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21 Books You Need To Diversify Your Reading List

Essential for your ever growing reading list.

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1. When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Promising review: "My heart felt full and squishy with happiness when I finished this book. This was a book that constantly put a smile on my face, made me laugh out loud, and made me feel the feels. One of my favourite things was the heavy elements of Indian culture. It was so interesting to read about modern teenagers and their take on their Indian heritage and culture." - FollyB

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2. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Instagram: @wiebipeters

Promising review: "The Hate U Give isn’t about a movement. It’s about black lives living, and about black lives loving, and about black lives pursuing happiness and deserving freedom—just like everyone. This novel’s protagonist is sixteen years old, and she lives without an ulterior motive or agenda. Starr is just a girl who experienced a horrific tragedy, and the novel follows her journey through her grief and self-actualizations. I love Starr. I love this book." - Cristal H

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3. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Instagram: @theultmtfangirl

Promising review: "Simon takes you into his world as he tries to understand his feelings while dealing with typical sixteen-year old high school life. This book was not just about a gay teenager battling with his sexuality. I liked that Simon was very comfortable about who he was and never tried to deny it to himself or others. He is so brave throughout this book while he tried to be a good friend, was being blackmailed, and was hopelessly crushing on a boy he didn't know the identity of." - Nina DuBois

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4. Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley

Instagram: @emmehurr_reads

Promising review: "Sarah Dunbar is one of the first black students to attend the previously all-white Jefferson High School. An honors student at her old school, she is put into remedial classes, spit on and tormented daily. This book honestly surprised me because it was a constant 'what's going to happen next?'. It just shows that civil rights has always been a real problem. Not just as an African American, but being gay. It was easy to relate to because had I been born earlier, it could have just as easily been me or my fiancée." - Amazon customer

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5. Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde

Instagram: @librarycutie

Promising review: "Best Geek LBGTQ romance of the Year - "It's about three best friends having the time of their lives at a comic con of sorts. They all end up finding new meanings to new relationships. They also learn that real love means you love someone no matter their messes. There is some romance between two of the friends while the third finds romance with another famous female in the book. This story is beautifully written to define friendship, love, and risk taking." - Jeff Melih

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6. The Foxhole Court by Nora Sakavic

Promising review: "Neil Josten is the newest addition to the Palmetto State University Exy team. This first book has lots of scene-setting and character introductions, but still manages to stay incredibly engaging. With complex characters that you have to really work to understand and a plot quite different than anything I have read before, this series is fantastic for anyone looking for something new to read. Nora works wonderfully within her realm as long as you are comfortable suspending your disbelief." - Amazon customer

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7. Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour

Instagram: @readingoncloud9

Promising review: "I felt like I was Emi. I was seeing the world the way she does, looking at the composition of things and finding the story in everyone. I loved the characters. I loved how there was a romance, but there was also an amazing plot. Mostly, though, I loved being able to read a YA novel about two girls who fall in love where they aren't struggling with their sexuality or dealing with coming out. It was just their love story, and we don't get enough of those." - Alexa Ellenthal

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8. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Instagram: @diaryofchelly

Promising review: "Since she was a baby, Madeline hasn’t left her house. Her mother, a doctor, has diagnosed her with SCIDs. Nicola Yoon crafts an elegant story about starcrossed lovers divided by their parents internal demons, with such heart and compassion for the characters, that you'll find yourself swept away into Madeline's world and rooting for her to escape." - Michael

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9. The Wrath & the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh

Instagram: @sinippi

Promising review: "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. She is everything you want in a main character and more." - Nelia Madeira

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10. Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin

Instagram: @epicreads

Promising review: - "Until I read Symptoms of Being Human, I didn't realize I needed and wanted to know so much more about the issues and perspectives addressed by its story and characters. Had I been aware of my ignorance regarding gender identity issues, I would have sought out knowledge long ago. The novel's unique, fascinating protagonist is the voice of this coming-of-age story that gets its powerful message across in a balanced and non-preachy way." - John Grabowski

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11. The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson

Instagram: @gabe_det

Promising review: " His parents think he is gay, and are waiting for him to tell them. What David wants, more than anything, is to be a girl. Williamson created such complex characters that you feel for and root for, characters you think about after the book is over." - Larry Hoffer

