Diversity Spotlight Thursday #4

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Diversity Spotlight Thursday is a weekly post hosted by Bookshelves and Paperbacks. Each week, you feature a diverse book you have read and enjoyed, a diverse book on your TBR and a diverse book that has not yet been released.
Because ‘diverse’ covers many different topics, we’ve decided to focus on one aspect each week and this week we are featuring books with a lesbian main character.

a-book-i-have-readFar From You by Tess Sharpe
Goodreads | Amazon

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Nine months. Two weeks. Six days.

That’s how long recovering addict Sophie’s been drug-free. Four months ago her best friend, Mina, died in what everyone believes was a drug deal gone wrong – a deal they think Sophie set up. Only Sophie knows the truth. She and Mina shared a secret, but there was no drug deal. Mina was deliberately murdered.
Forced into rehab for an addiction she’d already beaten, Sophie’s finally out and on the trail of the killer—but can she track them down before they come for her?


I am slightly cheating with this one as our main character, Sophie is actually bisexual. However, the love interest, Mina, is a confirmed lesbian. I checked with the author but we’re not sure if it’s stated in text. This is the only book I could include that I’ve read with a lesbian character that I have enjoyed and would 100% recommend. Not only does this book have excellent LGBTQIA rep but it also has disability and drug addiction rep which is very rare in YA novels.

a-book-i-have-readOf Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst
Goodreads | Amazon

25164304Betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile lands. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift for the future queen of a kingdom where magic is forbidden.
Now, Denna must learn the ways of her new home while trying to hide her growing magic. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynaria’s formidable warhorses—and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine—called Mare—the sister of her betrothed.
When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. As the two become closer, Mare is surprised by Denna’s intelligence and bravery, while Denna is drawn to Mare’s independent streak. And soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more.
But with dangerous conflict brewing that makes the alliance more important than ever, acting on their feelings could be deadly. Forced to choose between their duty and their hearts, Mare and Denna must find a way to save their kingdoms—and each other.


The story about the princess getting the princess in a lesbian love story. Despite having mixed reviews, I’m still excited to read this take on a fairytale. After doing a bit of research, I’ve discovered that this also has the hate-to-love trope(!) and is #ownvoices. I also think the fantasy world within the book isn’t heteronormative, there are several cases of same sex relationships being mentioned and nobody bats an eyelid. I’m not sure if this is true but if it is, that’s amazing!

a-book-i-have-readGirls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust
Goodreads | Amazon

32768509At sixteen, Mina’s mother is dead, her magician father is vicious, and her silent heart has never beat with love for anyone—has never beat at all, in fact, but she’d always thought that fact normal. She never guessed that her father cut out her heart and replaced it with one of glass. When she moves to Whitespring Castle and sees its king for the first time, Mina forms a plan: win the king’s heart with her beauty, become queen, and finally know love. The only catch is that she’ll have to become a stepmother.
Fifteen-year-old Lynet looks just like her late mother, and one day she discovers why: a magician created her out of snow in the dead queen’s image, at her father’s order. But despite being the dead queen made flesh, Lynet would rather be like her fierce and regal stepmother, Mina. She gets her wish when her father makes Lynet queen of the southern territories, displacing Mina. Now Mina is starting to look at Lynet with something like hatred, and Lynet must decide what to do—and who to be—to win back the only mother she’s ever known…or else defeat her once and for all.
Entwining the stories of both Lynet and Mina in the past and present, Girls Made of Snow and Glass traces the relationship of two young women doomed to be rivals from the start. Only one can win all, while the other must lose everything—unless both can find a way to reshape themselves and their story.


I think everybody and anybody is raving about this book right now. There are ARCs flying about getting raving reviews and I’m somebody who fell in love as soon as I saw the word ‘feminist retelling’ and ‘Bloody Chamber’ but I couldn’t compare it to Frozen seeing as I haven’t seen it. The entire story sounds beautiful, there is a F/F romance between a main character which is healthy and well-developed and the book features a lot of amazingly complex female characters. I’m just super excited for this book and it will be released on September 5th!

 

Lots of Love,
Angharad @
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Diversity Spotlight Thursday #3

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Diversity Spotlight Thursday is a weekly post hosted by Bookshelves and Paperbacks. Each week, you feature a diverse book you have read and enjoyed, a diverse book on your TBR and a diverse book that has not yet been released.
Because ‘diverse’ covers many different topics, we’ve decided to focus on one aspect each week and this week we are featuring books with a black main character.

a-book-i-have-readThe Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Goodreads | Amazon

32075671Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.
Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr. But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.


