Hidden Gems: Diverse 2019 Book Releases #1

Hi everyone!

While I am super excited and happy to see so many 2019 book releases that everyone is talking about and creating hype around, I wanted to do something a little different today and talk about 2019 books you might not have heard much about yet. Most of these are diverse in some way; LGBTQ+, POC, disability etc, and a lot are Own Voices!

To read my post about some more of my 2019 anticipated book releases click here

I went on a Goodreads and Amazon crawl to try and uncover more diverse book releases for 2019 and I think I have found some absolute gems!

There are so many more I found and I will be featuring the rest in future blog posts!



1) Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

LGBTQ+ rep

Synopsis from Goodreads: A big-hearted romantic comedy in which the First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales after an incident of international proportions forces them to pretend to be best friends…

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. Alex is busy enough handling his mother’s bloodthirsty opponents and his own political ambitions without an uptight royal slowing him down. But beneath Henry’s Prince Charming veneer, there’s a soft-hearted eccentric with a dry sense of humor and more than one ghost haunting him. 

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. And Henry throws everything into question for Alex, an impulsive, charming guy who thought he knew everything: What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?



2) The Weight of the Stars by K. Ancrum

LGBTQ+ and POC rep 

Synopsis from Goodreads:  Ryann Bird dreams of travelling across the stars. But a career in space isn’t an option for a girl who lives in a trailer park on the wrong side of town. So Ryann becomes her circumstances and settles for acting out and skipping school to hang out with her delinquent friends. 

One day she meets Alexandria: a furious loner who spurns Ryann’s offer of friendship. After a horrific accident leaves Alexandria with a broken arm, the two misfits are brought together despite themselves—and Ryann learns her secret: Alexandria’s mother is an astronaut who volunteered for a one-way trip to the edge of the solar system. 

Every night without fail, Alexandria waits to catch radio signals from her mother. And its up to Ryann to lift her onto the roof day after day until the silence between them grows into friendship, and eventually something more . . . 

In K. Ancrum’s signature poetic style, this slow-burn romance will have you savoring every page. 



3) Brave Like Lily by Richard Denney

POC rep, possible LGBTQ+ rep 

Synopsis from Goodreads: Bravery lives inside all of us, you just have to find it… 

Mateo Morales hasn’t cried since that night, the night he woke up to screaming, the night the police were at the front door, the night his older sister was killed by a police officer… the night his world shattered. A week later, thirteen-year-old Mateo still doesn’t understand why this had to happen, why he hasn’t cried, and who he should blame for the loss of his beloved sister.

As he attempts to navigate his life at school and with his family, the media quickly turns the blame on Lily and Mateo feels angry and helpless and he’s not alone. His seventeen-year-old sister Nina is taking out her frustration on Mateo, his parents are treating him like he’s made of glass, and his friends Queenie and Marcus are trying to help get justice for Lily. In a world of constant injustice, Mateo must find his voice and figure out a way to fight for his sister.

Inspired by the countless people of color lost to police brutality & injustice every day, Brave Like Lily takes the reader through the trials of grief, loss, and injustice through the eyes of a young Mexican-American boy.


I had no idea this book was by Richard Denney, who is a Booktuber! This book sounds amazing!



4) Something Like Gravity by Amber Smith

LGBTQ+ rep

Synopsis from Goodreads: For fans of Love, Simon and Eleanor and Park, a romantic and sweet novel about a transgender boy who falls in love for the first time—and how first love changes us all—from New York Times bestselling author Amber Smith.

Chris and Maia aren’t off to a great start.

A near-fatal car accident first brings them together, and their next encounters don’t fare much better. Chris’s good intentions backfire. Maia’s temper gets the best of her.

But they’re neighbors, at least for the summer, and despite their best efforts, they just can’t seem to stay away from each other.

The path forward isn’t easy. Chris has come out as transgender, but he’s still processing a frightening assault he survived the year before. Maia is grieving the loss of her older sister and trying to find her place in the world without her. Falling in love was the last thing on either of their minds.

But would it be so bad if it happened anyway?



5) The Hand, the Eye and the Heart by Zoe Marriott

LGBTQ+, POC and disability rep

Synopsis from Goodreads: Zhilan was assigned female at birth; despite an unusual gift for illusions, they know they will live out their life in the perfumed confines of the women’s quarters. But when civil war sets the country aflame, Zhilan is the only one who can save their disabled Father from death on the battlefield.

By taking his place.

Surviving brutal army training as a male recruit – Zhi – is only the first challenge. Soon Zhi’s unique talents draw them into an even more perilous fight, in the glittering court of the Land of Dragons, where love and betrayal are two sides of the same smile. The fate of an Empire rests on Zhi’s shoulders. But to win, they must first decide where their loyalty, and their heart, truly belongs.

I have read “Barefoot on the Wind” by the same author and it’s one of my absolute favourites!



6) Zenobia July by Lisa Bunker

LGBTQ+ rep 

Synopsis from Goodreads: The critically acclaimed author of Felix Yz crafts a bold, heartfelt story about a trans girl solving a cyber mystery and coming into her own.

Zenobia July is starting a new life. She used to live in Arizona with her father; now she’s in Maine with her aunts. She used to spend most of her time behind a computer screen, improving her impressive coding and hacking skills; now she’s coming out of her shell and discovering a community of friends at Monarch Middle School. People used to tell her she was a boy; now she’s able to live openly as the girl she always knew she was.

When someone anonymously posts hateful memes on her school’s website, Zenobia knows she’s the one with the abilities to solve the mystery, all while wrestling with the challenges of a new school, a new family, and coming to grips with presenting her true gender for the first time. Timely and touching, Zenobia July is, at its heart, a story about finding home.



