Diversity Spotlight Thursday #14

diversity-spotlight

Diversity Spotlight Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by the wonderful Aimal @ Bookshelves and Paperbacks. Every week, you come up with one book in each of three different categories: a diverse book you have read and enjoyed, a diverse book on your TBR, and one that has not yet been released.

Continuing the Ramadan theme from my last DSTh, the theme again is Muslim main characters.

~O~o~O~o~O~

A BOOK I HAVE READ

book cover“Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal” by G. Willow Wilson (Author), Adrian Alphona (Artist)

Kamala Khan is an ordinary girl from Jersey City — until she’s suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who truly is the new Ms. Marvel? Teenager? Muslim? Inhuman? Find out as she takes the Marvel Universe by storm! When Kamala discovers the dangers of her newfound powers, she unlocks a secret behind them, as well. Is Kamala ready to wield these immense new gifts? Or will the weight of the legacy before her be too much to bear? Kamala has no idea, either. But she’s comin’ for you, Jersey!

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. 

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Nobles

This is the first Marvel comic I read because a Muslim superhero was too awesome of a thing to pass on. And I loved it! Kamala Khan is adorable and the graphics were very well done.

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A BOOK ON MY TBR

book cover“Alif the Unseen” by G. Willow Wilson

In an unnamed Middle Eastern security state, a young Arab-Indian hacker shields his clients—dissidents, outlaws, Islamists, and other watched groups—from surveillance and tries to stay out of trouble. He goes by Alif—the first letter of the Arabic alphabet, and a convenient handle to hide behind. The aristocratic woman Alif loves has jilted him for a prince chosen by her parents, and his computer has just been breached by the state’s electronic security force, putting his clients and his own neck on the line. Then it turns out his lover’s new fiancé is the “Hand of God,” as they call the head of state security, and his henchmen come after Alif, driving him underground.

When Alif discovers The Thousand and One Days, the secret book of the jinn, which both he and the Hand suspect may unleash a new level of information technology, the stakes are raised and Alif must struggle for life or death, aided by forces seen and unseen.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Nobles

I had no idea this book existed until I searched the author of Ms. Marvel and the premise sounds great. I’m always looking for books about jinns.

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A BOOK RELEASING SOON

book cover“Love Hate & Other Filters” by Samira Ahmed

A searing #OwnVoices coming-of-age debut in which an Indian-American Muslim teen confronts Islamophobia and a reality she can neither explain nor escape–perfect for fans of Angie Thomas, Jacqueline Woodson, and Adam Silvera.

Maya Aziz is torn between futures: the one her parents expect for their good Indian daughter (i.e.; staying nearby in Chicago and being matched with a “suitable” Muslim boy), and the one where she goes to film school in New York City–and maybe, just maybe, kisses a guy she’s only known from afar. There’s the also the fun stuff, like laughing with her best friend Violet, making on-the-spot documentaries, sneaking away for private swimming lessons at a secret pond in the woods. But her world is shattered when a suicide bomber strikes in the American heartland; by chance, he shares Maya’s last name. What happens to the one Muslim family in town when their community is suddenly consumed with hatred and fear?

Release Date: January 16, 2018

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Nobles

I am SO EXCITED for this to come out!

~O~o~O~o~O~

What’s your favorite book with a Muslim MC?

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Diversity Spotlight Thursday #13

diversity-spotlight

Diversity Spotlight Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by the wonderful Aimal @ Bookshelves and Paperbacks. Every week, you come up with one book in each of three different categories: a diverse book you have read and enjoyed, a diverse book on your TBR, and one that has not yet been released.

Wow, it’s been a while since I did a Diversity Spotlight Thursday. In celebration of Ramadan, the theme for this week is Muslim main characters.

~O~o~O~o~O~

A BOOK I HAVE READ

book cover“Exit West” by Mohsin Hamid

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. 

Goodreads Link | Amazon | Barnes and Nobles

Exit West is a refugee story of Nadia and Saeed, two young people who have just met and suddenly found themselves in a country in the brinks of war. Hamid’s writing is beautiful. Although the story is magical realism, the emotions are real and relevant.

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A BOOK ON MY TBR

book cover“Sofia Khan is Not Obliged” by Ayisha Malik

‘Brilliant idea! Excellent! Muslim dating? Well, I had no idea you were allowed to date.’ Then he leaned towards me and looked at me sympathetically. ‘Are your parents quite disappointed?’

