Thursday, March 30, 2017

Hi, voyagers! Today I'm bringing you something super exciting and fabulous. Because THE GAUNTLET just released in the US yesterday, I'm doing a guest post with the lovely Karuna Riazi, author of the Middle Grade novel. I've already read this amazing novel (YES, it's the greatest and I recommend everyone to go and buy it) and I love love this post. I hope you all love it as well.

Meet the Book

Title: The Gauntlet
Author: Karuna Riazi
Publisher: Salaam Reads
Genre: Middle Grade / Fantasy
Pages: 384 

A trio of friends from New York City find themselves trapped inside a mechanical board game that they must dismantle in order to save themselves and generations of other children in this action-packed debut that’s a steampunk Jumanji with a Middle Eastern flair.
When twelve-year-old Farah and her two best friends get sucked into a mechanical board game called The Gauntlet of Blood and Sand—a puzzle game akin to a large Rubik’s cube—they know it’s up to them to defeat the game’s diabolical architect in order to save themselves and those who are trapped inside, including her baby brother Ahmed. But first they have to figure out how.
Under the tutelage of a lizard guide named Henrietta Peel and an aeronaut Vijay, the Farah and her friends battle camel spiders, red scorpions, grease monkeys, and sand cats as they prepare to face off with the maniacal Lord Amari, the man behind the machine. Can they defeat Amari at his own game…or will they, like the children who came before them, become cogs in the machine?
Add on Goodreads | Buy on Amazon / B&N / BookDepo

One of the questions I’ve heard most from friends since announcing my book deal is, “I have no clue where to start with reading middle grades. What do you recommend?” To me, the great thing about middle grades – like YA! – is how much variety there is within the category. You have sweet contemporary, sweet but also prepare to mop your face after you’re done contemporary, and then the incredible, profound fantasies that I personally grew up on and still crave. 

So, that being said, I’m going to do my best to present five of my favorite middle grade titles that you can start out with and may serve as a gateway for more great reads and new discoveries.

1. Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu 
Anne Ursu is, arguably, the Queen of MG (well, I may be the only one who calls her that, but still). In this compelling take on the classic fairytale The Snow Queen, she exercises her craft in a way that you simply can’t look away from. I actually picked it up when I first heard about it because of the little girl of color on the cover (representation matters, guys) but stayed for the lyrical writing, the very real and human characters and the thrilling arc that made a familiar childhood favorite new and wondrous all at once.

2. Beastkeeper by Cat Hellisen 
This book is everything. It also has tremendous YA crossover appeal, if you are the type who needs a little reassurance before you broaden your reading horizons. It’s a fairytale retelling, but also explores the repercussions of a family curse in beautiful and haunting ways, and has the most incredible writing that turns me into a silver-seeking raven every time I turn back to it.

3. Greenglass House by Kate Milford Okay 
I grew up on The Westing Game (which, if you haven’t read, you should because it is a classic and everything and will haunt you for years for good reason) and Greenglass House is 100% a comparative title, or at least harbors the same aesthetic of family, incredible mystery and watery eyes when you least expect it. It would also make an incredibly good movie with a Wes Anderson aesthetic, if anyone is asking.

4. Wildwood by Colin Meloy 
Yes, this is written by the Colin Meloy of the Decemberists, a.k.a. the perfect band to listen to if you like moody autumn afternoons and mutiny aboard antique whaling ships. This is wonderfully thick, richly adventurous and gets that woodland fantasy aesthetic down so perfectly that I still writhe in envy every time I re-read it.

5. The Girl Who Drank The Moon by Kelly Barnhill 
This is actually the latest Newbery Award winner, and with good reason. Kelly’s writing is wonderful, and powerful, and imaginative. It might be hard to find on shelves right now, considering that it’s still holding a lead position on the NYT Bestsellers list, but when you can reach for it, it’s absolutely worth it.

(Okay, I lied and will add a bonus. If you want gorgeous, weighty middle grades that leave magic lingering on your tongue and wistfulness for the same understanding in everything you read wrapped around your heart, read Some Kind of Happiness by Claire Legrand. And then read everything else she’s written, ever. Thank me later.)

