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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Weekend Rambling [#2] Yay for Diversity!

Weekend Rambling is where I discuss/rant/ramble about random things, bookish or non-bookish alike. Everyone's welcome to share their thoughts!

Happy weekend, everyone! Today's topic is inspired by Marie Long's debut novel, Scarred, which I recently read and reviewed here on the blog. This post isn't actually about the book itself, but about a theme that I find common in a lot of novels today:

DIVERSITY

So I said that I got the idea for this post from Scarred. Actually, it's more from my frustration that this book's cover suggests interracial romance yet I didn't read anything in the book that says so. As I've mentioned in my review, "And here I am waiting for diverse characters." Totally quoting myself here!

And how do we define diverse books? According to DiversifYA, diverse experiences includes, but is not limited to: "racial diversity; cultural and religious diversity; sexuality and gender diversity; disability, neurodiversity, and (mental) illness."


Looking back to the books I read these past years, these are the ones that contain some level of diversity:
 
Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern
When Reason Breaks by Cindy L. Rodriguez
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Falling from the Sky by Nikki Godwin
The Infernal Devices trilogy by Cassandra Clare
I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth
Love is the Higher Law by David Levithan
Luna by Julie Anne Peters
Suicide Notes by Michael Thomas Ford

I've always found diversity in books, especially in YA, really interesting. It's nice to read about characters that are different from the usual. We always get the American or British kids, and I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that. I love them just the same. But once in a while, I like reading books with, say, a Chinese or a Mexican or an African character. For one, I love the infusion of culture and language. And these characters make the story more colorful. Same with LGBT. I think gays and lesbians offer a different perspective, and they're often great friends. I love their sense of humor, their quirky personality. It's just so refreshing to see these kinds of characters in books. Even mental and physical disorders make the characters more relatable and human. And these people exist in real life. We live in a diverse world. Diverse people are everywhere so why not write about them us?

I'm always on the lookout for good books with diversity and so far, these are the ones on my TBR pile:
Unspeakable by Abbie Rushton
Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz
Under A Painted Sky by Stacey Lee
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by David Levithan
On a side note, here are some websites that support and celebrate diverse books:

Do you also read and enjoy diverse books? Any good ones you can recommend?

Julie

author image

Julie @ Books and Insomnia

Julie is a Filipina blogger who pretends she has insomnia so she can stay up late reading. When she's not buried in books, she can be found watching anime, drinking chocolate-flavored instant coffee, lurking on the internet, daydreaming and talking about herself in third person. She loves purple and anything sweet!

7 comments:

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  2. I love diverse books because of how original they are. It can be boring reading the same types of characters in each book. Will Grayson was so good! Hope you enjoy it!

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    1. Thanks, Emily! I'm looking forward to read Will Grayson. :)

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  3. I really love posts like these, Julie, and I get really excited when I see them, so thank you for posting, and I'm glad to know that Scarred was your inspiration in writing this!

    I love We Need Diverse Books, and support them all the way. I think it's great to see more diversity in books because everyone is different, and we want to see ourselves in books. But diversity is not just about race, it's religion, sexual orientation, people with physical disabilities, etc.

    People don't realize it, but many fantasy and sci-fi books are considered diverse books. And we love these books. They are everywhere. So if people love and accept reading about dragons, elves, and purple aliens with green spots, why can't we see more books about Asian protagonists, blind swordswomen, gay superheroes, or African American race car drivers?

    There have been quite a few comments about the nature of Scarred and whether or not it's considered an interracial romance, due to the cover, but as the author, I can say that it is not (at least, not entirely). Dominick is supposed to be a lighter-skinned African American. However, Dominick's roommate, Chris, is Caucasian, and he does find love with an African American woman. As an author who is writing diverse characters, I like to let readers use their imaginations of how they perceive diversity, and not have to continuously pound away at the fact that the characters are a certain race, sexual orientation, or whatever.

    I love to read about others' perceptions on diversity, especially people who live in different countries or are from a different culture than my own. I think that's why we need diverse books more than ever, so we can all learn and understand each other. Thanks so much again for posting this, Julie! :)

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    1. Very well said, Marie! And thank you for your clarification on Scarred's characters. :) Yes to everything you said! I'd especially love to read a book with gay superheroes. That would be freakin' awesome! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts about diversity in books. ^__^

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  4. Yay diversity indeed! I'm still waiting for a Half Filipino main character but I have to admit that those books you have there are absolutely diverse. I've read most of time and loved them too. :)

    What a great post!! <3

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    1. Yay! I'd love to see a half-Filipino character too, but I'm not holding my breath. :P Thanks for dropping by, Paula!

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