Top Ten Books that Celebrate Diversity!

July 21, 2015 Top Ten Tuesday 45

Top-Ten-Tuesday
Today’s Top Ten Tuesday is:

Top Ten (Fifteen) Books that Celebrate Diversity!

I love this topic! I actually wrote a list similar to this in my RT-inspired discussion post about reading and writing diversity, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to talk about it again because I’m always looking to read and recommend diverse books! While there are lots of great books that feature diverse secondary characters, I only included books with diverse MAIN characters.
(And I only included books I’ve read and enjoyed!)

 

 LGBT-FotoJet-Collage
  1. The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black – (YA) Ben and Hazel are a brother and sister who have to deal with a lot – after all, fae live in their sleepy little town. Ben also happens to be gay.
  2. None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio – (YA) Technically, the main character in this book isn’t LGBT – she’s intersex. But this was the category that fit this book the best and I definitely wanted to mention it because it’s wonderful!
  3. I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson – (YA) If you want a beautifully written, poetic book, this is for you!
  4. Secret by Brigid Kemmerer – (YA) I love the whole Elemental series – in this one, we find out that one of the main characters is struggling with his sexuality.
  5. Falling from the Sky by Nikki Godwin – (YA) I’ve actually generally stopped following this author because I just got a little fed up with her dissing her own books and complaining way too much on her blog, but after much thought, I couldn’t help but mention this book today because it really is a great book that features a YA character who is figuring out his sexual identity. Plus, one of the main characters is both gay and Native American. (And, no, this isn’t the book that Godwin was dissing – if you want to see more about how I felt about this at the time, you can read my posts Authors Who Complain and Yep, I Gave Up on that Complaining Author – this is actually the first time that I’m saying who she is, but you can make your own choice whether or not to be aggravated by her behavior.)

 

Non-Caucasian-Country-FotoJet-Collage

  1. Summer Haikus by S.J. Pajonas – (NA) I just finished editing this book (it’s being released on August 6th) and I LOVE that it takes place mostly in Japan with Japanese American main characters (and there is no lack of actual Japanese culture in the books either!). I don’t specifically review books I edit because it feels like a conflict of interest (I mean, obviously I think it’s wonderful!), but I do love spreading the word – if anyone is interested in reading and reviewing this contemporary romance, let me or S.J. know! (This is New Adult, though, so not right for the under 18 crowd).
  2. Starcursed by Nandini Bajpai – (YA) I don’t read a lot of historical fiction, but I loved this one, which takes place in ancient India!
  3. Until You Find Me by Amber Hart – (NA) The two books in this NA romance series are set in the jungles of Africa. Can’t beat that unique setting!
  4. The Walled City by Ryan Graudin – (YA) This book probably should be in the fantasy category, but the setting is based on a real, incredibly unique place (which I found utterly fascinating), so I’m putting it here.

 

Fantasy-FotoJet-Collage
  1. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer – (YA) Pretty much everyone knows about this series, so I won’t expound too much, but there’s lots of diversity in it!
  2. This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner – (YA) I absolutely adore this series and was happy when I read Jubilee’s description and realized that she’s not written as a Caucasian-looking woman.
  3. The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa – (YA) Just like the author, the main character of this amazing vampire series is Asian American.
  4. Storm Siren by Mary Weber – (YA) The main love interest in this series is a black man.

 

Autism-FotoJet-Collage

  1. Stim by Kevin Berry – (NA) The author of this duology has Aspergers, so he writes his characters very realistically!
  2. Viral Nation by Shaunta Grimes – (YA) I really loved the POV of an autistic main character in this book – I need to read the second one soon!!!

So, what are your favorite diverse books? I want to know!

 

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45 Responses to “Top Ten Books that Celebrate Diversity!”

    • Nicole

      Totally agree with you about I’ll Give You the Sun! And thanks for the compliment – I was trying out a new free service called Fotojet for the fun collages. 🙂

    • Nicole

      Starcursed was a bit of a stretch for me and I wasn’t sure how I’d do with historical fiction, but I really loved it!

  1. Cynthia @ Bingeing On Books

    So many good books on this list! I just added several to my TBR. Ha. I’ll Give You The Sun is so beautiful. I still need to read None of the Above. Here is the link for my list: http://www.bookbinges.blogspot.it/2015/07/top-ten-tuesday-diverse-reads.html

    I will say though that I just read a book over the weekend called Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan. It is hands down one of the most beautiful books I have ever read. So incredibly good.