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Title: All That Glitter
Author: Ines Bautista-Yao
Release date: March 31st, 2017
Pages: 124

When they have nothing better to do, college students Billie Santiago and Carlos Angeles enjoy imagining what their lives will be like five years into the future. It’s never serious—just a whole lot of teasing and poking fun at each other. Until blindingly handsome, PR professional Iñigo Antonio saunters into the university bookstore where Billie works. All of a sudden, she finds herself face to face with the physical manifestation of the very dream she tells Carlos about.
Captivated by Iñigo’s magnetic personality, Billie is lured into his dazzlingly glamorous world—much to Carlos’s frustration. But as Billie notices Iñigo might not be playing by the rules, Carlos begs her to stay away from him. When Billie doesn’t listen, she realizes too late that she is in over her head and it may take a miracle (or a boy who cares deeply about her) to help get her out of it.


All That Glitters is a glamorous, glitter-y story. It's also very soft. Especially because of the hero. I adored Carlos so much and he is such a Softie and caring person. I'm sorry but #romanceclass heroes are always so cute, like please write 1839833 more, thank you. 

Some bullet points: 
- Best friends to lovers trope 
- Very caring and a soft hero, who somehow always matches clothes with the heroine so they 1000% look like a couple since the beginning? 
- It might seem like a love triangle, but nah you all. It's not. Billie's #1 is Carlos since page 1.
- Cute NA, set in college
- But also has this glamorous teaspoon bc Billie gets enchanted by this fab life + goes to these events
- Girl friendships always there for each other 
- Cute siblings (twins) that love love her sister aka the MC and really like the hero and want to play videogames with him forever lmao.

And I did an aesthetic!


Thursday, March 16, 2017

This readathon is created by Aimal @ Bookshelves & Paperbacks. You can see the announcement and instructions here.

I suck at following readathons to be honest, but this one is something that actually functions for me. I usually read more ARCs than backlist titles so I'm pretty sure this readathon is perfect for me. I guess I'll track my books on Twitter, I'm not sure if there is a hashtag for it but eh I'll figure it out lmao. 

So I leave you with my possible TBR. Sometimes I pick random ARCs that I didn't contemplate reading that month but loved them and finished them (hah!) so this might change and some I might add during the month and will track them in my @ twitter account, don't worry. I guess at the end of the month when the challenge is done, I'll do a post with all the books I read wink

Titles from top to bottom:
- Thaw by Elyse Springer
- It Happened on Love Street by Lia Riley
- Want by Cindy Pon
- Noteworthy by Riley Redgate
- Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee
- Gabby Garcia's Ultimate Playbook by Iva-Marie Palmer
- The Authentics by Abdi Nazemian
- Step Up to The Plate, Maria Singh by Uma Krishnaswami

I might not complete all of these or change some books when the challenge starts because April is gonna be tiresome because of school, but I hope I have the time to actually read all of these!


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Hello, voyagers! Because of the good response of SWOONS {the romance magazine I made last month} had, many told me to do one for YA. Some of this community don't read NA/Adult romance so I understood why they wanted to see their fave YA characters in a similar way that I did in that romance magazine. I wanted to do it but I didn't know how to make it good. I thought of authors to invite and I was unsure if they would say yes but I sent the emails. And they all said yes. I hope you all love this issue, it's a SWOONS YA Edition titled IT'S LIT (thanks Shenwei for the name!!), and hopefully there will be more to come in the future!

Note: The magazine's point is to show your favorite characters (this time from YA books) and imagine them living side by side with us in this world. So it's like they are real life people and some sort of celebrities among us.

Note #1: You can click the image to enlarge. But I'll write down everything that it's on the image under that so you can read it easier and just enjoy the aesthetic of the pictures haha.

Note #2: Thank you again to all the authors who helped me! Thank you CB Lee and the fabulous interview with Emma and Jess written by Bells. Thank you Tristina Wright for the FIRST INTERVIEW EVER with the 27 Hours gang. Thank you Heidi Heilig for the epic post written by Nix, amazing time-traveling pirate. And thank you Becky Albertalli and the awesome dynamic Molly and Simon have.

Welcome to IT'S LIT! 

~ Cover of IT'S LIT ~ { + Contents of the magazine}
What's New | News and Gossip
[New releases]

You're Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner
// Amazing street art is appearing and we are all loving it!
The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig
// The Temptation is taking a long journey to another land.
Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones
// Winter is here. The Goblin King is among us and searching for a bride...
The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco
// Time for the parties!! Party season is on the go.
 In the Driver's Seat by Bells Broussard | Yearbook section
{Post provided by CB Lee}
*Book: Not Your Sidekick

To most teenagers, getting a driver's license is so unnecessary. Why drive when you can program your car to go wherever you like? Not to mention the extra expense of installing a driver-operated wheel and controls in the car and filling out all that extra paperwork for the Collective. But junior Emma Robledo thinks it's worth it; she's had her driver's license for a year and loves the freedom of driving.

