The 20 Best Diverse Releases of 2020, According to the Internet Book Community

Can you believe it? It’s 2021! Time no longer exists, if it ever did in the first place.

Everything held in the boundaries of the seemingly endless, three-hundred-sixty-six days of 2020 (and these frightening inaugural weeks of 2021) has been up-in-the-air, but one thing’s for sure: we’ve kept ourselves anchored to the Earth by the provisions of fiction. It’s good to step back at times and seek out the escapism we need to stay grounded.

The books in this list are perfect vessels of catharsis and reverie.

Last year, in late December, I conducted a poll across platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, and Discord to gather a consensus on the 2020 releases and sequels you all loved. Each of the books presented in the poll were written by BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ authors, and featured wonderful diverse stories across genres.

Let’s dive into the 20 best diverse releases of 2020, according to you, the Internet book community!

(Please correct me if there are any more content warnings or representation notes that I should add to the books in the list!)

Here are the Top-20 Diverse Releases of 2020, as decided by the Internet Book Community. Celebrate BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ stories!

20. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

SYNOPSIS:

The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it’s not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it’s everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Many years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past.

Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters’ storylines intersect?


Rep: African-American author and protagonists; queer characters

Content Warnings: racism and xenophobia; colorism and intergenerational trauma; domestic violence; attempted sexual assault; hate crimes, lynching, and race-based violence; racial slurs; transphobia


Goodreads | Book Depository | Indigo


19. The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune

The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune

SYNOPSIS:

A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.

Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.

When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.

But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.


Rep: queer author and characters; plus-size protagonist; BIPOC characters

Content Warnings: internalized fatphobia; past child abuse and trauma; allusions to racism, xenophobia, bigotry, and homophobia; trauma-related anxiety; microaggressions; violence


Goodreads | Book Depository | IndieBound


18. Skyhunter by Marie Lu

Skyhunter (Skyhunter, #1) by Marie Lu

SYNOPSIS:

In a world broken by war, a team of young warriors is willing to sacrifice everything to save what they love.

The Karensa Federation has conquered a dozen countries, leaving Mara as one of the last free nations in the world. Refugees flee to its borders to escape a fate worse than death — transformation into mutant war beasts known as Ghosts, creatures the Federation then sends to attack Mara.

The legendary Strikers, Mara’s elite fighting force, are trained to stop them. But as the number of Ghosts grows and Karensa closes in, defeat seems inevitable.

Still, one Striker refuses to give up hope.

Robbed of her voice and home, Talin Kanami knows firsthand the brutality of the Federation. Their cruelty forced her and her mother to seek asylum in a country that considers their people repugnant. She finds comfort only with a handful of fellow Strikers who have pledged their lives to one another and who are determined to push Karensa back at all costs.

When a mysterious prisoner is brought from the front, Talin senses there’s more to him than meets the eye. Is he a spy from the Federation? Or could he be the weapon that will save them all?


Rep: Asian-American author; mute protagonist and disabled characters; queer characters

Content Warnings: war and its aftermath; violence, gore, and torture; child abuse; human experimentation; racism and xenophobia; trauma


Goodreads | Book Depository | Indigio


17. Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron

Cinderella Is Dead: Kalynn Bayron: 9781526621979: Amazon.com: Books

SYNOPSIS:

It’s 200 years after Cinderella found her prince, but the fairy tale is over. Teen girls are now required to appear at the Annual Ball, where the men of the kingdom select wives based on a girl’s display of finery. If a suitable match is not found, the girls not chosen are never heard from again.

