Top 10 Diverse YA I've Read in 2017
I honestly believe that Young Adult is the genre that is making the best progress in diversifying its authors and characters. Here are just 10 of the best diverse YA I've read this year - and believe me, this was a very difficult list to make!
1. Juliet Takes a Breath
Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera is an #ownvoices novel about a young Puerto Rican girl who spends a summer discovering feminism, what it means to be queer, and how sometimes even your idols can be problematic as hell. I wish that I could have read this book when I was a teenager, because even at age 21 it had a lot to teach me about intersectional feminism.
2. The Upside of Unrequited
Becky Albertalli, author of Simon versus the Homo Sapiens Agenda, has returned with The Upside of Unrequited, a glorious book featuring Molly, a fat, anxious teenager and her twin sister Cassie, who is a lesbian. (They're both also Jewish.) Everything about this book is adorable and I cannot recommend it enough!
3. The Hate U Give
Surely everybody knows about The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. A New York Times bestseller, this follows Starr, a young black woman who sees her friend Khalil get shot by a police officer. Ridiculously timely, this #ownvoices book has so much heart, and is by far one of the best books I have read all year.
5. Queens of Geek
This book makes me squee so hard. Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde follows three friends as they go to SupaCon for the first time. Charlie is a bisexual, Asian-Australian YouTuber who is trying to dodge her ex, Taylor is a fat, anxious and autistic young woman who is trying to conquer her fears, and Jamie is just trying to find Star Wars merch. This is everything that the fangirl in me loves.
6. The Girl from Everywhere
Love time travel, sexy love interests and mythology? The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig is for you! Nix is an Asian-American girl aboard The Temptation, a boat that can travel through time and mythology. This is an incredibly well-drawn and #ownvoices book that cannot help but sweep you away.
8. If I Was Your Girl
An #ownvoices novel, If I Was Your Girl is about Amanda Hardy, a trans girl who has just moved to a small town in America. This is an important novel that manages to talk about heavy subjects such as identity, religion, and love without becoming depressing. I think this is a must-read for trans and cis people alike.
9. A Tragic Kind of Wonderful
A Tragic Kind of Wonderful by Eric Lindstrom follows Mel Hannigan, a teenager with bipolar disorder. I think this is one of the best representations I've ever read, and although the story was more of a 3.5/5 for me, it is definitely a 5/5 for its representation of mental health. Yay!
10. How to Make a Wish
And finally, How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake. Coming out on May 2nd, this novel is about Grace Glasser, a bisexual with big dreams of becoming a pianist in New York City, and an extremely unreliable mother. Everything seems to come to a head when she meets Eva, a bi-racial dancer who is also interested in girls.
Want to make your own list?