Diverse Reads of 2018
As frigid temperatures and icy blasts tempt many to stay indoors this winter season, a warm friend is never far away. Books provide the ultimate escape into winding mazes and alluring landscapes, and yet for many, lack of representation and/or false, demeaning stereotypes still permeate throughout many novels. Here are some diverse reads to delve into, all of which successfully incorporate the #ownvoices campaign (a movement to market and consume more novels by people of various ethnicities, races, sexualities, etc.)
1. Love, Hate, and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed
A much anticipated novel, Ahmed weaves a tale of youth culture and pride in one’s identity as Indian-American Muslim Maya Aziz overcomes Islamophobia and boy-phobia. This coming-of-age young adult story is not only based on authentic experiences but also leads to a confrontation between personal identity and oppressive institutions.
Release: January 16th, 2018
2. The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang
A comic about friendship, dreams, and dismantling gender norms, Wang takes her audience on a journey with best friends, Sebastian and Frances. Comedy and friendship provide the pivotal pillars to this anticipated comic book. Fellow young adult novelist Mackenzi Lee dubs this “the anachronistic 19th century French fairytale meets Project Runway,” and it is a successful shift in humor from the later novels on this list.
Release: February 13th, 2018
3. Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles
Following in the footsteps of The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas and Dear Martin by Nic Stone, this novel closely mirrors the traumatic effects of police brutality on families, neighborhoods, and individuals. With the horrifying loss of his brother, the main protagonist, Marvin, must grapple with the underlying race currents of both American past and present while mourning his brother’s murder.
Release: March 20th, 2018
4. A Thousand Beginnings and Endings by Ellen Oh, Elsie Chapman, and various authors
At the forefront of the #ownvoices campaign, this novel is a collection of East and South Asian mythologies reinterpreted by popular young adult novelists. For fans of folklore, science fiction, and romance, this anthology is a surefire success. Its multifaceted appeal and diverse representation provide an excellent respite from the wintry weather and melancholic atmosphere.
Release: June 26th, 2018
5. To Be Honest by Maggie Ann Martin
Already highly praised for its genuine representation of bodily struggles, Martin uses the relatable character of Savannah to intersperse both the negative stereotypes for plus-sized girls as well as the unapologetic acceptance of a body and a personality that do not seem to easily fall into a set category. Martin takes readers on a journey in an effort to deconstruct societal views on female bodies.
Release: August 21st, 2018
6. What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera
Cementing their spots atop the list of must-watch young adult authors, Albertalli and Silvera craft a novel about the possibilities of relationships, both the flourishing first dates and the abrupt, unfortunate end. Upon a chance encounter, two teenage boys find adventure and truth when both go searching for answers. Esteemed writers and colleagues, Albertalli and Silvera both hold respective spots atop New York Times’ bestselling list.
Release: October 2nd, 2018
All information and images can be found at www.goodreads.com.