#ownvoices · 9 Books Monday · bookish list · Diverse Books

9 Books with Trans Main Characters

9 books with trans main characters

9 Books Monday is a feature here on the blog, where I talk about 9 books that have positive representation for a minority/marginalized group. In the past, I have done posts about 9 book with: bisexual female main characterslatinx mcblack mcmuslim mc, lesbian mc and asian mc.

This time I’m doing 9 books with Trans Main Characters:

4 Books I Read and Loved

When the Moon was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore : This is a beautifully written magical realism book, where one of the main charcters of the story, Samir, is a bacha posh: a child assigned female at birth selected to live as a boy until puberty. But it turns out Sam is not “living as a boy,” he is a boy. Beside the trans rep, there’s also pakistani rep and latinx rep (#ownvoices).

Coffee Boy by Austin ChantThis is an #ownvoices novella about a trans boy who has a crush on a campaign strategist, who happens to be a bisexual man, and who he meets while working in an internship for a politician. The story is cute and fun and it has steamy and explicit content.    

Redefining Realness by Janet MockThis is a non fiction book about the life of Janet Mock, a biracial trans woman that has worked as a writer, jornalist and TV host. The book starts when Mock is a child living in poverty and continues through her adolescence including a very detailed account of her transition and all the heartbreaking obstacules she faced, and ends when she is a successful writer. This books tells the honest and captivating story of an incredible woman.

Not your Villain by C.B. Lee This is the second book in a series but I’m pretty sure you could read it without reading the first one, since a lot of what happens in the first book is included in the beginning of this book. In Not Your Villain, the main character is Bells, a superhero that can shapeshift which helps him in his life as a trans guy. But then he became the country’s most-wanted villain after discovering a cover-up by the League of Heroes. This book is full of adventure and  fun and it has a diverse cast of characters.

5 Books on my TBR 

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo:  This book is about Amanda, a trans girl that just moved to a new town, starting at a new high school after a bad experience at her last one because of bullying and transphobia. In the new school everything is great, she is dating an amazing guy and has a ton of friends, but she isn’t sure if she should tell people about being trans or not. This books has a trans main character, a trans writer and a trans model on the cover.  Recently I read a short story by this author and loved it, so I ‘m hoping to read this book soon.

Dreadnought by April Daniels: This book is about Danny, she is trans, lesbian girl, who suddenly gets powers when Dreadnought (a superhero) dies in front of her. She immerses into this superhero world where she finds allies and enemies. This makes me think about Not Your Sidelick & Not Your Villain, which I love, and that makes me excited to read it. Also, I have heard nothing but great things about this one.

I Was Born for This by Alice Osmand: This has a main character that is a biracial (Indian and Italian) gay trans guy and he’s part of a famous boy band. The story unfolds when he unexpectedly mets a fangirl and they both end up having to face things in their lives. The other main character  is a Persian Muslim Hijabi who’s questioning her sexuality and I have heard there’s also really diverse side characters. I’m really excited to read this one, especially since I haven’t read any of Osmand’s books.

trans 2

Peter Darling by Austin Chant: This is a Peter Pan retelling. In this book, Peter Pan left Neverland to grow up and he had to resign himself to life as Wendy Darling. 10 years have passed and now Peter’s back in Neverland, everyone is grown up and he’s falling in love with Captain Hook.  It’s a short story, #ownvoices in terms of trans rep, and since reading Coffee Boy I have been meaning to read another book by this author.

The Trauma Cleaner by Sarah Krasnostein: I discovered this book recently, the author describes it as a biography of sorts and it’s about a trans woman that has suffered multiple traumas and that has a job helping others by cleaning up the fetid houses of the mentally ill, the hopeless and the murdered. That sounds so cool that I can’t wait to read it.

Books Releasing Soon  

I think it’s important to mention that I usually have a thrid category in my 9 Books Monday, where I pick books that are being realesed soon. Nonetheless, I couldn’t find books with trans main characters releasing in what’s left of 2018. I found out about Undertow, the second book to Darkling by Brooklyn Ray, which has a trans character as the love interest, and someone also told me that Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare has a trans character that has some chapters told from his point of view, but that’s it. It’s such a shame that there’s still so few realeses with trans main characters and I hope that by reading and promoting the ones that are already out, we get to have many more books with trans rep in the future. 

Have you read any of these books? did you enjoy them? Are you planning on reading any of them? Do you have recommendations for books with trans main characters? 

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#ownvoices · Diverse Books · Review

Book Review: The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

The Poet X

Title: The Poet X

Author: Elizabeth Acevedo

Publishing Date: March 6th 2018

Published by: HarperTeen

Genres: Comtemporary, YA

Pages: 368

Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking.