    Cynthia @ Bingeing On Books recently posted: Top Ten Tuesday: Diverse Reads!
    • Nicole

      You should definitely read None of the Above – I thought it was fantastic! I was interested in Two Boys when it first came out but saw a couple of reviews that said that not much happened and got scared away. But this week I’m seeing a lot of people giving it love, so I’m back to wanting to read it!

    • Nicole

      Thanks for the compliment on the collages! I was trying out Fotojet (which I’m not totally sold on based on its usability, but I love the pretty collages it made!).

  2. Cait @ Paper Fury

    I’m super nosey and read your posts about the complaining author. OMG SO RUDE. I’ve read American Girl on Saturn and laughed my head off. It was adorkable and cute and fluffy and it was like a guilty pleasure read because half of me is like “THIS IS SO IMMATURE” but it was soo fun. So yeah. 0_0 Her attitude absolutely sucks, though. Way to turn people off your books.
    AHEM.
    But anyway. 😉
    I looove your list and there’s so many I still want to read, like None of the Above, and Walled City!

    • Nicole

      No nosiness about it – I think when I leave a link that’s pretty much an invitation to stick your nose in. 🙂

      Yeah, I really haven’t promoted Godwin since all of that happened because it all just aggravated me too much, but I did feel like this book fit the topic too well NOT to include. Have no idea if she’s changed her complaining ways (there’s a tiny part of me that wants to go check her blog to see, but I’m holding myself back – why engage with the craziness!).

  3. Deanna

    What a great list. I love how you separated it by genre/topic. I haven’t read a lot of books with autistic characters, but I’ll definitely have to check them out. Summer Haikus looks really interesting. I love reading books about characters outside of my culture.

    • Nicole

      If you’re interested in reading Summer Haikus, I can hook you up with the author. It’s a great book with lots of Japanese culture in it because the main character ends up running her mother’s ryokan (which is like a Japanese Inn) for the summer. Just shoot me an email if you’d like one (the link is in the upper right hand corner of my blog).

  4. Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard

    *facepalm* How on EARTH (or in space) did I miss the Lunar Chronicles on my list? [major chagrin] This is a wonderful list and I will be checking out a number of these titles. My sister highly recommended I’ll Give You the Sun, and The Darkest Part of the Forest is already on my TBR wishlist. I’ve seen several other titles on various blogs, but some are new to me. Thanks for the suggestions!

    P.S. Your blog is gorgeous – I love that header!

    Lark @ The Bookwyrm's Hoard recently posted: Mini-review: Harmonized (Mary Behre)
    • Nicole

      I know – this week inspired me to add a whole new shelf called “Diversity” in Goodreads so that I could keep track of all the awesome recommendations!

  5. Topaz @ Six Impossible Things

    Oh, I absolutely love this week’s TTT topic! I’m discovering so many lovely diverse books to add to my TBR (and by the way, thank you so much for dividing these up into sections based on what they celebrate – I think that’s a wonderful idea).

    One diverse book I adored was It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini – I thought it did such a beautiful job of tackling depression & suicidal ideation with humour and grace. The characters are flawed but wonderful, the issues it deals with are raw and honest, and the ending tied it up so perfectly for me. Definitely give that one a try if you haven’t yet; I think you’ll love it. xx

    Topaz @ Six Impossible Things recently posted: Adventures in Zombieland: The Trouble with my Ears
  6. Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

    This is a FABULOUS list! I also still get a chuckle over the whole debacle that ensued over that one book. ANYWAY, diversity! I loved I’ll Give You The Sun, None of the Above, AND I just finished Scarlet, so yay!! And although I didn’t LOVE The Walled City, the diversity was definitely fabulous! I almost added The Darkest Part of the Forest to mine actually, but umm I had already closed out Picmonkey and didn’t want to have to redo the whole graphic. That is awful reasoning. I need to read These Broken Stars ASAP too!

    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight recently posted: Review: All We Have is Now by Lisa Schroeder
    • Nicole

      I consider already having closed PicMonkey a great reason not to add to your list. Seriously, sometimes we can drive ourselves a little crazy with graphics, right?

    • Nicole

      I created a new Goodreads shelf based on this week’s topic, just so I could more specifically keep track of all of the books that I added to my TBR! 🙂

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