Horror Books by Latinx Authors: recommendations and a tbr

Hi everyone! I have a very exciting post today as part of my celebration of Latinx Heritage Month. I have been trying to get into horror lately and obviously I have tried to pick up horror books by Latinx authors, which is why I wanted to recommend some of them to you. Since it’s almost spooky season, I thought it woulf be a great time for this post. I am also mentioning some books that are on my tbr since I’m so new to this genre.

Since getting interested in horror written by Latinx authors, I have learned that there has been a huge boom of horror books in Latin American countries in the last few years, especially horror books written by women. That’s why most of my recommendactions are translated books and most of the books on my tbr too. Also, simply because I want to read more books set in and written by people living in Latin American countries.

First, here are my recommendations:

Tender is the Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica

Working at the local processing plant, Marcos is in the business of slaughtering humans —though no one calls them that anymore. Marcos tries not to think too hard about how he makes a living. After all, it happened so quickly. First, it was reported that an infectious virus has made all animal meat poisonous to humans. Then governments initiated the “Transition.” Now, eating human meat—“special meat”—is legal. Then one day Marcos is given a gift: a live specimen of the finest quality. Though he’s aware that any form of personal contact is forbidden on pain of death, little by little he starts to treat her like a human being. And soon, he becomes tortured by what has been lost—and what might still be saved.

This book is actually very disturbing because it makes cannibalism seem like something that could actually happen, the way the author executes the whole concept makes it seem so plausible. Bazterrica does a great job of thinking about all the things we do with animals (eat them, hunt them, use them for skins and to test drugs) and she incorporates all that to the story but changes the animals for humans. She also really goes into a lot of detail about the process of producing human meat from raising to slaughtering to processing to distribution. She explains how everything is done and it’s very unsettling because you can’t help but be repulsed and interested at teh same time.

Another thing that the author does very well is communicating the feeling of desperation, desolation, and loneliness that this society lives in even if they try to pretend they don’t. She creates the perfect atmosphere for the story, which reflects the decline of all the moral values in this society. Beyond the concept, setting, and atmosphere, the plot revolves around events of a smaller scale but it’s as disturbing as everything else

Fever Dream by Samantha Schweblin

A young woman named Amanda lies dying in a rural hospital clinic. A boy named David sits beside her. She’s not his mother. He’s not her child. Together, they tell a haunting story of broken souls, toxins, and the power and desperation of family.

This is a short book that’s very atmospheric, the reading experience is disorienting and trippy since the story is told by a confused, feverish woman, and the author does a great job of transmiting the frustration and fear that the main character feels caused by this very intense and strange little kid who pushes her to talk and won’t answer her questions. Reading this book is a very inmersive experience because all of these elements.

Beyond that, Samantha Schweblin does a good job of commenting on the use of pesticides in Argentina and its effect on entire towns and the people who live in them, but adding a paranormal element that it’s never quite explained but that adds to the weirdness and creepiness of the story.

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-García

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. Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer but she is not afraid.

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.

This is a creepy, atmospheric, and disturbing book that has beautiful and captivating writing. The story is so effective in being scary because even when it’s not clear if there are ghosts, magic, or other supernatural things going on, the real villains of the story are manipulative, abusive, disgusting men that you could find anywhere in the world and anytime in history. This book is creepy from very early on, Moreno-García made my skin crawl with the simplest scenes, sometimes nothing too scary was happening but with one perfectly crafted phrase, I was spooked. Also, this includes important commentary on sexism, colonialism, and eugenics that gives depth to the story.

Things We Lost in the Fire by Mariana Enriquez

Short story collection that brings contemporary Argentina to vibrant life as a place where shocking inequality, violence, and corruption are the law of the land, while military dictatorship and legions of desaparecidos loom large in the collective memory.

This book does a good job of commenting on subjects like poverty, addiction, feminicide, police brutality, and so much more, through a gothic lens and with a touch of paranormal elements (a lot of them related to Argentinian folklore). Most of the stories are disturbing and quietly eerie, some with grotesque moments, some transmitting very well the sense of dread and fear of the characters, and most of them revolving spooky and mysterious circumstances. The author leaves the resolution of a lot of the stories up to the reader’s imagination, so it feels like they end quite abruptly, which is a bit jarring but ends up working really well to maintain the sense of uneasiness that the stories create.

