Diversity Spotlight Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Bookshelves and Paperbacks. Each week, you feature a diverse book you have read and enjoyed, a diverse book on your TBR and a diverse book that has not yet been released.
Since diversity is quite a broad term that covers many different aspects, to ensure I’m reading across the whole spectrum I will choose an area to focus on each week. This week I will be talking about books featuring m/m romance.
A B O O K I H A V E R E A D
ARISTOTLE AND DANTE DISCOVER THE SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE BY BENJAMIN ALIRE SÁENZ
Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.
I mainly decided to read this after seeing raving reviews about how beautiful and heart-breaking it was. It’s an #ownvoices novel that follows two queer Latinx characters on their road to friendship and self-discovery. I didn’t review it on Goodreads at the time but I did rate it 5 stars, and as far as I can remember it was an enjoyable read.
A B O O K O N M Y T B R
SIMON VS. THE HOMOSAPIENS AGENDA BY BECKY ALBERTALLI
Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.
With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.
I only ever hear great things about this one, and it’s also currently being made into a movie. I recently read Becky’s second novel and it was amazing, so naturally I have to prioritise this over other books on my TBR. I’ve read multiple reviews that rated her second book lower because “it wasn’t Simon” so I really need to see what all the fuss is about.
A B O O K R E L E A S I N G S O O N
THE LOVE INTEREST BY CALE DIETRICH
There is a secret organization that cultivates teenage spies. The agents are called Love Interests because getting close to people destined for great power means getting valuable secrets.
Caden is a Nice: The boy next door, sculpted to physical perfection. Dylan is a Bad: The brooding, dark-souled guy, and dangerously handsome. The girl they are competing for is important to the organization, and each boy will pursue her. Will she choose a Nice or the Bad?
Both Caden and Dylan are living in the outside world for the first time. They are well-trained and at the top of their games. They have to be – whoever the girl doesn’t choose will die.
What the boys don’t expect are feelings that are outside of their training. Feelings that could kill them both.
Love triangles are such an overused trope in YA and I generally try to avoid reading about them as much as possible. This book, however, puts a whole new twist on it. Not only does the premise sound hilarious, but it also plays on so many other common tropes. I can’t wait to get my hands on it in May.