Sixteen-year-old Sophia would much rather marry Erin, her childhood best friend, than parade in front of suitors. At the ball, Sophia makes the desperate decision to flee, and finds herself hiding in Cinderella’s mausoleum. There, she meets Constance, the last known descendant of Cinderella and her step sisters. Together they vow to bring down the king once and for all–and in the process, they learn that there’s more to Cinderella’s story than they ever knew…


Rep: African-American author and protagonist; BIPOC characters; queer and sapphic characters

Content Warnings: allusions, content, and themes regarding slavery; domestic abuse; sexual assault; misogyny; homophobia; implied suicide; death and violence; domestic abuse; kidnapping


Goodreads | Book Depository | Indigo |


16. Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles

Where Dreams Descend (Kingdom of Cards, #1) by Janella Angeles

SYNOPSIS:

In a city covered in ice and ruin, a group of magicians face off in a daring game of magical feats to find the next headliner of the Conquering Circus, only to find themselves under the threat of an unseen danger striking behind the scenes.

As each act becomes more and more risky and the number of missing magicians piles up, three are forced to reckon with their secrets before the darkness comes for them next.

The Star: Kallia, a powerful showgirl out to prove she’s the best no matter the cost.

The Master: Jack, the enigmatic keeper of the club, and more than one lie told.

The Magician: Demarco, the brooding judge with a dark past he can no longer hide.


Rep: Asian-American author; queer characters; BIPOC-coded protagonists (fantasy novel with real-world corollaries)

Content Warnings: alcohol use; gaslighting and emotional abuse in a relationship; violence and blood; misogyny; stalking and threats; mild gore


Goodreads | Book Depository | Indigo


15. The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi

The Silvered Serpents (The Gilded Wolves, #2) by Roshani Chokshi

SYNOPSIS:

They are each other’s fiercest love, greatest danger, and only hope.

Séverin and his team members might have successfully thwarted the Fallen House, but victory came at a terrible cost — one that still haunts all of them. Desperate to make amends, Séverin pursues a dangerous lead to find a long lost artifact rumored to grant its possessor the power of God.

Their hunt lures them far from Paris, and into the icy heart of Russia where crystalline ice animals stalk forgotten mansions, broken goddesses carry deadly secrets, and a string of unsolved murders makes the crew question whether an ancient myth is a myth after all.

As hidden secrets come to the light and the ghosts of the past catch up to them, the crew will discover new dimensions of themselves. But what they find out may lead them down paths they never imagined.

A tale of love and betrayal as the crew risks their lives for one last job.


Rep: Asian-American, mixed-race author and protagonists; BIPOC characters; queer primary characters; autistic character

Content Warnings: mentioned suicide; antisemitism; racism and xenophobia; blood and violence; miscarriage and stillbirth; colonialism and its aftermath; child abuse; body mutilation and gore


Goodreads | Book Depository | Indigo


14. Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko

Amazon.com: Raybearer (9781419739828): Ifueko, Jordan: Books

SYNOPSIS:

Nothing is more important than loyalty. But what if you’ve sworn to protect the one you were born to destroy?

Tarisai has always longed for the warmth of a family. She was raised in isolation by a mysterious, often absent mother known only as The Lady. The Lady sends her to the capital of the global empire of Aritsar to compete with other children to be chosen as one of the Crown Prince’s Council of 11. If she’s picked, she’ll be joined with the other Council members through the Ray, a bond deeper than blood. That closeness is irresistible to Tarisai, who has always wanted to belong somewhere. But The Lady has other ideas, including a magical wish that Tarisai is compelled to obey: Kill the Crown Prince once she gains his trust. Tarisai won’t stand by and become someone’s pawn — but is she strong enough to choose a different path for herself?


Rep: West-African inspired fantasy world; African-American author; African-coded characters; queer and asexual characters

Content Warnings: domestic and parental abuse, primarily emotional; misogyny; violence and death; referenced rape; unwanted pregnancy; mentions of suicide; referenced sexual content


Goodreads | Book Depository | Bookshop


13. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Review: 'Mexican Gothic,' By Silvia Moreno-Garcia : NPR

SYNOPSIS:

After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find — her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region.

Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough and smart, with an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: Not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi’s dreams with visions of blood and doom.

Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family’s youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemí, but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family’s past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness.

And Noemí, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind.


