Can we just talk about the Black Girl Magic that is thriving in our literature culture right now? Maybe we can hit the video game industry next.
Though we have a long way to go, the industry is slowly changing. Just this year why have a beautiful bundle of books with not only amazing character representation but author representation as well. I’m talking about the beautiful brown authors of 2018.
I first want to talk about Debut authors Dana L Davis and Tomi Adeyemi.
Dana L. Davis, which you may recognize the name, is an actress and voice actress. She’s stared in 10 Things I Hate About You as Chasity Church and Heroes as Monica Dawson. She voices Kelly in Star Vs. the Forces of Evil which plays on Disney XD. I’ve seen a lot of Ms. Davis’ work, but I was reintroduced to her as an author through Youtube, her book is contemporary and though it’s not my first genre of choice, I felt similar to her in feelings of growing up black and after hearing her read a passage from her story, I was intrigued to find out more. The summary of her debut novel is as such.
“I’ve got seven days to come clean to my new dad. Seven days to tell the truth…
For sixteen-year-old Tiffany Sly, life hasn’t been safe or normal for a while. Losing her mom to cancer has her a little bit traumatized and now she has to leave her hometown of Chicago to live with the biological dad she’s never known.
Anthony Stone is a rich man with four other daughters—and rules for every second of the day. Tiffany tries to make the best of things, but she doesn’t fit into her new luxurious, but super-strict, home—or get along with her standoffish sister London. The only thing that makes her new life even remotely bearable is the strange boy across the street. Marcus McKinney has had his own experiences with death, and the unexpected friendship that blossoms between them is the only thing that makes her feel grounded.
But Tiffany has a secret. Another man claims he’s Tiffany’s real dad—and she only has seven days before he shows up to demand a paternity test and the truth comes out. With her life about to fall apart all over again, Tiffany finds herself discovering unexpected truths about her father, her mother and herself, and realizing that maybe family is in the bonds you make—and that life means sometimes taking risks”
Tiffany Sly Lives Here Now is available now.
Then there’s Tomi Adeyemi, and her debut novel Children of Blood and Bone which is not only an NY Times bestseller, but it’s becoming a movie as well. Ms. Adeyemi is a Nigerian American woman and her book is a West African fantasy YA. Fantasy is my number one genre and I’m looking forward to reading her book.
“Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zelie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.
But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.
Now, Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.
Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers—and her growing feelings for the enemy”
Children of Blood and Bone is available now.
The next two authors aren’t necessarily debuting authors, but the books they released this year are making a big splash and they are Dhonielle Clayton and Justina Ireland.
Dhonielle Clayton had published other books “Meet Cute, The Radical Element, Tiny Pretty Things, and Shiny Broken Pieces” all with other authors. She is the COO of the non-profit “We Need Diverse Book” I don’t need to explain what that is, but I’m so here for it. The book she released this year is called The Belles it is a Dark Fantasy YA that explores what it means to be the belle of the ball…sorry, bad pun.
“Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orléans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orléans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful.
But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the Favorite—the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orléans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land. But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the Favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie—that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined. And when the Queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia now faces an impossible decision.
With the future of Orléans and its people at stake, Camellia must decide—save herself and her sisters and the way of the Belles—or resuscitate the princess, risk her own life, and change the ways of her world forever.”
The Belles is available for purchase now.
And lastly and most certainly not the least, Justina Ireland, who is just my favorite person twitter right now. She’s released several books, before the one I just picked up, “Vengeance Bound, Feral Youth, Promise of Shadows, and Three Sides of a Heart” And now this year we have a Historical Zombie YA. Two things that I don’t really care for, but Ms. Ireland sucked me in anyway.
“Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg and Chancellorsville—derailing the War Between the States and changing America forever. In this new nation, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Native and Negro Reeducation Act require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead. But there are also opportunities—and Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. It’s a chance for a better life for Negro girls like Jane. After all, not even being the daughter of a wealthy white Southern woman could save her from society’s expectations.
But that’s not a life Jane wants. Almost finished with her education at Miss Preston’s School of Combat in Baltimore, Jane is set on returning to her Kentucky home and doesn’t pay much mind to the politics of the eastern cities, with their talk of returning America to the glory of its days before the dead rose. But when families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is caught in the middle of a conspiracy, one that finds her in a desperate fight for her life against some powerful enemies. And the restless dead, it would seem, are the least of her problems.
At once provocative, terrifying, and darkly subversive, Dread Nation is Justina Ireland’s stunning vision of an America both foreign and familiar—a country on the brink, at the explosive crossroads where race, humanity, and survival meet.”
Dread Nation is available now.
So many great books, so little time, but I know I’m excited about each and every one of them. Here are the links to all those wonderful ladies below, I hope you go and check them out.
Dana L Davis: http://www.danaldavis.com/
Tomi Adeyemi: http://www.tomiadeyemi.com/
Dhonielle Clayton: https://www.dhonielleclayton.com/
Justina Ireland: http://justinaireland.com/home/