The Diversity Corner #1 : February News, Muslim Representation, and March New Releases

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Hello everyone, welcome to the first edition ever of The Diversity Corner! 

You might remember my post about my stance as diverse book blogger and the introduction of my feature. I’m a bit nervous but HERE I AM, with its first edition ♥ Today I’ll be talking about Muslim representation. I chose this topic because this is the one topic that is so close to my heart. I’ve been living and learning it ever since I was a baby, so this is the topic that I’m most comfortable talking about. I promise you, I won’t be preachy! I won’t sell or promote my religion to you. I just want to talk about its representation in book–or rather, the lack there of 😂

But before we get there, let’s start with the first two sections : diversity news & updates and diverse book bloggers spotlight ♥

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Diversity news & update is basically an update about diversity related news that I could find around the blogosphere or the publishing industry.

MUSLIM BAN AND THE RESPONSES
Ever since the Muslim ban policy, there’s been a lot of riot going on. I’m not gonna talk about politics though, because what do I know? I don’t even live in US. But one thing that came out of this trouble is that writers all over the world are getting more eager to write their stories! Trump’s restriction gave them the push to write and promote diverse books. If you want to know their story ideas, go click on this tag –> #writeyourresistance.

SENSITIVITY READERS
If you’re involved in book Twitter, you’ve probably seen the debates about it. If you’re not, well, let me catch you up. I forgot to save the evidence but here’s a brief recap : a few weeks ago there’s an article saying that sensitivity reader is… well, useless. This person who wrote the article also said that she hates that it’s becoming a trend in the publishing industry. (PS. A sensitivity reader reviews a manuscript for internalized bias and negatively charged language.  A sensitivity reader is there to help writers avoid mistakes). It brought up the question: why wouldn’t people want a sensitivity reader? People consult a medical experts when they write about illness or medical procedures, so why shouldn’t they consult a cultural expert when they’re writing about a particular culture?

EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING MOVIE TRAILER
If you didn’t know, EE by Nicola Yoon is going to be made into a movie. I know a lot of people love the book but it’s been brought to attention that the book is extremely problematic. It’s ableist. I haven’t read it, but I’ve read a lot of reviews that mentioned the same thing. I’m not discouraging you from reading the book or watching the movie, but it wouldn’t hurt for you to read these reviews written by reviewers who share the same condition as the main character 🙂

(STOP) ROMANTICIZING SELF HARM (AND MENTAL ILLNESS IN GENERAL)
Trigger Warning : Self Harm
A few days ago someone recreated the cover of Carve the Mark by painting it on her forearm so basically it was a picture of a painted blue arm with golden slits dripping golden blood. That image is triggering for people who’s attempted to harm themselves & people with suicidal thoughts and tendencies. A lot of people commented and said that the photo was hurtful and ask the person to take it down. She put trigger warning on the caption but refused to take the picture down. She said it was just art and she has the freedom to show her talents. A lot of people rushed to her defense and said a lot of things but some of the most offensive things they said were that trigger warning is useless and people who are easily triggered and/or people with MI shouldn’t even be here (re instagram).

There are so many issues we need to talk about here.

  1. Self-harm is not art. Sarah @ Written Word Worlds wrote a post about why we shouldn’t romanticize self harm and she explains things better than I ever would.
  2. Trigger warning is not useless. It’s to protect people from seeing stuffs that will trigger them. I don’t have any triggers and I’m so, so thankful for that, but that doesn’t mean everyone is the same. I know that it’s impossible to put TW on every triggers because there are a lot of possibly triggering stuffs that we don’t know, BUT as a starter, more common triggers like self-harm, suicide, rape, sexual abuse, etc need to be put under warning. You lost nothing by putting trigger warning. Aimal wrote a post about trigger warning in her blog and I recommend you to check it out 🙂 Oh, it is useless to put trigger warning on instagram because people see the picture before they read the caption. 
  3. The lack of empathy. People, please… just because people are different from you doesn’t mean their opinion is invalid.

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In this section, I’m going to introduce some incredible diverse book bloggers along with some of their most notable posts. I’ll also try to match it with the theme, i.e today the theme is about Muslim, then I will introduce you some of my favorite Muslim bloggers 🙂

FADWA @ WORD WONDERS
Fadwa is the first Muslim blogger I knew and we’ve been blogging best friends ever since! ♥ she’s such a smart blogger who writes lots of good and eye opening posts. A few weeks ago Fadwa also wrote a post about muslim representation and it was so relatable. I even asked her to proof read this post to make sure it’s accurate and not offensive hahaha! She also just launched a sensitivity reading service so definitely consider her if you want to write about Moroccan and/or Muslim characters! 🙂 Some of Fadwa’s most notable post :