Rep: Latine author, protagonists, and characters

Content Warnings: attempted rape; sexual assault; pregnancy, childbirth, and miscarriage; violence, gore, and death; incest; hallucinations and mind control; forced substance use; forced marriage; racism and xenophobia; eugenics; cannibalism; themes challenging white supremacy


Goodreads | Book Depository | Indigo


12. The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar

Amazon.com: The Henna Wars (9781624149689): Jaigirdar, Adiba: Books

SYNOPSIS:

When Nishat comes out to her parents, they say she can be anyone she wants — as long as she isn’t herself. Because Muslim girls aren’t lesbians. Nishat doesn’t want to hide who she is, but she also doesn’t want to lose her relationship with her family. And her life only gets harder once a childhood friend walks back into her life.

Flávia is beautiful and charismatic and Nishat falls for her instantly. But when a school competition invites students to create their own businesses, both Flávia and Nishat choose to do henna, even though Flávia is appropriating Nishat’s culture. Amidst sabotage and school stress, their lives get more tangled — but Nishat can’t quite get rid of her crush on Flávia, and realizes there might be more to her than she realized. 


Rep: Asian author and protagonist; BIPOC characters; Muslim primary characters; queer and sapphic characters

Content Warnings: bullying; cultural appropriation; homophobia; forced outing; racism and xenophobia; microaggressions


Goodreads | Book Depository | Indigo


11. A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown

Amazon.com: A Song of Wraiths and Ruin (9780062891495): Brown, Roseanne A.:  Books

SYNOPSIS:

For Malik, the Solstasia festival is a chance to escape his war-stricken home and start a new life with his sisters in the prosperous desert city of Ziran. But when a vengeful spirit abducts Malik’s younger sister, Nadia, as payment into the city, Malik strikes a fatal deal — kill Karina, Crown Princess of Ziran, for Nadia’s freedom.

But Karina has deadly aspirations of her own. Her mother, the Sultana, has been assassinated; her court threatens mutiny; and Solstasia looms like a knife over her neck. Grief-stricken, Karina decides to resurrect her mother through ancient magic . . . requiring the beating heart of a king. And she knows just how to obtain one: by offering her hand in marriage to the victor of the Solstasia competition.

When Malik rigs his way into the contest, they are set on a course to destroy each other. But as attraction flares between them and ancient evils stir, will they be able to see their tasks to the death?


Rep: African author; African-coded protagonists and characters; protagonist with anxiety

Content Warnings: self-harm and suicidal ideation; violence and grief; emotional and physical abuse; anxiety and panic attacks


Goodreads | Book Depository | Indigo


10. Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen

Loveboat, Taipei (Loveboat, Taipei, #1) by Abigail Hing Wen

SYNOPSIS:

When eighteen-year-old Ever Wong’s parents send her from Ohio to Taiwan to study Mandarin for the summer, she finds herself thrust among the very over-achieving kids her parents have always wanted her to be, including Rick Woo, the Yale-bound prodigy profiled in the Chinese newspapers since they were nine — and her parents’ yardstick for her never-measuring-up life.

Unbeknownst to her parents, however, the program is actually an infamous teen meet-market nicknamed Loveboat, where the kids are more into clubbing than calligraphy and drinking snake-blood sake than touring sacred shrines.

Free for the first time, Ever sets out to break all her parents’ uber-strict rules — but how far can she go before she breaks her own heart?


Rep: Asian-American author, protagonist, and characters; BIPOC characters

Content Warnings: mentions of depression; mentions of abuse; sexual content; racism and xenophobia; bullying, body-shaming and slut-shaming; threatened and mentioned suicide; revenge porn; blood


Goodreads | Book Depository | IndieBound


9. The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo

Amazon.com: The Empress of Salt and Fortune (The Singing Hills Cycle, 1)  (9781250750303): Vo, Nghi: Books

SYNOPSIS:

A young royal from the far north, is sent south for a political marriage in an empire reminiscent of imperial China. Her brothers are dead, her armies and their war mammoths long defeated and caged behind their borders. Alone and sometimes reviled, she must choose her allies carefully.


