Right now I'm reading Beauty Queens by Libba Bray. I'm barely 5 chapters in and I really love this book! I got this Arc at ALA Midwinter. I was drawn in by the sash and the unique use of lipstick :) The interior blurb really caught my attention so I took a copy.
Today I started reading the book ad I'm really impressed by Libba's wide range of characters especially Nicole Ade and Petra West. Nicole is Nigerian and Petra is Indian. I was really excited to see some racial diversity in the book and these two characters have great personalities. They actually are my favorite of all the characters so far.
I especially relate to Nicole, I see a lot of myself in her: a young Black woman who has primarily attended schools and lived in neighborhoods where her race is not the norm.
So I'm really glad I picked this book up.
But the cover.Hmm.
I always like to shine attention on any publishers and authors efforts to add diversity to their books. Libba has done her part. I will do my part by drawing attention to this great book but, I want more.
I would love for the back cover of this book to show more of the contestants. Show that they aren't all white.
I don't determine if a book is for me based solely by it's cover but a lot of people do. I'm always glad to see young girls of all races in the YA section of my local bookstore. Even the adults buying for themselves or as gifts are diverse. I even see boys and men in the section from time to time.
At first glance however a young African American , Asian or Hispanic girl might not think there were characters in this book they could relate to. Which is unfortunate.
So after I review this book I'll be sending an e-mail to Scholastic with my thoughts. Though the hardcover is already out they can still do a little addition to the paperback release. I'm going to also check for a book trailer to see if it showcases the diversity present in the novel..
So what do you guys think? Based on the books cover and description would you think any ethnic characters were in it? Does it make a difference to you?