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.

my page divider

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

Advertisements

Book Review: Want (Want #1) by Cindy Pon

a title here (17)description

Jason Zhou survives in a divided society where the elite use their wealth to buy longer lives. The rich wear special suits that protect them from the pollution and viruses that plague the city, while those without suffer illness and early deaths. Frustrated by his city’s corruption and still grieving the loss of his mother, who died as a result of it, Zhou is determined to change things, no matter the cost.

With the help of his friends, Zhou infiltrates the lives of the wealthy in hopes of destroying the international Jin Corporation from within. Jin Corp not only manufactures the special suits the rich rely on, but they may also be manufacturing the pollution that makes them necessary.

Yet the deeper Zhou delves into this new world of excess and wealth, the more muddled his plans become. And against his better judgment, Zhou finds himself falling for Daiyu, the daughter of Jin Corp’s CEO. Can Zhou save his city without compromising who he is or destroying his own heart?

review

After all of the hype “Want” started receiving I immediately picked it up and my expectations were a little high since I’ve seen nothing but glowing 4-5 star reviews for it! A diverse, sci-fi read set in Taiwan sounds awesome! However, I really just don’t get it? Was it bad? No. Was it mind blowingly awesome? Definitely not. So unfortunately I won’t really be adding more to the hype or really be recommending it too much which is disappointing.

PLOT

My biggest problem with this book and why I didn’t enjoy it more is because of the pacing. It was unbearably slow and it took up until 65% of the way through for anything actually exciting to happen! I almost DNF’d this book several times because it was taking forever to get good and it also took 2 weeks to finish it which is a little ridiculous for me personally since that’s half a month spent on one book!

The beginning half of the book is setting Jason up to infiltrate Jin Corp and him fawning over Jin’s daughter who is technically “the enemy”. This trope works sometimes and other times it can get pretty damn boring which I thought was the case here with “Want” since it was also utterly predictable as well. As for the second half of the book that’s where things get far more exciting, faster paced, and action packed! Where was all that action at the beginning of the story?

I felt the world building had a lot of potential and it was also one of the better aspects of the book. It’s set in a futuristic Taipei where the environment is extremely polluted and most people don’t live past 40 due to viruses and lowered immune systems. I thought this was really interesting but would have liked a little more development.

I also didn’t really like that everything that occurred throughout the story felt too convenient, there were never really any obstacles at all because there was a friend or piece of technology there for every situation. Was it still cool? Yes. Just a little annoying sometimes since it felt too easy.

I also loved the setting, futuristic Taiwan, it’s really awesome to see a YA sci-fi (or any book really) set and inspired by the eastern world! And the topics Pon handles such as global warming, pollution, and the wage gap were also handled very well in my opinion and it was great to see some big, important, and serious topics such as these represented in YA.

characters

I think the characters were one of my favorite parts of “Want”! First of all they’re ALL diverse, we see Taiwanese, Chinese, Indian, and Filipino characters which is amazing. I thought all of Zhou and his friends were really down to Earth, loyal, and just generally likable. However I didn’t feel that any of them developed at all or had any deeper level of complexity, besides Zhou they were all kind of just simple and there.

There weren’t really any other characters besides Jin and his daughter, Daiyu. Jin is your typical, cardboard cut out villain and really isn’t anything special and Daiyu is a bit of a Mary Sue. The instant Zhou meets her he’s all about how “unique” she is and “how she isn’t like any other girls” and that was a little bit annoying seeing how she is represented as being perfect the entire time as well.

romance

While I generally enjoyed the romance and I thought Zhou and Daiyu were really cute together I did not like how Insta-Lovey they were. That was my only problem with it though was the insta-love which was pretty heavy.

in conclusion

My overall thoughts are that this book had both good spots and weak spots in it which is the magic combination for a “meh” book for me. I really wanted to enjoy this one more but it fell pretty short.

What I Loved:

  • The diverse setting
  • The diverse and very likable characters
  • The world building (even though I wanted more)
  • The second half of the book which was action packed and fast paced

What I Didn’t Love: 

  • Super, slow pacing at the beginning
  • Not a whole lot going on plot-wise
  • Many things in the plot felt too convenient
  • Insta-Love Romance
  • Daiyu’s character was a “perfect Mary Sue”

RECOMMEND

If you’d like to read an awesome diverse read then definitely check this book out, however, maybe go in with some lowered expectations since I found it to be very slow paced and borderline a little boring.

Links: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository

The Sassy