Rep: Asian-American author; Asian-coded characters; queer and sapphic characters; non-binary protagonist; normalized queerness in fantasy

Content Warnings: forced sterilization; death and violence; mentioned sexual content; grief; themes of war and its aftermath; misogyny and xenophobia


Goodreads | Book Depository | Indigo


8. Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

Amazon.com: Clap When You Land (9780062882769): Acevedo, Elizabeth: Books

SYNOPSIS:

Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people…

In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal’s office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash.

Separated by distance — and Papi’s secrets — the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered.

And then, when it seems like they’ve lost everything of their father, they learn of each other.


Rep: Latine author and protagonists; BIPOC characters; queer and sapphic protagonist and characters

Content Warnings: sexual assault and harassment; attempted rape; infidelity; death and grief; pregnancy and premature childbirth; sex trafficking; threat of forced sex work


Goodreads | Book Depository | Indigo


7. Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

Legendborn (Legendborn, #1) by Tracy Deonn

SYNOPSIS:

After her mother dies in an accident, sixteen-year-old Bree Matthews wants nothing to do with her family memories or childhood home. A residential program for bright high schoolers at UNC–Chapel Hill seems like the perfect escape — until Bree witnesses a magical attack her very first night on campus.

A flying demon feeding on human energies.

A secret society of so called “Legendborn” students that hunt the creatures down.

And a mysterious teenage mage who calls himself a “Merlin” and who attempts — and fails — to wipe Bree’s memory of everything she saw.

The mage’s failure unlocks Bree’s own unique magic and a buried memory with a hidden connection: the night her mother died, another Merlin was at the hospital. Now that Bree knows there’s more to her mother’s death than what’s on the police report, she’ll do whatever it takes to find out the truth, even if that means infiltrating the Legendborn as one of their initiates.

She recruits Nick, a self-exiled Legendborn with his own grudge against the group, and their reluctant partnership pulls them deeper into the society’s secrets — and closer to each other. But when the Legendborn reveal themselves as the descendants of King Arthur’s knights and explain that a magical war is coming, Bree has to decide how far she’ll go for the truth and whether she should use her magic to take the society down — or join the fight. 


Rep: African-American author and protagonists; BIPOC characters; disabled (prosthesis) characters; queer characters; non-binary character

Content Warnings: substance use; violence and mild gore; memory manipulation and mind control; sexism and misogyny; racism and xenophobia; on-page, non-explicit rape; sexual assault, harassment, and violence; trauma; slavery


Goodreads | Book Depository | Indigo


6. Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

Amazon.com: Felix Ever After (9780062820259): Callender, Kacen: Books

SYNOPSIS:

Felix Love has never been in love — and, yes, he’s painfully aware of the irony. He desperately wants to know what it’s like and why it seems so easy for everyone but him to find someone. What’s worse is that, even though he is proud of his identity, Felix also secretly fears that he’s one marginalization too many — Black, queer, and transgender — to ever get his own happily-ever-after.

When an anonymous student begins sending him transphobic messages — after publicly posting Felix’s deadname alongside images of him before he transitioned — Felix comes up with a plan for revenge. What he didn’t count on: his catfish scenario landing him in a quasi–love triangle….

But as he navigates his complicated feelings, Felix begins a journey of questioning and self-discovery that helps redefine his most important relationship: how he feels about himself.

Felix Ever After is an honest and layered story about identity, falling in love, and recognizing the love you deserve.


Rep: Black, queer author and protagonist; queer characters; transgender and non-binary characters; multiracial characters

Content Warnings: dead-naming, misgendering, and transphobia; homophobia; substance use; bullying and catfishing; forced outing; racism and xenophobia; substance use; mentions of surgery and scars; disownment


Goodreads | Book Depository | Indigo


5. You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson

You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson

SYNOPSIS:

Liz Lighty has always believed she’s too black, too poor, too awkward to shine in her small, rich, prom-obsessed midwestern town. But it’s okay — Liz has a plan that will get her out of Campbell, Indiana, forever: attend the uber-elite Pennington College, play in their world-famous orchestra, and become a doctor.

