Diverse Characters Monday #4 – Natasha Kingsley

Diverse Characters Mondays tpbg

Diverse Characters Mondays is my self hosted weekly meme celebrating my favorite diverse characters. This meme was created to get myself to post more frequently with a topic I am interested in. Posting memes always help me get out of a blogging slump, especially since I haven’t been posting Diversity Spotlight Thursday posts as frequently anymore.

If you’re not familiar with “diverse” characters (which I’m sure most of you are), they are basically a character who is not a white allocishet and able person (note that this is in no way a definite definition of a diverse character and feel free to comment or email me if you think I need to add/change anything). 

If anyone wants to participate, please do! If you do decide to do this, leave the link to your post down below and I’d love to check it out! Your post can be as long or as short as you like.


natasha__the_sun_is_also_a_star_by_kanski_art-dbdl07q
Art by Kanski-Art from Devianart.com

Natasha Kingsley

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Natasha Kingsley is an undocumented Jamaican immigrant living in New York City. Her father brought their family over to the USA from Jamaica pursuing an acting career which didn’t work out for him and he only ended up neglecting his family in the process. Her and her family is twelve hours away from deportation when the story starts. Because of this, Natasha has had to grow up fast and take up responsibility at a young age. In The Sun is Also a Star, Natasha is trying to use up her last day in America going to an immigration lawyer to try and make a case for her family.

This is the life you’re living. It’s not temporary and it’s not pretend and there’s no do-over.

Natasha is very logical when it comes to making decisions. She is intelligent, determined and knows exactly what she wants to do in life. She picks the most practical choices, the ones where she’s certain she knows the end result. That said, her personality doesn’t leave her passionless but the opposite. She’s always passionate about the decisions she takes and has no regrets.

She’s also a cynic when it comes to love and romance which makes sense because of the circumstances in which she grew up. Seeing her character develop and mature into a more caring and forgiving person was one of the best aspects of the book.

Natasha is strong, independent and fights tooth and nail until she is completely out of time. She was holding out hope for her and her family even until the day they were to be deported. That shows some extreme determination on her part.

Have you read the Sun is Also a Star? What do you think of Natasha?

Diverse Characters Monday #3 – Samirah Al-Abbas

Oooh, it’s been over a week! There goes my goal to post every week. Before I start, I changed my theme you guys! The last one I had, I liked well enough but the heading was huge and it started bothering me.

Diverse Characters Mondays tpbg

Diverse Characters Mondays is my self hosted weekly meme celebrating my favorite diverse characters. This meme was created to get myself to post more frequently with a topic I am interested in. Posting memes always help me get out of a blogging slump, especially since I haven’t been posting Diversity Spotlight Thursday posts as frequently anymore.

If you’re not familiar with “diverse” characters (which I’m sure most of you are), they are basically a character who is not a white allocishet and able person (note that this is in no way a definite definition of a diverse character and feel free to comment or email me if you think I need to add/change anything). 

If anyone wants to participate, please do! If you do decide to do this, leave the link to your post down below and I’d love to check it out! Your post can be as long or as short as you like.


Image result for Samirah al-Abbas

Samirah Al-Abbas

The Magnus Chase trilogy by Rick Riordan

Rick Riordan has been really good at writing some strong and wonderful diverse characters. Samirah al-Abbas from the Magnus Chase trilogy is brown (Arab-American), a Muslim hijabi, and betrothed (and very happily so). She’s also an axe wielding Valkrye, a shapeshifter and her hijab acts as an invisibility cloak.

I always love seeing Muslim main characters in mainstream books, especially ones who are well developed. Samirah is raised by her grandparents and she respects them immensely and always feels guilty when lying to them about being a Valkrye.

She has faced prejudice from her peers almost all her life, in the real world for being Muslim and in the Norse world for being a child of Loki. But despite that, she’s kind and always tries to do the right thing.

Riordan also explores a healthy and happy arranged marriage through Samirah and Amir Fadlan. They’re both adorable as a couple and are both on the same page when it comes to getting married. Because arranged marriages are usually considered a stigma in western society, I think it’s important for kids to understand that they aren’t always forced.

Have you read the Magnus Chase trilogy? What do you think of Samirah?

Diverse Characters Monday #2 – Starr Carter

Diverse Characters Mondays tpbg

Diverse Characters Mondays is my self hosted weekly meme celebrating my favorite diverse characters. This meme was created to get myself to post more frequently with a topic I am interested in. Posting memes always help me get out of a blogging slump, especially since I haven’t been posting Diversity Spotlight Thursday posts as frequently anymore.

If you’re not familiar with “diverse” characters (which I’m sure most of you are), they are basically a character who is not a white allocishet able person. Most of the books I’ve read the past year have been diverse books and I will continue to do so because I tend to enjoy them more.