BB: What inspired you to get a license? It's very unusual.
ER: With regular cars, you don't always get where you need to be. If you haven't updated the software in awhile or sometimes it'll glitch, you know? And cars will always drive at the set speed, you know. So if you want to go a little faster, you can. [winks]

BB: Was there a ridiculous process to get a license?
ER: No, not really. Okay, yeah. I mean, you do have to wait awhile, so it wasn't like after I turned sixteen I was able to drive right away. But my moms were great about helping me find what I wanted, and they helped me pick out a car in my favorite color-- bright, bright red!
BB: Tell me about driving. What's it like?
ER: You have to pay attention to the road, and the other cars and people around you, so you can't just fall asleep or look out the window if the car is driving you. But I love when I put the top down on the car, and the wind is in my hair, and my best friends are with me and we're just laughing and going wherever we want to go.

BB: Oh, hanging out with your best friends, huh?
ER: [laughs] Well, they're the best.

// Exploring the Unknown by Bells Broussard | Yearbook section
{Post provided by CB Lee} @ credits for the images ~ Tiffany Chien
*Book: Not Your Sidekick
You've probably seen the multiple warning signs outside of Andover if you've ever traveled through the Unmaintained zones to get to the Las Vegas hovertrain. Junior Jessica Tran isn't afraid of radiation poisoning or wild animals or decrepit Pre-Collective buildings; in fact, she loves wandering out in the wilderness, going hiking on her own and exploring the desert beyond our fair city.

BB: What do you love most about the desert?
JT: It's so calm and peaceful. I love the colors out here, all the reds and golds and oranges.

BB: Aren';t you worried about the dangers? The warnings are there for a reason.
JT: Well, a lot of those warnings would make sense right after the Disasters, but it's been so long now, and we know that there isn't danger from the radiation anymore. But because no one actually lives out there or knows much about what's left, that the desert is this huge, scary thing and no one bothers to check it out.

BB: How did you start exploring outside the city?
JT: Um, well, I was actually just looking for some peace and quiet to... write! I write in my journal a lot, but it's very noisy at home. My brother likes to build things, and a lot of them explode or fall apart. So I was driving one day and I was just wondering what was outside the solar fields... so yeah. That's how I started.
BB: What's your favorite thing about the canyons?
JT: There's just so many trails to discover. People used to hike here all the time, but I guess now there aren't that many people who appreciate it.

BB: Is hiking difficult? You must be very sporty!
JT: [laughing] No, no, I'm not athletic at all. I never really thought of myself like that, but I think hiking is something anyone can do. You just put one foot in front of the other and keep going, and you can see new things and get rewarding views. It's awesome!

For anyone else interested in exploring the canyons, Jessica recommends charging your car completely before heading out of Andover, and to take the Blue Diamond road and follow the Pre-Collective signs, and if they've been graffitied over by Master Mischief, then you know you're going in the right direction!
Rumor {and more characters!!} | Interview section
// Answers provided by Tristina Wright
*Book: 27 Hours
IT'S LIT: Hello, Rumor! Welcome to SWOONS HQ. We are so glad to have you here with us.
Rumor: Hey, it’s really nice to be h—
Braeden: Is this where the interview is?
Jude: Yeah, I’m pretty sure seeing as how he’s…you know, here.
Dahlia: Don’t be rude. Jude: I’m not being rude!
Rumor: Guys…?
Dahlia: I wasn’t talking to you.
Braeden: Hey! I am a paragon of manners, okay.
Trick: That was a giant word for you, man, I am proud. 
Nyx: Hi, I’m Nyx, is it okay if we come in?
Rumor: Is anyone going to ask my opinion on this?
Dahlia: We saw the invite on your tablet and decided to make sure you were going to come.
Rumor: And I came.
Braeden: And decided to make sure you stayed.
Rumor: Why wouldn’t I stay?
Jude: You don’t like to talk about yourself. 
Dahlia: Aww, he’s got grumpy eyes now.
Rumor: I do not have grumpy eyes now.
Nyx: You really do. Sorry.