NUZAIFA @ WORD CONTESSA
I haven’t interacted with Nuzaifa as much as I’d like to but I’ve been following her twitter for quite a while. She tweets and retweets a lot of good stuffs about Islam and diversity in general. I just recently found her blog and it’s incredible! Not only it’s gorgeous, she also posts amazing contents ♦ Some of her most notable post :

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Do you know how many times I read books with Muslim characters in it? I don’t know… maybe 5, at best. And not all of them are good representation. I know, it’s sad 😦

For years I accepted the fact that most books will only portray White and non-Muslim characters and mostly set in US. When I was thinking of writing my own book in English, I wasn’t sure if I should write about a Muslim character living in Indonesia because I’ve never seen one like it. Will people read that book? Will it sell? But lately, I’ve seen a lot of authors portray Muslim characters and it gave me the confidence that our stories matter too ♥

When it comes to Islam representations, there are a lot issues that need to be addressed.

The Common Misconceptions

MUSLIM PEOPLE ARE NOT TERRORISTS.

Sure, there are a lot of terrorists who claimed to do what they did in the name of Islam but the truth is, terrorists have no religion. Every religion is peaceful, Islam included. Those people just use our religion to justify their vile purposes. There are a lot of shootings done by non-Muslim people but we don’t label THEIR religion as terrorists, so why should there be a double standard when it comes to Islam? People have to stop overgeneralizing.

MUSLIM PEOPLE AREN’T BACKWARD SOCIETY EITHER. How we live depends on where we live and the cultures in it. The problem is, a lot of non-Muslim people often confuse Islamic culture and culture in general.

Let’s take arranged/forced marriage for example. Western and more liberal countries might think that the practice of arranged marriage limits our freedom and that we need saving from it. The truth is, we don’t always do. Some people love to have an arranged marriage because most parents want the best for their kids, therefore, they’re gonna look for the best husband or wife candidates for their kids. Plus it’s easier because the kids have their parents’ blessing already and parents’ blessing are really important for us. But then again, arranged marriage isn’t mandatory. My father is a conservative and religious man but he doesn’t practice arranged marriage. He met my mom in university, dated for a few years, and finally got married. He also allows me to date guys and choose my own boyfriend or future husband.

Another example is the use of burqa and chadar, or basically the face-veiling portion. Islam advised both men and women to dress modestly and cover their body parts. But there’s no rule that says we have to cover our face, so it means that face-veiling portion isn’t mandatory. Some cultures strongly require that, especially the countries in Central Asia, but my country doesn’t. A lot of people wear hijab like I do, but we don’t cover our faces.

That being said, some traditions are more of a cultural thing than a religious thing. Some cultures might practice certain traditions and they just happen to be Muslims.

ISLAM IS MOST DEFINITELY NOT MONOLITH.

Muslim people come from different countries, different ethnicity, and different cultures. Those differences make Islam a very diverse religion, which means that our religious identity intersects with race, gender, sexuality, nationality, and ethnicity. Even among the same race or ethnicity, every Muslim person has their own level of faith. We interpret the Quran differently and we each have personal and unique relationship with our God.

I can’t stress this enough but MUSLIM PEOPLE ARE NOT ONE DIMENSIONAL. Just like people in general. A person could wear hijab and still does bad things, even neglects her obligation to perform prayer. A person who wears provocative clothes might be even more religious than you think, who knows, they might spend their time praying, reading the Quran, and doing other good things. We never know. But one thing is for sure, our relationship with our religion affects how we think, feel, act, and it affects how we make a decision. It’s our guidance in life.

That’s why stories with Muslim characters should reflect that. It has to reflect how our religion affects our behavior. It’s not enough to say that a character is Muslim, wears hijab, and probably has conservative, extra protective parents like some books portray us to be. Not all of muslim girls wear hijab, not all of us have conservative parents, because once again, everyone has different level of relationship with their faith.

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More often than not I read books portraying some overly conservative parents whose kids want to rebel against them. We do not want to rebel against our parents. My parents and I disagree a lot, but that doesn’t mean I want to rebel against my parents. We don’t all want to be a wild child. We need more characters like Sam in Magnus Chase. She’s open minded and wants to go out there saving the world but she also listens to her grand parents. She goes to Mosque with them and she agrees to be in an arranged marriage because she knows her grand parents want the best for her. Plus her betrothed is a really amazing guy 😛

Now that we covered some important misconceptions, it’s time to talk about what we need to see more in books involving Muslim characters

