Finn’s Top 3 Diverse Reads, so far…
As you might remember from our previous blog, our very own Micanopy page, Finn, set a goal for themself to read as many books centering LGBTQIA+ themes in our catalog that they could find. They’ve already managed to read nearly 30 books! Which means they’ve found a wealth of choice reads to share. This week, they’re sharing their top 3 choices for “Best Diverse Books” in the district… based on what they’ve read so far.
"It's important that we tell ourselves stories, Private Dietz. There's a theory that consciousness itself begins with story. Stories are how we make sense of the world."
Dietz is just another nobody in the line of recruits to become a soldier for the Corps. The difference between them and the other recruits is that Dietz has a personal bone to pick with the enemy. The Blink stole their family, wiped out a whole city in an instant. If Dietz wants revenge, joining the military is the only way. What Dietz couldn’t predict was that being broken down into light and flung across the galaxy would throw them out of sync with their fellow soldiers. Tossed into bloody warzones, watching their comrades disappear or die, Dietz is caught in a race to find out what or when is really happening. Maybe they can even survive it… if they can just figure out how to stick to mission brief and hang on to their sanity.
Finn found this book challenging but delightful. They say it’s a timely read in the age of Amazon and Google. The lack of gendering the main protagonist struck them as an interesting writing choice, especially once the gender of Dietz is revealed at the end. Some people might not like it because it’s political and subversive, but Finn says that they think all writing is political… this book is just in your face about it. Overall, this book has earned itself a place on Finn’s all-time favorite book list and they’ll probably be gushing about how much they liked it for years to come.
Diversity Rating: 5/5 – “Bisexual soldiers seeking solace in each other during a difficult situation. Believable and heartbreaking.”
Thought Provoking Rating: 5/5 – “Sometimes I had to put the book down because it was making me think so much my head hurt, but I kept picking it back up because I wanted more.”
Mindblowing Rating: 5/5 – “The ending blew me away. I didn’t see that coming at all but I loved every moment of it.”
“The arms kind of looked like swords. I want to fight it.”
“You want to fight it.”
“Because it looked … a little like swords.”
Gideon Nav is an orphan, raised in servitude to the ominous Ninth House, protectors of the Locked Tomb. At eighteen-years-old, she’s really over the whole living dead as an aesthetic choice thing, ready to take her few precious belongings and get off their planet to go literally anywhere else. Especially, if that somewhere gets her far away from Harrowhawk, the heiress of the Ninth House and necromancy prodigy, Gideon’s lifelong nemesis.
There’s just one hitch in her plan to leave, Harrowhawk won’t let her. More importantly, Harrowhawk needs her. The Emperor has put out a call for worthy necromancers and their cavaliers to compete against each other in a bid to obtain immortality and unimaginable power, Lyctorhood. There are only two swordspeople in the Ninth House left, and given the choice, Harrow knows Gideon is the only one who can get the job done. Gideon knows giving Harrowhawk immortality is the worst idea ever.
According to Finn, Gideon the Ninth is the “enemies to lovers” fan’s dreams come true. A stunning epic about lesbian necromancers in a dark galactic future told from the irreverent and biting perspective of the one character who is really done with everything, this book kept Finn on the edge of their seat until the very end. The book made them laugh out loud at Gideon’s sharp wit, and the ending broke their heart so thoroughly, they had to read the sequel immediately.
Diversity Rating: 5/5 – “There were lesbians… and they were in space. What more can I ask for?”
Skeleton Rating: 5/5 – “There were some spooky scary skeletons, let me tell you… literal seas of skeletons. Death by skeleton gang was imminent.”
Cliffhanger Rating: 5/5 – “I was crying, I was shaking, I was desperate for answers, I couldn’t get my hands on the second book in the series fast enough.”
“I recognize that sound. It's the sound of holding on to a cliff by the edge of your nails. The sound of barely containing a pain so immense that to look at it, to raise your own flesh and examine what's beneath, is to risk falling into a darkness you know you'll never escape.”
After her mother’s sudden death, Briana “Bree” Matthews finds herself trying to make sense of the ways her life has developed a Before and After. Before her mother’s death, Bree and her best friend, Alice, were excitedly planning to join a residential program for bright high schoolers at the University of North Carolina. After her mother’s death, going to Chapel Hill seems like it ought to be the perfect escape from the grief that has tarnished every piece of her life. But when Bree becomes witness to a magical attack, and a failed attempt to erase her memory accidentally reveals she might have magical gifts herself, her entire world gets turned upside down. The person who tried to erase her memory, called a Merlin, isn’t the first magic user she’s ever seen. There was a Merlin at the hospital after her mother died… and Bree is determined to get to the bottom of things, even if it means infiltrating the secret society hidden on campus.
With the help of a self-exiled Legendborn, Nick, Bree plunges herself into the danger of the Legendborn society and finds herself entangled in mysteries and magic that reach all the way back to King Arthur, himself. Bree faces down monsters from the Shadow, monstrous humans, and the suspicious Merlin from that first night with unflinching determination. But as Bree and Nick’s reluctant partnership becomes something more and magical war looms, Bree has to decide how far she’s willing to go for the truth and which side she is really on.
Finn came into the library the day after finishing this book and couldn’t stop talking about how good it was. They say the story isn’t just delightful as a fantasy read, it’s showstoppingly insightful. The book drew them in from the beginning, and by midway through they could hardly put it down because they were desperate to find out what would happen next. This book rocked their world, and they plan to sing the author’s praises for the rest of their life.
Diversity Rating: 5/5 – “With a black protagonist, Asian lesbian best friend, and a variety of other BIPOC and LGBQTIA characters, this book is one of the most diverse I’ve read so far!”
Black Girl Magic: 5/5 – “Black girls with magic, the magic of Black girls existing, Black girls facing their enemies head on and being magical, gorgeous, and awesome at it. Yes, yes, yes!”
Hot Boy Love Interests: 5/5 – “There’s a hot guy for you, and a hot guy for you, and a hot guy for you! Everyone gets a hot guy to swoon over! Seriously, if Nick isn’t your type, there’s Selwyn, William, Whitty… I could probably write a whole blog just about the eligible bachelors of Legendborn.”