IT'S LIT: We were wondering, how do you feel about your story been told and that it's coming out soon, and everyone will know about it?
Rumor: Oh…it’s rough to think about. So much breaks and splinters and flies apart—even me, and I mean, that night is still so vivid in my…well I guess all our minds. 
Jude: Like it just happened.
Rumor: Yeah. I’ll never forget it.
Dahlia: Twenty-seven hours sounds like such a long time until…
Nyx: …that happens.
Braeden: But it’s fine! I come in right at the end and save the day. It’s cool. Cape and everything. 
Trick: You’re such a nerd.
Braeden: Your mom’s a nerd.
Trick: Your face is a nerd.
Braeden: That doesn’t make sense.
Trick: Your mom—
Dahlia: Oh my god, I’m going to kick you both in the shins.
IT'S LIT: Now, a little flashback, if you could tell us your happiest day and describe what was going on.
Braeden: You ask this assuming Rumor is capable of joy. 
Rumor: The day I first learned to fight with a sword is probably not what you’re looking for, is it? 
Dahlia: Honey, no. 
Nyx: Mine was teaching Braeden, and later Dahlia, how to sign. 
Braeden: Yeah? 
Nyx: Yeah, since you have an eidetic memory, it was pretty easy to teach you, but it was great to be able to finally talk to you. 
Braeden: Oh, come here, you. 
Trick: And the hugs have started! 
Rumor: No one said anything about hugging. 
Jude: What’s your happy moment? 
Rumor: Prem in the early mornings. It was this little teahouse in HUB2 that my mom took me to. It was owned by these three women. Two of them were sisters, and the third was married to one of the others but I forget which one. Anyway, they would make us chai, and I had to sit on a cushion to reach the table. Yeah, so that’s not really a one moment thing and more like an ongoing thing, but it was something only mom and I did. 
Jude: You’ve never told me about that. 
Dahlia: He doesn’t talk about his mom much.
IT'S LIT: This book is filled with explosions and fights, but also a lot of friendship, new friendships and old friendships. How did you feel going back to those old friendships? And how did you feel meeting new people and forming those bonds?
Dahlia: So many explosions, every time I turn around, these dorks are blowing more stuff up.
Trick: That's not entirely fair.
Dahlia: Name one thing I blew up. I'll wait.
Braeden: I need popcorn for this.
Rumor: Okay, while we're settling that... the only person I knew before all this started was Dahlia, and it was surprising running into her again. But I'm glad she was there, because if she hadn't been, everything could've been so much worse. The rest of them I met on the worst night of my life, which probably isn’t the best time to make new friends—
Braeden: cough Or boyfriends cough
Jude: Understatement.
Nyx: But I think we did okay, considering? I mean, it wasn’t easy and there’s still so much left between the six of us and out…there.
Rumor: Yeah, yeah I think we did okay.
Dahlia: We did more than okay, Rumor.
Braeden: GROUP HUG
Rumor: NO 
IT'S LIT: Rumor, what scares you?
Braeden: Smiling.
Trick: Hug.
Dahlia: Small children.
Nyx: Sunlight
Jude: Flowers.
Rumor: I hate all of you. 

IT'S LIT: These next questions are sort of THIS or THAT but you will have to choose one friend for each question, alright?
Rumor: Um, could they leave the room for this?
Trick: Counterpoint, can he leave the room for this?
Braeden: Oh, I like that!
Rumor: I'm not leaving the room for this.
Dahlia: He's gonna pick me for all the answers anyway.
Jude: Says who?
Nyx: I would pick Dahlia for all my answers.
Braeden: Is this a kissing interview?
1) If you could choose a friend to help you win a fight, who would you pick? Braeden
2) Choose a friend to stare at the stars and feel perfectly in peace: Jude
3) Choose a friend who will always help you even if you haven't told them what for: Dahlia and Nyx
4) Choose a friend who you thought it was impossible to be friends but now you are: Trick
5) If you were locked inside a room for 24 hours and you had to choose one friend to be there with you, who would it be? 
Rumor: Uhhhhhhhhh... can I pick any of them with the option to be able to tape their mouth shut?
Dahlia: Rude. 
IT'S LIT: Thanks, Rumor, for being here with us and for this wonderful chance to talk to you and all of your friends. We are happy to get to know you better and this book as well. We are all excited for this book to come out and fall in love with you (again).
Rumor: Thanks for having me, and I’m sorry for the gate-crashers here.
Nyx: No, it was fun!
Braeden: Oh! I have an idea. 
Trick: Your ideas usually end up with me shot.
Braeden: This doesn’t involve weapons.
Trick: Your mom doesn’t involve—
Dahlia: I swear to all that’s holy…
Jude: We should do this again.
Braeden: That was my idea!
Nyx: I love that idea! I can set up something online for us maybe!
Trick: And now they’re signing and not speaking. Probably talking about me.
Jude: Or discussing the idea? Not everything is about you.
Trick: Lies.
Dahlia: I really don’t think Rumor would want to do this again.
Rumor: Nah, I might be up for it.
Dahlia: Wait, what?