But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about. With Mami’s determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself.

So when she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out, much less speak her words out loud. But still, she can’t stop thinking about performing her poems.

Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent.

Goodreads | Amazon 

The Poet X is an #ownvoices story about a dominican american girl called Xiomara. It’s a story that explores Xiomara’s struggle with inhabiting her body, a body that attracs attention and because of it, it’s unwillingly subjected to the male gaze; it also deals with growing up in a conservative latinx family that it’s extremely religious and that imposes faith and leaves no room for questions. It’s a book about trying to figure who you are in an enviroment that doesn’t leave much room to do so.

This book is written in verse, which allows the reader to connect with the main character, Xiomara, and her struggles so much more and it makes the story more compelling than it would have been if it was written like a normal novel. We get a direct line to the powerful emotions that she is experiencing and trying to express, which allows an intimacy that it wouldn’t have been possible any other way. Despise being written in verse, the narration is still easy to follow because all the different parts are connected and one flows into the other with ease.

One of  the strongest aspects of the book is the exploration of faith and religion; reading from Xiomara’s pespective, the reader gets to understand all her doubts around her own faith, but also her questioning of the rol that women have been assigned in catholisms as the sinners, the temptation and a lot of times the inferior gender. It also explores the tension that exists in a lot of latinx families when it comes to religion and how even when certain ceremonies like the Confirmation are meant to be a voluntary acceptance of the faith, they become this mandatory step to be a part of the family. Also, the way this books draws a parallel between prayer and poetry is absolutely sublime and it’s done in a very powerful way.

This book also explores complicated family dynamics and it’s particulary interesting to see the mother/daughter relationship; the misunderstanding, the judgement, the contrary beliefs, but also the way it develops when both mother and daughter try to understand each others truths. They don’t arrive to that point until a huge confrontation that it’s intense, raw and heartbreaking, but seeing the ups and downs of their relationships is compelling and engaging.

Throughout the story, Xiomara discovers slam poetry and it’s amazing to experience, through her perspective, the freedom and the happiness of finding a way to express all her thoughts and emotions in a time of her life when she really needs that outlet.

Rating: 4.7 stars 

Have you read this book? Did you like it? Do you have it on your tbr?

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#ownvoices · bookish list · Diverse Books

Most Anticipated Book Releases – June 2018

Most anticipated book releases 2018

Hi guys! So, I have written one of these posts ever month this year,  I have been consisten in that sense at least, but I have done a very poor job of actually reading the books I’m anticipating. I’m hoping to make a post in June to check my progress, because reading my anticipated books was a goal of mine for 2018, so I hope that’s gonna motivate me to actually read some of the books I have put in these posts before the month ends. Let’s hope that actually happens!

Anyway, here are some of my most anticipated books that are being release in June 2018:

 

Mariam Sharma Hits the Road by Sheba Karim

Road trip + frienships + New Orleans + Muslim rep + South Asian rep + fun banter + Queer rep + self discovery = what else could I ask for?! This sounds like a book I would really enjoy and I was really excited to read it, until I look it up on Goodreads to write this post and saw that it doesn’t have the best reviews. I have been anticipating it for a while and that’s why I still included it, but I’m a bit nervious about it.

Release date: June 5th 2018

Ayesha At Last by Uzma Jalaluddin

The main character in this book is a muslim woman, who is an aspiring poet struggling with money issues, that sounds really interesting to me. Plus, this is an #ownvoices story. Also, it’s a Pride and Prejudice retelling and I love those!

Release date: June 12th 2018

Not the Girls You’re Looking For  by Aminah Mae Safi

Female friendship takes a central place in this story and I’m here for it! If we add the fact that this is a very diverse book in terms of culture and sexual orientation, I’m even more excited. Also, it’s #ownvoices!

 Release date: June 19th 2018

Final Draft by Riley Redgate

This book has a pansexual, biracial,  plus-size main character, who is an aspiring writer, and I can’t wait to read her story. Plus, I heard that her group of friends is adorable and it’s a big part of the story and I’m excited to read about them.  Also, I have heard a lot of great things about Riley Redgate’s writing and her other books, so I want to read something by her.

 Release date: June 12th 2018

What June book releases are you anticipating? Do you want to read any of these books? Have you read any of these books and what did you think about them?