Category Five by Ann Dávila Cardinal

After the hurricane, some see destruction and some smell blood. The tiny island of Vieques, located just off the northeastern coast of the main island of Puerto Rico, is trying to recover after hurricane Maria, but the already battered island is now half empty. To make matters worse, developers have come in to buy up the land at a fraction of its worth, taking advantage of the island when it is down. Lupe, Javier, and Marisol are back to investigate a series of murders that follow in the wake of a hurricane and in the shadow of a new supernatural threat.

This is the only YA book on this list, and it’s a quick and entertaining read set in Puerto Rico about teenagers who get involved with a supernatural mystery. This is a ghost story and the really interesting thing about it is that the ghost element is deeply related to the history of Pueblo Rico, and particularly, the history of Pueblo Rico as a colonized land. There are a couple spooky ghost scenes, which was a fun element of the story. Also, the author does a great job of integrating what has happened in Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria- especially the abandonment of Puerto Rico by the U.S. government – to the book

TBR

I definitely want to explore the horror genre more and specifically, horror written by Latinx authros, so here are some books that have caught my eye and that I’m hoping to read soon:

Hurricane Season by Fernanda Melchor: The story of a small town were the Witch turns up dead. And the discovery of her corpse propels the whole village into an investigation of how and why this murder occurred. Rumors and suspicions spread. As the novel unfolds new details, new acts of depravity or brutality are revealed.

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado: A collection of short stories that that map the realities of women’s lives and the violence visited upon their bodies.

Weep, Woman, Weep by Maria DeBlassie: The story of La Llorona, who roams the waterways looking for the next generation of girls to baptize, filling them with more tears than any woman should have to hold. And there’s not much they can do about the Weeping Woman. Mercy knows this, probably better than anyone. She lost her best friend to La Llorona and almost found a watery grave herself. But she survived. Only she didn’t come back quite right and she knows La Llorona won’t be satisfied until she drags the one soul that got away back to the bottom of the river.”

The Children by Carolina Sanín: The story of a woman who discovers a mysterious young boy on the pavement outside her apartment building: Fidel, who is six years old, a child with seemingly no origins or meaning. With few clues to guide her as she tries to discover his real identity, Laura finds herself swept into a bureaucratic maelstrom of fantastical proportions.

Little Eyes by Samantha Schweblin: The story of little mechanical stuffed animals called Kentukis, which have gone viral across the globe. They have cameras for eyes, wheels for feet, and are connected to an anonymous global server. Owners of kentukis have the eyes of a stranger in their home; or you can be the kentuki and voyeuristically spend time in someone else’s life, controlling the creature with a few keystrokes. These creatures can reveal the beauty of connection between farflung souls – but they also expose the ugly humanity of our increasingly linked world.

Have you read any horror books by Latinx authros? Do you have any recommendations?

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Latinx Book Bingo TBR | Latinx Heritage Month 2021

Hi everyone! This is a post that I look forward to writing ever year, I have so much fun putting together a tbr for the Latinx Book Bingo and i’m happy to be sharing this year’s tbr with all of you. I will try to read one book per each prompt of the bingo board, which means I’ll try to read 16 books total.

If you don’t know I’m one of the hosts of the  Latinx Book Bingo, this is the fourth year this readathon is taking place and it goes from September 15th to October 15th and the goal is to read as many books by Latinx authors as you can.

Set in LATAM

Velvet Was the Night by Silvia Moreno Garcia

An adult historical fiction book about a daydreaming secretary, an enforcer, and a missing woman they are trying to find.

I read Mexicna Gothic and Gods of Jade and Shadow last year and LOVED them both, so I can’t wait to read Silvia Moreno-Garcias newest book even if it’s completely different to the other books I have read by her. I’m excited to read Moreno-Garcia’s take on a historical noir thriller.

Name in the title

Lupe Wong Won’t Dance by Donna Barba Higuera

Book Cover

Lupe Wong has a chance to meet her favorite pitcher, who’s Chinacan/Mexinese just like her, the only thing standing in her way is square dancing as part of her gym class, which can affect her grade, but she won’t let that stop her.

