My #DiverseAThon TBR January 22-29, 2017

I love reading challenges and #DiverseAThon has been one of my favorites. This upcoming DiverseAThon goes from January 22 – 29, 2017 and is aimed at reading a wider range of diverse authors.

Because I clearly like to commit to these things last minute, and my goal is to read at least 150 books this year, here is my TBR for the next week. Apparently my theme for this #DiverseAThon is queer and blue. I am not complaining.

HISTORY IS ALL YOU LEFT ME by Adam Silvera

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When Griffin’s first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident, his universe implodes. Even though Theo had moved to California for college and started seeing Jackson, Griffin never doubted Theo would come back to him when the time was right. But now, the future he’s been imagining for himself has gone far off course.

To make things worse, the only person who truly understands his heartache is Jackson. But no matter how much they open up to each other, Griffin’s downward spiral continues. He’s losing himself in his obsessive compulsions and destructive choices, and the secrets he’s been keeping are tearing him apart.

If Griffin is ever to rebuild his future, he must first confront his history, every last heartbreaking piece in the puzzle of his life.

I can’t wait to read this book. MORE HAPPY THAN NOT broke me in the best of ways and I am anticipating many tears with Adam Silvera’s second book, but that doesn’t put a dampener on my enthusiasm–quite the opposite.

WHEN THE MOON WAS OURS by Anna-Marie McLemore

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To everyone who knows them, best friends Miel and Sam are as strange as they are inseparable. Roses grow out of Miel’s wrist, and rumors say that she spilled out of a water tower when she was five. Sam is known for the moons he paints and hangs in the trees and for how little anyone knows about his life before he and his mother moved to town. But as odd as everyone considers Miel and Sam, even they stay away from the Bonner girls, four beautiful sisters rumored to be witches. Now they want the roses that grow from Miel’s skin, convinced that their scent can make anyone fall in love. And they’re willing to use every secret Miel has fought to protect to make sure she gives them up.

I have been excited to read this ever since mentions of it first came up in my Twitter feeds. The prose of this looks gorgeous and I finally was able to pick it up during last year’s Siren’s conference. I’m looking forward to lots of magical realism and even more magical prose.

OF FIRE AND STARS by Audrey Coulthurst

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Betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile kingdoms. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift for the future queen of a land where magic is forbidden.

Now Denna has to learn the ways of her new kingdom while trying to hide her growing magic. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynaria’s formidable warhorses before her coronation—and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine, sister of her betrothed.

When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. As the two work together, they discover there is more to one another than they thought—and soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more.

But with dangerous conflict brewing that makes the alliance more important than ever, acting on their feelings could be deadly. Forced to choose between their duty and their hearts, Mare and Denna must find a way to save their kingdoms—and each other.

A subversively queer take on a princess story? Fighting princesses and girl kissing? Sign me up. I received this in last month’s Owl Crate and have been looking forward to read this ever since. We need more epic fantasy for teens and adults alike that feature trope subversion and girl-kissing, so I’m ridiculously anticipating this one!

THE LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS by Ursula K. Le Guin

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A groundbreaking work of science fiction, The Left Hand of Darkness tells the story of a lone human emissary to Winter, an alien world whose inhabitants can change their gender. His goal is to facilitate Winter’s inclusion in a growing intergalactic civilization. But to do so he must bridge the gulf between his own views and those of the completely dissimilar culture that he encounters. Embracing the aspects of psychology, society, and human emotion on an alien world,The Left Hand of Darkness stands as a landmark achievement in the annals of intellectual science fiction.

This will be a re-read for me, but since Penguin released this lovely hardcover edition I figured the time is now. THE LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS was first recommended to me when I first started to ask about queer science fiction and fantasy recommendations. I picked up my first raggedy and well-loved copy at a used bookstore and it has been one of my favorite books of all time ever since. THE LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS taught me so much about gender and how to write it, not just in science fiction and fantasy, but in general, and it will always have that special place in my heart filled with that kind of sense of wonder you feel when you realize, “Wait, people write like this? Does that mean can write like this?” It certainly was educational and empowering for me. I can’t wait to revisit it. If you haven’t read it yet, what are you still waiting for?

So, that’s my TBR for this week’s #DiverseAThon. All blue and all queer. Only one of these things is a coincidence. I’ll be sure to keep you updated on my thoughts both on Twitter and on Goodreads. If you are joining #DiverseAThon, please let me know, so we can exchange thoughts and book recs! That’s the point of it after all.

Happy Reading!

Alex