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#ownvoices · Diverse Books · Review

Book Review: Secondhand Origin Stories by Lee Blauersouth (Blog Tour)

Superhero Origins tour banner (large)

Hi guys! I’m lucky enough to be part of the blog tour for this amazing book called Secondhand Origin Stories, which is a diverse book that involves sensitive issues, such as systemic racism and ableism.  I loved the book, here’s my review:

Secondhand Origin Stories cover.png

Title: Secondhand Origin Stories

Author: Lee Blauersouth

Publishing Date: 15 March 2018

Genres: Science Fiction, YA

Pages: 364

Opal has been planning to go to Chicago and join the Midwest’s superhero team, the Sentinels, since she was a little kid. That dream took on a more urgent tone when her superpowered dad was unjustly arrested for protecting a neighbor from an abusive situation. Now, she wants to be a superhero not only to protect people, but to get a platform to tell the world about the injustices of the Altered Persons Bureau, the government agency for everything relating to superpowers.

But just after Opal’s high school graduation, a supervillain with a jet and unclear motives attacks the downtown home of the Sentinels, and when Opal arrives, she finds a family on the brink of breaking apart. She meets a boy who’s been developing secret (and illegal) brain-altering nanites right under the Sentinel’s noses, another teenage superhero-hopeful who looks suspiciously like a long-dead supervillain, and the completely un-superpowered daughter of the Sentinels’ leader. Can four teens on the fringes of the superhero world handle the corruption, danger, and family secrets they’ve unearthed?

Goodreads | Amazon 

This book drops you right in the middle of a world where superheroes, villains and people with habilities exist, there’s especial goverment agencies and police units that regulate them and there’s corruption and injustice surrounding them. You have to learn about this world as you read, you see how everything works through the chracters’ perspectives and that’s how you learn about it. For me this worked really well, it didn’t take me too long to feel like I understood at least the basics of how the world worked and, after a little bit, I was able to keep up with the story without problem.

Something that I really enjoyed about this book was that it was intriguing from the start, there were secrets and mysteries around the four main characters and they didn’t know the answers either and they were trying to figure things out and that sucked me into the story inmediately, because I wanted to know what was going on.

As I said before, there’s four main characters, which were my favorite aspect of this book. I fell in love very quickly with three of those characters: Isaac, Yael and Jamie. They were the children of the superheroes and they were really complex characters,  a genius scientist, an non-binary aspiring superhero and a character that is both vulnerable and so strong. From the pov of these three characters, the reader gets to see the dynamics of the superhero team and how it is not only a team but a family. That element is crucial to the story, because the complicated family dynamics, which I found fascinating to read about, promt a lot of the events that move the plot along.

Then there’s the fourth main character, Opal, which took me a little longer to love. Opal is an outsider to the team, to the family and she very much felt like an outsider to the story for at least the first half of the book. During that first half, I prefered to read from the other 3 perspectives, because from them I could learn more about all the secrets that were being kept. Later on, when the circumstances made it so that all four characters have to be together in a more full time basis, that’s when I fell in love with Opal as well. She is a nice, smart, compasionate, down to earth character with a strong moral sense.

Secondhand Origin Stories is definitely a character driven book much more than a plot driven one. The main problems that the characters are trying to solve are corruption and injustice in such a large scale that one book is not enough to confront all the different characters that  play a part in that. This book, as the first in the series, manages to: make the characters aware of the problems, makes them decide to do something about it and makes sure that the team is as strong as it can be. It’s defintely a book that’s setting things up, but it’s not boring or slow, there’s so many things happening all the time. There’s one main storyline, that’s really interesting,  about technology and the ethical use of it, that’s one of the first issues that the characters have to confront and it has a direct relation to the corruption and injustice that they are trying to change.

I think it’s important to mention that this is a really diverse book. The main characters are all queer, including a non binary main character.  Also, one of the main characters is a black girl and there’s conversations throughout the book about systematic racism and especially about racial profiling and incarceration of black people. Additionally, there are deaf characters and there are characters that use ASL to communicate, and while there’s ableism portrait in this book, it’s called out and talked about on page.

Rating: 4,5 stars 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lee Blauersouth

After about a decade of drawing comics independently or with small presses, Lee started writing prose out of a combination of peer pressure and spite, then continued out of attachment to their favorite made-up people. They live in Minnesota even though it is clearly not a habitat humans were ever meant to endure, with their lovely wife/editor, the world’s most perfect baby, and books in every room of the house.

If you like categories, they’re an ENFJ Slytherin Leo. If you’re looking for demographics they’re an agender bisexual with a couple of disabilities. If you’re into lists of likes: Lee loves comics, classical art, round animals, tattoos, opera, ogling the shiner sciences, and queer stuff.

