I set myself a fairly lofty goal with reading four diverse novels for the January 22 #DiverseAThon and despite work craziness and the world feeling like it’s imploding, I made it through almost all of them!
First, I read Adam Silvera’s HISTORY IS ALL YOU LEFT ME (full review here) and yes, I’m still thinking about this book. It broke me in the best of ways and then stuck with me, both for personal reasons and as a writer who strives to get the emotional connections between characters just right. HISTORY is definitely one that will stick around in my favorites for a while.
My second #DiverseAThon read was WHEN THE MOON WAS OURS by Anna-Marie McLemore. This was my first book from this author whom I had heard so many great things about, from #ownvoices to gorgeous, vivid prose. WHEN THE MOON WAS OURS definitely made good on those promises. I loved McLemore’s lyrical take on magical realism interspersed with may moments that made this book very real in contrast. As someone married to a trans woman I couldn’t help but feel for both Miel and Sam and I loved how this book also connected to McLemore’s own story. I did find the plot a little hard to navigate at times, but the fantastically complex characters very much made up for it. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who loves magical realism and would love to see queer and diverse characters represented in it.
Next up was OF FIRE AND STARS, another #ownvoices debut by Audrey Coulthurst. This has been a book I’ve been wanting to get my hands on for a while. Princesses, horses, and girl-kissing–what’s not to love here? I did really enjoy Denna and Mare’s story although Denna’s passivity really annoyed me at first. The plot itself starts a little slow but once things start happening and both main characters start growing into themselves and take charge of what’s happening, I couldn’t put this book down again. My favorite scene in this is a massive spoiler, but I loved how this is far from your typical love triangle story. While Denna begins her story promised to a prince and ends falling in love with his sister, I really liked how we grow to like all characters involved here (except the ones doing the assassinating, of course). So I’m hoping there will be a sequel, because I want to know what’s happening next!
Finally, here’s the book I barely started yesterday, THE LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS by Ursula K. Le Guin. This is a re-read for me since I first read it nearly ten years ago when I first embarked on the quest to find queer science fiction and fantasy and this one kept cropping up in people’s recommendations. It also is one of my favorite books of all time, both for Le Guin’s beautiful lyricism and the complexity with which she tackles gender politics in this book originally written in 1969. Though this story never fails to break my heart, I still love it with every re-read. I’ll be finishing it up today or tomorrow, so again, I’m happy with my queer, blue book reading choices for this #DiverseAThon.
What did you read for #DiverseAThon? If you didn’t participate, what diverse books are on your TBR? Let me know in the comments.