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 characters with anxiety.
A B O O K I H A V E R E A D
A QUIET KIND OF THUNDER BY SARA BARNARD
Steffi doesn’t talk, but she has so much to say. Rhys can’t hear, but he can listen. Their love isn’t a lightning strike, it’s the rumbling roll of thunder.
Steffi has been a selective mute for most of her life – she’s been silent for so long that she feels completely invisible. But Rhys, the new boy at school, sees her. He’s deaf, and her knowledge of basic sign language means that she’s assigned to look after him. To Rhys, it doesn’t matter that Steffi doesn’t talk, and as they find ways to communicate, Steffi finds that she does have a voice, and that she’s falling in love with the one person who makes her feel brave enough to use it.
This is one of my favourite 2017 releases so far. There’s such a beautiful story wrapped up within that gorgeous cover, complete with BSL illustrations and end of chapter lists. It’s not an #ownvoices novel but the accuracy of the representation is impressive. You can read all about it from an #ownvoices perspective in my review!
A B O O K O N M Y T B R
THE THINGS I DIDN’T SAY BY KYLIE FORNASIER
I hate the label Selective Mutism – as if I choose not to speak, like a child who refuses to eat broccoli. I’ve used up every dandelion wish since I was ten wishing for the power to speak whenever I want to. I’m starting to wonder if there are enough dandelions.
After losing her best friend that night, Piper Rhodes changes schools, determined that her final year will be different. She will be different. Then she meets West: school captain, star soccer player, the boy everyone talks about. Despite her fear of losing everything all over again, Piper falls in love – and West with her – without Piper ever speaking one word to him. But will it last?
This is actually the first book I ever came across featuring a character with selective mutism, but it’s the only book I haven’t yet read because it hasn’t been published anywhere other than Australia. My initial reaction to reading the synopsis was literally ‘OMG SOMEONE WROTE A BOOK ABOUT MY LIFE.’
A B O O K R E L E A S I N G S O O N
ELIZA AND HER MONSTERS BY FRANCESCA ZAPPIA
In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, and friendless. Online, Eliza is LadyConstellation, anonymous creator of the wildly popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves her digital community, and has no desire to try.
Then Wallace Warland, Monstrous Sea’s biggest fanfiction writer, transfers to her school. Wallace thinks Eliza is just another fan, and Eliza begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile. But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart.
I only discovered this book a few days ago, but I absolutely adore the premise. I’ve read the author’s debut novel, Made You Up, which I enjoyed at the time, but I’m now a little skeptical on the schizophrenic representation since it’s not #ownvoices. I guess that also makes me a little anxious to read this one?