I feel like this book should be on book recommendations everywhere. If you haven’t read it yet, you need to read it. If you haven’t recommended it yet, you need to and if you haven’t boosted it yet, you need to. No other book is as relevant right now. This book explores the Black Lives Matter movement and despite it being a work of fiction, this book is terribly real and something that happens in day to day life. Not only that but this book has one of the best family dynamics I’ve read in any book, ever. The love between the Carter family just jumps from the page and despite this novel being heartbreaking, there are moments of humour and hope all the way through. Just read it and read it again.

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Piercing Me Together by Renée Watson
Goodreads | Amazon

25566675Jade believes she must get out of her neighborhood if she’s ever going to succeed. Her mother says she has to take every opportunity. She has. She accepted a scholarship to a mostly-white private school and even Saturday morning test prep opportunities. But some opportunities feel more demeaning than helpful. Like an invitation to join Women to Women, a mentorship program for “at-risk” girls. Except really, it’s for black girls. From “bad” neighborhoods.
But Jade doesn’t need support. And just because her mentor is black doesn’t mean she understands Jade. And maybe there are some things Jade could show these successful women about the real world and finding ways to make a real difference.
Friendships, race, privilege, identity—this compelling and thoughtful story explores the issues young women face.


If I’m honest, I don’t know too much about this book other than it has a black main character and it’s a young adult contemporary. The cover is what drew me to this book initially, that and the raving reviews I see it getting. I haven’t read anything by this author before but I am told that her writing is amazing and this book is packed full of important discussions such as race, privilege and identity. I’m excited to get into this one and to finally get this cover on my shelves!

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Nyxia by Scott Reintgen
Goodreads | Amazon

27426044Emmett Atwater isn’t just leaving Detroit; he’s leaving Earth. Why the Babel Corporation recruited him is a mystery, but the number of zeroes on their contract has him boarding their lightship and hoping to return to Earth with enough money to take care of his family. 
Forever. 
Before long, Emmett discovers that he is one of ten recruits, all of whom have troubled pasts and are a long way from home. Now each recruit must earn the right to travel down to the planet of Eden–a planet that Babel has kept hidden–where they will mine a substance called Nyxia that has quietly become the most valuable material in the universe. 
But Babel’s ship is full of secrets. And Emmett will face the ultimate choice: win the fortune at any cost, or find a way to fight that won’t forever compromise what it means to be human.


I’m actually currently reading this one after being accepted for it on Netgalley and despite being only a few chapters in, I’m already loving it! It reminds me a lot of The Hunger Games and Divergent, especially where the story is at the moment with the kids competing against each other but the difference? This book is insanely diverse. Not just kids of different ethnicities from America, they come from all over the world! Japan, Palestine, etc. It’s fun and tense and I’m so excited to see where this is going. Plus, space is my jam.

 

Lots of Love,
Angharad @

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Diversity Spotlight Thursday #2

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Diversity Spotlight Thursday is a weekly post hosted by Bookshelves and Paperbacks. Each week, you feature a diverse book you have read and enjoyed, a diverse book on your TBR and a diverse book that has not yet been released.
Because ‘diverse’ covers many different topics, we’ve decided to focus on one aspect each week and this week we are featuring books with a trans main character.

a-book-i-have-readIf I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
Goodreads | Amazon

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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.


A transgender main character in a YA novel? Yep. Not only that, it’s also written by a transgender author. This is so important for young readers, regardless of the story itself. She is brave character and incredibly strong. She tells us her story from present day but also switches between years and months ago, from a very young age when she knew that she should have been born a girl. There’s this amazing parallel scene in the book – in one chapter, Amanda tells us of the time she took pills and tried to end her life but then we also experience the moment she took pills that began her transition and the two scenes – one heartbreakingly sad and the other heartbreakingly joyous really stood out for me.

a-book-i-have-readGeorge by Alex Gino
Goodreads | Amazon

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BE WHO YOU ARE. When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she’s not a boy. She knows she’s a girl.
George thinks she’ll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte’s Web. George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can’t even try out for the part. . . because she’s a boy.
With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte – but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all.


A middle-grade novel incorporating what it means to be transgender and how it is manifested in children. Despite the heavy issues, this book being narrated by 10 year old George allows it to remain a lighthearted and heartwarming, especially George’s blossoming friendship with Kelly who accepts her without question. I’m so ready to read this for myself!

