Diversity Spotlight Thursday #11 – The F/F Romance Edition

Diversity Spotlight Thursday #3Diversity Spotlight Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely Aimal from Bookshelves and Paperbacks. Every week, you come up with three book fitting three different categories: a diverse book you’ve read and enjoyed, a diverse book on your TBR, and a diverse book that has not been released yet.

Diversity Spotlight Thursday #3

The Paths We Choose (Lillac Town, #2)The Paths We Choose by M. Hollis

Lily Ferrari enjoys having control over every detail of her life. Ever since she left her parents’ house to gain her freedom, she decided to fully own her autonomy. But an unexpected visit from her little brother may change the path she chooses to follow.
Add to that a casual fling with the bright architect Mayte González, and Lily’s summer is turning out more interesting than she expected. It certainly beats the routine of working extra shifts at Johnson’s Bookstore.
A few weeks before her college life begins, Lily needs to figure out if she’s wrong about the past or if she should continue to protect her heart at all costs.

Sometimes moving forward is only possible if you have the right people by your side.

Will I ever be able to shut up about this novella? I honestly don’t think so. This is just the most perfect f/f romance I’ve read (so far) and it makes me so incredibly happy. I definitely want to reread this soon.

Diversity Spotlight Thursday #3

Strawberry SummerStrawberry Summer by Melissa Brayden

Just because you’re through with your past, doesn’t mean it’s through with you.

Margaret Beringer didn’t have an easy adolescence. She hated her name, was less than popular in school, and was always cast aside as a “farm kid.” However, with the arrival of Courtney Carrington, Margaret’s youth sparked into color. Courtney was smart, beautiful, and put together—everything Margaret wasn’t. Who would have imagined that they’d fit together so perfectly?

But first loves can scar.

Margaret hasn’t seen Courtney in years and that’s for the best. But when Courtney loses her father and returns to Tanner Peak to take control of the family store, Margaret comes face-to-face with her past and the woman she’s tried desperately to forget. The fact that Courtney has grown up more beautiful than ever certainly doesn’t help matters.

Strawberry Summer has been on my TBR for quite some time now, because I was saving it for summer. It just seemed like an incredibly summer-y book, which *might* have something to do with the title. I honestly can’t wait to pick this up, because it seems like it’s going to be very swoon-worthy.

Diversity Spotlight Thursday #3

The Story of Lizzy and DarcyThe Story of Lizzy and Darcy by Grace Watson

When Lizzy Bennet first meets Darcy Williams, there is an instant dislike between them. As much as they try to avoid it their paths keep crossing, and they each start to see a different side to the other. Their tentative friendship is soon tested, but will they realise how they really feel?

The Story of Lizzy and Darcy is a modern day, same-sex adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice

I saw someone talking about this on Twitter the other day (I don’t remember who, so if it was you please let me know so I can give you credit!!) (Update: it was the incredible Tasha from Cats and Paperbacks!!) and I got so incredibly excited about this book! Pride and Prejudice is the only classic I kind of liked, and an f/f version of that? SIGN ME UP. Also, this book is releasing TODAY!!

Some Thoughts on the Bookish Community and LonelinessTwitter Instagram •  Goodreads

 

Diversity Spotlight Thursday #10

Diversity Spotlight Thursday #3Diversity Spotlight Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely Aimal from Bookshelves and Paperbacks. Every week, you come up with three book fitting three different categories: a diverse book you’ve read and enjoyed, a diverse book on your TBR, and a diverse book that has not been released yet.

fe26b-read1

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens AgendaSimon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky 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.

Now that the Upside of Unrequited might show up on my doorstep any day (please let it be soon!!) I thought it was time to feature Simon!

I read Simon a few years ago, and I loved it so much! It’s such a cute and happy story, and Becky Albertalli’s writing was amazing. Also, they’re in the process of filming the movie and I couldn’t be more excited??? It might also have something to do with the fact that Nick Robinson is cast as Simon, and I always had a little crush on him, haha.

e6dae-tbr1

The Reader (Sea of Ink and Gold, #1)The Reader by Traci Chee

Once there was, and one day there will be. This is the beginning of every story.

