Diversity Spotlight was created by Aimal of Bookshelves & Paperbacks (she created the graphic too). It takes place every Thursday, and each week, three books are featured:
- 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
Sunset Park (Five Boroughs #2) by Santino Hassell
I’ve been devouring this series this month, and loving each book more than the last. I’ve read the first three so far and they’re all amazing. Companion series can be hit or miss because usually I fall in love with the first book’s characters and get bored when new characters are introduced in later books, but that hasn’t been the case for this series. Each of Santino’s characters are so well developed and unique that I can’t help but love them all. Raymond was just a side character in the first book in the series, but he was my favorite character so I was thrilled when I found out he was the focus of book two. Book four is actually about him too so I can’t wait to read that one!
Raymond Rodriguez’s days of shoving responsibility to the wayside are over. His older brother wants to live with his boyfriend so Raymond has to get his act together and find a place of his own. But when out-and-proud David Butler offers to be his roommate, Raymond agrees for reasons other than needing a place to crash.
David is Raymond’s opposite in almost every way—he’s Connecticut prim and proper while Raymond is a sarcastic longshoreman from Queens—but their friendship is solid. Their closeness surprises everyone as does their not-so-playful flirtation since Raymond has always kept his bicurious side a secret.
Once they’re under the same roof, flirting turns physical, and soon their easy camaraderie is in danger of being lost to frustrating sexual tension and the stark cultural differences that set them apart. Now Raymond not only has to commit to his new independence—he has to commit to his feelings for David or risk losing him for good.
Binti (Binti #1) by Nnedi Okorafor
I picked up Binti from Book Outlet recently, and it’s beautiful cover has been calling to me ever since. I’ve heard great things so I’m anxious to pick it up soon.
Her name is Binti, and she is the first of the Himba people ever to be offered a place at Oomza University, the finest institution of higher learning in the galaxy. But to accept the offer will mean giving up her place in her family to travel between the stars among strangers who do not share her ways or respect her customs.
Knowledge comes at a cost, one that Binti is willing to pay, but her journey will not be easy. The world she seeks to enter has long warred with the Meduse, an alien race that has become the stuff of nightmares. Oomza University has wronged the Meduse, and Binti’s stellar travel will bring her within their deadly reach.
If Binti hopes to survive the legacy of a war not of her making, she will need both the gifts of her people and the wisdom enshrined within the University, itself – but first she has to make it there, alive.
You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone by Rachel Lynn Solomon
I’ve watched several documentaries about Huntington’s disease, so I’m interested to read about it from a novel perspective. I haven’t read many books with Jewish main characters so that is what initially caught my eye with this book.
Eighteen-year-old twins Adina and Tovah have little in common besides their ambitious nature. Viola prodigy Adina yearns to become a soloist—and to convince her music teacher he wants her the way she wants him. Overachiever Tovah awaits her acceptance to Johns Hopkins, the first step on her path toward med school and a career as a surgeon.
But one thing could wreck their carefully planned futures: a genetic test for Huntington’s, a rare degenerative disease that slowly steals control of the body and mind. It’s turned their Israeli mother into a near stranger and fractured the sisters’ own bond in ways they’ll never admit. While Tovah finds comfort in their Jewish religion, Adina rebels against its rules.
When the results come in, one twin tests negative for Huntington’s. The other tests positive.
These opposite outcomes push them farther apart as they wrestle with guilt, betrayal, and the unexpected thrill of first love. How can they repair their relationship, and is it even worth saving?
From debut author Rachel Lynn Solomon comes a luminous, heartbreaking tale of life, death, and the fragile bond between sisters.
What are some great diverse reads you’ve picked up recently? Anything coming out soon that you can’t wait to read?