Author website | Goodreads | Pinterest  | Twitter

BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

23 April (Monday)

24 April (Tuesday)

25 April (Wednesday)

26 April (Thursday)

27 April (Friday)

#ownvoices · bookish list · Diverse Books

6 Anticipated Releases by Latinx Authors (Seconf Half of 2017)

6 anticipated releases by latinx authorsI have been trying to increase the amount of books I read that are written by Latinx Authors for a long time now, but I keep feeling like I don’t try hard enough. I think about doing it often and I planned to do it all the time, but I think I don’t take as much actions to actually do it. As a Latina myself, I feel like I need to commit to this goal of reading more books by Latinx authors and promoting those books on my blog as well.

That’s why, I looked up the releases for the second half of 2017 written by latinx authors and I chose some that sounded interesting to me and that I wanted to read. All these books not only are written by latinx authors, they also have latinx main characters.

The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez (August 22nd 2017)

A girl who loves Punk + a conservative school with an strict dress code + misfits that create a punk band + illustrations and collage art because the main character loves zines= what else do I need to say?! Even if I don’t read middle grade often, this one sounds amazing!

The Closest I’ve Come by Fred Aceves (November 7th 2017)

A kid with an absentee mother + an abusive stepfather + who lives in a poor neighborhood + he wants to find love in his life and wants to leave his neighborhood behind +  a program for troubled teens with potential = a story about a boy that learns that bravery is about being true to yourself. I’m interested in seeing how the conversation about poverty, abuse and dysfunctional families is handled. That’s definitely makes me really want to read this book.

The Victoria in my Head by Janelle Milanes (September 19th 2017)

A shy teenager with the dream of being a rock star + overprotective Cuban parents + paralyzing-stage-fright + unattainably gorgeous boy = a story about a girl looking for the courage to confront her insecurities, fight for her dreams and love. A YA contemporary with a latinx main character that sounds like it’s NOT gonna be a sad, dark contemporary, it’s just what I need!

Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore (October 3rd 2017)

Magical realism + bisexual representation + amazing family dinamic + different kinds of relationships between women as a central part of the story +  Anna-Marie McLemore’s writing = the only thing I have to say is that I can’t wait! I loved When the Moon was Ours and I’m really excited to read another of McLemore’s books.

I am not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sanchez (October 17th 2017)

This book deals with grief and with learning that a person that it’s gone wasn’t as perfect as you thought, which to me is always a interesting concept, but the fact that this revolves around a mexican family makes a concept that is not that unique something really special.

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera (September 5th 2017)

In this book, people get told if they are gonna die in the next 24 hours and there’s an app called Last Friend that finds you someone to spend your last day with. It’s an interesting concept and there’s LGBTQ+ representation! I haven’t read any of Adam Silveras other books, but I’m really excited to finally read something by him. I haven’t hear anything but great things.

Are you planning on reading any of these books? Do you have recommendations for books written by latinx authors? Let me know in the comments! 

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#ownvoices · Diverse Books · wrap up

March 2017 Wrap Up

monthly-wrap-up-1

Against all odds, I read 6 books in March. One of them was a super short poetry collection, but the other five were full novels and all five of them were diverse books. Today I’m gonna talk about them!

march 2017 wrap up

1.Coffee Boy by Austin Chant (4,3 stars)

This is a short, interesting and cute  romance book that explores really important topics, especially related to trans issues. Also, Coffee Boy is  #ownvoices, both the main character and the author are trans men. This book has positive bisexual representation, as well. One of the things I enjoyed the most is the romance, seeing how the relationship between Kieran and Seth developed was amazing.

2.The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (5 stars) 

I don’t even know how to put into words how amazing this books is. The Hate U Give is an #ownvoices book about the Black Lives Matter movement, this is such a heartbreaking book and it’s really hard to read because the situations the characters end up in are so enraging. At the same time, it has amazing family dynamics, great friendships, it has interesting storylines for all the characters and it has great representation.

3. Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall (4,5 stars) 

Anothe book that I really really loved. Under Rose-Tainted Skies is an #ownvoices book about a girl that has agoraphobia, anxiety and OCD. I think the way that was handled was believable  and sensitive. Norah, the main character, is interesting and funny and Luke, the love interest, is respectful and kind. I really liked the fact that this book doesn’t treats love as a cure for a mental illness.

4. The House on Mango StreetThe House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros (3,4 stars) 

I thought the storie in this book were so important, but I didn’t like the writing style at all and because of that I felt like I couldn’t connect with the narrator or the stories that much. I still understood the messages the stories were trying to convey, but I didn’t enjoy the reading experience.

