My first read-a-thon!! This is so exciting!! I’m starting off with a bang, too. Harry Potter themed and centered around diversity? Sign me up! Which is…what I’m doing right now. So…check that off the list. Okay.
This amazing read-a-thon was created by Aentee @ Read At Midnight; you can read more about the #DAreadathon over at her post because, let’s be honest, I’m the worst at describing things. The Dumbledore’s Army Readathon will take place between Jan. 1 – Jan. 15 2017, and everyone who participates has seven “spells” (prompts) they can complete by reading different diverse books. Everybody can earn points for their Hogwarts house, and we’ll see which one wins at the end! (Place your bets here, folks. I’m betting Ravenclaw.
I may be a little biased)
Without further ado, here is my slightly ambitious TBR: (clicking the book cover takes you to its Goodreads page! so much magic going on in this post)
An anxiety disorder disrupts fourteen-year-old Audrey’s daily life. She has been making slow but steady progress with Dr. Sarah, but when Audrey meets Linus, her brother’s gaming teammate, she is energized. She connects with him. Audrey can talk through her fears with Linus in a way she’s never been able to do with anyone before. As their friendship deepens and her recovery gains momentum, a sweet romantic connection develops, one that helps not just Audrey but also her entire family.
Finding Audrey is about a young girl who is forced to deal with an anxiety disorder- which is an extremely important topic for me, personally, since I have social anxiety. Hopefully it doesn’t downplay social anxiety like other books have…fingers crossed.
To everyone who knows them, best friends Miel and Sam are as strange as they are inseparable. Roses grow out of Miel’s wrist, and rumors say that she spilled out of a water tower when she was five. Sam is known for the moons he paints and hangs in the trees, and for how little anyone knows about his life before he and his mother moved to town. But as odd as everyone considers Miel and Sam, even they stay away from the Bonner girls, four beautiful sisters rumored to be witches. Now they want the roses that grow from Miel’s skin, convinced that their scent can make anyone fall in love. And they’re willing to use every secret Miel has fought to protect to make sure she gives them up.
This book features a transgender character, and honestly I don’t think I’ve read a book where a character is transgender yet, which is…sad, so I’m very excited to read this one. ALSO! It’s magical realism, which might be my favorite genre.
Effia and Esi are born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and lives in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle. Unbeknownst to Effia, her sister, Esi, is imprisoned beneath her in the castle’s dungeons, sold with thousands of others into the Gold Coast’s booming slave trade, and shipped off to America, where her children and grandchildren will be raised in slavery. One thread of Homegoing follows Effia’s descendants through centuries of warfare in Ghana, as the Fante and Asante nations wrestle with the slave trade and British colonization. The other thread follows Esi and her children into America. From the plantations of the South to the Civil War and the Great Migration, from the coal mines of Pratt City, Alabama, to the jazz clubs and dope houses of twentieth-century Harlem, right up through the present day, Homegoing makes history visceral, and captures, with singular and stunning immediacy, how the memory of captivity came to be inscribed in the soul of a nation.
Thankfully, a lot of these books are #ownvoices books, but the one I chose for this prompt is Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, where both the characters and the author were born in Ghana. This book is also multi-generational, which sounds like it will make for a deeply impactful and important story.
Beatrice Maria Estrella Giovannini has life all figured out. She’s starting senior year at the top of her class, she’s a shoo-in for a scholarship to M.I.T., and she’s got a new boyfriend she’s crazy about. The only problem: All through high school Bea and her best friends Spencer and Gabe have been the targets of horrific bullying.
So Bea uses her math skills to come up with The Formula, a 100% mathematically guaranteed path to social happiness in high school. Now Gabe is on his way to becoming Student Body President, and Spencer is finally getting his art noticed. But when her boyfriend Jesse dumps her for Toile, the quirky new girl at school, Bea realizes it’s time to use The Formula for herself. She’ll be reinvented as the eccentric and lovable Trixie—a quintessential manic pixie dream girl—in order to win Jesse back and beat new-girl Toile at her own game.
Unfortunately, being a manic pixie dream girl isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and “Trixie” is causing unexpected consequences for her friends. As The Formula begins to break down, can Bea find a way to reclaim her true identity and fix everything she’s messed up? Or will the casualties of her manic pixie experiment go far deeper than she could possibly imagine?
I’ve been wanting to read this one for a while. So many books are guilty of that exaggerated “quirky and lovable girl who is amazing all the time” trope (i’m looking at you, John Green) and I’m ready for it to be ripped into shreds. This seems like such an empowering and accepting book for all types of women.
In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.
Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she’d imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It’s an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid’s life as retribution for the many lives he’s stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?
This book is so popular and so highly-rated and I honestly have no excuse why I haven’t read this yet. And I’m excited to read a book with an Arabic setting because I don’t think I have before?? Though it’s a retelling of Shahrzad, so I should probably brush up on my knowledge of him before reading this. (And by “brush up on my knowledge,” I mean type the name Shahrzad into Google because I’ve never heard of him before.) (EDIT: Shahrzad is a woman….not a man…thanks to Lia in the comments for kindly pointing that out. I’m gonna start digging my own grave now)
Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.
Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.
The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?
I mean, really. What can I say about this book that hasn’t been said before? The world is in love with this book and I am so, so excited to be a part of that. This might be the first book I read because I don’t know how much longer I can wait, to be honest.
Parker Grant doesn’t need 20/20 vision to see right through you. That’s why she created the Rules: Don’t treat her any differently just because she’s blind, and never take advantage. There will be no second chances. Just ask Scott Kilpatrick, the boy who broke her heart.
When Scott suddenly reappears in her life after being gone for years, Parker knows there’s only one way to react—shun him so hard it hurts. She has enough on her mind already, like trying out for the track team (that’s right, her eyes don’t work but her legs still do), doling out tough-love advice to her painfully naive classmates, and giving herself gold stars for every day she hasn’t cried since her dad’s death three months ago. But avoiding her past quickly proves impossible, and the more Parker learns about what really happened—both with Scott, and her dad—the more she starts to question if things are always as they seem. Maybe, just maybe, some Rules are meant to be broken.
This book wasn’t recommended to me personally, but I’ve seen Alexandria @ Book’s Buzz rave about this book time and time again on both her blog and her booktube. And, naturally, being the spineless person I am, I caved immediately and put it on my TBR. And this readathon is a perfect time to read it. And the protagonist is blind, which is super intriguing and it’s a disability I have surprisingly little knowledge about.
May the best house win! I
t’s Ravenclaw. Ravenclaw’s the best house.