What I Want to See More in Books

  1. Main characters who turn to Allah in the face of problems. In contemporary books, we often see our MCs face multiple problems at the same time : school problem, misunderstanding with friends, lover’s quarrel, siblings fight, etc. You know what I do when I face those problems other than trying to solve them? I pray. I ask Allah for guidance and to give me strength. A lot of my fellow Muslim friends do the same. I want to see a protagonist does this in books 🙂
  2. Romantic relationship between Muslim characters. Contrary to the popular stereotypical belief, some of us do date. Like I said above, not all cultures forbid us from dating. But generally, a relationship between Muslim people is different from what we see in contemporary books. Most of Muslim couple don’t kiss in public, or even at all. But then again, everything depends on the person itself. I’d loooove to read books that portray this.
  3. The relationship between Islam and sexuality. I’m not gonna go into this but one thing is for sure, sexuality is a bit of a taboo topic when it comes to our religion. That’s why it’s sooo rarely discussed! I want to see Muslim people figure out their sexuality, their struggle, the dynamic with their family, how they come to term with it and all that. It’s such an important story to tell. There’s only one book in which I read about the relationship between religion and sexuality and that was Noteworthy by Riley Redgate. It wasn’t about Islam though. That’s why I want to see this portrayal in books.
  4. Science fiction and fantasy books with Muslim protagonists. I want to see the characters take break to pray between their quests. I want to see them ask for Allah’s blessing before doing something dangerous. It’ll be so interesting and relatable! 🙂

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Well, now that we’ve talked about the misconceptions and what I want to see more in books, it’s time for book recommendations! Below are books 1) involving Muslim characters, 2) about Islam, and/or 3) written by Muslim authors. It’ll be a mix of books you could read now and books that haven’t been published. I haven’t read all of them but I’ve read the summary or reviews by other Muslim bloggers 🙂

(I’m not providing any description because this post is long enough already. Click the links to be directed to Goodreads/Amazon/TBD)

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♦ Sophia Khan is Not Obliged by Ayisha Malik (Goodreads • Amazon The Book Depository) ♦ The Story of Maha by Sumayya Lee (Goodreads • Amazon) ♦ God Smites and Other Muslim Girl Problems by Ishara Deen (Goodreads • Amazon) ♦ Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed (Goodreads • Amazon The Book Depository) ♦

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♦ The Gauntlet by Karuna Riazi (Goodreads • Amazon The Book Depository) ♦ Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan (Goodreads • Amazon The Book Depository) ♦ The Thing We Call A Heart by Sheba Karim (Goodreads • Amazon The Book Depository) ♦ Sains and Misfits by S. K. Ali (Goodreads • Amazon The Book Depository) ♦

Other recommendation posts from other bloggers ♥

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In this last section, I will show you some diverse books that will be released in the following month. Since this is February, I’m gonna make a list of March diverse releases that I’m most excited for ♥ I’ve read some books on this list and I will provide my thoughts for every book. Oh and if you have more recommendations, don’t hesitate to leave a comment or link me to your post 😀
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YOU’RE WELCOME UNIVERSE BY WHITNEY GARDNER
Release date : March 7th

When Julia finds a slur about her best friend scrawled across the back of the Kingston School for the Deaf, she covers it up with a beautiful (albeit illegal) graffiti mural.

Her supposed best friend snitches, the principal expels her, and her two mothers set Julia up with a one-way ticket to a “mainstream” school in the suburbs, where she’s treated like an outcast as the only deaf student. The last thing she has left is her art, and not even Banksy himself could convince her to give that up.

Out in the ’burbs, Julia paints anywhere she can, eager to claim some turf of her own. But Julia soon learns that she might not be the only vandal in town. Someone is adding to her tags, making them better, showing off—and showing Julia up in the process. She expected her art might get painted over by cops. But she never imagined getting dragged into a full-blown graffiti war.

Told with wit and grit by debut author Whitney Gardner, who also provides gorgeous interior illustrations of Julia’s graffiti tags, You’re Welcome, Universe introduces audiences to a one-of-a-kind protagonist who is unabashedly herself no matter what life throws in her way.

THOUGHTS : I received this book from publisher via Netgalley in exchange for honest review but believe me when I say this book is incredible! ♥ It’s about a Deaf, Indian girl with two lesbian moms who are equally Deaf. Also since it’s about art, there are a lot of illustrations inside the book and they’re all so gorgeous 😀

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QUEENS OF GEEK BY JEN WILDE
Release date : March 14th

When BFFs Charlie, Taylor and Jamie go to SupaCon, they know it’s going to be a blast. What they don’t expect is for it to change their lives forever.

Charlie likes to stand out. SupaCon is her chance to show fans she’s over her public breakup with co-star, Jason Ryan. When Alyssa Huntington arrives as a surprise guest, it seems Charlie’s long-time crush on her isn’t as one-sided as she thought.

While Charlie dodges questions about her personal life, Taylor starts asking questions about her own.