2020 was the year I discovered my love for middle grade books, especially if they are about latinx characters, so I’m excited to read this middle grade novel a chance, espcially since I have heard nothing but great things about.

Nonfiction

The Undocumented Americans by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio

One of the first undocumented immigrants to graduate from Harvard reveals the hidden lives of her fellow undocumented Americans. 

This was on my tbr last year but I didn’t get it from my library on time, so I had to read something else. This year, I’m really excited to be able to read it, it sounds like a hard hitting and very interesting read.

Backlist

Things We Lost in the Fire by Mariana Enriquez

Book Cover

A short story collection about a contemporary Argentina where shocking inequality, violence, and corruption are the law of the land, while military dictatorship and the people that went missing during that time loom large in the collective memory.

Within the last few years, there has been a boom in Latin America of horror books written by women which are getting very positive reviews and since I have been getting into horror lately, I’m looking forward to reading more of them.

Indie Pub

Signs Preceding the End of the World by Yuri Herrera

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A book about the border between Mexico and the United States and those who cross it that explored the crossings and translations people make in their minds and language as they move from one country to another.

I only heard about this book recently, but two people I trust have really enjoyed this, so I’m excited to give it a chance. I haven’t read that many stories about immigration, so that’s another reason why I want to read this.

Favorite Color

Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas

YA retelling of Peter Pan where children are going missing from a small town and Wendy and Peter will work to find them.

I LOVED Cementery Boys, so I can’t wait to read another Aiden Thomas story. I haven’t read that many Peter Pan retellings nor have I read the original, but i find the story of Peter Pan interesting, so i’m excited to see their take on this classic tale.

Favorite Genre

Oculta by Maya Montayne

A thief and a prince have to work together to save their kingdom after freeing an ancient evil power. 

Oculta is the sequel to Nocturna, which came out in 2019, so I have been waiting 2 years to read the continuation, and after the ending of the first book, I can’t wait to know what happens next. Some people I really trust enjoyed this, so I’m hopeful that it will be a good sequel.

Intersectional MC

Sabrina and Corina by Kali Fajardo-Anstine

A Short story collection about Latina characters of indigenous ancestry and the land they inhabit. It explores friendship, mothers and daughters, and the deep-rooted truths of our homelands

This sounds like a really good book and I need to read more books about indigenous characters, but I’m also really nervious because I’m not the biggest fan of short story collections.

Translated

Fever Dream by Samantha Schweblin

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A young woman lies dying in a rural hospital. A boy sits beside her. She’s not his mother. He’s not her child. Together, they tell a haunting story of broken souls, toxins, and the power and desperation of family.

As I mentioned before, there’s a boom in Latin America of horror books written by women, this book is another one that it’s part of that boom and that’s highly recommend, so I’m excited to give read it and see if I like it.

Rec’d by a Latinx Reader

Illusionary by Zoraida Córdova

This series is about a girl who has a magical ability that makes her feared and she has to infiltrate the palace to help a group of rebels that wants to save her people from persecution.

I’m always nervious about reading sequel of books I love because I have been disappointed one too many times. But all my friends who have read this have loved it, which makes me feel more confident that I will like this and it’s the reason I decided to choose it for the prompt of rec’d by a Latinx reader.

Queer Rep

Her Night With Santa by Adriana Herrera

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 The romance between Santa, who is a lesbian named Kris, and Farnaz, the bisexual niece of one of the Kings of the Magi, who left the family toy business to start her own adult toy company. 

I always enjoy Adriana Herrera’s books, so I was obviously going to pick this up, but the synopsis sounds so fun that I’m even more excited to read it.

Any Book by a Latinx Author

A Lot Like Adiós by Alexis Daria

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A second chance at romance for two childhood best friend, who haven’t seen each other in years until they are reunited and have to work together.

I LOVED You Had Me at Hola, as well as Daria’s Dance Off series, so I’m really excited for this one. I also really like friends to lovers romances, so I’m hoping I’ll love this.