If anyone wants to participate, please feel free to! If you do decide to do this, leave the link to your post down below and I’d love to check it out! Your post can be as long or as short as you like.


Hate U Give quote

Starr Carter

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Starr Carter is a black teenage girl who lives in a rundown, mostly black neighborhood but goes to a majority white private school. Because of that, she has a unique perspective when it comes to both places and she often feels like she doesn’t belong or that she has to change her personality depending on where she is.

“I always said that if I saw it happen to somebody, I would have the loudest voice, making sure the world knew what went down. Now I am that person, and I’m too afraid to speak.” 

Starr is a witness to her friend getting shot and killed by a white police officer. The police officer then turns the gun on her and Starr is unbelievably calm on the outside because she has been trained for moments like this. As the book says, black children often get “the police talk”: what to do if a police officer pulls them over. This entire situation is heartbreaking because Starr technically did everything right, everything she was taught, but it wasn’t enough.

Starr’s story follows what happens in that moment and afterwards. Starr is obviously stunned and she doesn’t know what to do after the ordeal. She takes her time to find her voice and the fact that she did is a feat in itself.

Because of everything Starr has been through, she has had to grow up fast and can seem older than she is. But her geeky side reminds you that she’s just another sixteen year old girl: she loves Harry Potter, High School Musical and The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. And because of that, it’s even sadder that she’s been through so much.

“I can’t change where I come from or what I’ve been through, so why should I be ashamed of what makes me, me?” 

Starr is just phenomenal. She is persistent, she stands up against racism and she keeps fighting and resisting even when facing a bleak reality.

Have you read The Hate U Give? What do you think of Starr?

 

Diverse Characters Monday #1 – Inej Ghafa

Diverse Characters Mondays tpbg

Diverse books are important and what makes them important stories to tell are the characters they spotlight. And because I always love gushing about my darling diverse characters, I have decided to make it a weekly thing. Diverse Characters Mondays will be my self hosted weekly meme celebrating my favorite diverse characters. Posting memes always help me get out of a blogging slump, especially since I haven’t been posting Diversity Spotlight Thursday posts as frequently anymore.  I’m creating this to get myself to post more frequently with a topic I am interested in.

If you’re not familiar with “diverse” characters (which I’m sure most of you are), they are basically a character who is not a white allocishet able person. Most of the books I’ve read the past year have been diverse books and I will continue to do so because I tend to enjoy them more.

If anyone wants to participate, please feel free to! If you do decide to do this, leave the link to your post down below and I’d love to check it out! Your post can be as long or as short as you like.


Inej Ghafa

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Inej Ghafa
I couldn’t find the source for this aesthetic but I thought it captured Inej very well

Besides, she was the Wraith – the only law that applied to her was gravity, and some days she defied that, too.

What better way to start this off then one of my all time favorite characters: Inej Ghafa from the Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo. Inej is a brown (she would be South Asian in our world) acrobat who is kidnapped and sold to a brothel at age fourteen. After her indenture was bought by the Dregs, she becomes a spy for the gang, their “spider”. She becomes one of the most dangerous people in the city, someone who can never be caught again. She came to be known as The Wraith.

Inej is a complex character with her own set of values that she never compromises. In difficult times, she always remembers the lessons her parents have taught her when she was young and takes strength from them.

 But I’ll die on my feet with a knife in my hand.”

Inej is a warrior. She’s brave and strong. Her time in the Menagerie could have dissuaded her from trying to do right but it didn’t. She had to fight to survive but she also knew there were lines you couldn’t cross.

 “No, Kaz,” she’d said, “the trick is in getting back up.” 

Inej is unyielding in her optimism. She looks to her Saints for guidance and strength and she believes in them wholeheartedly. Her faith in her Saints never falter, not even after all the tragic situations she has been through.

(MINOR SPOILERS FOR THE DUOLOGY AHEAD)

 “I will have you without armour, Kaz Brekker. Or I will not have you at all.”

Inej knows what she deserves and she will not settle for anything less. She knew it wasn’t enough for Kaz to ask her to stay, not if he wasn’t willing to actively try and overcome his past. She also knew it wasn’t her job to fix him, help him yes but not fix him. She respects herself enough to say no until Kaz does his part. She doesn’t lose her sense of self and to me, that’s her greatest trait.

Other honorary points: 

  • Inej and Nina’s friendship is one of those rare awesome female friendships in YA and it’s beautiful
  • Her friendship with Jesper is also great
  • Inej is actually pronounced Inn-ezh? For the longest time I thought it was Inn-edge

DO YOU LOVE INEJ? WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE SIX OF CROWS CHARACTER?