Hello There! I hope 2023 is treating you well so far! In terms of books, it’s treating me great (other life stuff could use work but such is being an adult)!

Book life Balance is a work in progress!

In the past, I’ve written posts about Black & Brown Girls deserving to be centered in YA Romance as well as Kids Of Color deserving safe spaces & healthy relationships & My Spirit demanding more POC romances to which I’m glad to say that I have a few books to rave to you all about that checks those boxes (but I still hope for more in the future). It really makes my medium-key romantic heart so happy to have read these stories where Black & Brown Kids can see themselves fall in love.

It really does make my heart so happy!

Highly Suspicious And Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert: When I saw the announcement & cover for this book, I was super excited about it. When there are two Black kids on a cover in the woods, there could only be shenanigans to be had, right? And there were plenty! Add in the fact that this book was dual perspective, I was a very happy panda. There were so many great moments between Brad & Celine that just had me completely wrapped. They went from best friends to enemies then back to friends, so we got the best of those tropes. It was a journey that was worth taking with a beautiful balance of serious and funny.

I envisioned Celine looking at Brad like this so much during the course of this book

The Love Match by Priyanka Taslim: This was another book that had me at the cover and it gave us a love triangle! I’m usually not one for them but I was sold on this one. Our MC, Zahra, was juggling so much between her family & work so it was refreshing to read her have these moments where she could be a teenager discovering herself as well as what romance is & what she is worthy of. Did I pick a team, I sure did (I don’t know how people can be neutral) and no, I will not tell you who I was rooting for…I was rooting for Zahra and her happiness first & foremost. She also had really great friends who often cracked me up.

You’ll have to read in order to see who Zahra walks away with *smirks*

Friday, I’m In Love by Camryn Garrett: First off, my favorite cover designers was on this one (shoutout to Erick Davila) and second of all, I love Camryn’s writing & humor (I will never forget a certain scene in Full Disclosure…EVER) so I was very excited to read news of this book. There was a great balance of humor (especially when she was planning her Super Gay Sweet 16…that could totally be a show), heavy and romance. I felt Mahalia on the realness of crushes and it was so nice to read how her crush on Siobhan evolved into her reality (their banter is hysterical). I also really enjoyed her relationship with her best friend and mom, so we really got 3 love stories-romance, friendship/sisterhood & family; which is a trifecta I can get with on any day of the week, especially a Friday (is that too corny?)!

There was also a lot of music references, singing out loud in public & Black Girl Magic in this book

As You Walk On By by Julian Winters (out 1/17/23): This is yet another book with a lovely cover that drew me in. I’d mostly read short stories by Julian but I’m so glad this was my introduction to his novels. This book tackled a lot but with an air of levity that was invigorating to read; from what it is to be Black, to be Gay, to be male and what it is to be all three. It also highlighted friendships, what healthy and potentially unhealthy ones look like & how to move towards what is best for you. I loved that we got the romance for the MC Theo but also familial and friendship love. There really was more than one happily ever after in this book and I love to see it! Heads up, there was also a lot of shenanigans too since some of the characters love dares (this book takes place before prom, need I really say more on that).

There were a lot of dares happening in this book

All of these books gave me laugh out loud moments along with eye-leaking moments and all the feels in between. They also left me with the heartwarming feeling that only reading Black & Brown kids finding & falling in love could bring to me as a reader. This books are truly amazing reads and I couldn’t recommend them enough!

This is an accurate visual of how I feel

Were any of these books on your radar? Have you gotten the chance to read any of them? Are there any books that I should be on the look out for? Let me know in the comments or on social media via Instagram @bookishgirlmagic, Twitter @bookishgrlmagic and Clubhouse @bookishgrlmagic where you can find me mostly in book centered clubs/rooms (primarily on Tuesdays and Fridays). Also subscribe to this blog if you haven’t already because it makes me feel like I’ve read amazing stories where Black & Brown Kids fall in love! Sending y’all bookish love and wishing you happy reading!


Published by bookishgirlmagic

I’m reader who has a fierce love for books written by authors of color & belief in the importance of supporting them! My mission is to amplify their voices and work so this generation and all the others after them will have literature that will reflect them.

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