Diversity Spotlight Thursday is a weekly meme created by Aimal! Every week, you come up with one book in each of three different categories: a diverse book you have read and enjoyed, a diverse book on your TBR, and one that has not yet been released. You can check out the announcement post for more information.
Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera
I recently read Juliet Takes a Breath at the end of January! It’s a beautiful story about a young, queer POC protagonist from the Bronx who decides to take an internship alongside her favorite author. It’s discusses feminism, intersectional feminism (!!!) and calling out white feminism throughout the whole novel. So much of this book has stuck with me and I feel like I’ve learned a lot from it. This book was great and I’m really happy and thankful that Rivera took the time to write this book.
Juliet Milagros Palante is leaving the Bronx and headed to Portland, Oregon. She just came out to her family and isn’t sure if her mom will ever speak to her again. But Juliet has a plan, sort of, one that’s going to help her figure out this whole “Puerto Rican lesbian” thing. She’s interning with the author of her favorite book: Harlowe Brisbane, the ultimate authority on feminism, women’s bodies, and other gay-sounding stuff.
Will Juliet be able to figure out her life over the course of one magical summer? Is that even possible? Or is she running away from all the problems that seem too big to handle?
With more questions than answers, Juliet takes on Portland, Harlowe, and most importantly, herself.
The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
If you saw my March book haul you would’ve seen this in one of the two piles of books. I’ve obviously been behind on my book releases because I’ve been waiting for this book for what feels like forever, I then go to the bookstore and it’s right there!! I didn’t even know it was released!
I can’t wait to read this! It’s definitely going to be taken off my TBR this month!
Also, LOOK AT THAT COVER! Let me tell you, that cover is beautiful in person. If I didn’t already know about it I probably would’ve bought it based on its cover alone… sorry.
Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the forest, Xan, is kind and gentle. She shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster named Glerk and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon, Fyrian. Xan rescues the abandoned children and deliver them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey.
One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic. Xan decides she must raise this enmagicked girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. To keep young Luna safe from her own unwieldy power, Xan locks her magic deep inside her. When Luna approaches her thirteenth birthday, her magic begins to emerge on schedule–but Xan is far away. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Soon, it is up to Luna to protect those who have protected her–even if it means the end of the loving, safe world she’s always known.
Before She Ignites by Jodi Meadows
All I know about this is it features a POC main protagonist, maybe side characters too? I’m not sure. The main protagonist also struggles with severe anxiety and as someone with severe anxiety, a novel that features mental health is also a win for me. Also, mental health in a fantasy novel?! Sign me up!
Mira Minkoba is the Hopebearer. Since the day she was born, she’s been told she’s special. Important. Perfect. She’s known across the Fallen Isles not just for her beauty, but for the Mira Treaty named after her, a peace agreement which united the seven islands against their enemies on the mainland.
But Mira has never felt as perfect as everyone says. She counts compulsively. She struggles with crippling anxiety. And she’s far too interested in dragons for a girl of her station.
Then Mira discovers an explosive secret that challenges everything she and the Treaty stand for. Betrayed by the very people she spent her life serving, Mira is sentenced to the Pit–the deadliest prison in the Fallen Isles. There, a cruel guard would do anything to discover the secret she would die to protect.
No longer beholden to those who betrayed her, Mira must learn to survive on her own and unearth the dark truths about the Fallen Isles–and herself–before her very world begins to collapse.
Release Date: September 26th