Recommendations

Books by Black Authors I’ve Loved ❤️ #BHM Recs

BHM 2022

Hello fellow bookworms ❤️ It’s Black History Month this February and I knew that I wanted to make a new recommendation post about all books by black authors that I enjoyed! 🥰 My last post is already two years old, so I have discovered some great books to enjoy in the meantime and today I’m highlighting 8 new black authors whose books I recommend. Reminder that it’s of course important to support black voices & read books by black authors all-year round (and not just during Black History Month)! I sincerely hope my post can introduce you to some new books/authors 😊

💫 My previous #BHM Posts 💫

💫 Other Recommendations I loved 💫

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Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry (Joya Goffney)

Goodreads 📖 Storygraph

This is such fun, engaging contemporary with a great hate to love romance and strong female friendship! Quinn & Carter had lots of chemistry and banter! Quinn is frustrated with Carter’s barbs and when he’s the last person to have seen her journal, her suspicions run high. However, he decides to help her figure out who took her journal and work on completing the to-do list her blackmailer posted online. Working together Carter and Quinn get to know each other and their irritation melts into something more tender. They have some great chemistry and I liked how they challenged each other. I  LOVE lists so much, so this part of the book really spoke to me. Quinn keeps all her innermost thoughts and secrets in her journal. For her, list-making is a coping mechanism against stress and anxiety. I could relate to that a lot, as Quinn relies on the lists to keep herself organized and in control 🥺

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Felix Ever After (Kacen Callender)

Goodreads 📖 Storygraph

This was a fantastic book about a trans, black queer guy and his fantastic Arc of self-love. Felix has convinced himself that he isn’t worthy of love due to his mom’s abandonment and the transphobic messages he encounters. Part of him just wants to get the scholarship and get into Brown because he knows it’ll prove a point – that he deserves to be there against the odds. The book discusses how it’s often easier to seek out things that aren’t good for us and won’t work out instead of the things we want. Felix struggle with his art so much because he feels blocked and ashamed and unworthy at times. But throughout the book, he figures out a lot more about his identity, leaves his comfort zone, and manages to let in the love that people already give him. I also loved the romance! Felix is oblivious for Ezra’s feelings, but Ezra pines for him and it really tugged at my heartstrings to see how devoted Ezra was to his best friend  ❤

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The Brown Sisters (Talia Hibbert)

 

Goodreads 📖 Storygraph

I love Talia Hibbert’s Brown Sisters Trilogy!! Each book follows one of the sisters, from Chloe to Dani to Eve. I loved seeing the different romances and struggles, as the sisters are very different from each other. Get a Life Chloe Brown has chronically ill representation, cat stealing (!) and a soft love interest recovering from an abusive relationship. I loved how it was about feeling like you’re running out of time to do ‘meaningful things’ and having to complete a bucket list. Take a Hint, Dani Brown has some fake-dating and a (bisexual) protagonist scared of the vulnerability of romance. Dani prefers to keep things casual but cannot resist the charms of one of her attractive coworkers. By the time this post goes up, I should have read Act Your Age, Eve Brown, so all I can say right now is that it’s a romance featuring two autistic people & I’m very excited to get to know Eve better 🥰

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Legendborn (Tracy Deonn)

Goodreads 📖 Storygraph

I finally got around to reading Legendborn and it was a great, creative retelling of the Arthurian Legend! I knew that there was a reason this book is so beloved and I think it brings a fresh new setting to YA Fantasy. The idea of the Legendborn, descendants of the Knights from the Round Table, Merlins and Shadowborn (the monsters) trying to cross into our world was great and I like how this story took inspiration from King Arthur, but also managed to be its own thing. Bree as a main character was fantastic and I really rooted for her! She is dealing with some heavy grief and Trauma from her mother’s death, especially as it seems like she has kept many things from her. Her character Arc was so well-written and authentic! Generally, I liked how this book approached institutionalized racism (within the Legendborn and Bree’s new school) as well as intergenerational trauma (specifically Bree’s disconnect from her roots and family history). Definitely a must read!

