Waiting for: 12 (+12) diverse books of the first half of 2019

Okay, first things first: check out this list of 12 LGBT books coming out in January-June 2019 that Charlotte & I compiled. That’s the reason those 12 books are not on this list: I wanted to showcase even more titles!

20gayteen was wonderful when it came to LGBT rep, but I think we all already noticed that 2019 is shaping up to be as good or maybe even BETTER! Incidentally, all the books I’m gonna talk about today feature either LGBT or POC characters – or both.

The list is only for the first half of the year, because of the very simple reason. Not all books have their release dates set yet & I want to give you all the details possible. But all this means, is that I will be making another list like this in six months.

So let’s get to it then! 12 diverse books of the next 6 months, two for each!

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The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

Paris, 1889: The world is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. In this city, no one keeps tabs on secrets better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier, Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. But when the all-powerful society, the Order of 39863498Babel, seeks him out for help, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance.

To find the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin will need help from a band of experts: An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian who can’t yet go home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in all but blood, who might care too much.

Together, they’ll have to use their wits and knowledge to hunt the artifact through the dark and glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the world, but only if they can stay alive.

Release date: January 15th
Genre: fantasy, historical fiction
Selling points: found family, heist, French Algerian MC, Haitian French gay (bi?) MC, Filipino Spanish bi MC, South Indian MC, Jewish (possibly autistic?) MC
Preorder on BookDepo

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Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal

A scandal and vicious rumor concerning the Binat family have destroyed their fortune and prospects for desirable marriages, but Alys, the second and most practical of the five Binat daughters, has found happiness teaching English literature to schoolgirls. Knowing that many of her students won’t make it to graduation before dropping out to marry and have children, Alys teaches them about Jane Austen and her other literary heroes and hopes to inspire the girls to dream of more.

When an invitation arrives to the biggest wedding their small town has seen in years, Mrs. Binat, certain that their luck is about to change, excitedly sets to work preparing her daughters to fish for rich, eligible bachelors. On the first night of the 39926661festivities, Alys’s lovely older sister, Jena, catches the eye of Fahad “Bungles” Bingla, the wildly successful—and single—entrepreneur. But Bungles’s friend Valentine Darsee is clearly unimpressed by the Binat family. Alys accidentally overhears his unflattering assessment of her and quickly dismisses him and his snobbish ways. As the days of lavish wedding parties unfold, the Binats wait breathlessly to see if Jena will land a proposal—and Alys begins to realize that Darsee’s brusque manner may be hiding a very different man from the one she saw at first glance.

Told with wry wit and colorful prose, Unmarriageable is a charming update on Jane Austen’s beloved novel and an exhilarating exploration of love, marriage, class, and sisterhood.

Release date: January 22nd
Genre: contemporary
Selling points: Pakistani cast (ownvoices), modern retelling of Pride & Prejudice
Preorder on BookDepo

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Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto

I had a sister, once…

In a world ruled by fierce warrior queens, a grand empire was built upon the backs of Phoenix Riders—legendary heroes who soared through the sky on wings of fire—until a war between two sisters ripped it all apart.

I promised her the throne would not come between us.

Sixteen years later, Veronyka is a war orphan who dreams of becoming a Phoenix Rider from the stories of old. After a shocking betrayal from her controlling sister, 35715518Veronyka strikes out alone to find the Riders—even if that means disguising herself as a boy to join their ranks.

But it is a fact of life that one must kill or be killed. Rule or be ruled.

Just as Veronyka finally feels like she belongs, her sister turns up and reveals a tangled web of lies between them that will change everything. And meanwhile, the new empire has learned of the Riders’ return and intends to destroy them once and for all.

Sometimes the title of queen is given. Sometimes it must be taken.

Release date: February 12th
Genre: fantasy
Selling points: complex sisters relationship, poc characters, bi/pan LI, mlm relationship
Preorder on BookDepo

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The Afterward by E.K. Johnston

It has been a year since the mysterious godsgem cured Cadrium’s king and ushered in what promised to be a new golden age. The heroes who brought the gem home are renowned in story and song, but for two fellows on the quest, peace and prosperity do not come easily.

Apprentice Knight Kalanthe Ironheart wasn’t meant for heroism this early in life, and while she has no intention of giving up the notoriety she has earned, her reputation does not pay her bills. With time running out, Kalanthe may be forced to betray not her kingdom or her friends, but her own heart as she seeks a stable future for herself and those she loves.

36998181Olsa Rhetsdaughter was never meant for heroism at all. Beggar, pick pocket, thief, she lived hand to mouth on the city streets until fortune–or fate–pulled her into Kalanthe’s orbit. And now she’s quite reluctant to leave it. Even more alarmingly, her fame has made her recognizable, which makes her profession difficult, and a choice between poverty and the noose isn’t much of a choice at all.

Both girls think their paths are laid out, but the godsgem isn’t quite done with them and that new golden age isn’t a sure thing yet.

