Hello, internet! I was looking up diverse reads to add to my TBR, when I came across a lot of lists that had books that I would never consider diverse. Also, there has been a lot of talk around diversity and representation in literature lately, and I wanted to give my two cents (and hear your thoughts on the matter as well!)
I should preface this post by saying these thoughts represent my views alone, and I don’t speak for anyone else. For context, I’m an avid reader, and while I read different genres here and there, I usually reach for YA fantasy. I’d also like to point out that I’m not trying to shade any of the books/authors I talk about in this post. I simply want to give examples to help illustrate my point.
Heyo, internet land! I was perusing the anticipated releases of this year to add more books to my TBR, and I thought I’d share a couple of the YA diverse reads that I’m excited for!
[Edit: I realized that by the time this is uploaded, a good chunk of these books are already going to be released (I drafted this post early January). That means some of these books aren’t anticipated releases anymore. I still hope you’re able to find a book you’ve never heard of that you’re interested in.]
I was given a free digital ARC in exchange for a honest review.
✧ This review is spoiler-free! ✧
Title: Rise of the Red Hand
Series: The Mechanists, #1
Author: Olivia Chadha
Expected publication: January 19, 2021
My rating: ★★★☆☆ (2.5)
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A rare, searing portrayal of the future of climate change in South Asia. A street rat turned revolutionary and the disillusioned hacker son of a politician try to take down a ruthlessly technocratic government that sacrifices its poorest citizens to build its utopia.
The South Asian Province is split in two. Uplanders lead luxurious lives inside a climate-controlled biodome, dependent on technology and gene therapy to keep them healthy and youthful forever. Outside, the poor and forgotten scrape by with discarded black-market robotics, a society of poverty-stricken cyborgs struggling to survive in slums threatened by rising sea levels, unbreathable air, and deadly superbugs.
Ashiva works for the Red Hand, an underground network of revolutionaries fighting the government, which is run by a merciless computer algorithm that dictates every citizen’s fate. She’s a smuggler with the best robotic arm and cybernetic enhancements the slums can offer, and her cargo includes the most vulnerable of the city’s abandoned children.
When Ashiva crosses paths with the brilliant hacker Riz-Ali, a privileged Uplander who finds himself embroiled in the Red Hand’s dangerous activities, they uncover a horrifying conspiracy that the government will do anything to bury. From armed guardians kidnapping children to massive robots flattening the slums, to a pandemic that threatens to sweep through the city like wildfire, Ashiva and Riz-Ali will have to put aside their differences in order to fight the system and save the communities they love from destruction.
[ This synopsis was taken directly from Goodreads. ]