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A Blade so Black (L.L. McKinney)

Goodreads 📖 Storygraph

➽ I loved how A Blade so Black retold Alice in Wonderland! 💕 It’s a great, imaginative retelling that I greatly enjoyed. In this retelling Wonderland is kind of like a parallel world to ours that can be accessed via several Gateways. Wonderland is just as fantastic, whimsical but also dangerous as you would expect and several chosen humans get trained as Dreamwalkers to protect Wonderland. Alice is one of the humans who are good at seeing through the Veil separating our world from Wonderland, which is how she finds her way into being a Dreamwalker. I loved reading about Alice’s emotional journey and how she balanced being a hero with everyday life. A huge part of her life is being a hero in Wonderland and slaying Nightmares, but Alice is still a high school student with a social life and a mother that worries about her greatly, especially after her father’s death. I really appreciated that the book showed Alice’s struggles to balance both worlds – her Wonderland duties and also her Normal life, as it’s far from easy!

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The Black Flamingo (Dean Atta)

Goodreads 📖 Storygraph

➽ This story of a Gay Black Teen in London and it’s written in verse!  We start out when Michael is young and follow him all through his childhood, teenage years, and later when he goes to college. I was nervous that I wouldn’t like the earlier parts of his life as much, but the author did a great job showing Michael’s growth and highlighting the important events in his life that drive this growth. In general, I liked how positive the book was towards questioning people, as Michael makes clear that he’s still figuring himself out and that’s okay. I also loved seeing the community he found doing drag and how supportive everyone is about each other. The book is full of flawed and realistic friendships, mistakes, and also finding yourself. It was a quick, but impactful read 🥰

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Bingo Love (Tee Franklin)

Goodreads 📖 Storygraph

➽ This is a beautiful second-chance romance story for Hazel and Mari. They grew up in the 1960s where they both couldn’t be themselves, as they were in a deeply religious and homophobic environment. It broke my heart to see them viciously ripped apart and kept from each other for decades. They had to wait so long for a time to come where they would be supported and when society would be more progressive and accepting. So when they meet again by chance over 50 years later, they’re starting to realize that they always were each other’s One True Love. What follows is a complicated process, as both women are married and built up families, due to the societal pressure of their time. I loved the message that it’s never too late to change your life and do what makes you happy. Seeing Hazel and Mari finally able to be themselves and make the most of what time they have left together was so heartwarming, as the time they spent together was so intense and happy 💕

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All Boys Aren’t Blue (George M. Johnson)

Goodreads 📖 Storygraph

➽ This was such an impactful and also inspiring memoir! It’s about George M. Johnson’s life growing up a gay black boy in the US and how these different identities intersect. I listened to the audiobook, which I highly recommend as it’s narrated by the author and therefore a fantastic reading experience! Johnson does a great job writing a very emotional, honest memoir and discussing many important topics like grief, family dynamics, figuring out your sexuality, first-time relationships, and sexual encounters as well as childhood sexual assault. I think it’s an important book for many young people, so I highly recommend it.

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💫 Honorable Mentions 💫

  • Twins (Varian Johnson & Shannon Wright)
  • Ain’t Burned all the Bright (Jason Reynolds)

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Have you read any of the Books on my list? Did you like them? What are your favorite books by black authors? ❤️

14 thoughts on “Books by Black Authors I’ve Loved ❤️ #BHM Recs

  1. i can’t believe it took me this long to add excuse me while i ugly cry to my TBR! this book seems amazing and i love the fact we’re seeing a rise in black romances in YA books. unfortunately, there’s just not enough of that in young adult!

    one book by a black author i read last year but definitely want to re-read was this is my america. it’s a book about a main character trying to prove her dad, who’s in the death row, has been wrongfully convicted and then her brother also becomes a suspect of a crime he did not commit. it’s kind of a murder mystery, but it also taught me a lot of about the american judicial system and even made me question some of my own biases and perspectives. i highly recommend it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Excuse Me While I Ugly Cry is such a great contemporary romance and I’m so glad I read it!! I also hope that there will be more black romances in YA! I love that Talia Hibbert is doing so much for the Adult genre, I think she’s also planning on publishing a YA novel in the future 🥰

      This is my America is still on my TBR and I’m glad to hear that you found it to be so impactful! I definitely want to read it, as I’m also not that familiar with the American judicial system and the death row!

      Like

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