Welcome to my eighth 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:
- A diverse book you have read and enjoyed
- A diverse book that has already been released but you have not read
- A diverse book that has not yet been released
This week’s theme for Diversity Spotlight Thursday is: books by black authors!
A Book I Have Read
Into White by Randi Pink
“When a black teenager prays to be white and her wish comes true, her journey of self-discovery takes shocking–and often hilarious–twists and turns in this debut that people are sure to talk about.
LaToya Williams lives in Birmingham, Alabama, and attends a mostly white high school. She’s so low on the social ladder that even the other black kids disrespect her. Only her older brother, Alex, believes in her. At least, until a higher power answers her only prayer–to be “anything but black.” And voila! She wakes up with blond hair, blue eyes, and lily white skin. And then the real fun begins . . .”
Into White is a heartfelt and funny story that was much more than what I expected. Underneath its light narrative is powerful discourse about racism and how we internalize that racism and the invisible pain we feel regarding our identities — and, more importantly, how Toya overcomes this.
This book is often criticized as how the characters are ‘nothing more than their skin colour’ — which I disagree with completely. In fact, the story cleverly subverts how the media typically portray white characters and black characters, forcing you to look deeply at how Pink’s black characters are portrayed and developed. An utterly fantastic read.
A Book On My TBR
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
“Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed.”
This is a book that needs no introduction! If you haven’t heard of The Hate U Give, be sure to look it up immediately. I’ve already placed a hold of this book at my local library and I’m number #33! For one, I’m happy that so many people want to read this book, but one the other hand, I’m going to be waiting for a while.
I have a good feeling that this book is going to change the game. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement? Yes please! I needed this book yesterday.
A Book That Hasn’t Been Released Yet
The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton
Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orléans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orléans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful.
But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite—the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orléans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land. But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie—that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined. And when the queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia now faces an impossible decision.
With the future of Orléans and its people at stake, Camellia must decide—save herself and her sisters and the way of the Belles—or resuscitate the princess, risk her own life, and change the ways of her world forever.
Oh boy, look at that summary. I’m always craving diverse fantasies, and this sounds incredible. I’m confident that this book will be a breath of fresh air – and a much needed one at that! This book isn’t due for a long while – February 2018 – but add this to your TBR and keep an eye on it!
This week’s Diversity Spotlight Thursday is another commemoration of Black History Month! Unfortunately this comes later than intended (I was away on holiday!) but I’m happy to have finally posted this. Again, we don’t observe this in New Zealand, but I also think it is important to read about characters and experiences beyond our experiences and beyond our borders.
- Are you interested in reading any of these books? Are any of these already on your TBR or books you’ve never seen before?
- Did you read anything for Black History Month?
- 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!