But when the financial aid she was counting on unexpectedly falls through, Liz’s plans come crashing down… until she’s reminded of her school’s scholarship for prom king and queen. There’s nothing Liz wants to do less than endure a gauntlet of social media trolls, catty competitors, and humiliating public events, but despite her devastating fear of the spotlight she’s willing to do whatever it takes to get to Pennington.

The only thing that makes it halfway bearable is the new girl in school, Mack. She’s smart, funny, and just as much of an outsider as Liz. But Mack is also in the running for queen. Will falling for the competition keep Liz from her dreams… or make them come true?


Rep: African-American author and protagonist; queer and sapphic protagonist and characters; characters with anxiety

Content Warnings: anxiety attacks and anxiety; panic attacks; bullying; chronic illness, cancer, and disease; forced outing; homophobia; racism and xenophobia; microaggressions


Goodreads | Book Depository | Indigo


4. The Burning God by R.F. Kuang

REVIEW: The Burning God by R.F. Kuang – magical reads

SYNOPSIS:

After saving her nation of Nikan from foreign invaders and battling the evil Empress Su Daji in a brutal civil war, Fang Runin was betrayed by allies and left for dead. 

Despite her losses, Rin hasn’t given up on those for whom she has sacrificed so much — the people of the southern provinces and especially Tikany, the village that is her home. Returning to her roots, Rin meets difficult challenges — and unexpected opportunities. While her new allies in the Southern Coalition leadership are sly and untrustworthy, Rin quickly realizes that the real power in Nikan lies with the millions of common people who thirst for vengeance and revere her as a goddess of salvation. 

Backed by the masses and her Southern Army, Rin will use every weapon to defeat the Dragon Republic, the colonizing Hesperians, and all who threaten the shamanic arts and their practitioners. As her power and influence grows, though, will she be strong enough to resist the Phoenix’s intoxicating voice urging her to burn the world and everything in it?


Rep: Asian-America author; Asian-coded characters

Content Warnings: emotional and physical abuse; violence, gore, and death; cannibalism; decapitation and execution; substance use; famine and starvation; themes of war and its aftermath; human experimentation; massacres and genocide; racism and xenophobia; rape; sexual assault and harassment; self-harm; torture


Goodreads | Book Depository | Indigo


3. The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart

The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart

SYNOPSIS:

The emperor’s reign has lasted for decades, his mastery of bone shard magic powering the animal-like constructs that maintain law and order. But now his rule is failing, and revolution is sweeping across the Empire’s many islands.

Lin is the emperor’s daughter and spends her days trapped in a palace of locked doors and dark secrets. When her father refuses to recognise her as heir to the throne, she vows to prove her worth by mastering the forbidden art of bone shard magic.

Yet such power carries a great cost, and when the revolution reaches the gates of the palace, Lin must decide how far she is willing to go to claim her birthright — and save her people.


Rep: Asian-American author; Asian-coded world and characters; queer and sapphic protagonist and characters

Content Warnings: parental abuse and neglect; violence, gore, and death; torture; amnesia and memory loss


Goodreads | Book Depository | Indigo


2. These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong

These Violent Delights (These Violent Delights, #1) by Chloe Gong

SYNOPSIS:

The year is 1926, and Shanghai hums to the tune of debauchery.

A blood feud between two gangs runs the streets red, leaving the city helpless in the grip of chaos. At the heart of it all is eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, a former flapper who has returned to assume her role as the proud heir of the Scarlet Gang — a network of criminals far above the law. Their only rivals in power are the White Flowers, who have fought the Scarlets for generations. And behind every move is their heir, Roma Montagov, Juliette’s first love…and first betrayal.