// Sailing Through Spring Break | Holidays and more... section
{Post provided by Heidi Heilig}
*Book: The Girl From Everywhere

With spring break coming up in many countries (but not all timelines), quite a few of us may be planning travel. As an avid traveler through time, I love a good journey through history. So if you’re swept away by wanderlust, allow me to recommend a few eras and places, some of which seem quite timely!

ONE | uno
As some of you may know, my last visit to ancient China was fairly short. I had somewhere else to be-- plus, I was in an underground necropolis the whole time, so I didn’t get to see as much as I wanted to. But I’d love to explore my roots, and Qin’s unification of China was an amazing time, marked by great public works and art and change-- though fairly dangerous, what with all the war and assassination going on. So go to ancient china, but pack light and don’t forget an escape map!
TWO | dos
If you’re looking for something a little more laid back, 1900’s Tahiti might be a good time and place. Black sand beaches, sapphire seas-- but please be aware and respectful of local culture and sacred sites. And if you join us there, be warned: Kashmir keeps threatening he’ll learn to pearl dive in the customary way (i.e. in the nude). And if he catches you staring you’ll only make him more insufferable.

THREE | tres
If city living is more your style, I recommend Jazz-age Harlem. Sit discreetly in the corner of a smoky club and listen to the real stars of the era-- Duke Ellington, Lena Horne, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday. Celebrate Black Excellence then and now.

FOUR | cuatro
Speaking of excellence (or if you’re just tired of the last century), I’ve always wanted to see 12th century Constantinople: the biggest, richest city in Europe before the fourth crusade wrecked everything. See it during the Komnenian Restoration and enjoy the amazing advances in science, poetry, art, and other culture that made this city a gem. I’m still looking for a map of the right time. You may need to start here, in 15th century Byzantium, and ask the locals for older maps, but please be careful and avoid outbreaks of plague.

FIVE | cinco
Finally, for anyone unhappy with our current timeline and longing for an alternate reality where one of the most successful rulers of all time is also a woman, I urge you to enjoy Egypt during Hatshepsut’s reign. She was pharaoh for two decades, during which she opened trade routes with excellent diplomacy, built wealth for her country, and commissioned hundreds of major construction and infrastructure projects.

// There you have it, five can’t be missed times and places! Smooth sailing and safe travels, wherever and whenever you go. (And if you see me there, say hi!)
 -- Nix Song
Oreo Truffles with Molly and Simon | Recipes
{Post provided by Becky Albertalli}
*Book: Simon Vs. & The Upside of Unrequited

MOLLY: Hi, everyone! I’m coming to you live from Atlanta today for this very special episode of Molly’s Got the Munchies. 
SIMON: That’s the name of your channel? Molly’s Got the Munchies?
SIMON: So, like a stoner rom-com?
MOLLY: Not that kind of munchies. General munchies. *looks off-camera* Abby, stop laughing.
SIMON: General munchies, unrelated to marijuana.
MOLLY: Entirely unrelated. Anyway. Hi, everyone! This is my new friend Simon Spier, and he’s here today to share his mom’s recipe for Oreo truffles.
SIMON: Also known as reindeer turds.
MOLLY: Right. Of course.

SUBTITLE: Not actual turds. Please do not attempt this with actual turds.

MOLLY: So, for this recipe, you’ll need a Cuisinart mixer, a gallon-sized bag, a bag of chocolate chips, a microwave, a block of cream cheese, and a big package of Oreos.
SIMON: Maybe two packages.
MOLLY: Well, we need to keep the proportions right.
SIMON: Okay.
MOLLY: So, first –
SIMON: But what if you accidentally eat the Oreos? Then you’ll wish you had a second pack. 
MOLLY: I guess that’s true. If you somehow accidentally eat an entire pack of Oreos –
SIMON: I’d say when.
MOLLY: What?
SIMON: When you accidentally eat an entire pack of Oreos.
MOLLY: Okay then. Two packs of Oreos.
SIMON: Maybe three.
MOLLY: OKAY. So these are actually very simple! We start by dumping the Oreos directly in the Cuisinart and grinding them up until they’re sort of a dirt consistency.
SIMON: I don’t know if you’re really selling it…
MOLLY: And then you divide the cream cheese into chunks and put it right into the Cuisinart with the Oreo powder.
SIMON: Yes. 
MOLLY: So, now we’ll just blast it around in there for awhile until it’s all mixed.
SIMON: Until it’s a delicious Oreo blob from heaven.
MOLLY: Exactly. 
SIMON: I’m going to make sure it tastes okay. *reaches for the Cuisinart*

