Tuesday 21 July 2015

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Ten Books That Celebrate Diversity/Diverse Characters

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme run by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Ten Books That Celebrate Diversity/Diverse Characters.

Oooh, this is my topic! It's going to be hard to narrow it down to just ten... I'm only going to talk about books I've read this year to make it easier. Here it goes...

Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley 
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Nevin

Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley (review) - Let's start off with an intersectional diverse book, huh? Lies We Tell Ourselves is an incredible novel set during the integration of black students into white schools, and follows Sarah as she experiences desegregation, and falls for Linda, the daughter of one of the most powerful influencers for segregation. So a LGBTQ YA novel with a POC main character!

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Nevin (review) - This book really got to me. This is an amazing story of love and mental illness. Finch has undiagnosed bi-polar disorder, and Violet is grieving the death of her sister a year ago. The story opens as they meet for the first time at the top of the school tower, contemplating suicide. A very powerful, emotional story, loosely based on the author's own experiences, and one I highly recommend.

We Are All Made of Molecules by Susin Nielsen Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz

We Are All Made of Molecules by Susin Nielsen (review) - This is a wonderful book about family. Stewart's dad has been dating Ashley's mum, and now they're all moving in together. Ashley is beautiful and popular, Stewart is geeky and incredibly smart. Stewart is looking forward to having a sister, but Ashley can only think of one thing worse than having Stewart and his dad move in and possibly ruin her reputation; what it might do to her reputation if it got out that her dad is gay. A beautiful story.

Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz (review) - Another intersectional book, this is about Etta, a black bisexual teenager, who is trying to recover from an eating disorder. Etta isn't gay enough for her gay ex-friends, isn't skinny enough to be diagnosed as anorexic, and isn't white or small enough to be a ballet dancer. There's quite a lot covered in this book; sexuality, friendship - the good and the bad kind, going for your dreams, and Etta dealing with her own and Bianca's eating disorders, but it's all works together brilliantly. It's a completely fantastic book, and you all need it in your lives.

The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brokenbrough Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brokenbrough (review)- Set in the 1930s, Love and Death are playing a game, and they each have a player; will love conquer all or will death tear them apart? Oooh, how I loved this book! It really is awesome, and so orginal! We have a POC in Flora, and LGBTQ characters in Love and a side character. Reaaaad it!

Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone (review) - A wonderful story about Sam, who suffers from Purely-Obsessional OCD, and how the friendship and acceptance she finds in the Poet's Corner, a secret group held at school, helps her to control her obsessive thoughts. There's a very sweet romance, a wonderful frienship, an incredible twist, and beautiful poetry! I loved it!

Panther by David Owen 
One Thing Stolen by Beth Kephart

Panther by David Owen (review) - Derrick's sister, Charlotte, suffers from depression, and the lives of everyone in the family have been turned upside down because of a traumatic event involving Charlotte before the book starts. Everything going wrong in Derrick's life is down to his sister. Why won't she just pull herself together? When there's a sighting of the Panther that escaped a while back, Derrick comes up with a plan. The panther first appeared at the same time as that awful event, so if Derrick can catch the panther, Charlotte will get better, and everything will go back to normal. A really fantastic story that shows how someone's mental illness can affect the whole family.

One Thing Stolen by Beth Kephart (review) - This book, set in Florence, Italy, covers mental health, and is absolutely brilliant, but to disclose the mental health issue would actually spoil the story. Nadia is having trouble communicating. The words just won't come out. She's become obsessed with birds nests, and has become a thief, compelled to steal, using the stolen items as materials for the intricate and artful birdnests she makes. And there's a boy, a boy who speeds his way through Florence on his scooter, stealing flowers, who nobody seems to see but her. A really fascinating and intriguing story, of a girl who's coming apart at the edges.

The Accident Season by Moïra Fowley-Doyle

The Accident Season by Moïra Fowley-Doyle (review) - This is such an incredible novel! It's an atmospheric and errie story, about a family who will, without fail, fall prey to accidents every October - some merely bruises and scratches, others much worse. And when Cara discovers that a fellow classmate, Elsie, appears in every single one of her photos, she wonders why she's been following her? Intent on confronting her about it, Cara is even more confused when Elsie seems to have disappeared, no-one really knowing who she is. This book is amazing, and features an LGBTQ romance.

5 to 1 by Holly Bodger (review) - Set in a future dystopian India wheren there are more men than there are women, but women rule. Teenage boys must take part in tests to discern their future; marriage to the girl they're competing for, or a hard life at the fence that will lead to death sooner rather than later. Sudasa, a girl who must pick her future husband, feels like a caged bird in the society she lives in; she must choose a husband, and she must choose him out of the five "randomly" chosen to compete in the tests. But not everyone taking part in the tests is hoping for marriage. A wonderful feminist dystopian that shows only equality will work.

So those are my ten! Have you read any of these? What did you think? And what's on your lists? Link me up!


  1. I really, really liked 5 to 1! I wish more people were reading it! I also loved the premise of The Game of Love and Death, but sadly, the story didn't work for me as a whole.

    I desperately need to read Lies We Tell Ourselves and Not Otherwise Specified! They sound amazing! And I've heard lots of good things about Every Last Word as well. :D

    Here's my top ten!

    1. Aww, it's a shame The Game of Love and Death didn't work for you! I really loved it. Yessss, 5 to 1 is amazing! So good!

      Oooh, you definitely need to read Lies We Tell Ourselves AND Not Otherwise Specified! They are incredible, but also really important, powerful books! Every Last Word was so awesome, I just loved it!

  2. Great choices you have here. I like that you mentioned a book with 'mental health', you don't see that one too often. A little while ago I read a historical that dealt with a man that was recovering from the war, and he was put in a 'mad house' when he was really just suffering from ptsd. So I just go for those stories that really make you think.

    1. Books that make you think are so important, in my opinion. Having books to entertain and help you relax are awesome, but those that make you think help you learn and grow, and keep the mind working. I love them! And mental health is a topic close to my heart - unfortunately, the books tend to be not so happy, and being such an emotional person, I can't read too many close together or they just bring me down.

  3. I just bought The Accident Season! Can't wait to read it. Every Last Word is also on my TBR.
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2015/07/21/top-ten-tuesday-14/

    1. The Accident Season is SO good! I do hope you enjoy it! :) I also loved Every Last Word - hope you do too!

  4. I haven't read any of these yet but I'll be adding several to my TBR pile. Great list!

    1. Thank you! I hope you enjoy the ones you fancied! :)