10 books by minority authors you need to read
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10 books by minority authors you need to read

Manon Lamy February 2, 2022

Do you want to get into reading but don’t know what to read? Do you want to read books written by minority authors but don’t know where to find them? Well look no further, because here are 10 book recommendations written by minority authors: LGBTQ authors, authors of colour, and more.

Firekeepers Daughter by Angeline Boulley

Synopsis: As a biracial, unenrolled tribal member and the product of a scandal, eighteen-year-old Daunis Fontaine has never quite fit in, both in her hometown and on the nearby Ojibwe reservation. Daunis dreams of studying medicine. But, when her family is struck by tragedy, she puts her future on hold to care for her fragile mother. 

The only bright spot is meeting Jamie, the charming new recruit on her brother Levi’s hockey team. Yet even as Daunis falls for Jamie, certain details don’t add up and she senses the dashing hockey star is hiding something. Everything comes to light when Daunis witnesses a shocking murder, thrusting her into the heart of a criminal investigation. 

Reluctantly, Daunis agrees to go undercover, but secretly pursues her own investigation, tracking down the criminals with her knowledge of chemistry and traditional medicine. But the deceptions—and deaths—keep piling up and soon the threat strikes too close to home. 

Now, Daunis must learn what it means to be a strong Anishinaabe kwe (Ojibwe woman) and how far she’ll go to protect her community, even if it tears apart the only world she’s ever known.

Angeline Boulley is a an indigenous author, an enrolled member of the Sault Ste Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. Her book ‘Firekeepers Daughter’ was released in March 2021, and has since become a New York Times Bestseller. When reading this book, you could feel that the author was passionate about the topics in the book. The novel details what it means to live on a reservation. As someone who finds the Indian culture fascinating, this book was an incredible read. You could feel the connection with the characters from beginning to end. I have nothing else to say about this book, accept for the fact that you need to read it. There is so little Native Indian representation in books and this one talks about some of the hard truths that Native Indians face. I gave this book four stars and I can not recommend it enough.

These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong

Synopsis: A blood feud between two gangs runs the streets red, leaving the city helpless in the grip of chaos. At the heart of it all is eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, a former flapper who has returned to assume her role as the proud heir of the Scarlet Gang—a network of criminals far above the law. Their only rivals in power are the White Flowers, who have fought the Scarlets for generations. And behind every move is their heir, Roma Montagov, Juliette’s first love…and first betrayal.

But when gangsters on both sides show signs of instability culminating in clawing their own throats out, the people start to whisper. Of a contagion, a madness. Of a monster in the shadows. As the deaths stack up, Juliette and Roma must set their guns—and grudges—aside and work together, for if they can’t stop this mayhem, there will be no city left for either to rule.

Chloe Gong is a Shanghai born author who currently lives in New York City, having just graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. These Violent Delights is a Romeo and Juliet retelling set in 1920’s Shanghai. The book has amazing characters that you feel instantly attached to. Furthermore, the books offer amazing LGBTQ+ representation with one of the main characters being openly trans, and accepted by her wide community of gangsters. It’s amazing to see such an important representation in books. These Violent Delights is a duology that ends with Our Violent Ends which was released last October. I gave the book 4 stars and once again I can’t recommend it enough.

Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Synopsis: First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations. The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince. 

As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?

Casey McQuiston is an openly bisexual and queer author. They have attended a conservative evangelical Christian school and have said that they wrote Red, White and Royal Blue (among others) in the hopes that they’re books will help queer teenagers feel less isolated. They don’t want teenagers to feel the same loneliness as they did growing up queer. Red, White and Royal Blue is an amazing story if you want to have a laugh. It features the first son of the American president, Alex Claremont Diaz and Prince Henry, heir to the British Throne. This book has enemies to lovers, and fake dating, just about everything you could want in a book. This is another book I love. I gave it four stars!

Cinderella is dead by Kalynn Bayron

Synopsis: It’s 200 years after Cinderella found her prince, but the fairy tale is over. Teen girls are now required to appear at the Annual Ball, where the men of the kingdom select wives based on a girl’s display of finery. If a suitable match is not found, the girls not chosen are never heard from again.

Sixteen-year-old Sophia would much rather marry Erin, her childhood best friend, than parade in front of suitors. At the ball, Sophia makes the desperate decision to flee, and finds herself hiding in Cinderella’s mausoleum. There, she meets Constance, the last known descendant of Cinderella and her step sisters. Together they vow to bring down the king once and for all–and in the process, they learn that there’s more to Cinderella’s story than they ever knew .

Bayron is a classically trained vocalist but turned to writing to tell stories. Cinderella is dead is a retelling of the classic children’s story, Cinderella. Bayron has said in interviews that she wants to feature more black characters in books so that black children have more representation and can relate more to book characters. Whilst I have not yet to read the book myself I am very excited to read it and I have heard that it is in fact a great book. Cinderella is dead is not Bayron’s only book, she is also writing a series called ‘This Poison Heart.’

Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman

Synopsis: Sephy is a Cross – a member of the dark-skinned ruling class. Callum is a Nought – a “colourless” member of the underclass who were once slaves to the Crosses. The two have been friends since early childhood, but that’s as far as it can go. In their world, Noughts and Crosses simply don’t mix. Against a background of prejudice and distrust, intensely highlighted by violent terrorist activity, a romance builds between Sephy and Callum — a romance that is to lead both of them into terrible danger. Can they possibly find a way to be together?

Noughts and Crosses is a book that most British children have read in school. Blackman was born in London but here parents were born in Barbados. Her series Noughts and Crosses has five books that explore the themes of love, racism and violence set in a dystopian world. They have been translated into fifteen different languages which shows the extent to which her books have made an impact on her readers. She reused some details of her own experiences with racism. I have to say that I loved the premise for the series. The first book was amazing and was my favourite, surprise surprise I gave it 4 stars! But I really liked it!

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

Angie Thomas grew up in Jackson, Mississippi where she currently resides. Whilst she was growing up she was confronted multiple times to gun violence. Whilst at university she was told that her experiences were unique and that her writing about them could give a voice to those who had been silenced and whose stories had not been told. This book deals with some crucial issues like the Black Lives Matter movement, that are key to today’s world. This is an amazing book that I can’t recommend enough – I gave it 5 stars. The writing is phenomenal.

The Poppy War by R.F Kuang

Synopsis: When Rin aced the Keju – the Empire-wide test to find the most talented youth to learn at the Academies – it was a shock to everyone: to the test officials, who couldn’t believe a war orphan from Rooster Province could pass without cheating; to Rin’s guardians, who believed they’d finally be able to marry her off and further their criminal enterprise; and to Rin herself, who realized she was finally free of the servitude and despair that had made up her daily existence. That she got into Sinegard – the most elite military school in Nikan – was even more surprising. But surprises aren’t always good.

Kuang is a Chinese American writer whose family immigrated to the USA from the Guangzhou region. The Poppy War draws its plot and politics form mid 20th Century China, with the conflict of the book being based on the 2nd Sino Japanese War. This book had a really interesting premise, with magic being roped into it. I really enjoyed the first book of the trilogy, but I rated it three stars because it was just a tiny bit long! But it was very interesting and I hope to get to book 2 and 3 soon!

Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé 

Synopsis: Welcome to Niveus Private Academy, where money paves the hallways, and the students are never less than perfect. Until now. Because anonymous texter, Aces, is bringing two students’ dark secrets to light. Talented musician Devon buries himself in rehearsals, but he can’t escape the spotlight when his private photos go public. Head girl Chiamaka isn’t afraid to get what she wants, but soon everyone will know the price she has paid for power. 
Someone is out to get them both. Someone who holds all the aces. And they’re planning much more than a high-school game… 

Ace of Spades is a book by the young 21 years old Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé. Faridah wrote the book whilst studying ay university, feeling like there weren’t enough characters in books and movies she could relate to. Ace of Spades is a high school thriller that tackles institutional racism. She is an up and comer and you should definitely watch her as she grows into a fantastic author over the next couple of years. I have not had the chance to read Ace of Spades yet but, seeing how popular it has become in such a short amount of time, I know that I need to get my hands on it.

You’ve reached Sam by Dustin Thao

Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Julie has her future all planned out—move out of her small town with her boyfriend Sam, attend college in the city, spend a summer in Japan. But then Sam dies. And everything changes. Heartbroken, Julie skips his funeral, throws out his things, and tries everything to forget him and the tragic way he died. But a message Sam left behind in her yearbook forces back memories. Desperate to hear his voice one more time, Julie calls Sam’s cellphone just to listen to his voicemail. And Sam picks up the phone. In a miraculous turn of events, Julie’s been given a second chance at goodbye. The connection is temporary. But hearing Sam’s voice makes her fall for him all over again, and with each call it becomes harder to let him go. However, keeping her otherworldly calls with Sam a secret isn’t easy, especially when Julie witnesses the suffering Sam’s family is going through. Unable to stand by the sidelines and watch their shared loved ones in pain, Julie is torn between spilling the truth about her calls with Sam and risking their connection and losing him forever. 

Dustin Thao is a Vietnamese-American author and his book You’ve Reached Sam is his debut novel which was published in November 2021. Reading the synopsis of the book has me very excited to read it. I think that it is going to be a real awakening. As it was recommended to me by multiple friends I am very excited to read it.

Warcross by Marie Lu

Synopsis: For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game. It’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships, only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

Marie Lu is a Chinese born author who moved to America when she was five years old. Warcross is not Lu’s first book as she has published quite a few other books but as I am also currently it I thought I should mention it. Lu is an experienced dystopian writer. Her books are so original and are very much worth a read! I am very excited to finish the Warcross duology and I am already very attached to the characters.

So here you have it! 10 books to get you to read, especially if 2022 is the year you want to read more. Whilst there are some books that I haven’t had a chance to get to, I’m really hoping to read those that I haven’t yet. Go and enjoy these amazing books!

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Manon is a freelance journalist for Freshered. She joined Freshered in February 2022 where she is still working today. As a freelance journalist she enjoys covering everything from international politics to Formula 1 and travelling. Manon is currently in her final year of Politics and International Relations at the University of Nottingham after returning from a year abroad in Vienna, Austria. She hopes to continue her studies in Journalism.