Top 5 #OwnVoices Books I Want to Read

Top 5 Own Voices Books I Want to Read

This Top 5 series started back in October 2018 and it has grown really big! This is a series of books that all have a common theme. I post the schedule for the next month the last week of the prior month. You can talk about books you want to read or books you have read and all prompts are open for interpretation! Feel free to get as creative as you want with the prompts.

The Upcoming Top 5 Saturday Schedule Is:

7/25/20 — #OwnVoices Books

8/1/20 — Enemies to Lovers

8/8/20 — Underrated Books/Hidden Gems

8/15/20 — Recommended Reads

8/22/20 — Young Adult Books

8/29/20 — Detective Books


  • Share your top 5 books of the current topic– these can be books that you want to read, have read and loved, have read and hated, you can do it any way you want.
  • Tag the original post (This one!)
  • Tag 5 people


Not sorry for the long rant about this!

I felt like this was a really important subject to have as a Top 5 Saturday topic with everything going on in the world lately. #OwnVoices books are books written by a person with certain experiences who includes those experiences in their book.  This can be race, culture, sexuality, identity and mental illness among other things.

Personally, I didn’t even know what #OwnVoices was until I became a book blogger and found out about it on Twitter. Since then I have made it a priority to read #OwnVoices books and diversify my reading. I love reading fantasy novels that are inspired by the author’s culture and I’ve learned so much about other people, other cultures and other people’s experiences. There are also times where I find a book that represents PTSD really well, and I can’t tell you how amazing it is to be able to relate to those struggles and see myself in a character. Own voices is about representing all types of people and authors sharing their personal views about their identity through books.

Own voices books have really opened my eyes to other view points and struggles. I have learned about mental illnesses I couldn’t begin to understand. I have been able to learn all about different cultures in beautifully magical ways, but I’ve also learned about biases that I didn’t realize I was blind to.  Some of my favorite #OwnVoices books are: The Candle and the Flame, Star Daughter, Girl, Serpent, Thorn, The Farm, Nocturna, Mirage, Descendant of the Crane, The Good Luck Girls and The Girls at 17 Swann Street.

Jade City by Fonda LeeJade City by Fonda Lee

JADE CITY is a gripping Godfather-esque saga of intergenerational blood feuds, vicious politics, magic, and kungfu.

The Kaul family is one of two crime syndicates that control the island of Kekon. It’s the only place in the world that produces rare magical jade, which grants those with the right training and heritage superhuman abilities.
The Green Bone clans of honorable jade-wearing warriors once protected the island from foreign invasion–but nowadays, in a bustling post-war metropolis full of fast cars and foreign money, Green Bone families like the Kauls are primarily involved in commerce, construction, and the everyday upkeep of the districts under their protection.

When the simmering tension between the Kauls and their greatest rivals erupts into open violence in the streets, the outcome of this clan war will determine the fate of all Green Bones and the future of Kekon itself.

This book has been recommended to me over and over again and it’s super high on my TBR right now. It is inspired by East Asian culture and is filled with crime, magic and martial arts. Everyone I know who has read this book seemed to love it. Honestly, I don’t need to know anymore about it! I don’t even have to read the blurb. I know I want to read this one and I believe it could be a 5 star read for me!

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida CordovaLabyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova

I was chosen by the Deos. Even gods make mistakes.

Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation…and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo she can’t trust, but who may be Alex’s only chance at saving her family.

That cover is so gorgeous! I will admit that this wound up on my TBR because of the cover and the title, I didn’t even read any further before I knew I wanted this one. When I did actually read the blurb it just made me want this even more and the reviews… honestly, I don’t know why I don’t have a copy yet! It has Latin American influences and is about witches. I’ve wanted a copy of this book for so long now, it’s time to order myself a copy! (I just tried to buy one online, but I really want THIS cover and I can’t find it!)

cinderella is dead by kalynn BayronCinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron

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 . . .

This fresh take on a classic story will make readers question the tales they’ve been told, and root for girls to break down the constructs of the world around them.

This book has been receiving a lot of hype and I am super excited for it myself. This book is a Cinderella retelling and it’s about a girl who goes against the tide and dares to want something different for herself. I’ve heard it is an extremely powerful book about rebellion and I am all here for it! Books like these are just so important and I already know that I will absolutely love this one!

Don't Call the Wolf by Aleksandra RossDon’t Call the Wolf by Aleksandra Ross

A forest, besieged. A queen, unyielding. Fans of Leigh Bardugo and Holly Black will devour this deliciously dark Eastern European–inspired YA fantasy debut.

When the Golden Dragon descended on the forest of Kamiena, a horde of monsters followed in its wake.

Ren, the forest’s young queen, is slowly losing her battle against them. Until she rescues Lukasz—the last survivor of a heroic regiment of dragon slayers—and they strike a deal. She will help him find his brother, who vanished into her forest… if Lukasz promises to slay the Dragon.

But promises are all too easily broken.

This book is one that I’m also really excited to read. It’s inspired by Polish mythology and is a fairy tale re-telling. I can’t get enough of fantasy books that are inspired by a culture’s folklore or fairy tales and this book just looks so good. It’s got some dark gothic vibes, which if you know me I am totally here for that type of thing, and even has a dragon!

Empire of Sand by Tasha SuriEmpire of Sand by Tasha Suri

A nobleman’s daughter with magic in her blood. An empire built on the dreams of enslaved gods. Empire of Sand is Tasha Suri’s captivating, Mughal India-inspired debut fantasy.

The Amrithi are outcasts; nomads descended of desert spirits, they are coveted and persecuted throughout the Empire for the power in their blood. Mehr is the illegitimate daughter of an imperial governor and an exiled Amrithi mother she can barely remember, but whose face and magic she has inherited.

When Mehr’s power comes to the attention of the Emperor’s most feared mystics, she must use every ounce of will, subtlety, and power she possesses to resist their cruel agenda.

Should she fail, the gods themselves may awaken seeking vengeance…

Empire of Sand is a lush, dazzling fantasy novel perfect for readers of City of Brass and The Wrath & the Dawn.

This is a Mughal- India inspired fantasy that I really want to read! I’ve heard that the world building is incredible and am really interested in reading more books inspired by Asian culture. I have become obsessed with desert settings ever since reading Tiger Queen and Race the Sands, but haven’t been able to find many books set in the desert! The Year of the Asian Reading Challenge really helped bring Asian books popularity and I hope that trend keeps going because I find the culture incredibly fascinating!

Check out other Book Blogger’s Top 5 Picks!

Jill @ Jill’s Book Blog — Top 5 Saturday — #OwnVoices Books

Yolanda @ Past Midnight — Top 5 Saturday| 7/25/20

Blair @ Feed the Crime —-|#OwnVoices On My TBR… Top 5 Saturday|-

Becky @ Becky’s Book Blog —Own Voices Books- Top 5 Saturday

Tagged! Join us this week or next!

Margaret @ Weird Zeal

Anna @ The Bursting Bookshelf

Julie @ A Little Book Problem

Chrissie @ Chrissie’s Romance Reviews

Rovie @ Rarevenclaw

Let’s Chat!

Do you try to read diversely? How has it impacted you? What are some of your favorite #OwnVoices books? Have you read any of the books I listed above? What did you think? Are there any #OwnVoices books that you would recommend I read? Make sure to comment below so we can talk about #OwnVoices books!

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