Welcome to Diversity Spotlight Thursday, a feature recently created by Aimal @Bookshelves and Paperbacks to shed light on diverse literature. Each week we’ll be sharing three different books: one that I’ve read, one that I want to read, and an upcoming release. Check that link if you want to join us!
– A BOOK I HAVE READ –
Unicorn Tracks by Julia Ember | POC, LGBTQIA+, interracial relationship, sexual assault survivor
After a savage attack drives her from her home, sixteen-year-old Mnemba finds a place in her cousin Tumelo’s successful safari business, where she quickly excels as a guide. Surrounding herself with nature and the mystical animals inhabiting the savannah not only allows Mnemba’s tracking skills to shine, it helps her to hide from the terrible memories that haunt her.
Mnemba is employed to guide Mr. Harving and his daughter, Kara, through the wilderness as they study unicorns. The young women are drawn to each other, despite that fact that Kara is betrothed. During their research, they discover a conspiracy by a group of poachers to capture the Unicorns and exploit their supernatural strength to build a railway. Together, they must find a way to protect the creatures Kara adores while resisting the love they know they can never indulge.
I just reviewed this book last week, but I have to shine the spotlight on it again because I don’t think many people know it. It’s quite short and fun, with the pretty cool concept of a safari with real animals and mythical creatures. It features a lesbian relationship between Mnemba, who works as a tracker/guide for the safari, and Kara, a researcher of mystical creatures. Also, it was refreshing to find an interracial relationship because I don’t think I’ve read about many. Another important thing is that Mnemba is a rape survivor and I thought it was represented quite well. So, overall, this book is cute and features many things that deserve to be talked about in books more often.
– A BOOK ON MY TBR –
The Fire Wish by Amber Lough | POC, setting (Irak)
A jinni. A princess. And the wish that changes everything. . . .
Najwa is a jinni, training to be a spy in the war against the humans. Zayele is a human on her way to marry a prince of Baghdad—which she’ll do anything to avoid. So she captures Najwa and makes a wish. With a rush of smoke and fire, they fall apart and re-form—as each other. A jinni and a human, trading lives. Both girls must play their parts among enemies who would kill them if the deception were ever discovered—enemies including the young men Najwa and Zayele are just discovering they might love.
A genie and a princess switch bodies?! I’m sold. I love that trope with all my heart, I don’t care how silly or overused it is. Also, this novel is set in the Middle East. I’m guessing that it is specifically in Irak because it mentions a prince from Baghdad, but it doesn’t really specify in the blurb. If you’ve read this and that’s not the setting, please let me know in the comments!
– AN UPCOMING RELEASE –
Georgia Peaches and Other forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown | LGBTQIA+
Joanna Gordon has been out and proud for years, but when her popular radio evangelist father remarries and decides to move all three of them from Atlanta to the more conservative Rome, Georgia, he asks Jo to do the impossible: to lie low for the rest of her senior year. And Jo reluctantly agrees.
Although it is (mostly) much easier for Jo to fit in as a straight girl, things get complicated when she meets Mary Carlson, the oh-so-tempting sister of her new friend at school. But Jo couldn’t possibly think of breaking her promise to her dad. Even if she’s starting to fall for the girl. Even if there’s a chance Mary Carlson might be interested in her, too. Right?
I am cheating a little bit with this one because it was actually already released yesterday, but shhhh. This seems like a cute contemporary romance between two girls. Plus, the cover is adorable and I am in love with the title, so I really want to read it. I hope to see some reviews soon to check how people like it.