Sefia lives her life on the run. After her father is viciously murdered, she flees to the forest with her aunt Nin, the only person left she can trust. They survive in the wilderness together, hunting and stealing what they need, forever looking over their shoulders for new threats. But when Nin is kidnapped, Sefia is suddenly on her own, with no way to know who’s taken Nin or where she is. Her only clue is a strange rectangular object that once belonged to her father left behind, something she comes to realize is a book.

Though reading is unheard of in Sefia’s world, she slowly learns, unearthing the book’s closely guarded secrets, which may be the key to Nin’s disappearance and discovering what really happened the day her father was killed. With no time to lose, and the unexpected help of swashbuckling pirates and an enigmatic stranger, Sefia sets out on a dangerous journey to rescue her aunt, using the book as her guide. In the end, she discovers what the book had been trying to tell her all along: Nothing is as it seems, and the end of her story is only the beginning.

I have heard nothing but great things about The Readers from friends and reviewers I trust, so I feel like this book is going to be a favorite of mine. And that cover??? GORGEOUS. I’m honestly just waiting for the paperback to come out so I can have the most amazing reading experience, because y’all know I hate hardbacks.

a9a12-coming-soon1

How to Make a WishHow to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake

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 could hardly choose the book I was going to use for ‘a book releasing soon’ this week, because there are so many books coming out on May 2nd that I’ve either read and loved, or am incredibly excited about. How to Make a Wish falls under the first option.

I loved this book so so much, and it means so much to me. If you want to know why, you can check out my full review here.

Some Thoughts on the Bookish Community and Loneliness
Twitter Instagram •  Goodreads

 

 

Diversity Spotlight Thursday #9

48aa8-diverse-spotlight1

Diversity Spotlight Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely Aimal from Bookshelves and Paperbacks. Every week, you come up with three book fitting three different categories: a diverse book you’ve read and enjoyed, a diverse book on your TBR, and a diverse book that has not been released yet.

fe26b-read1

Tiny Pretty Things (Tiny Pretty Things, #1)Tiny Pretty Things by Dhonielle Clayton and Sona Charaipotra

Gigi, Bette, and June, three top students at an exclusive Manhattan ballet school, have seen their fair share of drama. Free-spirited new girl Gigi just wants to dance—but the very act might kill her. Privileged New Yorker Bette’s desire to escape the shadow of her ballet star sister brings out a dangerous edge in her. And perfectionist June needs to land a lead role this year or her controlling mother will put an end to her dancing dreams forever. When every dancer is both friend and foe, the girls will sacrifice, manipulate, and backstab to be the best of the best.

I just looked through my shelves trying to find the perfect books for this week’s Diversity Spotlight Thursday and I realized that I hadn’t even reviewed this book yet. I need to get to that soon!
Anyway, I LOVED Tiny Pretty Things. I usually never go for books with multiple POV but in this book it just works. I loved the rivalry between the students, which was incredibly entertaining but got so incredibly dark sometimes, but I most of all loved the characters. They all felt incredibly real, and even though some were incredibly shitty, I couldn’t help but love them. And Gigi is definitely my new book girlfriend.

e6dae-tbr1Beginner's Guide: Love and Other Chemical Reactions

Beginner’s Guide: Love and Other Chemical Reactions by Six de los Reyes

Falling in love is a chemical reaction.

Just ask Kaya Rubio, twenty-five year-old Molecular Genetics graduate student and research assistant. Fed up with her spinster aunts’ relentless reminders and unsolicited advice regarding her Single Since Birth status, she designs a scientific, evidence-based methodology to find her a suitable partner in time for her cousin’s wedding. As any good scientist knows, any valid experimental design requires a negative control. Enter the most unsuitable candidate for a potential boyfriend: the messy, easygoing, café owner Nero Sison. Her null hypothesis? Going out with Nero would establish her baseline data without catalyzing the chemical reaction she seeks.

But when Kaya’s recorded results refuse to make sense, she is forced to come to the conclusion that there are some things in life that are simply, by nature, irrational and illogical. And that sometimes, chemistry doesn’t always happen inside a lab.

