Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created by the ladies at The Broke and The Bookish, and each Tuesday has a different theme. This week’s topic is “Ten Books That Celebrate Diversity/Diverse Characters.” At first I thought I’d have no trouble coming up with a list, but I quickly realized that most of my diverse reads focused on LGBTQ characters/relationships. While that’s obviously still great, I wish that I had more books on this list that highlight different cultures, religions, disabilities, etc. So if you have any recommendations for me, especially your favorite diverse reads, I’d love to hear about them!
1. More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera. Aaron Soto can almost handle being poor in the Bronx and dealing with the fallout of his father’s suicide. But when he starts to fall for his friend Thomas, Aaron has to decide if he wants the new Leteo Institute to erase his memories and make him forget this part of himself.
2. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. (This doesn’t come out until September, but I got an ARC so I’m cheating.) Madeline is allergic to everything, and the rare disease that causes her allergies is so severe that she cannot leave her home. So when a cute boy moves in next door and tries to strike up a friendship, Madeline has to decide if she’ll let him into her bubble…and her heart. [I included this in today’s list because Maddy is a WOC and also has a life-threatening disease/disability.]
3. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. Will Traynor lived the perfect life, until an accident left him quadriplegic and determined to commit suicide with dignity. Desperately in need of a job, Louisa has no idea what she’s getting into when she agrees to me his companion. (Spoilers for the reader: you are in for a MONSOON OF TEARS.)
4. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. This novel follows Hercules and Patroclus as they grow up together leading to the Trojan War. It ends like we all know it does, with Patroclus dead and Hercules devastated by grief, but Miller almost has you believing it could end differently. It’s simply a beautiful story about two great warriors and the love they shared.
5. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz. You haven’t read this book yet? No, go and do it right now. I’ll wait.
6. Proxy by Alex London. In a society where patrons can pay for proxies to take their punishments, Syd has almost survived long enough to earn his freedom before his patron kills someone else – the cost of which is Syd’s life. It’s amazing, just trust me.
7. The Curse Worker’s Trilogy by Holly Black. This trilogy takes place in a world where a certain portion of the population has the ability to “work” different things (emotions, luck, death) through the touch of their hands, and in an effort to protect workers and non-workers, everyone wears gloves. Our main character Cassel is a POC and one of my all-time favorite male protagonists.
8. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh. Pretty much the only part of this book that I enjoyed was the Middle Eastern setting and culture. Just saying.
9. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. This takes place in France during WWII, and the female protagonist is blind. This is a beautiful story.
10. The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black. This fantasy standalone features a LGBTQ relationship that had me squealing with delight and feels. SO GOOD.
What are your favorite diverse reads/books that feature diverse characters? As I said, I’m trying to read more diversely, so any recommendations would be appreciated!