In a tale both sweepingly epic and intensely personal, Kalanthe and Olsa fight to maintain their newfound independence and to find their way back to each other.

Release date: February 19th
Genre: high fantasy
Selling points: focus on a wlw relationship
Preorder on BookDepo

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Once & Future by Amy Rose Capetta & Cori McCarthy

I’ve been chased my whole life. As an illegal immigrant in the territory controlled by the tyrannical Mercer corporation, I’ve always had to hide who I am. Until I found Excalibur.

36233085Now I’m done hiding.

My name is Ari Helix. I have a magic sword, a cranky wizard, and a revolution to start.

When Ari crash-lands on Old Earth and pulls a magic sword from its ancient resting place, she is revealed to be the newest reincarnation of King Arthur. Then she meets Merlin, who has aged backward over the centuries into a teenager, and together they must break the curse that keeps Arthur coming back. Their quest? Defeat the cruel, oppressive government and bring peace and equality to all humankind.

Release date: March 5th
Genre: fantasy, science-fiction
Selling points: king Arthur retelling, gay MC, pan MC, mlm & wlw relationships, gender fluid and non-binary characters (ownvoices), POC characters, disabled character
Preorder on BookDepo

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Dealing in Dreams by Lilliam Rivera

At night, Las Mal Criadas own these streets.

Nalah leads the fiercest all-girl crew in Mega City. That roles brings with it violent 35297488throw downs and access to the hottest boydega clubs, but the sixteen-year-old grows weary of the life. Her dream is to get off the streets and make a home in the exclusive Mega Towers, in which only a chosen few get to live. To make it to the Mega towers, Nalah must prove her loyalty to the city’s benevolent founder and cross the border in a search for a mysterious gang the Ashé Ryders. Led by a reluctant guide, Nalah battles other crews and her own doubts, but the closer she gets to her goal, the more she loses sight of everything—and everyone— she cares about.

Nalah must do the unspeakable to get what she wants—a place to call home. But is a home just where you live? Or who you choose to protect?

Release date: March 5th
Genre: dystopian science-fiction
Selling points: teenage girls gangs, heavy social themes, Latinx culture inspired world & characters (ownvoices)
Preorder on BookDepo

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Descendant of the Crane by Joan He

Tyrants cut out hearts. Rulers sacrifice their own

36430989Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, but when her beloved father is murdered, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of an unstable kingdom. Determined to find her father’s killer, Hesina does something desperate: she engages the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act, punishable by death… because in Yan, magic was outlawed centuries ago.

Using the information illicitly provided by the sooth, and uncertain if she can trust even her family, Hesina turns to Akira—a brilliant and alluring investigator who’s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of her kingdom at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high?

Release date: April 2nd
Genre: fantasy
Selling points: China inspired (ownvoices), focus on women
Preorder on BookDepo

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Earth to Charlie by Justin Olson

A high school outcast spends his life hoping to be abducted by aliens in this funny, quirky novel about finding your footing in a world that sometimes feels like Mars. 

Convinced his mother has been abducted by aliens, Charlie Dickens spends his 39741038nights with an eye out for UFOs, hoping to join her. After all, she said the aliens would come back for him. Charlie will admit that he doesn’t have many reasons to stick around; he doesn’t get along well with his father, he’s constantly bullied at school and at work, and the only friend he has is his 600-pound neighbor Geoffrey, and Geoffrey’s three-legged dog, Tickles.

Then Charlie meets popular, easy-going Seth, who shows him what real friendship is all about. For once, he finds himself looking around at the life he’s built, rather than looking up. But sooner than he expected, Charlie has to make a decision: should he stay or should he go?

Release date: April 16th
Genre: contemporary
Selling points: bi MC, mlm relationship, ideas about aliens
Preorder on BookDepo

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Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens by Tanya Boteju

42202063Perpetually awkward Nima Kumara-Clark is bored with her insular community of Bridgeton, in love with her straight girlfriend, and trying to move past her mother’s unexpected departure. After a bewildering encounter at a local festival, Nima finds herself suddenly immersed in the drag scene on the other side of town.

Macho drag kings, magical queens, new love interests, and surprising allies propel Nima both painfully and hilariously closer to a self she never knew she could be—one that can confidently express and accept love. But she’ll have to learn to accept lost love to get there.

 

Release date: May 7th
Genre: contemporary
Selling points: biracial sapphic MC, discovering of the drag queens culture
Preorder on BookDepo

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The Wise and the Wicked by Rebecca Podos

Ruby Chernyavsky has been told the stories since she was a child: The women in her family, once possessed of great magical abilities to remake lives and stave off death itself, were forced to flee their Russian home for America in order to escape the fearful men who sought to destroy them. Such has it always been, Ruby’s been told, for powerful women. Today, these stories seem no more real to Ruby than folktales, except for the smallest bit of power left in their blood: when each of them comes of 35053988age, she will have a vision of who she will be when she dies—a destiny as inescapable as it is inevitable. Ruby is no exception, and neither is her mother, although she ran from her fate years ago, abandoning Ruby and her sisters. It’s a fool’s errand, because they all know the truth: there is no escaping one’s Time.

