Top Ten Tuesday: Books With Diverse Main Characters

Top Ten Tuesday(9)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by  The Broke and the Bookish.

So this week’s theme is basically anything to do with characters! You can put any spin on it that you’d like and I decided to do diverse characters since we could always use more diverse book recommendations, am I right? The characters I’m including are diverse in ethnicity and sexuality and there’s also some mental illness rep here as well.

I’m slowly working my way through the diverse books on my TBR but putting this list together has made me realize I really need to read more of them faster!

These are in no particular order and I will link each book title to my full review in case you’re interested!


top ten tuesday diverse characters


Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova

This book has a Latino main character who also happens to be a bruja (witch) and when she seeks to rid herself of her power she ends of losing her family and to find them again she must enter a magical realm to save them. This is a very creative and magical book, highly recommended for Halloween coming up too!


Want by Cindy Pon

While I wasn’t the biggest fan of this book I did still enjoy it and it’s diverse cast of characters (mostly Taiwanese) and Pon’s tackling of many big issues such as global warming, pollution, and poverty within the plot line. Still a very interesting book even though the pacing was a little off for me.


Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

While this isn’t the most diverse book on this list it still includes a really adorable F/F romance between the main character and another side character, I don’t want to give it away. This is a Snow White retelling that really delves into new representations of “Snow White and the Evil Queen” in a very unique way.


Timekeeper by Tara Sim

This is a very underrated book that’s set in a steampunk Victorian London with a gay main character who falls in love with a clock tower’s spirit. It’s so incredibly adorable and heart warming! Plus it’s something I’ve never seen done before!


The Steep & Thorny Way by Cat Winters

Cat Winters is an incredible writer and her books should be in the lime light a lot more than they are! This book deals with a biracial girl in the 1920’s dealing with racism and hate crimes who is starting to suspect her father’s death wasn’t an accident. There is also the inclusion of a gay character dealing homophobia and hate crimes as well. This is said to be a sort of retelling of “Hamlet” and there is a bit of the paranormal in the plot as well.


Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

Probably the most diverse book included on this list! We have bisexual characters, gay characters, characters of different ethnic backgrounds, characters with mental illness or other disabilities. Everything is also handled and represented incredibly well due to it being an #OwnVoices book and I personally can speak for the anxiety rep as well. There is so much adorableness and so many heart warming moments as well, overall fantastic book full of diversity!


A Gentleman’s Guide To Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

A story with a M/M romance and the characters both think the other doesn’t love them back, but it’s also full of some crazy shenanigans and a trip across Europe. You’ll ship these two so hard, trust me!


Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller

This was a huge surprise to me, I found it way more enjoyable than I had originally anticipated! This is what I wanted “Throne of Glass” to be, full of violence and a main character who isn’t afraid to show their skill and do anything it takes to win. The main character is also gender fluid!


The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Pretty sure everyone’s heard of this one by now! This is a fantastic story with a very powerful plot which includes an African American girl as our wonderful main character who is dealing with the aftermath of a police officer shooting her unarmed friend. As I said it’s incredibly powerful and so well written, I highly recommend reading it.


The Hollow Girl by Hillary Monahan

The main character of this book is Welsh Romani (which we definitely do not get to see very often in books at all) and is studying herbcraft (and hopefully witchcraft) under her Gran. However, her and her friend are brutally assaulted and in order to save his life she must harvest body parts from the boys who did it. I recommend checking out my trigger warnings in my review before reading this one.

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Have you read any of these books as well? What did you think?

Do you have any of these on your TBR?

What are some of your favorite books with diverse characters?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

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Book Recs: YA Standalones

Top Ten Tuesday(53)

I like to read a lot of standalones since I don’t have a lot of patience for series, I’m better at starting a series than finishing it. So standalones are better for me and they might be for you too! So I just threw together a little list of some of my favorite YA standalones, hopefully you can find some new and interesting books to add to your TBR!