Can I go one week without mentioning a #romanceclass book? Eh, probably not.
Beginner’s Guide has a female scientist as a main character and I love that! I don’t see enough scientist ladies in books. I’ve heard nothing but great things about this one, so I can’t wait to finally pick it up soon.

a9a12-coming-soon1

The Paths We Choose (Lillac Town, #2)The Paths We Choose by Maria Hollis

Lily Ferrari enjoys having control over every detail of her life. Ever since she left her parents’ house to gain her freedom, she decided to fully own her autonomy. But an unexpected visit from her little brother may change the path she chooses to follow.
Add to that a casual fling with the bright architect Mayte González, and Lily’s summer is turning out more interesting than she expected. It certainly beats the routine of working extra shifts at Johnson’s Bookstore.
A few weeks before her college life begins, Lily needs to figure out if she’s wrong about the past or if she should continue to protect her heart at all costs.

Sometimes moving forward is only possible if you have the right people by your side.

THE PATHS WE CHOOSE IS RELEASING SOON SOS. I read an ARC of this a few weeks ago after loving the first book in this series, The Melody of You and Me, and I loved it so much! It has amazing female friendships, an adorable f/f relationship, sex-positivity, an incredible main character and great scenes with a younger brother that made me cry. You should all pick this up. Seriously. If you’re not convinced yet, check out my review here.

Some Thoughts on the Bookish Community and LonelinessTwitter Instagram •  Goodreads

WoW: Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that is hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

StarfishTitle: Starfish
Author:  Akemi Dawn Bowman
Publication date: September 26th, 2017
Goodreads

Kiko Himura has always had a hard time saying exactly what she’s thinking. With a mother who makes her feel unremarkable and a half-Japanese heritage she doesn’t quite understand, Kiko prefers to keep her head down, certain that once she makes it into her dream art school, Prism, her real life will begin.

But then Kiko doesn’t get into Prism, at the same time her abusive uncle moves back in with her family. So when she receives an invitation from her childhood friend to leave her small town and tour art schools on the west coast, Kiko jumps at the opportunity in spite of the anxieties and fears that attempt to hold her back. And now that she is finally free to be her own person outside the constricting walls of her home life, Kiko learns life-changing truths about herself, her past, and how to be brave.

From debut author Akemi Dawn Bowman comes a luminous, heartbreaking story of identity, family, and the beauty that emerges when we embrace our true selves.

Review: Timekeeper by Tara Sim

First of all, let’s look at that cover. I just can’t stop looking at it. That gorgeous starry background, those gorgeous illustrations, and that font! I am the human equivalent of the heart-eyes emoji right now. This might be my favorite cover of the year.

When I finally moved past the cover and started reading the synopsis, I immediately knew one thing for sure: this book is going to make me cry. Granted, almost all of the books I read make me cry, but this one is going to break my heart in thousands of little pieces and make me cry. I’m not sure why I think this. There are a lot of sad things mentioned in the synopsis (not getting into dream school, an abusive uncle), but nothing that screams I’M GOING TO RIP YOUR HEART OUT. But I’m quite sure it will.

Anyway, this book has many things I love like the cover, the art, self discovery, and it even has a roadtrip feel  to it, so I can’t wait to get my hands on this one. It’ll get a very prominent place on my bookshelf, so I can stare at it forever.

Some Thoughts on the Bookish Community and LonelinessTwitter Instagram •  Goodreads

 

 

Diversity Spotlight Thursday #8

Diversity Spotlight Thursday #3Diversity Spotlight Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely Aimal from Bookshelves and Paperbacks. Every week, you come up with three book fitting three different categories: a diverse book you’ve read and enjoyed, a diverse book on your TBR, and a diverse book that has not been released yet.

Diversity Spotlight Thursday #3

The Forbidden Wish (The Forbidden Wish, #1)

The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury

She is the most powerful Jinni of all. He is a boy from the streets. Their love will shake the world…

When Aladdin discovers Zahra’s jinni lamp, Zahra is thrust back into a world she hasn’t seen in hundreds of years—a world where magic is forbidden and Zahra’s very existence is illegal. She must disguise herself to stay alive, using ancient shape-shifting magic, until her new master has selected his three wishes.

But when the King of the Jinn offers Zahra a chance to be free of her lamp forever, she seizes the opportunity—only to discover she is falling in love with Aladdin. When saving herself means betraying him, Zahra must decide once and for all: is winning her freedom worth losing her heart?

