#DiverseAThon is a Read A Thon where we were encouraged to read as many diverse books as we could hosted by Joce, Monica, Whitney, and Christina ♥ Not only that, these lovely ladies also hosted twitter chats discussing diversity everyday for a week. It was held from Monday, September 12, until yesterday, September 19. So before I start, I just want to thank them and everyone who has participated for enlightening me about diversity and ‘forcing’ me to read something that is usually not my cup of tea 😀
For this #DiverseAThon, I managed to join 4 twitter chats and read 5 diverse books. YAYYY TO ME! I’m proud of myself ♥ Let me take you to all the books I read this week! 😀
Homegoing is the official group read for this #DiverseAThon. It follows the story of two half sisters and their children and their children’s children, separated by force outside their control. This book is PHENOMENAL! Which is why I’m nervous because this is an unpopular opinion. Most people rate it 5 stars, and here I am, contemplating between 3 or 4 and finally decided to settle for 3,5. Please don’t hate me though, I’ll explain why :’)
Diversity elements : POC MCs, diverse setting and culture (Ghanaian), slavery
- This book is an amazing, realistic portrayal of Black people lives in the past centuries. I adore it so much, it hurt so bad, I cried several times </3 This book is also an eye opener, it taught me a lot about the lives of people I never knew. Slavery was cruel and unfair, but even after the slavery ended, the unfairness still exists. There would always be injustice toward people from minority race.
- It taught me how it feels to live in fear and how to make the best out of it. It is a real portrayal of diversity. For that alone, this book deserved a million praises.
- But I don’t think this book is for me. I’m a fan of character-driven story. I adore character development, and I love books that allow me to connect with the characters and feel whatever they feel. Because this book changed POV so much, it didn’t allow me to actually connect with the characters. Just when a character grew on me, the POV changed and we were introduced to another new character.
- I really connected with the first few characters but as the story developed, I found myself become less and less attached to the characters.
- I looove the idea of parallel stories slowly intertwining ♥
All in all, I’d still recommend this book. It was so real and sooo honest! It is the most ‘diverse’ book I’ve ever read it was so enlightening I think everyone needs to read this! 🙂
Written in the Stars follows the story of Naila, a Pakistan girl who lived and grew up in America. Naila could chose whatever it is she wanted to do with her life except her husband. Her parents would choose it for her. When they found out Naila had a relationship with this boy Saif, they were furious and took Naila on a trip to Pakistan to set her straight.
Diversity elements : POC MC, Pakistani culture, arranged marriage
- I did not expect it to be this… brutal. This book started off pretty light but quickly turned brutal.
- I felt like Naila’s personality was kind of flat. Not to mention her relationship with Saif. I didn’t feel the chemistry between them.
- I was confused with the message the author was trying to send. I read the author’s note and she said that it was to bring awareness to the still-common practice of violence in arranged marriage but honestly, the message I received was that arranged marriage is a form of violence that restricts someone’s freedom to the extreme and that if someone tries hard enough to break free, they’ll get their own happy ending.
- I was hoping for more positive portrayal of Pakistani culture.
- The writing was a bit jumpy, like, it switched scene without me realizing it has switched scenes. I found myself confused several times.
Aristotle and Dante is a beautiful book about growing up, discovering one’s self, and finding love where you least expect it. This book isn’t what I expected. Scrap that, I honestly didn’t know what I expected either, but I enjoyed this a lot ♥
Diversity elements : POC MCs, Mexican culture, LGBTQIA
- I love the MC, especially Ari. I love how he narrates the story, so loud and sarcastically funny and full of questions about the world.
- I really enjoyed the dynamic of between Ari and Dante’s relationship. So, so raw and honest!
- The parents are the best parents in YA! No missing, ignorant parents in this book YAYYY! They’re both still married, love their kids, and so supportive.