5. Future Leaders of Nowhere by Emily O’Beirne (4,2 stars)

I received this book from the publisher in exchange of a honest review. This is an amazing book about two girl, one is bisexual and the other is Indian-Australian and a lesbian. This book has an interesting setting and premise, it’s a mix between a summer camp and a Model UN. Which means there’s outdoorsy activities and, at the same time, each group represents a State that has resources, territory, population and the different groups have to negotiate between themselves to better their positions. It’s an interesting book that adresses important subject thorughout.

caught in the quiet

Caught in the Quiet by Rod McKuen (2 stars) 

I ended up reading this book because I had 30 minutes before my friend picked me up at the library. I was looking for a really short book to read in that time and the title of this poetry collection caught my eye. Sadly, I have to say that this was extremely disappointing. It was cheesy and mediocre at best.

 

  Have you read any of these books? Did you enjoy them? Do you want to read any of them? Let me know in the comments! 

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#ownvoices · Diverse Books · Diversity Spotlight Thursday

Diversity Spotlight Thursday #7

diverse-spotlight1

Diversity Spotlight Thrusday is a weekly meme hosted by Aimal from Bookshelves and Paperbacks. Every week, the participants are suppost to choose one book for each of the three categories: a diverse book you have read and enjoyed, a diverse book on your tbr, and a diverse book that has not yet been released. 

If you didn’t know, I also decided to pick  books that have  less than a thousand ratings on Goodreads, because I want to promote less known diverse books and authors, and I will try to choose only #ownvoices books, because I want the authors that I promote to be members of minorities and marginalized groups.

read

If the Dress Fits by Carla de Guzman 

if-the-dress-fitsMartha Aguas kind of has it all–she’s an accountant who loves numbers, an accident-prone puppy that loves her, and the perfect wardrobe. 

Yes, she wears a dress size 24, her bras don’t fit and she’s never had a boyfriend, but so what? 

It becomes a big deal when her perfect cousin Regina announces her engagement to Enzo, the only boy she’s ever loved (he doesn’t know, so don’t tell him!) Suddenly Aguases from all corners of the globe are coming for the event, and the last thing Martha wants is to be asked why she still prefers her lattes with a waffle on the side. 

Thank god for Max. Goofy, funny, dependable Max, who finds himself playing the fake boyfriend at the family festivities. But why does it feel like only one of them is pretending?

Goodreads

If the Dress Fits is an #ownvoices book, both the main character and the author are Filipinx and have an under represented body type. This book is a funny and cute romance story between Martha, a plus sized woman of color who has a positive relationship with her weight, and  Max, a biracial veterinarian, who loves to read, is really romantic and quotes books in random moments. I totally recommend it! Here’s my full review.

tbr

When Michael Met Mina by Randa Abdel-Fattah

When Michael Met Mina

When Michael meets Mina, they are at a rally for refugees – standing on opposite sides.

Mina fled Afghanistan with her mother via a refugee camp, a leaky boat and a detention centre.

Michael’s parents have founded a new political party called Aussie Values.

They want to stop the boats.
Mina wants to stop the hate.

When Mina wins a scholarship to Michael’s private school, their lives crash together blindingly.

Goodreads

This book has been on my tbr for a while, I found out about it when I was looking for books with Muslim main characters. The truth is that I haven’t read that many books with positive Muslim representation and I’m definitely interested in changing that. I have heard that When Michael Met Mina is a really political book that adresses racism and imigration and I think those are very important subjets right now. I can’t wait to read this!

coming-soon

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez 

I am not your perfect mexican daughter

Perfect Mexican daughters do not go away to college. And they do not move out of their parents’ house after high school graduation. Perfect Mexican daughters never abandon their family. But Julia is not your perfect Mexican daughter. That was Olga’s role.

Then a tragic accident on the busiest street in Chicago leaves Olga dead and Julia left behind to reassemble the shattered pieces of her family. And no one seems to acknowledge that Julia is broken, too. Instead, her mother seems to channel her grief into pointing out every possible way Julia has failed.

 

But it’s not long before Julia discovers that Olga might not have been as perfect as everyone thought. With the help of her best friend Lorena, and her first kiss, first love, first everything boyfriend Connor, Julia is determined to find out. Was Olga really what she seemed? Or was there more to her sister’s story? And either way, how can Julia even attempt to live up to a seemingly impossible ideal?

Goodreads

I’m latinx and I’m always looking for books with positive latinx representation, so off course I’m incredibly excited about I am not your perfect mexican daughter. I have heard nothing but great things about the representation in this book and I can’t wait to read it. The release date is October 17th 2017.

Have you read any of these? Did you like them? Can you recommend me some diverse books you love? 

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