Hi guys! Welcome to the second day of my fabulous Week of Women. Yesterday I talked about my favorite feminist reads and today I want to show you my favorite books written by women of color. I’m really excited to talk to you guys about these, so let’s just get right into it!
YOUNG ADULT FICTION:
Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
This is the only book I will ever compare to Harry Potter, because it’s the only book that’s filled me with the same sense of magic and wonder. It follows a young Nigerian girl named Sunny, she was born in America and happens to be albino – which makes her an outsider in Aba. Then she discovers she has magical powers and is introduced to the society of the Leopard People, a secret world that exists alongside our own – with it’s own culture, traditions, education system etc.
The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
Natasha and her family are 12 hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Daniel has his alumni admission interview with Yale, a school he doesn’t want to go to. Natasha’s a logical girl who believes in science and facts. Daniels a poet and a dreamer, who believes in fate and love. When they meet on the streets of New York and spend one memorable day together, they’re both surprised by what happens.
American Street by Ibi Zoboi
Fabiola and her mother are emigrating from Haiti to the US, to start a new life closer to Fabiola’s aunt and cousins in Detrioit. But when her mother’s detained Fabiola’s left to navigate her new reality, including her loud, American cousins, the gritty street of Detroit and the complete foreignness of American culture alone.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
I know everyone’s already read this book, or at least heard about it a thousand times. But this list just wouldn’t feel complete without it. 16 year old Starr moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
Lara Jean keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters sent to her, but letter she’s written. One for each boy she’s ever loved. When they end up getting sent, Lara Jean’s love life gets very complicated very fast. Some people have this misconception that you can’t be a ‘girly’ girl and a feminist, which seems to have resulted in a lot of female characters who shy away from stereotypically feminine activities. Lara Jean with her baking, cute outfits and many crushes was a breath of fresh air.
The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
The Star-Touched Queen is a retelling of the myths of Persephone & Hades and Cupid & Psyche, about a girl who’s cursed with a horoscope promising her a marriage of death and destruction. Her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected. Roshani Chokshi will sweep you away with her lush, lyrical prose and magical worldbuilding.
Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones
When Liesl’s sister is taken by the Goblin King, Liesl has no choice but to journey to the Underground to save her. But she finds herself irresistibly drawn to the strange, captivating world she finds there and the mysterious man who rules it. I’m going to get on my soapbox for a minute, so bare with me. Liesl’s a very unpopular character and that’s fine, I’m not trying to change anyone’s mind. In fact, I didn’t love her either, but I love that she exists. There are so many flawed, difficult males characters out there, who get to be the hero of their own story and I love that Liesl get to be the hero of hers.
The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco
Tea discovers her necromancy when she raises her brother from his grave. Her gift makes her a bone witch, feared and ostracized in the kingdom. With great power comes at a price, Tea has to leave her homeland to train under the guidance of an older, wiser bone witch. There, Tea puts all of her energy into becoming an asha and learning to control her elemental magic. This book is beautiful, dark, witchy and full of monsters – that’s all my favorite things, so of coursed I love it.
The Mothers by Brit Bennett
I haven’t mentioned this book here before, since I read it before I became active in the bookish community, but it was one of my favorite 2016 new releases. It’s follows three African-American teens, two girls and one boy, on their coming of age journey. Exploring the friendship and romantic entanglements between them and the way the decisions they make as teens still affect their adult lives.
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
This is the best book I’ve read. I love it to pieces, even though it destroyed my emotionally and haunted me for months. Twins Esthappen and Rahel fashion a childhood for themselves in the shade of the wreck that is their family. Their lonely, lovely mother Ammu, their blind grandmother Mammachi, their beloved uncle Chacko and their enemy, Baby Kochamma. When Chacko’s English ex-wife brings their daughter for a Christmas visit, the twins learn that things can change in a day, that lives can twist into new, ugly shapes, even cease forever, beside their river.
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
This book is a classic, but if you think that means it’s dry or boring or difficult to read you’re wrong. Their Eyes Were Watching God is the story of Janie, an African-American woman who grows up in West-Florida, it’s part coming of age story and part love story. It’s one of the most beautifully books I’ve read. Just read these opening lines: “Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board. For some they come in with the tide. For others they sail forever on the same horizon, never out of sight, never landing until the Watcher turns his eyes away in resignation, his dreams mocked to death by Time.”
Sofia Khan Is Not Obliged by Ayisha Malik
Sofia Khan love life isn’t going well, her potential future husband wanted her to live with his parents (and a hole in the wall) and she’s ready to renounce men for good. Until she’s persuaded to write a book about the Muslim dating scene. Now she has no choice but to keep looking for love – and material for her book. I’ve seen this book referred to as the Muslim Bridget Jones and I have to say that’s pretty spot on, it’s protagonist is just as lovable and her (mis)adventures just as hilarious.