Top Ten Tuesday: Tropes That I Refuse to Say Are Dead Until PoC Have a Chance to Utilize Them

Top Ten Tuesday is an original blog meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. and is currently being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is “Favorite Tropes.” I feel like my title this week is very wordy, but I couldn’t think of a pithier way to explain what I was doing with this topic. These are tropes I see lots of people say they are tired of, but I won’t be tired of them until I see just as many books with PoC, specifically written by PoC, also being able to utilize them like white authors have. And please, if you have recommendations, let me know in the comment! Also, side note, can we get more of these stories without the obligatory white love interest?

1. Fake Dating – This is one of my favorite tropes, but I can literally count on one hand the number of times I have seen this in a book written by and starring a person of color.

2. You’ve Got Mail – I’ve seen this one multiple times in YA novels, but don’t think I’ve ever see a book with this trope with PoC at the center.

3. The Chosen One – I know there are tons of readers who are over this trope, but do you know that there are still readers and especially young PoC who haven’t gotten to see themselves as the chosen one? Let them have a turn before you cancel it.

4. Fairytale Retellings – No matter how many Cinderella retellings there are, I will never say no to one where a PoC gets to have their happily ever after.

5. Hidden Royal – I want PoC to have a chance to be royalty, including royalty in disguise. I promise to act surprised and everything.

6. Friends to Lovers – Because I do enjoy this trope, but I don’t seem to pick up too many books with it, I’d like to see a few books with PoC featuring this one.

7. Star-Crossed Lovers – Angst abounds with this trope. I secretly love all the angst and need more of this trope but with PoC leads. Also does anyone know where I can stream Still Star-Crossed? I need to binge watch it because I miss it.

8. Vampires, werewolves, angels, etc. – All these creatures have had their shot, except they all seem to be white and PoC also love creature books and want a shot at being the brooding vampire or the mortal who falls for said brooding vampire.

9. Happy Ever After – All the happily ever afters for PoC please. It really doesn’t matter in what form, but so many books about PoC are “issue” books and put PoC’s pain on display for consumption, I’d really like to see more happy books featuring PoC.

10. Hate to Love – My favorite trope ever that I cannot get enough of. I want to see this trope in all forms in books about PoC. I would eat it up. GIVE IT TO ME NOW!!!!!

Are you a fan of these tropes? Which trope would you like to see in books featuring PoC? Give me all your recs! Let me know in the comments and be sure to leave me a link to your own TTT post, so I can visit.

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Can’t-Wait Wednesday: Dear Haiti, Love Alaine by Maika and Maritza Moulite


Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tressa @ Wishful Endings where bloggers share which upcoming releases they’re most looking forward to. Join us every Wednesday and watch your TBR list multiply.

The cover for Dear Haiti, Love Alaine by Maika and Maritza Moulite is so vibrant and I have the best feeling that I’m going to end up loving the protagonist. I’m really looking forward to the interesting mother-daughter dynamic in this one and absolutely love that this debut was written by sisters. Love all of these novels by Latinx authors where it feels like the MCs are finally coming home. Cover is linked to Goodreads.

 width=Title: Dear Haiti, Love Alaine
Author: Maika and Maritza Moulite
Series: N/A
Pages: 384
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: September 3, 2019

      “Quick-witted high school journalist Alaine Beauparlant gets booted from her elite private school after an intricate prank goes cruelly awry. She warily accepts an invitation from her aunt to spend her suspension at the family’s estate in Haiti–where her estranged mom is recuperating from a political fiasco. In her homeland for the first time, Alaine is immediately put to work at her aunt’s start-up helping native children in need. Alaine meets locals, interacts with kids connected to donors, and is shown the ropes by Jason, a fellow intern whose charming ways are making work a bit more challenging. What she doesn’t expect to find are letters, articles, emails, and diary entries that she compiles into a final project that will not only save her academic standing in school, but also help her finally know the mother she’s never really understood.”

Are you participating in Can’t-Wait Wednesday or Waiting on Wednesday? Is this book on your TBR? Be sure to leave a link to your post in the comments and I’ll visit!

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I Met in 2019 I Want to Hang Out With

Top Ten Tuesday is an original blog meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. and is currently being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is “Book Characters I’d Love to Be Besties With.” I feel like I’ve done versions of this list many times before. I recently did one on my literary soul mates and if I did this topic as it is written, I would end up just naming all of them over again. So for this list, I am going to name ten characters I met in 2019 that I would like to hang out with. Covers are linked to Goodreads.

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1. Enrique from The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi – I’m not sure Enrique is necessarily my favorite character from this book (honestly, it would be too hard to choose), but he feels like the most fun and I’m certain I’d be cracking up left and right if I hung out with him.

2. Rosa from Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno – A planner after my own heart? I feel like I would have a lot in common with Rosa. We could totally hang out in Port Coral together and she could give me a tour and I could fall in love all over again with this place and never leave.