Unlucky in love once again after her possible-marriage-partner-to-be proves a little too close to his parents, Sofia Khan is ready to renounce men for good. Or at least she was, until her boss persuades her to write a tell-all expose about the Muslim dating scene.

As her woes become her work, Sofia must lean on the support of her brilliant friends, baffled colleagues and baffling parents as she goes in search of stories for her book. In amongst the marriage-crazy relatives, racist tube passengers and decidedly odd online daters, could there be a a lingering possibility that she might just be falling in love . . . ?

Goodreads Link | Amazon | Barnes and Nobles

I’ve been wanting to read Sofia Khan for a while, I’ve heard some good things about it.

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A BOOK RELEASING SOON

book cover“Saints and Misfits by S. K. Ali

How much can you tell about a person just by looking at them?

Janna Yusuf knows a lot of people can’t figure out what to make of her…an Arab Indian-American hijabi teenager who is a Flannery O’Connor obsessed book nerd, aspiring photographer, and sometime graphic novelist is not exactly easy to put into a box.

And Janna suddenly finds herself caring what people think. Or at least what a certain boy named Jeremy thinks. Not that she would ever date him—Muslim girls don’t date. Or they shouldn’t date. Or won’t? Janna is still working all this out.

While her heart might be leading her in one direction, her mind is spinning in others. She is trying to decide what kind of person she wants to be, and what it means to be a saint, a misfit, or a monster. Except she knows a monster…one who happens to be parading around as a saint…Will she be the one to call him out on it? What will people in her tight-knit Muslim community think of her then?

Release Date: June 13th, 2017
Goodreads Link | Amazon | Barnes and Nobles

Judging from the premise alone, Janna sounds great and I’m really excited for this book to come out!

~O~o~O~o~O~

What’s your favorite book with a Muslim MC?

Diversity Spotlight Thursday #12

diversity-spotlight

Diversity Spotlight Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by the wonderful Aimal @ Bookshelves and Paperbacks. Every week, you come up with one book in each of three different categories: a diverse book you have read and enjoyed, a diverse book on your TBR, and one that has not yet been released.

My theme for this week is POC main characters in popular YA Fantasy. (I might do the same theme for next time because I had a very hard time choosing).

~O~o~O~o~O~

A BOOK I HAVE READ

book cover“Six of Crows” by Leigh Bardugo

Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to claim it, he’ll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist:

Break into the notorious Ice Court
(a military stronghold that has never been breached)

Retrieve a hostage
(who could unleash magical havoc on the world)

Survive long enough to collect his reward
(and spend it)

Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done – and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has to offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable – if they don’t kill each other first.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Nobles

Okay, I had to include this but is there really anyone who hasn’t read this duology yet? How are you still alive?

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A BOOK ON MY TBR

22521951“A Darker Shade of Magic” by V.E Schwab

Kell is one of the last travelers–magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes connected by one magical city. 

There’s Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, and with one mad King–George III. Red London, where life and magic are revered–and where Kell was raised alongside Rhy Maresh, the roguish heir to a flourishing empire. White London–a place where people fight to control magic and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London. But no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red traveler, ambassador of the Maresh empire, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Nobles

The last book of the series just came out and it’s about time I started this series. I’ve been hearing about these books a lot lately and the hype is getting me even more excited to start.

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A BOOK RELEASING SOON

22521951“The Bone Witch” by Rin Chupeco

“Let me be clear: I never intended to raise my brother from his grave, though he may claim otherwise. If there’s anything I’ve learned from him in the years since, it’s that the dead hide truths as well as the living.”

When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she’s a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training.

In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha-one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles…and make a powerful choice.

Memoirs of a Geisha meets The Name of the Wind in this brilliant new fantasy series by Rin Chupeco!

Release Date: March 7th 2017
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Nobles

I’ve actually been approved for this in Netgalley and I was super excited to read this but it started off really slow. And now I’m not so sure. Maybe you guys will have better luck though.

~O~o~O~o~O~

What’s your favorite Fantasy with a POC main character?

Diversity Spotlight Thursday #11

diversity-spotlight

Diversity Spotlight Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by the wonderful Aimal @ Bookshelves and Paperbacks. Every week, you come up with one book in each of three different categories: a diverse book you have read and enjoyed, a diverse book on your TBR, and one that has not yet been released.