SUBTITLE: Please ensure that the Cuisinart is powered off before inserting your hand inside. 

SIMON: Close call. *shoves Oreo blob into his mouth*
MOLLY: So, next, you’ll want to take whatever scraps of Oreo filling Simon hasn’t eaten, and scoop them into your Ziploc bag. Then you stick the bag in the freezer for a few hours. But luckily… SIMON: Please tell me you’re about to do the thing where you already have a batch ready to go. MOLLY: I already have a batch ready to go!
SIMON: *victory dance*
MOLLY: So, here we have a bag of Oreo blob that’s been in the freezer for just a couple of hours. It’s not actually frozen – this just makes it a little firmer and easier to work with.
SIMON: I have a confession. *peers into camera* I have no idea how to make these. We found this recipe on the internet.
MOLLY: Well then. *smiles at camera* Anyway. Now we roll them into little balls, about the size of a ping pong ball – maybe a little smaller. Please don’t eat all the dough, Simon.
SIMON: *swallows* Sorry! *resumes eating dough*
MOLLY: Now I’m placing them on a cookie sheet that I’ve lined with wax paper. They look so cute! 
SIMON: They look like poop.
MOLLY: But cute poop.
SIMON: Agreed. 
MOLLY: So, now we melt the chocolate in the microwave. Usually, this takes less than a minute. I like to take it out halfway to stir it up. If you want, you can add a tiny bit of oil to make it smoother, but that’s optional. Once we have our melted chocolate, it’s time to dip the Oreo balls!
SIMON: I love this part.
MOLLY: I like to use a spoon for this. I dunk each one in and get it all covered in chocolate. Then I use the spoon to take the ball out and put it on the tray to harden.
SIMON: You are making so many innuendos right now.
MOLLY: I am. *covers mouth with both hands* Oh my god.
SIMON: So what do we do with these hardened balls, Molly?
MOLLY: *still blushing* Um. We eat them.
SIMON: We eat the heck out of them.
MOLLY: So, that’s reindeer turds. Super easy, super delicious, no real poop involved. If you end up trying these at home, let me know in the comments. And if you liked this video, you should subscribe to my channel – Molly’s Got the Munchies. And give us a thumbs up!

And that's it! Hope you all enjoyed this issue of IT'S LIT and that maybe you are excited for more? 

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Hello voyagers, travelers of the book world! Today I bring you another rec list because who are we kidding they are so much fun and I love making them you all know that. I have seen recently how people don't "find" good NA. I put find in "" because let's be real, they really just pick what's popular and they all are cishet white. You all want diverse romance books but you don't go searching for them, it's not easy that's for sure you might find really crappy ones but try and try again. Or really there are SO MANY lists everywhere now. I wouldn't trust Goodreads though. I'll put a resources lists with some links that great people have done that feature diverse romance books. 

Note: This will be mainly New Adult and Adult tho, just a heads up. I'm not including Young Adult. 
Note #2: Thank you to @TGStoneButch, they really are the best.  And @SueYAHollywood, Sue always helps me on everything and I thank her times a million. Thanks to @HeyChips for some recs too!
Note #3: I'm sure there are more, but I'm mainly putting books that I know are amazing (and not problematic) or books that I know friends or readers I trust have read them and loved them. So for sure there are WAAAY more diverse romance books out there and I am sorry that I didn't include them all, truly. This is just a small list that I made that I hope it helps people find a good book. 