Until Ruby’s great-aunt Polina passes away, and, for the first time, a Chernyavsky’s death does not match her vision. Suddenly, things Ruby never thought she’d be allowed to hope for—life, love, time—seem possible. But as she and her cousin Cece begin to dig into the family’s history to find out whether they, too, can change their fates, they learn that nothing comes without a cost. Especially not hope.

Release date: May 28th
Genre: magical realism
Selling points: Russian themed, sisters relationships, LGBT characters
Preorder on BookDepo

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Like a Love Story by Abdi Nazemian

It’s 1989 in New York City, and for three teens, the world is changing.

Reza is an Iranian boy who has just moved to the city with his mother to live with his stepfather and stepbrother. He’s terrified that someone will guess the truth he can barely acknowledge about himself. Reza knows he’s gay, but all he knows of gay life are the media’s images of men dying of AIDS.

40190305Judy is an aspiring fashion designer who worships her uncle Stephen, a gay man with AIDS who devotes his time to activism as a member of ACT UP. Judy has never imagined finding romance…until she falls for Reza and they start dating.

Art is Judy’s best friend, their school’s only out and proud teen. He’ll never be who his conservative parents want him to be, so he rebels by documenting the AIDS crisis through his photographs.

As Reza and Art grow closer, Reza struggles to find a way out of his deception that won’t break Judy’s heart–and destroy the most meaningful friendship he’s ever known.

Release date: June 4th
Genre: historical fiction
Selling points: Iranian gay MC (ownvoices), gay LI, tackling of the AIDS crisis in ya literature
Preorder on BookDepo

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All of Us with Wings by Michelle Ruiz Keil

Seventeen-year-old Xochi loves her job as live-in governess for tween genius Pallas, enchanted by the girl’s pagan rock star parents and the storybook Victorian mansion they share with their band, Lady Frieda. Determined to deserve the fairy tale life she’s fallen into, Xochi does her best to put Pallas’s needs before her own–ignoring the grief that lingers from her grandmother’s death and rejecting her growing attraction to Pallas’s guitar player dad, who shares her half Mexican heritage and 40177227troubled past.

Then, on the night of the Vernal Equinox with a party raging in the house below, Xochi and Pallas perform a riot-grrrl ritual that unintentionally summons the Waterbabies.

When her new life and past traumas collide, Xochi must come to terms with her complicated feelings for Pallas’s father, save the mother who abandoned her and find a way to send the Waterbabies home before the San Francisco fog extinguishes their fierce magic.

Release date: June 18th
Genre: magical realism
Selling points: Latinx bi MC (ownvoices), modern fairy tale
Preorder on BookDepo

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Remember, this is but a fraction of what 2019 has to offer!!

Next year is looking absolutely fabulous for everyone who loves reading!

And once again: don’t forget to check out another 12 books we mentioned on Reads Rainbow!

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16 Replies to “Waiting for: 12 (+12) diverse books of the first half of 2019”

    1. ahh thank u!! it was really hard to choose only 12 books, when i have a list of over 100 im excited abt!!
      im so happy u found sth new here then!! that’s the whole point! :>>>

      Like

  1. I;m so glad The Gilded Wolves is there on your list! And YAY, even Earth to Charlie ❤ 2019 is going to be a pretty good year for diverse reads and I couldn't be more excited 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. i was already excited abt the gilded wolves but then my friend read an arc and she basically hasn’t stopped talking abt since so…… clearly i HAVE to read it!
      and god earth to charlie looks like exactly my kind of book???? i can’t wait!
      it really will be! :>>>

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Awesome list! 😍 I’m in need for this since I’m on a mission to read more diverse books for next year. 🤓 I haven’t really heard about any of the books you mentioned, except for Roshani Chockshi’s The Gilded Wolves because I have read her previous books. I’m pumped for this release because I’ve always loved her writing. 💖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ahh im so glad to hear that!! honestly, this is the reason im even blogging! to let ppl know about all the cool doverse books that are out there!! i’ll be making longer posts for each month too if u need even more books to read :>>>
      oh man, i’m stupidly excited abt this one! my friend read an arc and is absolutely in love with it, so i cant wait!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. All these look amazing, have you noticed how gorgeous all the covers are this year? It’s a huge upgrade and I want all those flawless covers on my shelf *heart eyes*
    I’m very excited about The Gilded Wolves, I’ve seen some great reviews around and it just sounds like something I’d enjoy, can’t wait for the release! ❤
    And Once & Future is a retelling that I'm quite interested in!
    Lovely post! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank u marta!!
      oh my god i know right!! all the ppl making covers are stepping up their game Big Time now!!! it’s wonderful
      im incredibly excited abt the gilded wolves too!!!!

      Like

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