I’ve seen a few different “themes” today for Diversity Spotlight Thursday, and decided that since May is the month for Asian Lit Bingo, why not take this week to highlight a noticeably underrepresented group in young adult lit in particular: #ownvoices Asian representation? As always, Diversity Spotlight Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Aimal @ Bookshelves and Paperbacks – thanks, Aimal! And if you would like to participate in Asian Lit Bingo for this month, check out Shenwei @ Reading (As)(I)an (Am)erica for more info and some stellar reviews.
The rules are simple – in your diversity spotlight post, you share three books:
- 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
If you want to read more about it, you can check out the Announcement Post!
A Diverse Book I Read & Enjoyed
The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
I haven’t fallen deep into the realm of time travel YA; truthfully, I think this is the only one along that vein beyond A Thousand Pieces of You that I’ve read, and that one was more dimension-hopping than actual time travel. However, this book stuck out for how enticing the plot was and for the flow of the story, as well as the fact it is one of the most diverse books in YA lit I’ve seen in recent years. I highly recommend it if you haven’t read it yet, and the great news is you can jump right into the recently released sequel, The Ship Beyond Time!
Nix Song has spent her entire life aboard her father’s ship, sailing across the centuries, across the world, across myth and imagination. As long as her father has a map for it, he can sail to any time, any place, real or imagined: nineteenth-century China, the land from One Thousand and One Nights, a mythic version of Africa. Along the way they have found crewmates and friends, and even a disarming thief who could come to mean much more to Nix.
But the end to it all looms closer every day.
Her father is obsessed with obtaining the one map, 1868 Honolulu, that could take him back to his lost love, Nix’s mother. Even though getting it—and going there—could erase Nix’s very existence.
For the first time, Nix is entering unknown waters. She could find herself, find her family, find her own fantastical ability, her own epic love.
Or she could disappear.
A Diverse Book on my TBR
Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han
I’m still over the moon about there even being a third book in this series. Lara Jean and her family are some of my favorite characters in contemporary YA, and while I’ll be sad to see them go, I’m just happy we got this beautiful and heartfelt conclusion in the first place.
Lara Jean is having the best senior year a girl could ever hope for. She is head over heels in love with her boyfriend, Peter; her dad’s finally getting remarried to their next door neighbor, Ms. Rothschild; and Margot’s coming home for the summer just in time for the wedding.
But change is looming on the horizon. And while Lara Jean is having fun and keeping busy helping plan her father’s wedding, she can’t ignore the big life decisions she has to make. Most pressingly, where she wants to go to college and what that means for her relationship with Peter. She watched her sister Margot go through these growing pains. Now Lara Jean’s the one who’ll be graduating high school and leaving for college and leaving her family—and possibly the boy she loves—behind.
When your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?
A Diverse Book Coming Soon
Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao
An East Asian fantasy reimagining of The Evil Queen legend about one peasant girl’s quest to become Empress–and the darkness she must unleash to achieve her destiny.
Eighteen-year-old Xifeng is beautiful. The stars say she is destined for greatness, that she is meant to be Empress of Feng Lu. But only if she embraces the darkness within her. Growing up as a peasant in a forgotten village on the edge of the map, Xifeng longs to fulfill the destiny promised to her by her cruel aunt, the witch Guma, who has read the cards and seen glimmers of Xifeng’s majestic future. But is the price of the throne too high?
Because in order to achieve greatness, she must spurn the young man who loves her and exploit the callous magic that runs through her veins–sorcery fueled by eating the hearts of the recently killed. For the god who has sent her on this journey will not be satisfied until his power is absolute.
Release Date: October 10th, 2017
Have you read any of these books yet? What did you think? Link your Diversity Spotlight in the comments below!