My theme this week is f/f relationships in YA. (My themes are self-created so I can focus on one particular genre of diverse books).

~O~o~O~o~O~

A BOOK I HAVE READ

22521951“Lies We Tell Ourselves” by Robin Talley

In 1959 Virginia, the lives of two girls on opposite sides of the battle for civil rights will be changed forever.

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.

Linda Hairston is the daughter of one of the town’s most vocal opponents of school integration. She has been taught all her life that the races should be kept separate but equal.

Forced to work together on a school project, Sarah and Linda must confront harsh truths about race, power and how they really feel about one another.

Boldly realistic and emotionally compelling, Lies We Tell Ourselves is a brave and stunning novel about finding truth amid the lies, and finding your voice even when others are determined to silence it.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Nobles

Have I talked about this book enough? This is one of my favorite historical fictions of all time. It takes place right after segregation in public schools was banned. It tackles both racism and homosexuality in the 50’s and early 60’s.

~O~o~O~o~O~

A BOOK ON MY TBR

22521951“Everything Leads to You” by Nina LaCour

A wunderkind young set designer, Emi has already started to find her way in the competitive Hollywood film world.
 
Emi is a film buff and a true romantic, but her real-life relationships are a mess. She has desperately gone back to the same girl too many times to mention. But then a mysterious letter from a silver screen legend leads Emi to Ava. Ava is unlike anyone Emi has ever met. She has a tumultuous, not-so-glamorous past, and lives an unconventional life. She’s enigmatic…. She’s beautiful. And she is about to expand Emi’s understanding of family, acceptance, and true romance.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Nobles

This has been on my TBR for the longest time! I’ve heard a lot of good things about this book.

~O~o~O~o~O~

A BOOK RELEASING SOON

22521951“It’s Not Like It’s a Secret” by Misa Sugiura

Sixteen-year-old Sana Kiyohara has too many secrets. Some are small, like how it bothers her when her friends don’t invite her to parties. Some are big, like that fact that her father may be having an affair. And then there’s the one that she can barely even admit to herself—the one about how she might have a crush on her best friend.

When Sana and her family move to California she begins to wonder if it’s finally time for some honesty, especially after she meets Jamie Ramirez. Jamie is beautiful and smart and unlike anyone Sana’s ever known. There are just a few problems: Sana’s new friends don’t trust Jamie’s crowd; Jamie’s friends clearly don’t want her around anyway; and a sweet guy named Caleb seems to have more-than-friendly feelings for her. Meanwhile, her dad’s affair is becoming too obvious to ignore anymore.

Sana always figured that the hardest thing would be to tell people that she wants to date a girl, but as she quickly learns, telling the truth is easy… what comes after it, though, is a whole lot more complicated.

Release Date: May 9th, 2017
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Nobles

Yay for LGBT+ books with POCs! Judging by the summary, this book has great potential. I have high hopes for it.

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Are any of these on your list? What lgbt+ books are you excited to read?

Diversity Spotlight Thursday #10

diversity-spotlight

Diversity Spotlight Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by the wonderful Aimal @ Bookshelves and Paperbacks. Every week, you come up with one book in each of three different categories: a diverse book you have read and enjoyed, a diverse book on your TBR, and one that has not yet been released.

My theme for this one is stories from the Middle East in times of turmoil (my themes are self created just so I can focus on a certain genre of diverse books).

~O~o~O~o~O~

A BOOK I HAVE READ

22521951“A Thousand Splendid Suns” by Khaled Hosseini

Born a generation apart and with very different ideas about love and family, Mariam and Laila are two women brought jarringly together by war, by loss and by fate. As they endure the ever escalating dangers around them-in their home as well as in the streets of Kabul-they come to form a bond that makes them both sisters and mother-daughter to each other, and that will ultimately alter the course not just of their own lives but of the next generation. With heart-wrenching power and suspense, Hosseini shows how a woman’s love for her family can move her to shocking and heroic acts of self-sacrifice, and that in the end it is love, or even the memory of love, that is often the key to survival. A stunning accomplishment, A Thousand Splendid Suns is a haunting, heartbreaking, compelling story of an unforgiving time, an unlikely friendship, and an indestructible love.