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Not Your Villain by C.B. Lee
Goodreads | Amazon

32200944Bells Broussard thought he had it made when his superpowers manifested early. Being a shapeshifter is awesome. He can change his hair whenever he wants, and if putting on a binder for the day is too much, he’s got it covered. But that was before he became the country’s most-wanted villain.
After discovering a massive cover-up by the Heroes’ League of Heroes, Bells and his friends Jess, Emma, and Abby set off on a secret mission to find the Resistance. Meanwhile, power-hungry former hero Captain Orion is on the loose with a dangerous serum that renders meta-humans powerless, and a new militarized robotic threat emerges. Everyone is in danger. Between college applications and crushing on his best friend, will Bells have time to take down a corrupt government?


After reading and loving the prequel to this book, Not Your Sidekick, I knew I would have to pick this up on its release date. Then I found out that this book follows Bells, a character we meet in book one! In the universe these books are set in, being trans and having your pronouns known is a normal thing. We only find out Bells is trans when Jessica asks him if he’s been wearing his binder all day! I can’t wait to read a book in his perspective, especially as the previous book ended with him being seen as the villain. This book will be released on October 5th!

 

Lots of Love,
Angharad @
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Diversity Spotlight Thursday #1

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Diversity Spotlight Thursday is a weekly post hosted by Bookshelves and Paperbacks. Each week, you feature a diverse book you have read and enjoyed, a diverse book on your TBR and a diverse book that has not yet been released.
Because ‘diverse’ covers many different topics, we’ve decided to focus on one aspect each week and this week we are featuring books with a bisexual main character.

a-book-i-have-read.pngHow to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake
Goodreads | Amazon

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All seventeen year-old Grace Glasser wants is her own life. A normal life in which she sleeps in the same bed for longer than three months and doesn’t have to scrounge for spare change to make sure the electric bill is paid. Emotionally trapped by her unreliable mother, Maggie, and the tiny cape on which she lives, she focuses on her best friend, her upcoming audition for a top music school in New York, and surviving Maggie’s latest boyfriend—who happens to be Grace’s own ex-boyfriend’s father.
Her attempts to lay low until she graduates are disrupted when she meets Eva, a girl with her own share of ghosts she’s trying to outrun. Grief-stricken and lonely, Eva pulls Grace into midnight adventures and feelings Grace never planned on. When Eva tells Grace she likes girls, both of their worlds open up. But, united by loss, Eva also shares a connection with Maggie. As Grace’s mother spirals downward, both girls must figure out how to love and how to move on.

I read this book at the start of the year and it definitely impacted me. Grace is unapologetically herself and is an open bisexual character. The story doesn’t just manage to be about her sexuality, it also focuses on the love that develops between herself and Eva and her difficult relationship with her mother – not to mention living with her ex-boyfriend. A beautiful, summery contemporary read and very diverse.

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The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue
by Mackenzi Lee
Goodreads | Amazon

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Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was neve
r one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.
But as Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.
Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

I haven’t even got a valid excuse as to why I haven’t bought this book yet. I have had it on my TBR for the longest time and now that it has been released, the 5* reviews are coming in thick and fast. Of what I know, the main character, Monty, is bisexual. This book is supposed to be diverse, funny and a must-read.

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Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore
Goodreads | Amazon

33158561For nearly a century, the Nomeolvides women have tended the grounds of La Pradera, the lush estate gardens that enchant guests from around the world. They’ve also hidden a tragic legacy: if they fall in love too deeply, their lovers vanish. But then, after generations of vanishings, a strange boy appears in the gardens.
The boy is a mystery to Estrella, the Nomeolvides girl who finds him, and to her family, but he’s even more a mystery to himself; he knows nothing more about who he is or where he came from than his first name. As Estrella tries to help Fel piece together his unknown past, La Pradera leads them to secrets as dangerous as they are magical in this stunning exploration of love, loss, and family.

The book features houses filled with huge families, and more importantly, queer women. Our main character, Estrella, her cousins and some of their mum’s and grandmother’s are bisexual and this is stated. Yes, this is a YA novel that features older women actually having a sexuality! I also believe there is a genderqueer character although I am not 100% certain (please correct me if I’m wrong.) This book will be released on October 3rd.

 

Lots of Love,
Angharad @
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