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 contemporary romances that are #ownvoices.
A B O O K I H A V E R E A D
TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE BY JENNY HAN
Lara Jean keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. One for every boy she’s ever loved. When she writes, she can pour out her heart and soul and say all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control…
In all honesty, I’ve always found Lara Jean quite childish and therefore this series was never really for me, but then again contemporary romances aren’t usually my thing (even if they do feature an Asian protagonist!) I also thought it felt rather incomplete as a duology so I was really surprised and secretly happy to hear it’s now a trilogy. The third book is releasing pretty soon so watch this space.
A B O O K O N M Y T B R
HISTORY IS ALL YOU LEFT ME BY ADAM SILVERA
When Griffin’s first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident, his universe implodes. Even though Theo had moved to California for college and started seeing Jackson, Griffin never doubted Theo would come back to him when the time was right. But now, the future he’s been imagining for himself has gone far off course.
To make things worse, the only person who truly understands his heartache is Jackson. But no matter how much they open up to each other, Griffin’s downward spiral continues. He’s losing himself in his obsessive compulsions and destructive choices, and the secrets he’s been keeping are tearing him apart.
If Griffin is ever to rebuild his future, he must first confront his history, every last heart-breaking piece in the puzzle of his life.
I wasn’t really interested in reading this book until I saw that everyone else was reading it and raving about how good it was. I haven’t read the author’s debut either, but I do follow him on Twitter so I think I ought to read at least one book he’s written. I’ve heard it’s pretty heart-breaking so I’m wondering whether this will be the first book to make me cry…
A B O O K R E L E A S I N G S O O N
WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI BY SANDHYA MENON
Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?
Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.
The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?
Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.
In my culture, arranged marriage is widely accepted as the norm. But, more often than not, I think people who don’t have this familiarity tend to confuse it with forced marriage, so it’s great to see a book that gives an insight into how these marriages actually work. I hope it’ll clear up any misconceptions people may have, as well as showing South-Asian girls that they can be the subject of romance novels too.