Goodreads Link | Amazon | Barnes and Nobles

This is a heart-breaking book. Reading about these three women, who are so different yet so strong in their own ways. It’s a beautifully crafted story of brutality and suffering as well as strength and hope.

~O~o~O~o~O~

A BOOK ON MY TBR

22521951“Guapa” by Saleem Haddad

Set over the course of twenty-four hours, Guapa follows Rasa, a gay man living in an unnamed Arab country, as he tries to carve out a life for himself in the midst of political and social upheaval. Rasa spends his days translating for Western journalists and pining for the nights when he can sneak his lover, Taymour, into his room. One night Rasa’s grandmother—the woman who raised him—catches them in bed together. The following day Rasa is consumed by the search for his best friend Maj, a fiery activist and drag queen star of the underground bar, Guapa, who has been arrested by the police. Ashamed to go home and face his grandmother, and reeling from the potential loss of the three most important people in his life, Rasa roams the city’s slums and prisons, the lavish weddings of the country’s elite, and the bars where outcasts and intellectuals drink to a long-lost revolution. Each new encounter leads him closer to confronting his own identity, as he revisits his childhood and probes the secrets that haunt his family. As Rasa confronts the simultaneous collapse of political hope and his closest personal relationships, he is forced to discover the roots of his alienation and try to re-emerge into a society that may never accept him.

Goodreads Link | Amazon | Barnes and Nobles

This isn’t a very known book, I had never heard of it until recently. It’s hard to find decent LGBT+ books set in the Middle East so I think this could be a hidden gem.

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A BOOK RELEASING SOON

22521951“Exit West” by Mohsin Hamid

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.

Release Date: March 7th, 2017
Goodreads Link | Amazon | Barnes and Nobles

I’m so glad so many refugee stories are coming out now – both fiction and non-fiction. I’m really excited for this one. So far, the reviews have all been praising it.

~O~o~O~o~O~

Are any of these on your TBR? Have you read any good books set in the Middle East?

Diversity Spotlight Thursday #9

diversity-spotlight

Diversity Spotlight Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by the wonderful Aimal @ Bookshelves and Paperbacks. Every week, you come up with one book in each of three different categories: a diverse book you have read and enjoyed, a diverse book on your TBR, and one that has not yet been released. The theme for this one is memoirs and realistic stories.

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A BOOK I HAVE READ

22521951“Chinese Cinderella: The True Story of an Unwanted Daughter” by Adeline Yen Mah

A riveting memoir of a girl’s painful coming-of-age in a wealthy Chinese family during the 1940s.

A Chinese proverb says, “Falling leaves return to their roots.” In Chinese Cinderella, Adeline Yen Mah returns to her roots to tell the story of her painful childhood and her ultimate triumph and courage in the face of despair. Adeline’s affluent, powerful family considers her bad luck after her mother dies giving birth to her. Life does not get any easier when her father remarries. She and her siblings are subjected to the disdain of her stepmother, while her stepbrother and stepsister are spoiled. Although Adeline wins prizes at school, they are not enough to compensate for what she really yearns for — the love and understanding of her family.

Following the success of the critically acclaimed adult bestseller Falling Leaves, this memoir is a moving telling of the classic Cinderella story, with Adeline Yen Mah providing her own courageous voice.

Goodreads Link | Amazon | Barnes and Nobles

This is one of the first memoirs I’ve read in my life and I remember completely loving it. Though Adeline was not living in poverty and was financially better off than a lot of people in China at the time, the emotional toll she went through as a child for not being wanted by her family is heartbreaking.

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A BOOK ON MY TBR

22521951“Night” by Elie Wiesel

Night is Elie Wiesel’s masterpiece, a candid, horrific, and deeply poignant autobiographical account of his survival as a teenager in the Nazi death camps. This new translation by Marion Wiesel, Elie’s wife and frequent translator, presents this seminal memoir in the language and spirit truest to the author’s original intent. And in a substantive new preface, Elie reflects on the enduring importance of Night and his lifelong, passionate dedication to ensuring that the world never forgets man’s capacity for inhumanity to man.

Night offers much more than a litany of the daily terrors, everyday perversions, and rampant sadism at Auschwitz and Buchenwald.

Goodreads Link | Amazon | Barnes and Nobles

This is a painful book to read. I started it once in the beginning of high school and put it down because I couldn’t handle the starting scene. Reading about violence in fiction is not the same as reading someone’s memoir. But I plan on starting it again soon because these are important stories to read and learn from.

