Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. This week, the theme is “Ten Books That Celebrate Diversity” and we’re happy to be participating!
The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
I am so fond of this dystopian vampire trilogy. I’m especially fond of the second book which is just a thing of gory, action packed, ass kicking POC heroine, romantic glory. You know, it’s basically all of the things I love best. Alison + katana + vampiric badassery=everything you need.
Eon by Alison Goodman
Eon is a fantasy duology of magic, mysticism, and dragons in a blend of Japanese and Chinese astrology. Plus, there’s also the cross dressing element as Eon is really Eona, a girl hiding in plain sight as a boy since everyone just knows that a girl could never be a Dragoneye. Obviously.
Runaways by Brian K. Vaughn
I love this graphic novel series about a group of teenagers who find out their parents are all part of a league of super villains. The teens react to the news in different ways and they, of course, have inherited some powers of their own. To use them for good or ill? The group is racially diverse and one of their member, Karolina (my favorite!) is a lesbian. Also, one of the kids has a pet velociraptor and did you really need to know any more?
The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough
This lyrically written historical novel follows Love and Death personified as they bring their ancient game to 1930’s Seattle. Racial tension, class privilege, and queer identities are all explored in this beautiful and heart wrenching story.
Partials by Dan Wells
Partials is one of my favorite YA dystopian series and happens to feature two super badass (though in different ways) POC heroines. I love a good dystopian so much and add in an army of genetically engineered super soldiers struggling to reconcile their humanity and I’m hooked. Plus Kira, the main character, is also a scientist. STEM ladies ftw!
Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie
One of the most unique books I’ve ever read. All sense of gender is completely flipped as all characters are referred to as “she” no matter what their actual gender. Gender is such a non thing in this distant future society that pronouns literally don’t matter. This book is about the consciousness of an artificially intelligent ship that gets stuck into a puny human body. It’s space opera at its greatest. Also, basically none of the characters are white as would make sense of a humanity thousands and thousands of years into the future. Finally this is accurately portrayed in sci-fi!
A Matter of Souls by Denise Lewis Patrick
This book is criminally underrated and unknown. A 2014 release, the book is a compendium of short stories all relating the Black experience in America from the days of slavery through to the 20th century. It is as heart achingly sad as you’d expect but with moments of joy and of hope. It deserves to have much more attention that it’s received.
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
This beautiful and quiet and soaringly lyrical book tells the story of Ari and Dante, two Mexican-American teens growing up and growing together in the 1980’s. It’s such a tender portrayal of friendship and of how friendship can develop into more so naturally and quietly. A beautiful story of love and acceptance and one of my very favorite pieces of queer fiction.
The Animorphs series by K.A. Applegate
Did you think I was never going to find a way to sneak Animorphs into a TTT? You thought wrong! Two of the five original gang are POC and maybe I shouldn’t be as impressed as I am, but this was the 90’s and such things were much less common. Please don’t make me beg you to read this amazing MG series about kids who transform into animals to save the Earth against a race of parasitic aliens. Come on.
Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman
Shadow Scale expanded upon the world and already strong cast of characters, taking us on a cross-continental journey in search of half-dragons and gods. Layla said this is one of the most queer-friendly fantasy books she’s ready in years and I agree! It’s a little bit spoiler-y to go into why exactly, but the reveal is done so well and it is such a delight (and a great resolution to a sort of love triangle).
And there are my top ten diverse books! There are so many others on my TBR and many that I’m sure just slipped my mind for this exercise. I basically rely on my Goodreads shelving capabilities when looking up reads by diversity factor. So tell me–what’s missing from my list? Agree? Disagree with my choices? I’d love to hear your thoughts!