Song Title

The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

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A young woman goes to the city for the first time and there she meets another telekinetic like her, who teaches her to control her abilities and starts to court her, but he has an ulterior motive that threatens to end their relationship.

this has been on my tbr for years and it’s finally time for me to read it. I have heard nothing but great things about it, and after loving other Silvia Moreno-Garacía books, I’m sure i’ll enjoy it.

2021 Release

Cazadora by Romina Garber

This series is about a girl who is an undocumented immigrant and she has a distinctive eye color, which ends up connecting her to a secret magical world of lobizones (werewolves) and witches. 

I have been highly anticipating this book, it came out less than a month ago and you don’t know how much it has costed me to wait to read it during Latinx Heritage Month. I loved the first book SO MUCH and I can’t wait to see where the story goes.

Afrolatinx

One Week to Claim it All by Adriana Herrera

Second chance romance where a woman is set to become the CEO of her late father’s company and her ex is the only one standing in the way.

As I mentioned before, I have read and enjoyed almost every single book that Adriana Herrera has released, so I’m so excited to read her newest full lenght novel, espcially since it has two tropes I love, second chance romance and dislike to love.

Author’s Debut

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado

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Short Story collection about the realities of women’s lives and the violence visited upon their bodies.

I read Carmen Maria Machado’s memoir last year and it was great, so I’m looking forward to checking out her debut. I’m not the biggest fan of short story collection, but I’m crossing my fingers that I will like this one.

Are you participating in the Latinx Book Bingo? Have you picked the books for your tbr?
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August 2021 Wrap Up: my reading slump is over!

Hi everyone! Today, I’m excited to share my August wrap up. August was a really good reading month for me, after 3 months of being in a very severe reading slump and reading almost nothing, I got back into reading this month and managed to finish 12 books from various genres. I enjoyed most of them, so I’m happy to share my thoughts!

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Network Effect by Martha Wells (3,5 stars): I love murderbot and ART, and the side characters are really likable as well. I liked the mystery in this one but the pacing was off, it dragged in certain parts and went too fast at the end. Overall enjoyable, but I like the novella format of the other entries in this series more.

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Fugitive Telemetry by Martha Wells (4 stars): This was enjoyable and a really quick read. I loved murderbot in this and seeing it interact with new humans that don’t necessarily trust it was really fun because it is SO passive-aggressive. Seeing people change their minds about murderbot and start to like it is also always really great. The mystery was entertaining and I would love to see murderbot solve more murders in the future.

Across the Green Grass Fields by Seanan McGuire (3,5 stars): This is my least favorite book in this series, but it was still a fast and engaging read. I really liked Regan as the main character, the intersex rep, exploring the hooflands, the discussions about personhood and the character development. But there wasn’t really a plot and what happened at the end made sense but it felt really anti-climatic at the same time. 

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When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain by Nghi Vo (4 stars): I loved this as much as the first novella in this series… maybe a little more. It was so whimsical, the world this was set in was so intricate, the commentary on storytelling and on the “truth” was really interesting and Chih was an incredible main character.

The Guest List by Lucy Foley (4 stars): quick read, interesting characters, the atmosphere of the isolated island was fantastic, there was lots of tension because of all the secrets, and the writing was actually really good. The last 30% of this book was intense, but before that, the book dragged because not a lot happens, and while there are a lot of secrets nothing is revealed until the final part of the book. I would say that the two timelines felt a little pointless since we only get about 3 or 4 pages of the present here and there and nothing happens on those pages, nothing is revealed.

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My sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite (3 stars): This was a quick read and I wasn’t never bored, but I also didn’t entirely see the point of it. There’s not much plot, it’s a character driven story but the exploration of the characters is not that deep and there’s zero character development. Nonetheless, it explores gender dynamics and complex sister relationships in an interesting way and I actually iked the ending.

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A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn (4 stars): I loved the main characters in this book, Veronica and Stoker, and the dynamic between them which is full of bickering and tension. This book starts slow and it’s a lot less about solving the mystery, for the first half the characters know almost nothing and nothing really happens. During the second half, when the characters finally start trying to solve tte mystery, the story gets action packed and engaging. I saw the big reveal coming really early on, but that doesn’t really affect my enjoyment.

