Diverse Reads - Summer TBR

I've been looking at my past reads lately and I've noticed something glaringly obvious that I'm missing from my books - diverse point of views. Last year, I took a class that got me to read genres that I hardly read with diverse POV's. I've never liked the idea of reading a book because it has a Black, Hispanic, or Asian character. I pick out books that sound interesting and that's it. However, I couldn't deny how happy it made me to read books with Hispanic characters and to see their cultures and perspectives in the forefront. I felt connected by these characters even if I didn't have the same experience. As a result, I decided to create a list of books with varying genres and diverse POV's that I'm particularly interested in and try to read a bunch of them during the summer. I might not get to all of them so let me know which ones you think I should prioritize or you want to hear my thoughts on.

Lakota Woman - I'm highly interested in Native American perspectives. Lakota Woman is a memoir of Mary Crow Dog who tells of her life and struggles living on a reservation and how she embraced her Native American roots. 

Yes, Chef - This is a memoir by famous chef, Marcus Samuelsson, who was born in Ethiopia and adopted by Swedish parents. He recalls his childhood and path to becoming a chef. As this is a food memoir, I'm highly anticipating loving this book.

This Train is Being Held - Features two characters with a different set of lives and struggles. They take the downtown train together for three years and learn about each other beyond first impressions. Their lives beyond the train will come together when one of them needs the other. I absolutely love the idea of this book and the potential for not only the slow burn but the prejudices and mental health discussion.

American as Paneer Pie - This is the type of book I love because it features the feeling of not being able to feel a part of your culture. Luckily, I've never was bullied because of my culture because I live in one of the most Hispanic places in America. This clearly also features food because of the title and cover and you all know, I'm always for a foodie read.

You Should See Me in a Crown - First of all, I can't say this book without thinking of Billie Eilish singing it so that stood out. This is all I could hope for in a book. It's set in a small town where the MC is trying to get out but needs to do something big to get the financial aid. She is attempting to become the prom queen for a scholarship and finds herself falling for the new girl also going for prom queen. I expect cuteness and greatness.

Clap When You Land - After reading the gold that is The Fire on High, I have to read this book! I love that Elizabeth Acevedo books feature Afro-Latina girls because I just don't see many of them in books in general. The concept of two sisters who don't know about each other is pure brilliance. Elizabeth Acevedo is doing the most for contemporary YA.

Reaching for Sun - Do you know how difficult it is to find MC's that are neurodiverse or disabled in books that sound interesting? It's beyond ridiculous. Reaching for Sun is a book I had to go hunting for. I really wanted to read books featuring MC's with disabilities and I ended up finding it by looking up the Schneider Family Book Award. I remember a former blogger loving it in the past. It seems like such a peaceful and sweet read about a girl gaining a friend who sees her for her and not her disability.

Tigers, Not Daughters - This is about four sisters who have traditions and expectations surrounding their culture. Expectations within Hispanic families is always something that interests me because I can relate. There is one sister who dies who seems to be trying to communicate with her living sisters. This has a magical realism element I'm looking forward to and as a girl who enjoys sad books, the grief aspect will surely tear me apart. 

The Degenerates - This is a book featuring a group of girls who are sent to a school for "Feeble-Minded." I'm ecstatic to read this book. I've been eyeing it as soon as I learned about it. There seems to be no one talking about this book even though it has good rating on Goodreads. Come on, people! You can do it. I love that it features a protective older sister, a girl with a club foot who I'm sure is going to show everyone her worth, and a girl who likes girls.

Next Year in Havana - I had to pick out a book with a Cuban MC! I'm so not sure about this book because adult historical fiction isn't something I usually read but I'm going to give it a shot. This is set in 1958 and alternatively in 2017 as a Cuban-American woman uncovers the secrets of her grandmother and what she had to face as she fled her home.

We Are Not Free - This is about fourteen teens who have formed a family with one another and will need that family when they are forced to live in an incarceration camp. I'm a little worried about how many POV's we are going to be hearing from and if I'll be able to connect with all of them but other than that, I am so interested to see how this story unfolds.

Wonderstruck - Again, do you know how hard it is to find books with MC's who are disabled that are interesting? I've read a few books featuring deaf MC's that I've enjoyed but with the last couple of them being terrible. I loved Brian Selznick's The Invention of Hugo Cabret so I was excited to find Wonderstruck in the list of Schneider Family Book Award lists. It is set 50 years apart with both narrators going on a quest to find something missing. One story is told in words and the other in pictures.

Midsummer's Mayhem - Is a retelling with a food element and an MC feeling invisible in her family. Was this book written for me specifically? It seems so. This follows Mimi who comes from a big Indian Family and is trying to win a baking contest. She receives help from a boy in the woods to find ingredients but weird things start happening in town and she must find out why.

