Diversity Spotlight Thursday (#4)

diversity-spotlight

Diversity Spotlight Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by the wonderful Aimal @ Bookshelves and Paperbacks. 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.

~O~o~O~o~O~

A BOOK I HAVE READ

22521951“Lies We Tell Ourselves” by Robin Talley

“In 1959 Virginia, the lives of two girls on opposite sides of the battle for civil rights will be changed forever.

Sarah Dunbar is one of the first black students to attend the previously all-white Jefferson High School. An honors student at her old school, she is put into remedial classes, spit on and tormented daily.

Linda Hairston is the daughter of one of the town’s most vocal opponents of school integration. She has been taught all her life that the races should be kept separate but equal.

Forced to work together on a school project, Sarah and Linda must confront harsh truths about race, power and how they really feel about one another.

Boldly realistic and emotionally compelling, Lies We Tell Ourselves is a brave and stunning novel about finding truth amid the lies, and finding your voice even when others are determined to silence it.”

Goodreads Link

I talk about this book a lot but somehow it still isn’t enough. I’m not someone who usually reads historical fiction but I think everyone should read this book, or at least try it. Lies We Tell Ourselves follows two girls right after the court case of Brown v. the Board of Education that desegregated schools. Sarah is one of the first black kids sent to a former all white school, Linda is the daughter of one of the most vocal opponents of desegregation. The girls also develop feelings for each other so the novel also focuses on what it meant in that time to not only develop feelings for someone of another race but also of the same sex.

~O~o~O~o~O~

A BOOK ON MY TBR

22521951“Girl in Translation” by Jean Kwok

“When Kimberly Chang and her mother emigrate from Hong Kong to Brooklyn squalor, she quickly begins a secret double life: exceptional schoolgirl during the day, Chinatown sweatshop worker in the evenings. Disguising the more difficult truths of her life like the staggering degree of her poverty, the weight of her family’s future resting on her shoulders, or her secret love for a factory boy who shares none of her talent or ambition. Kimberly learns to constantly translate not just her language but herself back and forth between the worlds she straddles.

Through Kimberly’s story, author Jean Kwok, who also emigrated from Hong Kong as a young girl, brings to the page the lives of countless immigrants who are caught between the pressure to succeed in America, their duty to their family, and their own personal desires, exposing a world that we rarely hear about.

Written in an indelible voice that dramatizes the tensions of an immigrant girl growing up between two cultures, surrounded by a language and world only half understood, Girl in Translation is an unforgettable and classic novel of an American immigrant-a moving tale of hardship and triumph, heartbreak and love, and all that gets lost in translation.”

Goodreads Link

The premise of this book caught my eye. I know how hard immigrating to America can be, especially if you’re older and have to start to work in a country you barely know. And I’m also going to try to read more cultural contemporary and this seems like a good place to start.

~O~o~O~o~O~

A BOOK RELEASING SOON

22521951“Iron Cast” by Destiny Soria

“It’s Boston, 1919, and the Cast Iron club is packed. On stage, hemopaths—whose “afflicted” blood gives them the ability to create illusions through art—captivate their audience. Corinne and Ada have been best friends ever since infamous gangster Johnny Dervish recruited them into his circle. By night they perform for Johnny’s crowds, and by day they con Boston’s elite. When a job goes wrong and Ada is imprisoned, they realize how precarious their position is. After she escapes, two of the Cast Iron’s hires are shot, and Johnny disappears. With the law closing in, Corinne and Ada are forced to hunt for answers, even as betrayal faces them at every turn.”

Release Date: October 11, 2016 | Goodreads Link

Ooo, a diverse historical Fantasy! I’m so in. Other than the summary and the fact that one of the main characters is biracial, I don’t know much about this book.

~O~o~O~o~O~

Diversity Spotlight Thursday (#3)

diversity-spotlight

Diversity Spotlight Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by the wonderful Aimal @ Bookshelves and Paperbacks. 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.