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12. Akata Witch - Nnedi Okorafor

Promising review: "I felt like the ancestors have answered my prayers; I've been asking for a strong black author who writes good fantasy, sci-fi, supernatural, books. I got it with Akata Witch, this is the black Harry Potter series." - Amazon customer

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13. I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maureen Goo

Instagram: @thebookties

Promising review: "Do not go into this thinking that it is going to be anything but adorable. High school senior Desi Lee has everything all together in her life together except love. She meets a guy, humiliates herself, and decides that the key to love is to follow the steps of a K-drama. Hilarity, cuteness, and drama ensue. If you aren't familiar with K-dramas, don't worry it isn't necessary. Just know that you are going to be binge watching them after you finish reading."

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14. The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

Instagram: @threenymphs

Promising review: "Although the book, in a lot of ways, was something we've seen before – rakish and spoiled rich boys and secret crushes – in the important ways, it was not. The tone and voice of the narrator was appreciated. He sounded and acted like a young man. He was not flawlessly brave or wise beyond his years. He was silly and frightened and genuine. Having a queer protagonist with a happy ending will always mean the world to me." - John

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15. Girls Like Us by Gail Giles

Instagram: @howifeelaboutbooks

Promising review: "Biddy and Quincy, special education girls, have graduated and are placed as roommates in an apartment at an older woman, Lizbeth's house. Both young women have to adjust to being roommates, being adults with jobs and responsibilities, and sadly, with people treating them kindly for the first times in their lives. Gale Giles has masterfully woven together the voices of Biddy and Quincy, each different and unique with their own idiosyncrasies. The voices are strong, even when the young women feel weak." - Pink Amy

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16. Not Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee

Instagram: @thebookadvocate

Promising review: "A story about an Asian American young woman in a world of superheroes without a power of her own. The background of family, the difference and similarities between generations, disconnect in handling one's heritage and legacy – matched by the kind handling of bi and trans characters – left me feeling cheerful as I kept turning the pages." - Amazon customer

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17. Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson

Instagram: @books

Promising review: "Mary is a sixteen year old girl living in a group home. She was tried as an adult and convicted of manslaughter at just nine years old for killing a three month old baby. She served her sentence and is now in foster care until she's of age. She barely speaks and keeps her head down. Now that Mary is older she's learning how unfair her trial was and how all the people that have been assigned to help her have failed her. I devoured this book. I just had to know if Mary got her happy ending." - Angie

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18. Far From You by Tess Sharpe

Instagram: @ladybookmad

Promising review: "No one believes Sophie. She's a recently sober prescription pill addict, so everyone thinks that she was involved in a drug deal gone wrong that left her best friend dead. But she's determined to find out who really killed Mina, and bring the killer to justice. This is as much a love story as it is a murder mystery, and I appreciated how well bisexuality was represented here. I think this will definitely be a read-again for me." - Wendi

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19. The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie

Instagram: @theauthorscurse

Promising review: "In this futuristic alternate universe, the world's seas are overrun with pirates and to protect the innocent ships, science has created Reckoners – giant monsters trained to defend their charges during their voyages. Okay, let's stop there because GIANT. SEA. MONSTERS. But the story is so much more than that. This book felt like a fantasy but had a lot of science scattered throughout. The world-building was a delicate balance that fed all my fantasy –loving needs." Austine @ NovelKnight

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20. American Street by Ibi Zoboi

Instagram: @dope_melody

Promising review: "A teenage girl moves from Haiti and tries to fit in while still staying true to her childhood culture – her heritage. The result is a rich, full story of aiming for the American dream, only to learn the target keeps getting further and further away. Deeply poignant and introspective." - Audrey Coffman

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21. More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

Instagram: @patrik_jsson

Promising review: "The central character is Aaron. When we meet him he is very in love with his girlfriend, but attracted to a boy he meets, and battling depression over his father's suicide. The neighborhood kids are well-drawn, each one unique even while playing the same games, going through the same rituals. I respect the talent it took to make everyone a real person." - Michelle R

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