To quote Trina:
What is Own Voices?
Own Voices (commonly seen on social media as #ownvoices) is a term that refers to books that have a diverse main character and the author of the book is also part of that same diverse group.
Own Voices are very important books because, while diverse books are great, there’s a greater chance of misappropriation, poor representation, or microaggressions towards the group being written about. It’s also a fact that quite a large number of novels feature straight, white, cishet characters as their default, which isn’t an accurate reflection of the world around us. These novels prove that there’s a wider world out there and expose readers to these differences, whether they be cultures, neurodiversity, etc.
These are books I’ve read and enjoyed so far. I hope you will give them a chance to and enjoying reading not only them, but all the other diverse #ownvoice books out there.
If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
#OwnVoice Category: Transgender main character
Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school in Lambertville, Tennessee. Like any other girl, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is keeping a secret. There’s a reason why she transferred schools for her senior year, and why she’s determined not to get too close to anyone.
And then she meets Grant Everett. Grant is unlike anyone she’s ever met—open, honest, kind—and Amanda can’t help but start to let him into her life. As they spend more time together, she finds herself yearning to share with Grant everything about herself…including her past. But she’s terrified that once she tells Grant the truth, he won’t be able to see past it.
Because the secret that Amanda’s been keeping? It’s that she used to be Andrew.
Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow
#OwnVoice Category: Self harm, mental illness
Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen she’s already lost more than most people lose in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. The broken glass washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don’t have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you.
Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen before you can find your way back from the edge.
Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson
Goodreads – My rating (5 Stars)
#OwnVoices Category: WOC Main Character
Mary B. Addison killed a baby.
Allegedly. She didn’t say much in that first interview with detectives, and the media filled in the only blanks that mattered: A white baby had died while under the care of a church-going black woman and her nine-year-old daughter. The public convicted Mary and the jury made it official. But did she do it? She wouldn’t say.
Mary survived six years in baby jail before being dumped in a group home. The house isn’t really “home”—no place where you fear for your life can be considered a home. Home is Ted, who she meets on assignment at a nursing home.
There wasn’t a point to setting the record straight before, but now she’s got Ted—and their unborn child—to think about. When the state threatens to take her baby, Mary must find the voice to fight her past. And her fate lies in the hands of the one person she distrusts the most: her Momma. No one knows the real Momma. But who really knows the real Mary?
In this gritty and haunting debut, Tiffany D. Jackson explores the grey areas in our understanding of justice, family, and truth, and acknowledges the light and darkness alive in all of us.