Taylor likes to blend in. Her brain is wired differently, making her fear change. And there’s one thing in her life she knows will never change: her friendship with Jamie—no matter how much she may secretly want it to. But when she hears about the Queen Firestone SupaFan Contest, she starts to rethink her rules on playing it safe.

THOUGHTS : I requested this from Netgalley but never heard back so I guess I got declined? 😦 I’m sad but anyway it’ll come out in about 2 weeks and I’m ready to preorder! I’ve heard a lot of great things about this book, mostly the fact that it’s so dorky and has accurate bisexual representation. Who else is excited? 😀

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A CROWN OF WISHES BY ROSHANI CHOKSHI
Release date : March 28th

Gauri, the princess of Bharata, has been taken as a prisoner of war by her kingdom’s enemies. Faced with a future of exile and scorn, Gauri has nothing left to lose. Hope unexpectedly comes in the form of Vikram, the cunning prince of a neighboring land and her sworn enemy kingdom. Unsatisfied with becoming a mere puppet king, Vikram offers Gauri a chance to win back her kingdom in exchange for her battle prowess. Together, they’ll have to set aside their differences and team up to win the Tournament of Wishes—a competition held in a mythical city where the Lord of Wealth promises a wish to the victor.

Reaching the tournament is just the beginning. Once they arrive, danger takes on new shapes: poisonous courtesans and mischievous story birds, a feast of fears and twisted fairy revels.

Every which way they turn new trials will test their wit and strength. But what Gauri and Vikram will soon discover is that there’s nothing more dangerous than what they most desire.

THOUGHTS : I don’t know if you remember this but I’m not a fan of The Star Touched Queen. I thought it was just a beautiful book with no real plot and weak characters. BUT, I’m still incredibly excited for the sequel because 1) Gauri will be a much better and stronger protagonist than Maya, 2) I believe Roshani Chokshi’s writing will improve, and 3) I’ve heard so many positive reviews even from reviewers who didn’t enjoy TSTQ.

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LET’S TALK!

  1. What do you think about all the things that happen concerning diversity in the bookish community? (re: diverse books, sensitivity reading, problematic books, trigger warning, etc)
  2. What do you think about Muslim representation in books? Do you find a lot of books with (accurate) Muslim rep? Did my discussion clear the misconception and help you understand more about Islam and Muslim people in general?
  3. What is your favorite book with Muslim protagonist? Are you interested to read the books on my recommendation list?
  4. Who else are excited for March diverse releases? 😀 Because I AM! So many great books coming out soon ♥

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Well that concludes the first edition of The Diversity Corner! 😀 I have to admit, it’s the longest and most complicated post I ever wrote 🙈 it took me 5 days and so much energy to finish this post so I really hope it’s worth the effort ♥ NOW LET’S TALK! Go answer my questions, go ask your own questions, or we can discuss anything! 

Anyway, what do you think about this feature? Did you find it helpful? Is there anything you think I should add (or delete)? The next diversity corner will be up on March 25th and I’m looking for advice to improve 🙂

Last but not least, I’m kindly asking for you to share this post. Share it on your twitter, tumblr, facebook, repin this to your pinterest account, and so on. I never ask you to do this but this post is important to me so it means a lot if you spread the word about it ♥

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91 thoughts on “The Diversity Corner #1 : February News, Muslim Representation, and March New Releases

  1. Yeah, I really enjoyed this! Great first post for the new feature! 😄

    Oh, yeah, I stayed away from Everything, Everything because I’m not a contemporary reader and it didn’t interest me and then I saw Cait’s review at A Page With A View. I’d already been spoiled, so there really wasn’t a point, TBH.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I saw a talk about sensitivity reader too last year, but it’s more from the person who’s appointed as sensitivity reader. She (or was it a he?) was approved for a book, but instead for saying and criticize what’s wrong to the publishers, she/he talked about it on twitter instead! So maybe that’s why some people feel sensitivity reader is unecessary, since things can blow up really big. Also, I love this post! I never read any books with muslim rep, so the recs sound really great! And despite the tension happening lately, esp. during the jakarta election, I know muslim people are good. Most of my friends are muslim, and even though some of their families participated in the demonstration, none of them discriminate me and they even said that I could hide at their place if a riot happened! People really need to be more open minded instead of trusting everything the news told them.

