Diversity Spotlight Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Aimal @ Bookshelves and Paperbacks. The goal: talk about diverse books! The meme features 3 diverse books—1 diverse book you read and enjoyed, 1 diverse book that you haven’t read yet, and 1 diverse book that hasn’t been released yet.
Two weeks ago, I talked about a few books whose characters have depression or anxiety disorders. This week I want to talk about some books where mental health and other marginalizations intersect.
Why am I making this particular post? Because so often mental health is portrayed as something that exclusively happens to white, able-bodied, cisgender, non-queer, otherwise non-marginalized folks. While this may be the case for a lot of us, this ideology masks the reality of how mental health silently affects people of color, how it interacts with sexuality, etc.
A Diverse Book I Read & Enjoyed
Far From You by Tess Sharpe
I first read this book almost three years ago and was absolutely blown away. The main character, Sophie, is on-the-page bisexual (something that’s surprisingly hard to find unaccompanied by biphobic stereotypes). She struggles with chronic pain due to a car accident, which led to an Oxy addiction. Rather than just painting her as a total f*ck-up, though, we get to know Sophie, how hard she works to maintain her sanity despite wanting to crumple into numbness. As an added bonus, Far From You is a murder-mystery with a dual past-present narrative style that works really well, not just revealing the mystery but showing who Sophie is and why. I can’t wait to see what Tess Sharpe writes next.
A Diverse Book on My TBR
When Reason Breaks by Cindy L. Rodriguez
This book follows two teenage Latinas dealing with depression in different ways. One is outspoken about her depression, while the other silently struggles inside. I’m looking forward to reading this because I think too often we get trapped in looking at depression one way, rather than recognizing that it can be very different for different folks. Also I’m excited to read some depressed girls who aren’t just white—we don’t talk enough about how mental health affects POCs.
A Diverse Book that Isn’t Yet Released
Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert (Releases August 8, 2017)
The main character of this book, Suzette, moves back home to help her step-brother Lionel deal with his bipolar disorder, but the book is so much more than just that. According to other reviewers, Suzette is black, Jewish, and bisexual, and the book also talks about the complications mental illness can have on one’s family and friends, something that also doesn’t get talked about a lot in mental health books. I can’t wait to read this one!
Have you read any of these books? What did you think? Check out my diverse books shelf on Goodreads, and talk to me in the comments below!