~O~o~O~o~O~

A BOOK I HAVE READ

22521951“Kids of Appetite” by David Arnold

Victor Benucci and Madeline Falco have a story to tell.
It begins with the death of Vic’s father.
It ends with the murder of Mad’s uncle.
The Hackensack Police Department would very much like to hear it.
But in order to tell their story, Vic and Mad must focus on all the chapters in between.

This is a story about:

1. A coded mission to scatter ashes across New Jersey.
2. The momentous nature of the Palisades in winter.
3. One dormant submarine.
4. Two songs about flowers.
5. Being cool in the traditional sense.
6. Sunsets & ice cream & orchards & graveyards.
7. Simultaneous extreme opposites.
8. A narrow escape from a war-torn country.
9. A story collector.
10. How to listen to someone who does not talk.
11. Falling in love with a painting.
12. Falling in love with a song.
13. Falling in love.

Goodreads Link

I just finished this incredible book about a gang of fiercely loyal friends who support and protect each other. The main character, Victor Benucci has Moebus Syndrome which is a rare neurological disease that causes facial paralysis. This book touches on what it means to be different in our society. It also deals with racism and how real the issue of racism still is without directly mentioning it.

~O~o~O~o~O~

A BOOK ON MY TBR

22521951“When 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.”

Goodreads Link

I recently found out about this book while blog hopping and it immediately caught my eye. Magical realism, multicultural AND LGBT characters? I’m sold! And the cover is also beautiful.

~O~o~O~o~O~

A BOOK RELEASING SOON

A BOOK ON MY TBR

22521951“The Upside of Unrequited” by Becky Albetralli

“I don’t entirely understand how anyone gets a boyfriend. Or a girlfriend. It just seems like the most impossible odds. You have to have a crush on the exact right person at the exact right moment. And they have to like you back.”

What does a sixteen-year-old girl have to do to kiss a boy? Molly Peskin-Suso wishes she knew. She’s crushed on twenty-six guys…but has kissed exactly none. Her twin sister Cassie’s advice to “just go for it” and “take a risk” isn’t that helpful. It’s easy for her to say: she’s had flings with lots of girls. She’s fearless and effortlessly svelte, while Molly is introverted and what their grandma calls zaftig.

Then Cassie meets Mina, and for the first time ever, Cassie is falling in love. While Molly is happy for her twin, she can’t help but feel lonelier than ever. But Cassie and Mina are determined to end Molly’s string of unrequited crushes once and for all. They decide to set her up with Mina’s friend Will, who is ridiculously good-looking, flirty, and seems to be into Molly. Perfect, right? But as Molly spends more time with Reid, her cute, nerdy co-worker, her feelings get all kinds of complicated. Now she has to decide whether to follow everyone’s advice…or follow her own heart. “

Release Date: April 11th, 2017 | Goodreads Link

After the wonderful Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, Becky Albetralli will be back with another diverse YA contemporary. I loved Simon so I’m very excited for her next book.

~O~o~O~o~O~

Diversity Spotlight Thursday (#2)

diversity-spotlight

Diversity Spotlight Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by the wonderful Aimal @ Bookshelves and Paperbacks. 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.

~O~o~O~o~O~

A BOOK I HAVE READ

18367581“Afterworlds” by Scott Westerfield

Darcy Patel has put college and everything else on hold to publish her teen novel, Afterworlds. Arriving in New York with no apartment or friends she wonders whether she’s made the right decision until she falls in with a crowd of other seasoned and fledgling writers who take her under their wings…

Told in alternating chapters is Darcy’s novel, a suspenseful thriller about Lizzie, a teen who slips into the ‘Afterworld’ to survive a terrorist attack. But the Afterworld is a place between the living and the dead and as Lizzie drifts between our world and that of the Afterworld, she discovers that many unsolved – and terrifying – stories need to be reconciled. And when a new threat resurfaces, Lizzie learns her special gifts may not be enough to protect those she loves and cares about most.

Goodreads Link

Although I didn’t LOVE this book, I liked it a lot. This one is diverse in two ways. Darcy Patel is a person of color, she’s a young Indian-American who had just gotten her first book published. This book also includes LGBT+ characters (including Darcy). I also love the concept of it, Darcy’s story is a contemporary while every other chapter is Darcy’s novel which is kind of a supernatural romance.