New Adult. Filipino main characters. Setting: Philippines. Hate to love trope. 
New Adult. Filipino main characters. Setting: Philippines. Theatre world. 
New Adult. Afro-Cuban, bisexual heroine. Bisexual hero. 
New Adult. Trans, Latina heroine. Bisexual, Thai-Chinese hero. You've Got Mail trope.
New Adult. Chinese heroine. Hero with eating disorder. Fake dating.
  • INFINI by Krista and Becca Ritchie
New Adult. Jamaican-American heroine. Best friends to lovers trope. TW: Depression, eating disorder, kleptomania, abuse.
Adult. Filipino main characters. Fat heroine. Fake dating.
Adult. Filipino main characters. Single mom with twins.
Adult. Historical romance. Black heroine. Long-haired hero.
Adult. Black heroine. Friends to lovers. Small town romance.
Adult. Puerto Rican heroine. Mexican-American hero. Heroine is famous chef. Hero is a lawyer. 
Adult. Fat heroine. Bisexual hero. BDSM. Both rich; heroine is a heiress, hero is owner of hotels. Age gap. 
New Adult. Korean-American heroine. Enters a reality show ~ Project Runway-esque ~ Fake dating.
Adult. Filipino heroine. Argentinian-Filipino hero. Heroine is a baker. Hero is a videographer. Wedding. 
Adult. Black main characters. Heroine is a baker. 
  • TAMED by Rebekah Weatherspoon*
Adult. Egyptian heroine. Latinx hero. BDSM.
  • FIT by Rebekah Weatherspoon*
Adult. Chinese-American, fat heroine. Light BDSM. 
Adult. Black heroine. Autistic hero. 
Adult. Fat heroine. Latinx hero. Heroine is the daughter of a politician, but she owns a private club of pleasure.
Adult. Bisexual black heroine. Age gap. Sugar daddy. Super romantic and cute. 
New Adult. Afro-Dominican hero. Fat, Afro-Guyanese + Indo-guyanese ancestry love interest.
New Adult. Filipino main characters. Scientist heroine. Hero owns a coffee shop. 
New Adult. Apocalyptic. Black heroine. Korean love interest. 
Adult. Erotica. Bisexual, Japanese heroine. Hero is the guardian of his siblings. (Explicit  and mature sex scenes such as going to a sex club and orgies)
New Adult. Black heroine who is a law student. Fans of How To Get Away With Murder will like this one. Age gap romance.
Adult. Jewish MC. Winter camp. 
Adult. Black main characters. Professional NBA player hero.
Adult. Romance. Indie band. Filipino mc and Japanese love interest trope: friends to lovers
Filipino characters. Trope: unrequited romance with a happy ending; girl chases the boy.
Adult. Historical romance. Single mom. Black MC. Hero is a doctor.
Adult. Indian-American heroine, who is a chef. Menage. Twin brothers.
Adult. Erotica. Hades x Persephone retelling. Persephone is a WoC.
Adult. Moroccan hero. Jamaican heroine. Detective agency. Mystery + urban fantasy
New Adult. Filipino Mc. Japanese hero. Hate to love trope. Setting: Tokyo.
New Adult. Filipino-American MC. Heroine is the guardian of her siblings. TA hero.
Adult. Historical romance. Black main characters. Childhood friends.
New Adult. Filipino MC. Korean love interest. Theme: K-Pop, fandom, bullying and accountability.
New Adult. Filipino characters. Pride and Prejudice retelling. Trope: second chance romance / childhood friends
New Adult. Filipino characters. Music. Trope: unrequited romance, ended with an open note, not exactly HEA.
Adult. Vampir in futuristic Mexico. Trope: soft human love interest and feisty vampire MC.
Adult. Filipino characters. Trope: one night stand, friends with benefits.
Adult. Historical. Magic. Black male MC and Indian female MC.
Adult. Filipino characters. Scientist MC. Mental Illness rep. TW: Depression, self harm.
Adult. Filipino characters. Mystery. Trope: Childhood friends to lovers. Age gap.
Adult. Filipino characters. About a woman who's sex tape was released without her consent. Feminist. Positive psychiatrist portrayal.
New Adult. Filipino characters and mythology. Trope: unrequited romance.
Adult. Korean-Japanese characters. Mafia. Trope: childhood friends to lovers, soulmates. TW: abuse, violence, attempted rape.
Adult. Korean characters. Mafia. Trope: childhood friends to lovers, soulmates. TW: abuse, violence, attempted rape.
Adult. Indian characters. Trope: second chance romance.
Adult. Fat heroine. Single mom. Military. Fake dating.
Adult. Filipino MCs. Rock band. Squad goals. Trope: friends with benefits but falls in love. So domestic.
Adult. Historical romance. Black heroine. Interracial ship. Set in the Civil War. Spies/undercover agents.
Adult. 30yo MCs. Filipino main characters/all characters. Wedding planners.
  • HAVEN by Rebekah Weatherspoon* 
Adult. Caribbean heroine (Grenada). Bearded, mountain man hero. BDSM + Dom/sub relationship. There is also a cute dog.
Adult. Pansexual heroine. PTSD. Heroine has a tiger pet. Hero tells dad jokes.
  • HOLD ME DOWN by Sara Taylor Woods
New Adult. Jewish MC. Age gap (7 years apart). Dom/sub.