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    • Yeah I saw that too, but I think it was HER fault for calling out the book in the first place. Her job is to help the author avoid mistakes, not to explain the mistakes on Twitter, right? </3 but I personally think it's not that. From what I see, the people who said that we didn't need sensitivity readers are mostly people who… well, let's say it seemed they don't care about diversity. AND THANK YOU! Ugh tell me about it. I don't want to talk about Muslim in Indonesia RIGHT NOW. It's getting so out of hand and I feel bad 😦 but yeahhh I see your point haha and it's amazing you have nice friends with high level of tolerance 😀

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  3. I love this new feature,Puput ❤ I just love this post to bits and pieces.I even read it over three times (#obsessed).And thank you for giving me new recs for reading diverse reads 🙂

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  4. I knew you were gonna kill this feature! Such an amazing post! I’m so glad you added the news portion because I’m sure there are a lot of people who don’t bookstagram or Twitter and they don’t get to see the kinds of things prevalent in the community as a whole.
    The only books I’ve read with Muslim characters are And I Darken and the Great Library series but since they’re written by white authors, I’m sure there are some things that aren’t accurate. I’m definitely gonna make it a point to try and read some of those recs you gave! ❤️😄

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  5. This was such an amazing post to read! I loved all the different information and recommendations you included, I really feel like I learned a lot of things I didn’t know before, and saw a piece of the world from a completely different perspective. Posts like these that really remind me why diversity makes our world such a beautiful place to be. I’m also so excited for those March releases! I hadn’t yet heard of You’re Welcome, Universe but I already added it to my TBR! I was lucky enough to win an ARC of Crown of Wishes, so hopefully I’ll be able to read it soon 🙂

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    • Thank you, I’m so glad you loved it! Makes it worth the effort 😀 I agree, it would be amazing if books tell ALL the stories out there! I want to know the stories of people from all races, religion, ethic, etc 😀 I added You’re Welcome Universe to my TBR solely because of the cover, but turned out it was such a great diverse read ❤ yayyy happy reading and hope you enjoy A Crown of Wishes, can't wait to get my hands on that book 😀

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  6. What a great and thorough post! Wonderful! I read Everything, Everything and also had a big problem with it, but it was actually about her mother rather than Maddie (no spoliers). I really don’t think I want to see the movie. Anyway, it was really interesting learning about what you would like to see in Muslim representation in literature – and thank for the recommendations!

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  7. Ahhh, I love this feature already! Thanks for all the time and energy you put into this post! It really paid off. 🙂 And thanks for the blog recommendations– I’ll for sure be checking them out. I’m ashamed to say that I’ve only read a few books with Muslim MCs, but I have lots on my TBR! I’m so excited for The Gauntlet, Saints & Misfits, and That Thing We Call a Heart. I also love all your ideas about things you want to see in books with Muslim characters. I’ve already read Queens of Geek and Inexplicable Logic and really enjoyed them both (though I’ve heard some reviewers call out some problematic elements in Inexplicable Logic). And I can’t wait to read A Crown of Wishes!

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    • Thank you so much Madalyn! So glad it was worth the effort 😀 you definitely should, they’re both amazing bloggers! well even *I* have only read a few books with Muslim characters so I don’t blame you ahaha but I’m so excited for all these upcoming releases! I hope they live up to our expectation ❤ I can't wait to read Queens of Geek and I just heard about the problematic element of Inexplicable yesterday. I updated my review and included a link to the review that talks about it in detail 🙂

      Like

  8. This post is so brilliant, thank you! I’m quite ashamed to say that I’ve only ever read one book with Muslim characters – Sofia Khan. I’m definitely going to be looking at all the other books you recommended, because this is a real area of oversight in my reading.

    I can’t wait for next month’s post! Have you decided what you’re going to focus on?

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    • Thank YOU! ❤ I don't blame you, there's not enough YA books, especially the popular ones, with Muslim characters so we reallllyyy have to look for them haha but I'm glad we have a lot of upcoming releases for it 😀

      I did, it's supposed to be about Asian representation but I haven't decided *how* I'm going to do it since Asia is multiethnic and multicultural. I might ask a few Asian bloggers to team up with me 🙂

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  9. I absolutely adore this feature to pieces already. Everything that you wrote in this post was phenomenal (and it’s beautiful looking), your hard work definitely paid off. I had similar issues with Everything, Everything when I read it last month, and it also got a low rating from me. Although, my review is not as eloquent as Cait’s! I agree with you a lot, why would people be against sensitivity readers? I’ve never heard of them before, but I LOVE the idea. I won’t go too much into detail concerning the Instagram CTM drama, but I’m so upset with how it was/has been handled. It makes me sad that someone in the book community can’t understand the problem here. Personally, I really don’t know all that much about Islam and the Muslim community, but this post has shed a lot of light for me, and now I have some fantastic recommendations to expand my knowledge it even further! PS. If you wrote a book about a Muslim protagonist set in India, I would SO read it. Lovely post Puput, and looking forwards to more from this feature!