~O~o~O~o~O~

A BOOK ON MY TBR

930“Memoirs of a Geisha: by Arthur Golden

A literary sensation and runaway bestseller, this brilliant debut novel presents with seamless authenticity and exquisite lyricism the true confessions of one of Japan’s most celebrated geisha.

In Memoirs of a Geisha, we enter a world where appearances are paramount; where a girl’s virginity is auctioned to the highest bidder; where women are trained to beguile the most powerful men; and where love is scorned as illusion. It is a unique and triumphant work of fiction – at once romantic, erotic, suspenseful – and completely unforgettable.

Goodreads Link

I heard about this book fairly recently (one of my friends showed me the trailer of the movie and I saw that it was based on a book) and the concept sounded too interesting to resist. I believe this book takes place in Japan and is a good introduction to Japanese culture (correct me if I’m wrong).

~O~o~O~o~O~

A BOOK RELEASING SOON

“The 28763485Sun is Also a Star” by Nicola Yoon

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?

Release Date: November 1st, 2016 | Goodreads Link

I was actually lucky enough to read the ARC copy of this beautiful book and it was one of the best contemporary romances I have read in a long time. Natasha is an undocumented Jamaican immigrant who is set to be deported and Daniel is a first generation Korean-American struggling to juggle his parents’ expectations with the person he wants to be.

~O~o~O~o~O~

Any thoughts on these books? Have you read or planning to read any of these?

Diversity Spotlight Thursday

I haven’t posted in FOREVER and I thought, hey, why not start posting a meme to motivate me to post more often? I saw this meme a while ago and I’ve been wanting to start so here we go. diversity-spotlight

Diversity Spotlight Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by the wonderful Aimal @ Bookshelves and Paperbacks. 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.

~O~o~O~o~O~

A BOOK I HAVE READ

22521951“Written in the Stars” by Aisha Saeed

“This heart-wrenching novel explores what it is like to be thrust into an unwanted marriage. Has Naila’s fate been written in the stars? Or can she still make her own destiny?

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.”

Goodreads Link

I absolutely loved this book. Naila is a Pakistani-American teenager whose parents force her to go back to Pakistan to have an arranged marriage. Aisha Saeed brings to light a much heated topic in South Asian culture, one that happens way too often.

~O~o~O~o~O~

A BOOK ON MY TBR

11595276“The 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.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post is a stunning and unforgettable literary debut about discovering who you are and finding the courage to live life according to your own rules.”

Goodreads Link

I’ve heard of this book going around a few times and I’ve had it in my TBR list for a while. Hopefully, I’ll get to it soon.

~O~o~O~o~O~

A BOOK RELEASING SOON

25898828“The Last Cherry Blossom” by Kathleen Burkinshaw

“Yuriko was happy growing up in Hiroshima when it was just her and Papa. But her aunt Kimiko and her cousin Genji are living with them now, and the family is only getting bigger with talk of a double marriage! And while things are changing at home, the world beyond their doors is even more unpredictable. World War II is coming to an end, and Japan’s fate is not entirely clear, with any battle losses being hidden fom its people. Yuriko is used to the sirens and the air-raid drills, but things start to feel more real when the neighbors who have left to fight stop coming home. When the bomb hits Hiroshima, it’s through Yuriko’s twelve-year-old eyes that we witness the devastation and horror.

This is a story that offers young readers insight into how children lived during the war, while also introducing them to Japanese culture. Based loosely on author Kathleen Burkinshaw’s mother’s firsthand experience surviving the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, The Last Cherry Blossom hopes to warn readers of the immense damage nuclear war can bring, while reminding them that the “enemy” in any war is often not so different from ourselves.”

Goodreads Link

I hadn’t heard of this book before and just found it after browsing Goodreads. This has actually come out in August 2nd but it’s fairly new so I’ll put it here anyway. I don’t normally read historical fiction but this caught my eye. I think, if written properly, this can turn out to be a great novel.

~O~o~O~o~O~

Oo, that was fun. Any thoughts on these books?