New Adult. Filipino MC. 
Adult. Setting: Portugal. Age gap.
Adult. Lesbian MC. Pink-haired tattoo artist LI. Fake dating.
New Adult. Best friends to lovers.
New Adult. Trans woman MC. Coffee shop.
Adult. Newly out lesbian mom. Falls for her daughter's teacher. 
Adult. Fantasy. Lesbian, Jewish queen MC. Female friendship. F/F, F/M romances.
New Adult. Black Cuban-American love interest. Brazilian fat MC. A+ friendships. 
New Adult. Pansexual main character. Lesbian, Filipino love interest.
Adult. Science Fiction. Biracial MC. Japanese LI. Fashion design and college. 
Adult. Cinderella retelling. Trans, black heroine MC
Adult. Trans heroine. Roller derby.
New Adult. SFF. Demisexual rep.
Adult. Matchmaker MC. Interracial romance.
  • THAW by Elyse Springer
Adult. Asexual librarian MC. Supermodel love interest.
Adult. Small town romance. Ex-rodeo queen love interest.
Adult. Black girls falling in love. ADHD + anxiety rep, positive sex worker portrayal. TW: depression, self harm.
New Adult. Vampires and sorority houses. WOC as main characters.
Poetry. Cultural indentity. 


New Adult. Biracial, gay main character. Bisexual love interest. Best friend's big brother trope. 
Adult. Gay main characters. Gamers meeting online.
Adult. Bisexual main characters. Meet on Grindr. Age gap.
  • HARD WIRED by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell
Adult. Unrequited crush. Video games conventions. Anxiety rep. 
Adult. Retelling of Peter Pan. Trans boy MC. Enemies to lovers.
Adult. Fantasy. Black protagonists. Forbidden romance. Political intrigue + royalty.
Adult. Rich boys in Upper East Side.
Adult. Demisexual rep. Reality show starMC 
Adult. Asexual hipster love interest. Video-store owner MC. 
New Adult. Filipino MC. Piano prodigy. Slam poetry. TW: homophobic and transphobic slurs
Adult. Trans man MC. Boss/employee romance. Age gap.
Adult. Puerto Rican MC. Age gap. Foodie romance.
Adult. Bisexual MC. TV star. Trope: summer fling might turn into more?
Adult. Lucha libre. Mexican MC. Setting: Mexico. 
Adult. Coffee shop owner bisexual MC. CEO of a robotics company love interest. 
Adult. Small town romance. Chef MC. Mechanic love interest.
  • ILLEGAL CONTACT by Santino Hassell
Adult. Sports romance. Bi football player. Gay Clark-Kent esque MC. Soft and adorable.
  • DOWN BY CONTACT by Santino Hassell
Adult. Sports romance. Rival football players. Both main characters are men of color.
  • STRAYS by Garrett Leigh
Adult. Foodie romance. So much angst but cuteness too!
  • ROGUE WOLF by Elliot Cooper
Adult. Shifters. Space adventures. Pirates.
  • STAKE SAUCE by RoAnna Syler
Adult. Novellas part of a complete set releasing on October. Punk-rock pink haired vampire. Disabled MC. PTSD. 


New Adult. Afro-Latinx, pansexual and non-binary MC. Filipino hero. 
Adult. Trans M/NB romance. Billionaire romance.
New Adult. Trans MCs. Non-binary rep. Cute film nerds. Both of the main characters are POC.


New Adult. Filipino, pansexual MC. Belizean, genderqueer love interest. 


Adult. Indigenous science fiction and urban fantasy focusing on LGBT and two-spirit characters.
Adult. Historical romance. Black heroines. Interracial romances.
Adult. Authors: Kianna Alexander, Alyssa Cole, Lena Hart, Piper Huguley.


Visit WOC IN ROMANCE for more books written by authors of color
Recs for romance with trans &/or non-binary characters 
Check out LGBTREADS website and their book lists!