Keep in mind these aren’t ALL of my favorites and some of these are short story anthologies, but they still count in my book! I will link up each title to their Goodreads pages and also link up any reviews I have too.

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Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

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You can read my full review here.

This is an absolutely fantastic Peter Pan retelling about the relationship between Tiger Lily and Peter. Although I will warn you up ahead of time, you will cry so many tears! It’s a dark, sad story with many flawed and broken characters but it still manages to be beautiful (thanks to the gorgeous writing!).


The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

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You can read my full review here.

I don’t think I need to hype this book up anymore but I will 100% support all of the hype it has already recieved since it’s worth every bit of it! This is an absolutely amazing book telling the story of a girl named Starr who witnesses the shooting of her friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer, Khalil was also unarmed. We then watch as Starr struggles between voicing what really happened and endangering her life, or not saying anything at all.

It’s not only a diverse read but also a very important and powerful one as well. I highly recommend reading it if you haven’t already!


The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes

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You can read my full review here.

This is the story of a girl who lived 12 years in a cult before it finally burned down and the Prophet was killed. Now she’s part of the questioning on what REALLY happened that night.

Another very quietly powerful book on learning to believe things for ourselves and not what others would have us believe. It’s also very interesting if you have some curiousity about cults and their inner workings.


Heartless by Marissa Meyer

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You can read my full review here.

This is a retelling and origin story for the Queen of Hearts from “Alice in Wonderland”, is that not enough to make you wanna read it? We get to see some interesting twists on all of our favorite Wonderland characters as well as some crazy plot twists. It’s kind of slow to start but the ending is 100% worth it!


Kingdom of Ash and Briars by Hannah West

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You can read my full review here.

I don’t think I can ever mention this book enough! It’s a unique fantasy book that also weaves together little retellings of Mulan, Jane Austen’s Emma, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella. It has great world building and fantastic characters as well, plus the plot itself is very original and has all of the retellings interwoven throughout!


With Malice by Eileen Cook

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You can read my full review here.

A very fast-paced YA thriller that’s about a girl who wakes up in the hospital with anmesia and finds out her best friend is dead and she’s the prime suspect! I don’t want to say too much more because there are TONS of crazy twists that will ensure you zip right through this book.


The Darkest Corners by Kara Thomas

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You can read my full review here.

Another psychological thriller that actually gets pretty dang dark and twisted for a YA book. I mean it this book will mess with your mind and you definitely won’t be able to guess what will happen next. The main character, Tessa, goes back to her childhood home to try and dig up the truth of her friend’s cousin’s death that occured when they were little girls. The thing is they lied about what they saw that night and now Tessa must find out what really happened.


A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

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You can read my full review here.

If you haven’t read this book just….go read it now! It’s the most beautiful, touching story of a boy whose mother is dying of cancer and a monster comes and takes him on an adventure that will change the way he has been viewing things.

Also just a heads up…you will most definitely cry!


Lips Touch: Three Times by Laini Taylor

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You can read my full review here.

This is actually a small collection of three stories all by Laini Taylor, so of course it’s gorgeously written and all have unique twists and very original mythology/world building. It’s truly amazing how much awesomeness she squeezed into such short stories!

The stories themselves are all Fantasy and revolve around, you guessed it, kisses but the kisses all have consequences that can be…deadly.


Slasher Girls & Monster Boys stories selected by April Genevieve Tucholke

Slasher Girls & Monster Boys

You can read my full review here.

This is a YA horror anthology that is actually full of VERY good stories with the exception of one or two duds. Although this isn’t for the faint hearted some of the stories get really scary, gory, and disturbing! But if you’re a big YA horror fan like me you’ll definitely love this anthology.

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Did any of these books interest you? Which ones and why?

Do you already have some of these on your TBR?

Have you read any of these before?

What are some of your recommendations for standalone YA books?

Let me know in the comments!

The Sassy

Book Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

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Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

review

“Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right.”

