Diversity Spotlight Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Aimal 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.
Title images below were stolen from Aimal’s blog because they are dope.
Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Beck Albertalli
Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.
With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.
Be honest, how many of you are going to list this book? Haha. I picked this up after it first came out and it was still hyped up so I was a little nervous I was going to hate it – I’m happy to say I loved this book more than I could ever care to express. Simon is an adorable character and I loved watching him navigate high school and his life. Every secondary character served his story in one way or another and the ending put a big smile on my face. I would happily read more books about Simon.
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Her Name In The Sky by Kelly Quindlen
Hannah wants to spend her senior year of high school going to football games and Mardi Gras parties with her tight-knit group of friends. The last thing she wants is to fall in love with a girl–especially when that girl is her best friend, Baker.
Hannah knows she should like Wally, the kind, earnest boy who asks her to prom. She should cheer on her friend Clay when he asks Baker to be his girlfriend. She should follow the rules of her conservative Louisiana community–the rules that have been ingrained in her since she was a child. But Hannah longs to be with Baker, who cooks macaroni and cheese with Hannah late at night, who believes in the magic of books as much as Hannah does, and who challenges Hannah to be the best version of herself.
And Baker might want to be with Hannah, too–if both girls can embrace that world-shaking, yet wondrous, possibility.
This is a recent edition to my TBR. I’m not sure where I saw this book or if I’ve stolen it off of someone else’s page (my apologies if so) but I am pretty excited to give this a read. I have read too many books with female-to-female relationships and this sounds like it could have a gooey romance and a lot of heart. This book came out in 2014 so if someone has read it and enjoyed it, do let me know.
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Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst
Betrothed 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 before her coronation—and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine (called Mare), 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 work together, each discovers there’s more to the other than she thought. Mare is surprised by Denna’s intelligence and bravery, while Denna is drawn to Mare’s independent streak. Soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more.
Okay so it looks like this book has received some very mixed reviews but, that has never stopped me from reading a book before. I like the idea of this being a fairytale-seque book where the princess gets the girl so will be looking at picking this up when it is released in November.
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Side note: Finding it very hard to discover books that haven’t been released yet that I’d actually want to read – any tips?