7) The Grief Keeper by Alexandra Villasante

LGBTQ+ and POC rep 

Synopsis from Goodreads: This stunning YA debut is a timely and heartfelt speculative narrative about healing, faith, and freedom.

Seventeen-year-old Marisol has always dreamed of being American, learning what Americans and the US are like from television and Mrs. Rosen, an elderly expat who had employed Marisol’s mother as a maid. When she pictured an American life for herself, she dreamed of a life like Aimee and Amber’s, the title characters of her favorite American TV show. She never pictured fleeing her home in El Salvador under threat of death and stealing across the US border as “an illegal”, but after her brother is murdered and her younger sister, Gabi’s, life is also placed in equal jeopardy, she has no choice, especially because she knows everything is her fault. If she had never fallen for the charms of a beautiful girl named Liliana, Pablo might still be alive, her mother wouldn’t be in hiding and she and Gabi wouldn’t have been caught crossing the border.

But they have been caught and their asylum request will most certainly be denied. With truly no options remaining, Marisol jumps at an unusual opportunity to stay in the United States. She’s asked to become a grief keeper, taking the grief of another into her own body to save a life. It’s a risky, experimental study, but if it means Marisol can keep her sister safe, she will risk anything. She just never imagined one of the risks would be falling in love, a love that may even be powerful enough to finally help her face her own crushing grief.

The Grief Keeper is a tender tale that explores the heartbreak and consequences of when both love and human beings are branded illegal.



8) Starworld by Audrey Coulthurst and Paula Garner

LGBTQ+ and disability rep 

Synopsis from Goodreads: Sam Jones and Zoe Miller have one thing in common: they both want an escape from reality. Loner Sam flies under the radar at school and walks on eggshells at home to manage her mom’s obsessive-compulsive disorder, wondering how she can ever leave to pursue her dream of studying aerospace engineering. Popular, people-pleasing Zoe puts up walls so no one can see her true self: the girl who was abandoned as an infant, whose adoptive mother has cancer, and whose disabled brother is being sent away to live in a facility. When an unexpected encounter results in the girls’ exchanging phone numbers, they forge a connection through text messages that expands into a private universe they call Starworld. In Starworld, they find hilarious adventures, kindness and understanding, and the magic of being seen for who they really are. But when Sam’s feelings for Zoe turn into something more, will the universe they’ve built survive the inevitable explosion? 



9) I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver

LGBTQ+ and POC rep

Synopsis from Goodreads: When Ben De Backer comes out to their parents as nonbinary, they’re thrown out of their house and forced to move in with their estranged older sister, Hannah, and her husband, Thomas, whom Ben has never even met. Struggling with an anxiety disorder compounded by their parents’ rejection, they come out only to Hannah, Thomas, and their therapist and try to keep a low profile in a new school.

But Ben’s attempts to survive the last half of senior year unnoticed are thwarted when Nathan Allan, a funny and charismatic student, decides to take Ben under his wing. As Ben and Nathan’s friendship grows, their feelings for each other begin to change, and what started as a disastrous turn of events looks like it might just be a chance to start a happier new life.

At turns heartbreaking and joyous, I Wish You All the Best is both a celebration of life, friendship, and love, and a shining example of hope in the face of adversity.



10) Brave Face by Shaun David Hutchinson

LGBTQ+ rep

This is a non-fiction memoir.

Synopsis from Goodreads: Critically acclaimed author of We Are the Ants—described as having “hints of Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five” (School Library Journal)—opens up about what led to an attempted suicide in his teens, and his path back from the experience.

“I wasn’t depressed because I was gay. I was depressed and gay.”

Shaun David Hutchinson was nineteen. Confused. Struggling to find the vocabulary to understand and accept who he was and how he fit into a community in which he couldn’t see himself. The voice of depression told him that he would never be loved or wanted, while powerful and hurtful messages from society told him that being gay meant love and happiness weren’t for him.

A million moments large and small over the years all came together to convince Shaun that he couldn’t keep going, that he had no future. And so he followed through on trying to make that a reality.

Thankfully Shaun survived, and over time, came to embrace how grateful he is and how to find self-acceptance. In this courageous and deeply honest memoir, Shaun takes readers through the journey of what brought him to the edge, and what has helped him truly believe that it does get better.


All images are from Google. 

Let me know in the comments some diverse books you are looking forward to in 2019!

Side note, how absolutely stunning are all these covers?!

Disclaimer: I have not yet read any of these books, so representation wise, I am going by the synopsis of each book and what I have heard from others. 


20 thoughts on “Hidden Gems: Diverse 2019 Book Releases #1

  1. These books sound great and the covers are indeed gorgeous! I’m so adding “The Hand, the Eye and the Heart” by Zoe Marriott to my NEVER-ENDING-TBR!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh this list is awesome! I’ve been really looking forward to I Wish You All the Best and Red, White, and Royal Blue. The others I must go add to my TBR☺️ thanks for putting this together!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You really have uncovered some really good hidden gems here! Most of these sound super interesting to me, and I immediately added them to my TBR. I really appreciate the effort you put into finding upcoming, underhyped, and diverse 2019 releases.


    1. Hi, I am so sorry, this comment ended up in my spam folder for some reason! Yay, I am so glad you found some you are interested in, I have just finished part 2, which I will be uploading soon! I have found so many, I will probably be doing another few posts, haha!


  4. I read an advance copy of Red, White & Royal Blue and it is so freaking amazing, you’re going to love it! It’s already the best book of the year for me and its still only January haha
    I’m also so excited for The Weight of the Stars and Starworld!

    Great post 💕

    Liked by 1 person

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