Mark Your Calendars: October

Mark Your Calendars is a blog series I created where I talk briefly about a few of the book releases that I'm looking forward to. There isn't enough time to list them all,  but here are my picks for the month of October. 

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Beast by Brie Spangler  [Pre-Order | Add to Goodreads]

Release Date: October 11, 2016

Diverse books are really out in full effect and I am looovviiinnggg it! Beast seems to be a love story about two teens who find each other in group therapy. It's a beauty and the beast retelling, featuring a transgender love interest, the beauty of the story. This book has the potential to be a very powerful read. And what I think I love most about the premise is that it's a retelling that consists of a more "vile" character and a quintessentially beautiful one, and that the author seems to respect gender identity in a way that considers the transgender character for the beauty that she is. Win.

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult [Pre-Order | Add to Goodreads]

Release Date: October 11, 2016

You guys, I need to get my hands on this book. The narrative of this story is an important one and it has the potential to be a beautiful, heart-wrenching story. A prenatal nurse is reassigned to a different patient because the parents are white supremacists who don't want her, a black woman, to touch their child. So when their child goes into cardiac arrest, she is hesitant as she performs CPR. The child dies and a media-frenzy of a legal case ensues, throwing everyone's lives into a tail spin where prejudices are alive and well yet understanding still has a hope to prevail.

Years of literary prowess have taught us that Jodi Picoult can weave a wonderful story, but this book, the topic... I have so very little words to express myself, except for "ahhhh, gimme, gimme".    

Replica by Lauren Oliver [Pre-Order | Add to Goodreads]

Release Date: October 4th (today!)

Replica, a novel that can be read in multiple interesting ways, seems to tell two separate stories of seclusion and freedom from the perspective of two very different girls. Gemma, a 'sickly child' who's life has always been rather uneventful, decides to do something: she's going to discover the details of her father's connection to a research facility currently under siege from religious fanatics. Lyra escapes the facility with a fellow research experiment and begins experiencing the world for the first time when she meets Gemma. I really like the dual nature of the story and how it 'converges in the middle' of he girls' journeys, so to speak. I'm also interested to see how the reading experience is. You can either read Gemma's perspective first and then flip the book over for Lyra's, or you can switch back and forth. Hmmm. Decisions, decisions. 

Have you noticed a trend in these anticipated books? All of them include diverse elements. If you follow me on social media, you know that diversity in books is so important to me. I've been so down about the lack of diversity in the media recently and I decided that it was probably a better use of energy to do something about it, which is why I'm launching an inspired project.

The Mirror Book Box is a subscription service box dedicated to highlighting diverse books that reflect who we truly are. Beneath the color of our skin, the beauty of our native languages and cultures, the extent of our abilities and the way that we love, we are all humans and we have a tendency of forgetting that. We need to celebrate the similar experiences of humanity while also rejoicing in the differences. Because we deserve heroes we could be. I'm really excited about this project and we'll be open subscriptions soon. If you're interested, follow the Instagram or sign up for notifications and updates.    

What book are you most looking forward to reading this month?