As time unravels and her enemies close in, Zahra finds herself suspended between danger and desire in this dazzling retelling of Aladdin from acclaimed author Jessica Khoury

I received The Forbidden Wish by Jessica Khoury in a Fairyloot box once, and it spend almost a year sitting on my TBR. When I finally picked it up, I kind of hated myself for not picking it up sooner.
The Forbidden Wish is an Aladdin retelling which puts the original to shame. It has great characters, a very interesting world and a great romance, and it’s certainly one I’d recommend.

Diversity Spotlight Thursday #3Binti (Binti, #1)

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

Her name is Binti, and she is the first of the Himba people ever to be offered a place at Oomza University, the finest institution of higher learning in the galaxy. But to accept the offer will mean giving up her place in her family to travel between the stars among strangers who do not share her ways or respect her customs.

Knowledge comes at a cost, one that Binti is willing to pay, but her journey will not be easy. The world she seeks to enter has long warred with the Meduse, an alien race that has become the stuff of nightmares. Oomza University has wronged the Meduse, and Binti’s stellar travel will bring her within their deadly reach.

If Binti hopes to survive the legacy of a war not of her making, she will need both the gifts of her people and the wisdom enshrined within the University, itself – but first she has to make it there, alive.

Binti was my very first ebook purchase when I got my Kindle. I have heard so many amazing things about it that I just couldn’t resist it, even though I was kind of on a book buying ban. I’m definitely planning to pick this one up, once I finish the 5 books I’m reading now. And no, I’m not kidding about reading 5 books.

Diversity Spotlight Thursday #3

The GauntletThe Gauntlet by Karuna Riazi

A trio of friends from New York City find themselves trapped inside a mechanical board game that they must dismantle in order to save themselves and generations of other children in this action-packed debut that’s a steampunk Jumanji with a Middle Eastern flair.

When twelve-year-old Farah and her two best friends get sucked into a mechanical board game called The Gauntlet of Blood and Sand—a puzzle game akin to a large Rubik’s cube—they know it’s up to them to defeat the game’s diabolical architect in order to save themselves and those who are trapped inside, including her baby brother Ahmed. But first they have to figure out how.

Under the tutelage of a lizard guide named Henrietta Peel and an aeronaut Vijay, the Farah and her friends battle camel spiders, red scorpions, grease monkeys, and sand cats as they prepare to face off with the maniacal Lord Amari, the man behind the machine. Can they defeat Amari at his own game…or will they, like the children who came before them, become cogs in the machine?

I don’t think I can tell you how incredibly excited I am to get my hands on The Gauntlet. It’s one of my most anticipated 2017 releases, and I’m so happy that the wait for this book is almost over because I really can’t wait any longer.
The premise of this book sounds amazing, the cover is beautiful, and Karuna Riazi is such an incredible person and I can’t wait to read her work. (Also, if you’re not following her on Twitter yet, you’re missing out).

Some Thoughts on the Bookish Community and LonelinessTwitter Instagram •  Goodreads

Diversity Spotlight Thursday

Diversity Spotlight Thursday #3

Diversity Spotlight Thurday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely Aimal from Bookshelves and Paperbacks. Every week, you come up with three book fitting three different categories: a diverse book you’ve read and enjoyed, a diverse book on your TBR, and a diverse book that has not been released yet.

Diversity Spotlight Thursday #3

Peter DarlingPeter Darling by Austin Chant

Ten years ago, Peter Pan left Neverland to grow up, leaving behind his adolescent dreams of boyhood and resigning himself to life as Wendy Darling. Growing up, however, has only made him realize how inescapable his identity as a man is.

But when he returns to Neverland, everything has changed: the Lost Boys have become men, and the war games they once played are now real and deadly. Even more shocking is the attraction Peter never knew he could feel for his old rival, Captain Hook—and the realization that he no longer knows which of them is the real villain.

I got an ARC of Peter Darling through Netgalley, and I really really enjoyed it. I loved the authors re-imagining of Neverland, and I loved how athmospheric the writing was. I also really enjoyed the characters (especially Hook), and the romantic relationship between Peter and Hook.

I really loved the ending of the book, and it made me fall in love with Peter and Hook even more. And I kind of want a book all about Ernest. Or Tink. It was excellent, and I can’t wait to read more of Austin Chant”s work.
Diversity Spotlight Thursday #3

The Unforgettables

The Unforgettables by GL Thomas

Back home in Chicago, Paul Hiroshima had it all.