But when gangsters on both sides show signs of instability culminating in clawing their own throats out, the people start to whisper. Of a contagion, a madness. Of a monster in the shadows. As the deaths stack up, Juliette and Roma must set their guns — and grudges — aside and work together, for if they can’t stop this mayhem, then there will be no city left for either to rule.


Rep: Asian author and protagonist; Asian and BIPOC characters; transgender character; queer characters; setting in Shanghai

Content Warnings: substance use; death and grief; parental abuse; graphic violence and gore; involuntary self-harm


Goodreads | Book Depository | Indigo


1. Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

Review: Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas - Utopia State of Mind

SYNOPSIS:

Yadriel has summoned a ghost, and now he can’t get rid of him.

When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his true gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free.

However, the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the school’s resident bad boy, and Julian is not about to go quietly into death. He’s determined to find out what happened and tie off some loose ends before he leaves. Left with no choice, Yadriel agrees to help Julian, so that they can both get what they want. But the longer Yadriel spends with Julian, the less he wants to let him leave. 


Rep: Latine, transgender author and protagonist; Latine and BIPOC characters; character with ADHD; queer characters

Content Warnings: blood; emotional and physical abuse; dead-naming, misgendering, and transphobia; homophobia; death and grief; gender dysphoria


Goodreads | Book Depository | Indigo


There we have it, my dear traveler! Despite the previous year’s difficulties, I am overjoyed at all the beautiful diverse stories we received.

Running the poll itself was a lot of fun, though I admit that there are myriads flaws in my collection! The majority of voters were my followers on social media, which skews towards a younger demographic — consequently, 70% of the books on the top-20 list were marketed as YA. 60% of the books above are in the fantasy genre, which could also be attributed to the identities of my voter-base.

Some more statistics that I (personally) found interesting, Which Can Also Be Ascribed to the Demographics of the Audiences I Interact With:

  • 35% of the books on the above list feature sapphic primary characters. (For the girls! For the ladies!)
    1. The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart 
    2. You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson 
    3. Legendborn by Tracy Deonn
    4. Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo 
    5. The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo
    6. The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar 
    7. Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron
  • 45% of these novels were written by authors of Pan-Asian descent. (Hello, my fellow Asian peeps!)
    1. These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong 
    2. The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart
    3. The Burning God by R.F. Kuang
    4. The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo 
    5. Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen 
    6. The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar 
    7. The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi 
    8. Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles 
    9. Skyhunter by Marie Lu 
  • 15% of these books feature non-binary and transgender primary characters. (To my fellow non-binary friends out there: hello, hello!)
    1. Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas 
    2. Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender
    3. The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo 
  • 60% of the list’s books are debuts.
    1. Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas 
    2. These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong 
    3. The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart
    4. You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson 
    5. Legendborn by Tracy Deonn 
    6. The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo 
    7. Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen 
    8. A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown 
    9. The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar 
    10. Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko 
    11. Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles 
    12. Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron 
  • 10% of these stories are sequels.
    1. The Burning God by R.F. Kuang
    2. The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi
  • 43.47% of participants voted for Cemetery Boys, the number-one book on the list. Your taste!
  • I 100% prefer using percentages over fractions! 😋

Very cool! I wonder how different demographics or increasing my sample size would affect the configuration of this list.

The future presents for us a plethora of beautiful diverse literature. I’m excited for all the stories to come and ready to celebrate the authors that share with us their worlds. Indeed, time does not exist — but good books will fill our hours with hope and aspirations.


I’d love to hear from you!

  • To you, what were the best books of 2020, releases or otherwise?
  • Do you see your favorites on this list?
  • What diverse stories are on your TBR for 2021?

Thank you for reading! Please take care, and be safe. Until we meet again, traveler.


This year, I hope to write for my blog more frequently! Don’t miss a post!


Let’s connect across the Net! 💖

5 thoughts on “The 20 Best Diverse Releases of 2020, According to the Internet Book Community

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