Let me just start off by saying I’m usually not a big contemporary reader so when I rate a contemporary 5 stars it’s just through the roof amazing! “The Hate U Give” is probably one of the most hyped books out there and it is 100% worthy of all of it, not only is it just an overall incredible read but it’s also a very important book. It focuses on the Black Lives Matter movement and speaking up for equality and against racism and police brutality.

I wish I could go into more depth on the subject matter of this book but I am not one to talk about important issues such as these that I don’t know anything about personally (not saying I’m completely ignorant I just don’t know enough to go giving you all the information you need). All I can do is try and give “The Hate U Give” a review that will do it at least some justice and convince you all just how much you need to get your hands on a copy.

PLOT

First things first, I cannot believe this is Angie Thomas’s debut novel! Her writing is phenomenal and she writes like a pro, it was easy to follow, entertaining, and very emotional. Trust me when I say that books have to be VERY well written for me to get so immersed in the characters and story that I’ll be crying and I did more than once throughout this book!

As I mentioned above this book focuses mainly on racial inequality, our corrupt justice system, police brutality, and racism and in my opinion it really nails all of these things and sheds light on the truth of the way our society works. While this is some pretty heavy stuff that doesn’t mean “The Hate U Give” is that way the whole time, in fact there is a lot of humor in the otherwise somber plot. I loved how many light-hearted moments were included even though what Starr was going through is very tragic and scary.

The story is very character driven and that being said almost every single character has their own storyline that interconnects with everyone else’s as well. So the plot is very complex and there is never, NEVER a dull moment. You will be hooked from page one and will be 100% invested in these character’s stories.

Remember when I said the writing is very emotional? That’s probably one of the things that stuck out the most with me, just how emotional this story gets in so many different ways. There were times when my heart was absolutely broken, other times when I was over-joyed, and times where I was legitimately terrified for the characters.

This last thing I want to say involving the plot is kind of a side note but I wanted to mention it because it pissed me off so much! The white kids at Starr’s private school decide to hold a protest for Justice for Khalil which is awesome….except the only reason they did anything was to get out of class and they didn’t actually care. How about NOOOOOO? I did really appreciate the fact though that some of the other white characters refused to do it once they found out it was just a gimmick.

characters

If I was going to be honest and tell you what my absolute favorite part of this book was I’d have to say all of the characters! There wasn’t a single character who didn’t have a personality and a story all their own.

Starr is an extremely down-to-Earth and relatable character, I was rooting for her the entire time! Not to mention she’s also sassy, smart, and brave but she also isn’t without her flaws as well. Overall she’s very complex and has earned a spot in my favorite bookish heroines!

I also absolutely adored the family dynamic in “The Hate U Give”, literally loved it to little bits and pieces! It’s definitely a nice change to see a loving, supportive family in YA with children/teens who respect their parents and elders. I mean how many times do we see YA heroes/heroines that blow their parents off? Too many is the answer and it drives me nuts to see kids be so disrespectful.

The secondary characters were amazing as well and it was almost mind-blowing to see so many complex and developed characters all at once!

romance

So this is going to be very brief because while there is romance in the story it definitely does not take over the plot, THANK GOD! While I do love the way Starr’s interracial relationship is handled by themselves and outside parties I just didn’t like it overall, I felt that Starr and Chris just didn’t really have any chemistry. I think that Starr’s friendships and family relationships were handled a lot better with much more depth.

in conclusion

This is usually where I state the things I did like and didn’t like in the book and honestly there just isn’t anything I disliked that strongly, it is a 5 star book after all! I loved the story, the writing, and most of all the characters and I have zero complaints.

RECOMMEND

If I could give every single one of you a copy I would that’s how much I wish everyone would read “The Hate U Give” because as I said not only is it just a plain amazing book it’s also an extremely important one that handles some very serious and all too real issues.

GO READ THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!!! YOU WON’T REGRET IT!!!!!!!!!!

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

The Sassy