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    • Thank you so much! I’m so glad it was worth the effort 😀 I think sensitivity reader is a GREAT addition to the publishing industry. If authors hire one/a few of them, it would be easier to avoid mistakes (thought not completely). I know right, I genuinely thought it could have been handled better </3

      I'm SO GLAD to help you learn more about Islam and Muslim people! 😀 not many books portray us correctly so I guess it'll help to clear up some of the common misconceptions ahaha I hope you enjoy these books when you read them ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  10. YAY! You know I’ve been eagerly anticipating your first diversity corner post so when I saw this I actually did a little happy dance before reading it 😂. This is such a brilliant and informative post, Puput! And I love the little news feature that talks about things diversity wise that are going on around the book community since I don’t venture out of my blogging bubble and onto other social media very often. The terrible thing is I’m not sure if I’ve ever read a book with a Muslim MC before. I’ve always wanted to because I love learning about different cultures and religions and just seeing what life is like outside of my own. But I’ve never known where to start or where to look for good recommendations, you know? I actually have most of these on my TBR now though because of Fadwa’s post about Muslim representation (which I loved). So, I’m really excited to hopefully read a few of them this year. The one’s I don’t have on my TBR I will definitely be checking out! Also, that sucks that The Inexplicable Logic of My Life didn’t have much of a plot. I’m in book hangover mode after a fast-paced fantasy novel with an incredible plot so now I’m kind of worried about whether I’ll be able to get into that right now since I got approved for an ARC from NetGalley. Hopefully it works out though lol. Great post and I can’t wait for your next one! 😁💕

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    • OMG REALLY?! You’re seriously the best Melissa, you made this post worth my effort ahahaha 😛 I’m glad you find this helpful! I know not a lot of bloggers are active on book twitter so I guess it’ll be fun to catch them up here. Sort of like gossip section but more informative, I hope hahaha!

      Even I as a Muslim person don’t read many books with Muslim characters! I admit though, we don’t have many popular YA about Islam so I really don’t blame you hahaha I hope you like them when you read them! 😀 ahh have you read Caraval? I was in fantasy slump for like, 3 months and Caraval actually pulled me out of my slump hahaha and yayyy, I hope the next one will be even better ❤

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      • Yes! I was so excited when I saw it. 😁 Definitely more informative, you talked about several thing’s I wasn’t aware of at all.
        I really hope that’s something that changes and that one day there are more popular YA books out there about Islam. I feel like YA is the perfect platform to not only give readers a fun read but to also educate them while doing so. And of course it’s so important to provide books that represent every reader.
        I haven’t yet but it is on my TBR for this year. I’m waiting until I get some immediate reads off before I buy and read it. I’m thinking it’s not so much that I’m falling into a slump but rather I want my next read to be really fast-paced. I’m hoping Blood Rose Rebellion is because I have to read it for review. And I’m betting your next one will be amazing! 😁💕

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        • YESSSS Amen to that hahaha I agree, it’s a great channel to expose young readers to foreign cultures and religion 😀 well Caraval is pretty fast paced and it was soooo magical I really loved it hahaha 😀 oh great, happy reading and I hope you enjoy it! Blood Rose Rebellion is definitely one of my most anticipated release ❤

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  12. This is such a great post and very resourceful, Puput! Thanks for catching us up with the latest happenings on Book Twitter – I’ve been really inactive these past few weeks (months??) that I’ve never heard of some of the things you mentioned.

    Like you, I’d also really like to see YA books that have a bit more ‘religion’ in them. I’m personally an agnostic and probably won’t be able to relate to those protagonists on that front, but I know many, many of my friends do pray when they’re having problems as well and they’ve always said that it gives them peace. Basically – the more stories told, the more varied they are, the better. 🙂

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  13. I love this feature, Puput and you did a really amazing job 💕
    I love that it helps me to learn more about a new culture! I love that you informed us about common misconceptions and I’ll definitely keep that in mind when reading a book that features a Muslim character.
    Also thanks for all the wonderful book recommendations that I’ll be sure to add to my TBR 😊 I loved that you also shared what you would like to see more in books and I hope that authors are paying attention!
    I can’t wait for the next Diversity Corner 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Thank you so much for compiling so much great information into one post. I feel like I tend to miss a lot of things that are happening in the book community because I honestly don’t check twitter that often, and it was nice to have you summarize some of the big stuff in your post. I also really enjoyed reading your discussion about Muslims in books and look forward to checking out your recommendations. I can’t express how much I appreciate the work that you and other diverse book bloggers put into the community – you are so incredible and I hope you know how appreciated you are.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Of course, I’m glad that this post is helpful and informative! 😀 I’m trying to raise awareness so people could know what happens in the bookish community even when they’re not around hehe yayy I hope you enjoy these books when you get the chance to read them. And this means a lot, what you said about appreciating our work! I hope we could continue to promote diversity and inspire more people to do the same ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I really liked the section where you talked about the things you’d like to see more in books. I had to stop after reading your examples because I couldn’t think of a single book where anything you described had happened! I’ve definitely read books where the character turns to prayer for guidance, but I’ve never read about anyone praying to Allah specifically. I also think it would be so interesting read about the dynamics of a romantic relationship between two Muslim characters, who had just begun dating.

