Diversity Spotlight Thursday #4 – The Immigrant Experience


Welcome to my fourth Diversity Spotlight Thursday! 💙 This wonderful weekly blog meme was created and is hosted by Aimal at Bookshelves and Paperbacks! For more information about the meme, please read the announcement post here.

My participation in this meme is to help me with one of my reading goals: to read books with a variety of perspectives, especially ones different from my own. Every two weeks I will share with you:

  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

This week’s theme for Diversity Spotlight Thursday is: the immigrant narrative/experience.


A Book I Have Read

Cloudwish by Fiona Wood

“For Vân Uoc Phan, fantasies fall into two categories: nourishing, or pointless. Daydreaming about Billy Gardiner, for example? Pointless. It always left her feeling sick, as though she’d eaten too much sugar.

Vân Uoc doesn’t believe in fairies, zombies, vampires, Father Christmas – or magic wishes. She believes in keeping a low profile: real life will start when school finishes.

But when she attracts the attention of Billy Gardiner, she finds herself in an unwelcome spotlight.

Not even Jane Eyre can help her now. 
Wishes were not a thing.
They were not.
Wishes were a thing.
Wishes that came true were sometimes a thing.
Wishes that came true because of magic were not a thing!
Were they?”divider2

I finished this book earlier this month, and I was surprised to find myself really, really enjoying it. The protagonist, Vân Uoc, is Australian-Vietnamese with immigrant parents who escaped on boat from Vietnam. Though a romance at heart, this book explores what it’s like being a ‘second generation’ immigrant (I related to so many elements of this book!), feeling a disconnect in your identity, friendship, family, and high school life. It is fluffy, a little gooey at heart, and a comfie read.

Although the author isn’t Vietnamese herself, I felt that the author showed a great deal of effort and care into portraying the immigrant experience as well as Vân Uoc’s background – Cloudwish, I believe, is an instance in which an author did a good job of portraying something beyond her lived experience.

Add this book on Goodreads | My review on Goodreads


A Book On My TBR

When Michael Met Mina by Randa Abdel-Fattah

“When Michael meets Mina, they are at a rally for refugees – standing on opposite sides.

Mina fled Afghanistan with her mother via a refugee camp, a leaky boat and a detention centre.

Michael’s parents have founded a new political party called Aussie Values.

They want to stop the boats.
Mina wants to stop the hate.

When Mina wins a scholarship to Michael’s private school, their lives crash together blindingly.



I feel like the summary above says it all. We live in a time where we need books like When Michael Met Mina.

I found out about this book through Reg’s review, and I knew, instantly, that I had to read it. I also discovered that my local library doesn’t have a copy of this book – which is an injustice?! – so I’ve suggested this book for purchase, and hopefully it’ll be available soon! 😇

Add this book on Goodreads


A Book That Hasn’t Been Released Yet

American Street by Ibi Zoboi

“On the corner of American Street and Joy Road, Fabiola Toussaint thought she would finally find une belle vie—a good life.

But after they leave Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Fabiola’s mother is detained by U.S. immigration, leaving Fabiola to navigate her loud American cousins, Chantal, Donna, and Princess; the grittiness of Detroit’s west side; a new school; and a surprising romance, all on her own.

Just as she finds her footing in this strange new world, a dangerous proposition presents itself, and Fabiola soon realizes that freedom comes at a cost. Trapped at the crossroads of an impossible choice, will she pay the price for the American dream?”



I’ve seen this book around and reading the synopsis, it sounds like my kind of book. Not only is the cover gorgeous, but the premise sounds incredibly compelling and like something I would relate to.

American Street is #ownvoices too, based on the author’s experiences, so another reason to add this to your TBR!

Add this book on Goodreads


And a wrap for another Diversity Spotlight Thursday! I will be posting my next spotlight on the 12th of January next year! 😊

  • Are you interested in reading any of these books? Which one and why?
  • Do you know any other books that are about the immigrant experience? Do you have any favourites?
  • Did you participate in Diversity Spotlight Thursday this week? If so, please share your link with me! I’d love to see your three choices!

12 thoughts on “Diversity Spotlight Thursday #4 – The Immigrant Experience

  1. Ahhh, Cloudwish is on my TBR! I’ve been meaning to pick it up but I haven’t had the time yet. And I’m really glad to see that When Michael Met Mina is on your TBR – I enjoyed that book and hope you do too.

    Another one with the immigrant experience I’d recommend is Something in Between by Melissa de la Cruz. I think it’s a bit simpler in language and less polished, but it was still good (although I realise we’ve spoken about this before 😂).

    • Hi Reg!
      Cloudwish is a short read, so I’m sure you can whoosh by it in no time! 😊

      I actually recommended When Michael Met Mina to my library for purchase! Though, I can’t read it yet because my library haul is so so big and I’ve made NO progress. ;_;

      Ahh yes!! I remember our talk about it, and I requested it from the library too! Hopefully it gets here in Jan, that’d be a great way to kickstart 2017!

      • I’m planning on it. But for now, I’m excited to buddy-read The Summer of Chasing Mermaids with you guys (I’ve got the book!). :D

        I can relate. I’ve been trying to actually decrease the number of books I’m reading bc I want to put time into my other hobbies and be more social irl and all that, and it hasn’t been working so well. 😅

  2. I hadn’t heard about any of this books before your post, so thank you! They all sound amazing, so I added them to my tbr.

    A book about the immigrant experience that I really liked is The Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende. It has great writing, a love story, complicated family history, a mistery, it’s really good!

    I think I will join this meme next year, I love the fact that it’s about putting diverse books in the spotlight and it looks like a fun meme to be a part of.

  3. CLOUDWISH ^_^ I absolutely loved how it explored the relationship between Van Uoc and her family. So much of its depictions of language and cultural barriers (especially at the end of Chapter 43, when her mother just begins telling her about her parents’ past) really hit home for me. I’d always felt this way but it was just a mush of confused feelings that I couldn’t articulate, even to friends with (presumably) similar experiences, and Fiona Wood somehow managed to look inside my mind and express them so beautifully! Made me choke up the first time ;_; *sniff*

    Also, there was another reviewer (treatyoshelf) who described Cloudwish as for ‘quiet girls with loud thoughts’ – how beautiful is that?! :D

  4. Cloudwish <3. Now I feel like re-reading it. When Michael Met Mina is so timely and it's definitely on my TBR. Silhouette covers for books with POC protagonists usually frustrate me but I'm glad the one for American Street did something creative & intriguing with the silhouette (a bit like the cover for The Memory of Light).

    • CLOUDWISH. <3

      I completely agree. I'm still waiting for my copy to arrive, but I can't wait. It's one of my must-drop-everything-and-read-it-NOW books.

      Haha, I've never thought about this before, but I get you! I like the cover too, and am glad they gave it a personality or *feel*.

    • Hey Jordan!
      Ooh I haven’t heard of her other books – maybe I’ll check it out!
      Cloudwish is lovely. The ending was my least favourite part, but the other parts of the book made up for it. I hope you enjoy it! 😊

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