- I love the issue this book deals with. It’s all family and love and friendship and dealing with the pasts. I really love to see Ari coming to term with his sexuality and to see he built that relationship with his father. It was so heartwarming ♥ I also love to see the bits of Mexican culture in it, though I wish there were more
- It’s not a five stars for me but for once I have nothing bad to say about a book! 😛
First thing first, I just want to say that I NEVER read books with lesbian person of color as main character before, nor have I read book that centered around feminism. I was surprised to find myself enjoyed this book so much! ♥
Diversity elements : POC MC, LGBTQIA, Puerto Rican culture, feminism
- I (in most way) don’t identify with Juliet. I mean, in terms of religion, sexual preference, race, and ethnicity, I literally have zero things in common with her. Yet I found her story so elegant and touching and (strangely) relatable
- Seeing Juliet embraced her sexuality was a really interesting experience and I loved to be in her head.
- Reading it was also eye opening. I’ve heard a lot about racism but this book told the story in a different way. It made me understand racism, especially between white people and other minorities in America, in a totally different level. It made me realize that racism would always, always exist, no matter how intelligent and open minded people are
- This book enlightened me of how broad feminism really is
- On the more technical aspects, I felt like the writing was dense and dragging at first. There were wayyy too much descriptions of unnecessary things. But as the story got more intense, the writing become lighter.
Everything Leads to You follows the story of Emi, a passionate set designer, and Ava, a long lost granddaughter of Hollywood super star. This is also the first LGBT book I read where the sexuality is not the issue. From the very first page of the book, Emi is already sure of her sexual preference. There was no confusing her self or any issues with coming out. Emi is openly lesbian and her family and friends accept that. Therefore, the LGBT element here is not the main aspect of the story. This story is about making peace with one’s past, chasing dreams, and finding love.
Diversity elements : LGBTQIA
- It was so enjoyable from the very first page! So light, fun, and cute ♥
- I love all the characters! I love the way Emi narrates the story. In fact, I love being in her head. I also love Charlotte, the other side characters, and Emi’s family 😀
- The story is not uncommon, but interesting. I love to follow Ava’s journey and see the revelation of her past
- The pacing is perfect and it was a really light read for me.
- I love Emi’s job! ♥ I loooove it more than I could ever love my future career (I guess?)! Her job is so cool and fun! I mean, she got to go to garage sales and flea markets and thrift stores to find meaningful things that would show up in a movie! Though of course, it’s a job, so it has its tedious moments, but still 😛
What I Learned from #DiverseAThon
- It was hard to break out of my comfort zone, but once it’s done, I’m craving for more! I learned about gay, lesbian, Puerto Rican, Ghanaian, Mexican, and now I wanna know about other African countries, other Latinas, other sexual orientation, basically EVERYTHING!
- This #DiverseAThon opened my eyes to so many possibilities out there ♥ It is such a great opportunity to try something new and find new books that you wouldn’t normally read
- I understand now that RACISM is a big deal! Like, BIG DEAL. It’s all around us and it’s inevitable no matter how often we claimed otherwise.
- It’s possible to relate to a character who has zero similarities with me
- I’m proud to say I’m 5 books more educated than I was before 😛
- I’m also sure that EVERYBODY must have learned something new this week
- I’m now absolutely sure that my favorite genres really are fantasy and contemporary under the YA category. I don’t do well with historical fiction. I tried, but I just couldn’t. I’d like to read tough and sensitive subjects in a light way. You’ve seen my reviews :’) Book recs on diverse fantasy/contemporary would be much appreciated! ♥
- I’m adding more and more books to my diversity TBR because I don’t want it to be just an occasional thing. I wanna read diverse books regularly 😀
So those are the books I read this week and what I learned so far! This #DiverseAThon has been AMAZING and I’d like to once again thank the lovely ladies mentioned above for hosting this genius event! ♥
Did you join #DiverseAThon? What books did you read this week? Have you read any of these books? Drop some comments and let me know what you think! 😀
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