    If you could find book examples of the misconceptions you talk about, I think that would add a whole extra level to your post! Maybe a section where you compare two books and talk about how one got it right and how the other got it wrong?

    I really enjoyed this feature – I look forward to the next edition!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you enjoyed this post! 😀 hmm is it possible you never come across most of these examples because you haven’t read many books with Muslim characters?hehe because based on my experience, these misconceptions are pretty common 😦 but I don’t blame you if you haven’t read books with Muslim characters! They’re pretty rare ahaha hmm I might do that for the next edition, thank you for your suggestion 😀 the next one will be up on March 25 so definitely stay tuned for it ❤

      Like

  16. I am honestly SOOO in love with your Diversity Corner, it’s amazing and so complete and is like a monthly magazine with everything we need to know about Diversity this past month and IT’S SO GREAT !! ❤ I'm in awe because of how you got this idea to start off haha and how much time and effort it took so thank you for doing this for us ! :*
    Also, THANK YOU FOR FEATURING ME ! I love you Puput and I'm so happy we're blogging best friends. ❤ ❤
    I can't wait for many many upcoming and successful issues of Diversity Corner, Insha'Allah!

    Liked by 1 person

    • AWWWW THANK YOU SO MUCH FADWA! 😀 it was sooo exhausting to put this post together so I hope it really is worth the effort 😛 so far the responses are great and I’m so glad people find this helpful!

      No worries! I love your blog and YOU! 😛 cheers to many, many more edition of Diversity Corner! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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  18. I love this feature, and you can tell so much effort has been put into this post! (I’ll be sharing it on twitter!)
    So many things to discuss, I don’t even know where to begin – but I’ll try to keep it short. The whole thing with Everything Everything, that book has been wavering on and off my TBR for so long, I eventually just asked my friend to tell me what happens. I can definitely see how it offends people, it’s such a cop-out! To believe you have an entire book written about your condition, only to have it ripped away? Gosh.
    Then there’s trigger warnings, which are so so important. This year I’ve started adding trigger warnings to my reviews and booktube videos (like when I do wrap ups), and I don’t get why more people don’t do it? It’s not exactly hard. Sure, there’s times when it can be hard figuring out what trigger warnings might be needed, but it only takes a quick google. And if there’s any chance it could harm someone, add it anyway. Better safe than sorry!
    As for Muslim representation, I don’t understand how there’s not more of it out there. It’s such a huge part of the world. I grew up with muslim friends and from that know how/why they used hijabs, their stance on arranged marriage, how their culture works. BUT I’m also aware that it’s different for everyone, and I only know their side – books are so important for showing that. We can only learn if the resources are out there!
    Thank you for this feature! ❤ Everything you've mentioned is so so important, and it helps people like me – who probably wouldn't be great at wording things correctly, and definitely can't (and won't) speak for others – understand/learn/just take it in that bit more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahh thank you so much Ashleigh! 😀 I know right, I could only imagine it must be so offensive 😦 and yes!! I think it’s easy to put TW on some of the most common triggers. I could understand how it must be harder for the less common ones. I agree! People who don’t have the trigger would still read the books and people who have could avoid it, it’s a win win for everyone, really ahaha

      Ahh I heard that England has one of the biggest Muslim population! 😀 exactly, I think it’s important for books to tell every kind of stories instead of just repeating the same ones all over again haha

      Thank YOU so much for reading and this fabulous response, it really makes it worth the effort ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  19. This is a great post and I’m so happy you’re doing this! I haven’t read a lot of books with any kind of muslim rep, if at all. 😦 Although I now have my sights set on Written in the Stars, since I’m pretty sure I’ve seen it at my local bookstore.

    In my country, we believe most of what people usually say about muslim people. The general concensus is that it’s ignorant to condemn all just for a few that do bad things. But in regards to arranged marriage, public displays of affection, and the role of women in society… Those are things we’ve always frowned upon. Because it’s so different from our western culture. And I have to admit I, in particular, had never been fond of the role of women, which is why I was super relieved when I finally did some research and found out that indeed, it’s not like that at all. I was worried that women were unhappy and mistreated. I think that if I’d read about your culture before, I would have gotten rid of those stereotypes in my mind sooner. So I hope you get your wish of these books soon! These all sound like things a lot people would need to read to challenge their idea of your culture. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Written in the Stars is a bit… extreme, for a first read. It’s brutal and if you decide to read it, I hope you keep an open mind and remember that it’s not just a portrayal of Islam but also Pakistani culture and not all Muslim people adopt the same tradition 🙂