Popularity, charming looks and a talent for the arts that made him admired by his peers. Moving to Portland, Maine the summer before his senior year was going to change all that. With his city life behind him, there was definitely no reason to make the best out of a bad situation—that is, until he meets the amazing Felicia Abelard.

Over a love of comic books and secret identities, Felicia becomes the sidekick to his hero; there’s just one problem: they weren’t supposed to fall in love.

As the season comes to an end, Paul and Felicia face in-depth challenges to preserve their summer formed bond. With the brink of the new school year at hand, this tale of best friends and first loves will make their year unforgettable.

I have to admit that I don’t know a lot about this one, and I don’t really want to. I don’t like to go into romance books already knowing the plotline. All I know is that a few of my Twitter/blogging friends liked it, and that it features an interracial romance. So, when I saw it in the kindle store for $3 I knew I had to get it. I’m really excited to get to it soon.
Diversity Spotlight Thursday #3
Queens of GeekQueens of Geek by Jen Wilde

When BFFs Charlie, Taylor and Jamie go to SupaCon, they know it’s going to be a blast. What they don’t expect is for it to change their lives forever.

Charlie likes to stand out. SupaCon is her chance to show fans she’s over her public breakup with co-star, Jason Ryan. When Alyssa Huntington arrives as a surprise guest, it seems Charlie’s long-time crush on her isn’t as one-sided as she thought.

While Charlie dodges questions about her personal life, Taylor starts asking questions about her own.

Taylor likes to blend in. Her brain is wired differently, making her fear change. And there’s one thing in her life she knows will never change: her friendship with Jamie—no matter how much she may secretly want it to. But when she hears about the Queen Firestone SupaFan Contest, she starts to rethink her rules on playing it safe.

Queens of Geek is releasing very very soon (the Tuesday after this post goes up!!) and I’m incredibly excited about it. I’ve seen nothing but glowing reviews for this one, and just the idea of a romance with something like comic con as a backdrop sounds amazing to me. I really can’t wait to pick this one up.

Some Thoughts on the Bookish Community and LonelinessTwitter Instagram •  Goodreads

 

TTT: Books I Wish Had More Diverse Characters in Them

I had quite some trouble with this week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt, which is ‘Top Ten Books I Wish Had (More/Less) X In Them’. I couldn’t think of anything, until I had a conversation with my friend about ‘critique your faves’. If you didn’t know, critique your faves has been a thing going around in the bookish community for some time where people talk about their faves and what’s wrong with them. Kind of to realize that you can love something, but still see it’s flaws.

For example: I love Harry Potter, but I can see that it’s very flawed in means of LGBT+ rep. Also, Lavender Brown was a WoC in the first few movies, but when she started being more important to the story, she was recast as a white woman. Harry Potter definitely has it’s problematic things (the things I named are obviously not the only things), but I can still love it.

This is exactly what I want to do in this post. I want to take some books I like(d), and talk about how they could have been better, diversity-wise.

Also, I know some of you might not like this, but I want to remind you that diversity is a very very important issue, and that it’s totally okay to see flaws in a book.

A lot of the books on my list have the exact same problems (which is why I’m not going to talk about each book individually): they’re heteronormative and almost every single character is white, and able-bodied. This is such a shame, because I would’ve loved an f/f version of The Selection, or maybe a bisexual main character who has to choose between people from all genders? YES, now I kind of want someone to write this. Or maybe a version of the Hunger Games where Katniss is disabled but still kicks ass? Or maybe a version of Percy Jackson where Percy has anxiety??

Okay, now I’m just getting carried away with some great story ideas, let me get back to the point.

A book that I do want to talk individually about is Cinder, or rather, the whole Lunar Chronicles series. This book has been called out multiple times for it’s cultural appropriation . I really wish Marissa Meyer had done more research regarding the Chinese culture, because it’d have made the book so much better.

Another book I want to talk about individually is Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief. Rick Riordan has some very great rep in his latest books (The Hidden Oracle has a bi MC, and Magnus Chase has a Muslim heroine and a genderfluid character), but there is hardly any rep in his first few books. I really wish these books would’ve had great rep from the start.

So, tell me, what books do you wish had more diverse characters in them?

Some Thoughts on the Bookish Community and LonelinessTwitter Instagram •  Goodreads