One thing we like to feature on our blog is upcoming diverse books and fortunately, 2018 is packed full of them. These are some that have been announced and that we are looking forward to – including a few sequels of our favourites. We have researched the diverse aspects as much as possible but if we have any information incorrect, please let us know. Overall, we hope you have an amazing reading year in 2018 and remember with all these amazing titles, there’s no reason to not read diversely and support own voices authors. The first section titled ‘standalones’ doesn’t mean they won’t have sequels, but rather that they are debuts/first in the series.
Love, Hate and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed
(January 16th, 2018)
Maya Aziz is an Indian-American Muslim and this #ownvoices novel explores the horrific world of Islamophobia and the effect terrorists have on their community. After a local terrorist attack, it is revealed that the supposed bomber was a fellow Muslim with the same surname as Maya and her family – therefore, they are subjected to racism, abuse and violence despite not having any connections.
Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann
In this contemporary young-adult novel, we follow the story of Alice who did have her whole summer planned. That was until she realises the only thing missing is her ex-girlfriend who ended it when Alice revealed she is asexual. So Alice has decided she is done with dating. That is until she meets Takumi and he becomes her knight in a shiny library badge. But is she willing to start again?
Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh
Odessa is a master necromancer – when a noble of kingdom dies, she is responsible for retrieving their souls from the Deadlands. However, she must stop the souls transforming into zombie-like creatures known as Shades. This is a fantasy novel where gender equality is the norm, nearly everyone is queer (Odessa herself is bisexual) and female friendships are strong.
I Am Thunder by Muhammad Khan
This ownvoices novel tells the story of Muzna Saleem, a fifteen-year old Muslim girl exploring the difficulty of living as a Muslim in Western society, especially dealing with Islamophobia and controlling parents. Forced to move to a new school and away from her disgraced friend, Muzna knows that the bullying will follow her anywhere. That is until the beautiful Arif shows an interest in her but he has secrets of his own and extreme views of the world.
The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton
(February 6th, 2018)
Not only are we blessed with a black woman on the cover but this young-adult fantasy delves into the world in which beauty is a commodity. Our protagonist, Camellia is a Belle – a person who is revered for their beauty in a world where people are born gray and damned and only Belles and their talents can transform them. But this life isn’t enough for Camellia – she wants to be best and live in the royal court. Filled with diverse characters and strong friendships between the Belles, this is definitely not to be missed.
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
This book is everywhere and for good reason. This first book in a series delves into the world of the author’s African heritage whilst pressing on the important matters of the BLM movement. Our protagonist, Zélie remembers a world filled with magic but that was until it disappeared and a ruthless king took its place. Now motherless and surrounded with people without hope, she must find a way to bring magic back and strike down the monarchy with help from a rogue princess…
Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao
A debut about the once-in-a-lifetime friendship between two girls set against the backdrop of India and America, exploring the horrific worlds of domestic abuse, human trafficking, feminism and immigration. Poornima and Savitha have an unbreakable bond that stays strong even with their separated – but they will do anything to find each other again. These two heroines show us the beauty of friendship and what it will overcome.
The Astonishing Colour of After by Emily X.R. Pan
This magic realism novel follows the story of half white/half Asian girl, Leigh who after the death of her mother, believes she turned into a bird. Visiting her maternal grandparents in Taiwan also leads her on the journey to find her mother, now a bird. Throughout she uncovers family secrets and also forms a bond with her grandparents all whilst dealing with the guilt that on the day her mother took her own life, she was kissing her best friend and long-term crush, Axel. This is a story about grief, magic, friendship and love.
Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli
I don’t think there’s anybody in the book community that isn’t excited for Becky’s new book – the young-adult contemporary following the story of Leah Burke, a girl-band drummer and Simon Spier’s best friend (need I say who this is?) Unlike everyone in her friendship group, Leah sees herself as a bit of an anomaly – the child of a young, single mom and bisexual, but not ready to come out even to her gay BFF. A story of friendship, sexuality and senior-year angst, this is definitely one to look forward to.
The Brightsiders by Jen Wilde
Now that I’ve finished gazing at the cover, I can tell you that this book by the author of Queens of Geek follows the story of Emmy King, a teen drummer who is dealing with family struggles, persistent paparazzi and the knowledge that she is bisexual. She has also been titled Hollywood’s latest train wreck but doesn’t she have the whole world at her fingertips? After a night of heavy partying and a blazing row with her girlfriend, Emmy finds solace in the lead singer of her band, Alfie but is this the relationship and the publicity she needs?
Blood of a Thousand Stars by Rhoda Belleza
Sequel to Empress of a Thousand Skies
A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir
Third book in the Ember Quartet
Bruja Born by Zoraida Córdova
Sequel to Labyrinth Lost
Fierce Like a Firestorm by Lana Popović
Sequel to Wicked Like a Wildfire
The Phoenix Empress by K. Arsenault Rivera
Sequel to The Tiger’s Daughter
And those are some of our highly anticipated diverse reads for the new year. I also want to add Blana & Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore but it hasn’t got a cover yet so we will add it when it does but definitely check out that synopsis too. What are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments.
Lots of Love,
Angharad & Becky