      I know, that’s why I feel like it’s necessary to clear up all the misconceptions. Somehow there’s this stereotype that Muslim women are oppressed! While it might be true for some cultures, it doesn’t reflect Islam in general because Islam treats women highly ❤ I'm so glad to know that I help you understand a bit more about Islam 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hmmm thanks for the heads up! I’ll have to look into your other suggestions then, and get to Written in the Stars eventually! ❤

        And yay! Yes, it's just something we're practically brought up to believe. And that belief wasn't challenged for me until I met so many bookish friends that are muslim and in spite of having some cultural differences, they aren't opressed at all. So, thank you for again clearing things out. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  20. Wow, this is such a beautiful and interesting post to read, I can’t imagine how long it must have took you to put this together, but I’m glad. I often miss out on a lot of things in the blogging community especially on Twitter, and lots of the discussions regarding diversity or some issues being raised happen when I am sleeping, so…anyway all of this to say that I am so thankful for this and for you making me more aware of everything happening. This is a feature I’ll look forward to all the time, I can feel it 🙂
    And all of this is very inspiring – you’re making me want to think and write and research about all of this, really ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • It did take so much time and energy but worth it hahaha I’m so glad that you found this post helpful Marie 😀 ugh yes I still missed out on a lot! It’s very common for me to wake up to a mess on Twitter whilst having no idea what actually happens 🙊 yayyy I really hope you do! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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  23. This post is absolutely amazing seriously just 100% amazing, thank you so much for creating this I can’t wait to read more. Queens of Geeks is amazing not only does it star a Bi POC but the other main has ASD and it isn’t the focus of the story, it’s just nerdy geeky awesomeness 😄

    I can’t wait to read You’re Welcome Universe, my birthdays in March and it’s already on my wish list 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank YOU! 😀 ughhh I heard sooo many good things about it and can’t wait for it to be released 😂 yayy my copy of You’re Welcome Universe will be up tomorrow, in case you’re interested haha and that’s awesome!! I always love birthday hauls 😛

      Liked by 1 person

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  26. Great post! I really like this feature, and thanks for sharing books with Muslim characters and/or Muslim authors. I really want to read Amina’s Voice. I’m not Muslim, but I DO wish it was featured more in novels. It’s important to show more diverse and accurate representations of those who practice Islam, especially because people often have a bad interpretation.

    -Lauren

    p.s. I shared one of your reviews here: http://letsgetbeyondtolerance.blogspot.com/2017/03/rainbow-roundup-reviews-book-look-and.html

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yayyy I’m so glad you found this post helpful and enjoyable 😀 Me too! I requested for an ARC but hadn’t heard back, it sounds really interesting and I love getting representation ❤ thank you for featuring my review on your post, I really appreciate it 🙂

      Like

  27. Nice post and thought provoking for those of us who have little experience with Muslim representation in books. I hope that we can can get more of that! Thank you for sharing!

    I think Queens of Geek looks great, definitely want to get it.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. I’ve read a number of books featuring Muslim characters, all of them #ownvoices, I think. But the total is still only a handful, so I’ve been adding a bunch more to my TBR. Sofia Khan Is Not Obliged is on there, and I already bought a copy, so it’s just a matter of time before I get to it. The upcoming releases you listed above have been on my radar for a while as well, and I actually have the ARCs for both The Gauntlet and Amina’s Voice, so I’ll be getting to reading and reviewing them soon. Based on the books about Muslim characters I’ve seen floating around, I’d say that Southeast Asian Muslims and Central Asian Muslims are underrepresented (including Chinese Muslims belonging to various non-Han ethnic groups in the Northwestern parts of China), so I’d like to read more books about them in addition to the stuff that you and Fadwa discussed about what you’d like to see more of as far as Muslim representation is concerned. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeahhh I wish there were more books with Muslim characters and more spotlight for them hehe I read a lot of books with Muslim characters written by my local authors (Indonesia) and most of them are greats. If only more of them were translated to English…. 😂😂 ohh that’s awesome! I’m not a big MG reader but I’m SO EXCITED for The Gauntlet and Amina’s Voice hahaha I hope we both enjoy them 😀

      OOOOHH IT’S TRUE! Most books with Muslim characters portray South Asians, right? I wish there were more books like that too! Would be amazing to see my exact self represented in books hahaha cheers to better reps in the future! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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  30. Puput, this was such a great read and I loved reading your perspective on the Muslim culture and common misconceptions, plus your focus on diversity and books that you’ve read. I definitely learnt a lot from your post, so thanks for sharing your insight!

    Liked by 1 person

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