Diversity spotlight Thursday is a meme created by Aimal@Bookshelves and Paperbacks. Each week, you discuss three books: one that you’ve read, one that’s on your TBR and one that hasn’t been released yet.
There are books that make you feel like a voyeur, as the characters seem so real that you get the impression to spy on them, somehow. More Happy Than Not definitely belongs to that category, and hooked me from the very first sentence.
In a word, this book was a page-turner for me and guys, GUYS! MY FEELS ALL OVER THE PLACE.
Seriously – some parts punched me in the guts and made me sob, others made me want to hit something, yet I smiled so big I can’t even express how much love and attachment I feel for Aaron – despite his flaws, his wanderings through life reached out to my heart. That’s all I can say.
Oh well, I’ll say it. He fucking broke my heart. One of my favorite novels from 2015.
In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet—sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair and are soon cloistered in a premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whispers about doors—doors that can whisk people far away, if perilously and for a price. As the violence escalates, Nadia and Saeed decide that they no longer have a choice. Leaving their homeland and their old lives behind, they find a door and step through.
Exit West follows these characters as they emerge into an alien and uncertain future, struggling to hold on to each other, to their past, to the very sense of who they are. Profoundly intimate and powerfully inventive, it tells an unforgettable story of love, loyalty, and courage that is both completely of our time and for all time.
Magical realism? Pakistani author? Romance? Sign me in! Exit West has been in my Top-TBR since February, and as I’m finally in Holidays, I hope I’ll have the time to savor it ♥
A laugh-out-loud, heartfelt YA romantic comedy, told in alternating perspectives, about two Indian-American teens whose parents have arranged for them to be married.
Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?
Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.
The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?
Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.
Truth is, I have never read a positive YA novel about arranged marriage. Isn’t that a shame? I don’t doubt that I’m in fault here, because they must exist – but they never went under my radar and that’s saying something about how Western-centered the YA publishing is. That’s why I am so SO excited to read When Dimple Met Rishi. Aren’t you?
Tell me, have you read any of these books? What are your most anticipated diverse releases? What are your favorite diverse reads?
See you next week!