her hair, and what to be when she grows up—but they will choose her husband. Following their cultural tradition, they will plan an arranged marriage for her. And until then, dating—even friendship with a boy—is forbidden. When Naila breaks their rule by falling in love with Saif, her parents are livid. Convinced she has forgotten who she truly is, they travel to Pakistan to visit relatives and explore their roots. But Naila’s vacation turns into a nightmare when she learns that plans have changed—her parents have found her a husband and they want her to marry him, now! Despite her greatest efforts, Naila is aghast to find herself cut off from everything and everyone she once knew. Her only hope of escape is Saif . . . if he can find her before it’s too late.”

As a Pakistani myself, I can relate to cultural constraints – but not from my parents. Arranged marriage is a common practice in Pakistan, and I know it’s often looked down upon in Western societies, but I have always held the belief that if both the boy and the girl are willing to have an arranged marriage, there is no harm. My parents did not engage in an arranged marriage, and they do not expect me to do so, but I have friends and family who feel pressured by their families and societal structure to have an arranged marriage, even though they do not want to. I have never read a YA book that has a Pakistani protagonist, so I’m very excited to read this. I am sure Aisha Saeed did the complicated themes and the complex state of the country justice.


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coming soon

into whiteInto White by Randi Pink | PoC Protagonist

“When a black teenager prays to be white and her wish comes true, her journey of self-discovery takes shocking–and often hilarious–twists and turns in this debut that people are sure to talk about. LaToya Williams lives in Birmingham, Alabama, and attends a mostly white high school. She’s so low on the social ladder that even the other black kids disrespect her. Only her older brother, Alex, believes in her. At least, until a higher power answers her only prayer–to be “anything but black.” And voila! She wakes up with blond hair, blue eyes, and lily white skin. And then the real fun begins…”

When I first heard about this book, I was a little apprehensive. This could go so wrong or so right- I don’t think there can be an in-between. But with recent emphasis being put on exploring the meaning, responsibilities and consequences of privilege, I definitely think this story will be one worth reading. I’m sure Randi Pink will explore the topic with honesty; and in this moment where we are having important conversations, it is crucial that we listen to people writing with honesty. Into White has great reviews from people who have obtained ARCs, and it’s definitely a book I am on the lookout for.


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Alright, that’s it for my first ever Diversity Spotlight post. Let me know if you’ve read any of these books and what you thought of them. If you decide to participate, please feel free to leave a link to your post below so I can check it out and maybe give it a share! As always, thank you for stopping by, and happy reading!

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This Week’s #DiversityThursday Posts from around the Blogosphere


Eliana @ The Written Opinion | Estefani @ Fiction Jungle | Megan @ bookslayerReads

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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