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A BOOK RELEASING SOON

22521951“Difficult Women” by Roxane Gay

The women in these stories live lives of privilege and of poverty, are in marriages both loving and haunted by past crimes or emotional blackmail. A pair of sisters, grown now, have been inseparable ever since they were abducted together as children, and must negotiate the elder sister’s marriage. A woman married to a twin pretends not to realize when her husband and his brother impersonate each other. A stripper putting herself through college fends off the advances of an overzealous customer. A black engineer moves to Upper Michigan for a job and faces the malign curiosity of her colleagues and the difficulty of leaving her past behind. From a girls’ fight club to a wealthy subdivision in Florida where neighbors conform, compete, and spy on each other, Gay delivers a wry, beautiful, haunting vision of modern America reminiscent of Merritt Tierce, Jamie Quatro, and Miranda July.

Release Date: January 3rd, 2017 
Goodreads Link | Amazon | Barnes and Nobles

I’ll admit, I just learned about this book when searching “upcoming releases” but I’m hooked. This sounds like it has a lot of potential with its unique perspectives and authentic stories.

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What’s the best memoir you’ve read?

Diversity Spotlight Thursday #8

diversity-spotlight

Diversity Spotlight Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by the wonderful Aimal @ Bookshelves and Paperbacks. Every week, you come up with one book in each of three different categories: a diverse book you have read and enjoyed, a diverse book on your TBR, and one that has not yet been released.

~O~o~O~o~O~

A BOOK I HAVE READ

22521951“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” by Mark Haddon

Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow.

Although gifted with a superbly logical brain, for fifteen-year-old Christopher everyday interactions and admonishments have little meaning. He lives on patterns, rules, and a diagram kept in his pocket. Then one day, a neighbor’s dog, Wellington, is killed and his carefully constructive universe is threatened. Christopher sets out to solve the murder in the style of his favourite (logical) detective, Sherlock Holmes. What follows makes for a novel that is funny, poignant and fascinating in its portrayal of a person whose curse and blessing are a mind that perceives the world entirely literally.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Nobles

This is the only book I’ve read with a main character who as Asperger’s Syndrome and it was very good. I loved Christopher. He sets out to solve the mystery of who murdered his neighbor’s dog. He has a very analytical mind and the way he describes the world is fascinating.

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A BOOK ON MY TBR

22521951“It’s Kind of a Funny Story” by Ned Vizzini

Ambitious New York City teenager Craig Gilner is determined to succeed at life – which means getting into the right high school to get into the right job. But once Craig aces his way into Manhattan’s Executive Pre-Professional High School, the pressure becomes unbearable. He stops eating and sleeping until, one night, he nearly kills himself.

Craig’s suicidal episode gets him checked into a mental hospital, where his new neighbors include a transsexual sex addict, a girl who has scarred her own face with scissors, and the self-elected President Armelio. There, Craig is finally able to confront the sources of his anxiety.

Ned Vizzini, who himself spent time in a psychiatric hospital, has created a remarkably moving tale about the sometimes unexpected road to happiness.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Nobles

I only recently found out about this book. The author himself has spent time in a psychiatric hospital so I think this book would be more insightful than most when it comes to mental illness.

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A BOOK RELEASING SOON

22521951“A List of Cages” by Robin Roe

When Adam Blake lands the best elective ever in his senior year, serving as an aide to the school psychologist, he thinks he’s got it made. Sure, it means a lot of sitting around, which isn’t easy for a guy with ADHD, but he can’t complain, since he gets to spend the period texting all his friends. Then the doctor asks him to track down the troubled freshman who keeps dodging her, and Adam discovers that the boy is Julian–the foster brother he hasn’t seen in five years.

Adam is ecstatic to be reunited. At first, Julian seems like the boy he once knew. He’s still kind hearted. He still writes stories and loves picture books meant for little kids. But as they spend more time together, Adam realizes that Julian is keeping secrets, like where he hides during the middle of the day, and what’s really going on inside his house. Adam is determined to help him, but his involvement could cost both boys their lives.

Release Date: January 10, 2017
 Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Nobles

I’ve seen this book on a few people’s anticipating releases lists. I believe the main character has both ADHD and Dyslexia.

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Have you guys read any of these? Are you planning to?