Kiki's Delivery Service - This is getting released with a new cover this June. Kiki's Delivery Service is the story of a thirteen-year-old witch who is determined to help a new town she calls home but first, she needs to win the townspeople over. How did I not know this was a book!? I vaguely remember the movie by Miyazaki so I'll be going in this blind. I'll have to watch the movie afterward to compare.

Star Daughter - This has elements of Stardust and Hindu Mythology. It's about the daughter of a star and mortal who goes on a quest to save her father after she accidentally hurts him with her powers. She has to win a competition in the celestial court or she might not ever return to Earth. I just needed to see the cover and that this was like Stardust and you sold me. 

Ghost Squad - This has taken forever to come out but it finally has. This is a story following two friends who accidentally awaken malicious spirits. They must come together to save the town from this curse. This seems like such a light, whimsical, and fun read that's being marketed as Stranger Things meets Ghostbusters and Coco.

Ye - I was introduced to this graphic novel by a fellow librarian who loves graphic novels. From the very little I saw as I flipped through the pages, I could see that the art style is so beautiful. It follows a boy who is mute after his voice is stolen by the Colorless King and goes on a voyage where he has to face pirates, a drunken clown, and more in order to gain back his voice.

A Ladder to the Sky - This is a story that's about a narrator who will do anything to be a renowned writer. He has no stories of his own but will travel to find the best ones. There is just something about this book that draws me in. I think the potential moral of the story is something I would be interested in seeing unfold.

Call Me By Your Name - This is the quintessential gay love story of our age right now. I'm very curious about how their age gap is going to be discussed. I believe one of them is a teenager if I'm not mistaken so I hope that is addressed. I'm anticipating watching the movie after I read this book this summer.

Sofrito - Another Cuban book! Sofrito has to do with a Cuban-American man trying to save his restaurant by traveling to Cuba to get ahold of a top-secret chicken recipe. He has to "steal" the recipe, but is it really stealing if Fidel Castro stole it from his family first? I'm so interested in the restaurant and going back to Cuba aspect of this story. I would love to one day go to my family's homeland but it's not going to happen anytime soon since it's still a communist country. I'm really excited to see how this story plays out and I'm especially excited that the library took my ebook suggestion for this book!

Girl, Stolen - Mystery was a difficult genre for me to find diverse reads that sounded interesting to me so I'm happy I found at least two. Girl, Stolen is about a blind girl who is sleeping in the back of her car waiting for her mom to fill prescriptions in the store when their car is stolen. The guy who stole it seems to have his own POV and is of course worried since the girl is not only blind but has pneumonia. This sounds terrifying and fast-paced. Another thing I noticed - I can't find many books featuring blind protagonists. What gives?

My Sister, the Serial Killer - This is a book about one sister who is a serial killer and another who is covering it up. When the serial killer starts dating someone she is in love with, a devoted sister must decide what she's willing to sacrifice. Everything about this is a yes.

Docile - A messed up future where people can pay off their debts by becoming slaves. This is supposed to be crazy difficult to read and I can't describe how much I'm looking forward to reading it. 

War Girls - This is set in the future where two sisters dream a life beyond the chaos they live in and they will fight a war to do so. Sisterly bonding in a futuristic world! I am so happy this book is out in the world because I can't wait to read it. I've been holding off reading it since late last year and it's time.

To Be Taught if Fortunate - This is a novella where explorers transform themselves in order to live in different planets. I honestly did not know what this book was about but since I want to try to get into adult sci-fi this is one that has been recommended a lot. It's short and seems weird so I'm all for it.

I Hope You Get This Message - The Earth might end in seven days as an alien identity is threatening to destroy the planet and live for only a few days. Three narratives come to life as they reflect on what their life has become and how they will live their last days. This just seems so interesting. I love books that have characters reflect and change so I can see this being a really cool, introspective story.

The Forgotten Girl - I have had this on so many tbr lists before I gave up. I hope to finally get to it this summer. It's about a girl who finds a forgotten gravestone of a young girl. She starts to have nightmares that lead her and her best friend to look more into the town's history and the forgotten girl. So spooky sounding by a booktuber who runs the channel Books and Big Hair.

Mexican Gothic - This is a gothic horror book with what sounds like a possible haunted house element which is my thing in my beginning journey of horror right now. The narrator is a chic debutante who isn't afraid of her cousin's menacing and alluring new husband or a patriarch fascinated with her or even of the creepy house. This being set in the 1950s is what also entices me to read this book since I love 50s fashion.

I'm really happy with all the books I chose. I will see how many books I end up reading and get back to you on my experience when summer is over. Let me know what you think of these books, if you know of any more diverse mystery/thrillers, if you know of more neurodiverse and disabled characters in books, and of the concept itself.


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