3. Alfie and Finn from Nocturna by Maya Motayne – It most definitely is not cheating to name two characters at once. These two were a whole lot of fun to get to know and I wouldn’t mind breaking a few laws with them by my side.

4. Silas from Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson – Who wouldn’t want to hang out with a demon with a heart of gold? Silas was my favorite character in this one and even though I know it’s dangerous to trust a demon, I just love him so much anyway.

5. Zayneb from Love From A to Z by S.K. Ali – I feel like Zayneb and I would get along really well. We are both always angry at the world and we could totally vent to one another. It would be amazing.

6. Casiopea from Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia – I love practical characters and even though it may seem that I have my head stuck in the clouds, I really am a very pragmatic sort of person. Casiopea and I would understand each other.

7. Zora from Truly Madly Royally by Debbie Rigaud– I love Zora’s ambition and her desire to do good in her community. She’s the kind of person I wish I was at such a young age.

8. Sweetie from There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon – Sweetie is literally the sweetest and I too want to be a part of her friend group who are willing to take down any guy who might wrong one of them.

9. Dani from We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia – I definitely relate more to Dani than Carmen in this debut. Poor girl needs some people in her corner and I am willing to help her with spy work.

10. Mira from An Affair of Poisons by Addie Thorley – This might sound a little weird, but I’ve always been super intrigued by poisons. I’m not saying that this would be my weapon of choice if I were an assassin, but this would be my weapon of choice if I were an assassin. Mira could possibility give me a few tips.

Which character did you meet in 2019 that you would like to hang out with? Who on my list are you curious to know more about? Let me know in the comments and be sure to leave me a link to your own TTT post, so I can visit.

Snapshot Review: Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin

Title: Ayesha at Last
Author: Uzma Jalaluddin
Series: N/A
Pages: 368
Publisher: Berkley Books
Release Date: June 4th 2019

      “A modern-day Muslim Pride and Prejudice for a new generation of love.
      Ayesha Shamsi has a lot going on. Her dreams of being a poet have been set aside for a teaching job so she can pay off her debts to her wealthy uncle. She lives with her boisterous Muslim family and is always being reminded that her flighty younger cousin, Hafsa, is close to rejecting her one hundredth marriage proposal. Though Ayesha is lonely, she doesn’t want an arranged marriage. Then she meets Khalid who is just as smart and handsome as he is conservative and judgmental. She is irritatingly attracted to someone who looks down on her choices and dresses like he belongs in the seventh century.
      Ayesha is torn between how she feels about the straightforward Khalid and the unsettling new gossip she hears about his family. Looking into the rumors, she finds she has to deal with not only what she discovers about Khalid, but also the truth she realizes about herself.”

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“Because while it is a truth universally acknowledge that a single Muslim man must be in want of a wife, there’s an even greater truth: To his Indian mother, his own inclinations are of secondary importance.”

  • Diverse P&P retelling – I am currently on the hunt for more P&P and other Austen retellings by and about PoC. Ayesha and Khalid are both Indian-Canadian and Muslim. Both of these identities are essential to who they are as characters and how they move about the world.
  • Ayesha – Loved that this novel features an “older” young adult (Ayesha is 27) who hasn’t quite figured out what she wants out of life yet. She’s fallen back on teaching, but her true passion is her spoken-word poetry. Ayesha is opinionated, willing to go toe-to-toe with anyone who might disagree with her, and continuously pushes against conventional expectations.
  • Khalid – Khalid is incredibly pious, conservative in his beliefs, and feels a strong sense of obligation toward his family. He comes across as extremely judgmental, but he’s also incredibly honest, shy, and socially awkward. I loved every interaction between Ayesha and him, whether they were at odds or not.
  • Nana and Nani – Perhaps the best characters in the novel are Ayesha’s grandparents. These two made me laugh so much. I loved how recalcitrant Nana was, especially when it came to his health and how knowing, yet wise Nani was. Rather than interfering, they allowed the young people in their lives to make mistakes and grow from them.
  • P&P quotes sprinkled throughout – Jalaluddin sprinkles P&P quotes throughout her novel. Some of them are obvious like the quote above, but others you might not catch unless you are more familiar with the classic.

  • Certain aspects of the conflict – I might be a little vague here to avoid spoilers. I didn’t completely buy into the part of the conflict that required Ayesha to not only believe a rumor about Khalid’s family, but also somehow place blame on him when the alleged misdeed took place when he was barely a teen. I couldn’t reconcile what I knew of Ayesha and this sort of unfair judgement she had for what Khalid did or didn’t do when he was thirteen years old.

  • Uzma Jalaluddin’s Ayesha at Last pays homage to Pride and Prejudice without feeling confined by certain aspects. The characters’ struggles feel more relevant in a modern setting and Jalaluddin’s infuses just enough humor and romance to make this a must for P&P fans.

★★★★
(4/5)