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A Perilious undertaking by Deanna Raybourn (4 stars): Give me a slow burn romance full of tension, half confessions and interrupted moments and I’m all in. I honestly read this series because Veronica and Stoker are captivating main characters and I’m really invested in their relationship. Nonetheless, I actually really liked the mystery in this one even if I predicted who the “villain” was as soon as the character was introduced

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A Treacherous Curse by Deanna Raybourn (4 stars): I didn’t find the mystery in this one as interesting as the others, but I did enjoyed getting to finally learn what happened with Stoker’s ex-wife and resolving in a way that part of the story. As with the first two books, I loved Veronica and Stoker and their relationship, with all the tension and sutil (kind of) declarations.

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A Dangerous Collaboration by Deanna Raybourn (4 stars): The mystery in this book was interesting enough even if it was a bit predictable, and the setting was really captivating and it worked well for a mystery novel. But honestly I don’t read these books because of the mysteries, I read them because the characters and their relationships. I still love Veronica and Stoker and their dynamic, I was a bit nervious in the beginning about the direction their relationship was taking, but I’m glad that certain aspects weren’t drag out too much. I loved the way things between them progress in this book

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Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix (4 stars): This book was so fun to read. The unique concept, setting, and presentation added to the creepiness of the story. While there was a really gross scene and a couple of creepy moments, it wasn’t too scary. The character development was great.

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With You Forever by Chloe Liese: I’m not going to rate this for now, because i’m coming out of reading slump and i think that affected my enjoyment of the book, so I’ll re-read it later and rate it then. I loved the previous books in the series and I was so excited for this one, so I want to give it a fair chance. For now I can say that I loved Rooney as a main character, as someone who struggles with IBS the depiction of ulcerative colitis resonated with me in a lot of ways and I think it was very well done. There were some cute moments and some steamy moments between Roony and Axel, and I enjoyed a lot of their conversations and seeing them open up to each other. Nonetheless, it felt like I was dropped in the middle of the story and not at the beggining. Also, Rooney and Axel not talking about liking each other (and the internal monologue of I’m sure he/she doesn’t like me) and struggling because nothing could happen between them (when there’s wasn’t any reason for that) made parts of this book feel very slow for me.

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Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan (3,5 stars): This is my least favorite book in the series, but I still overall enjoyed it. The setting and atmosphere were still amazing, all the ridiculous characters were entertaining to read about and the plot of this one actually had me invested for most of the book. the problem and the reason the book lost me at times is the pacing because it drags a lot in certain parts, there’s a point where the book should have ended but it still went on for about 100 pages more, and the real ending was rushed and everything was tied up way too nicely. Also, there’s a storyline between Kitty and Colette that I didn’t enjoy reading about and it felt kind of out of place.

What is your favorite and least favorite book of August ? Was August a good reading month for you?

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50+ book recommendations for the Latinx Book Bingo | Latinx Heritage Month 2021

Latinx Book Bingo banner photo

Hi everyone! Today, I’m bringing a super exciting post that it’s a bit late this year. In this post, I’m recommending books for the 2021 Latinx Book Bingo.

The three previous years I have written really long posts with 90 book recommendations, 100 book recommendations , and 170 book recommendations, but a lot of the books were books that I haven’t read yet, so this year I decided to do something a little bit different. I’m recommending 50+ books by Latinx authors that I have read, enjoyed and that I think you should read. I provide recs for each square in the bingo board, I share a short synopsis of the book and I added information like the genre of the books and the kind of rep they have, so you know if it works for more than one prompt in the bingo board. If you need more options or recommendations, you can always check out the lists from previous years.

If you would like to support me or compensate the work I put into running the Latinx Book Bingo each year and making recommendation lists that take a lot of work (it’s not necessary or expected, but if you want to), you could buy me a Ko-fi

Set in Latam

  • Furia by Yamile Saied Méndez:  A YA Contemporary about a girl who is fighting for her dream of being a soccer player despite having to deal with a lot of sexism even from her own family. It has Argentinian rep  and it’s set in Argentina
  • Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo: A YA Contemporary about two sisters that didn’t know theo ther existed until their father dies in a plane crash. Afrolatinx protagonists & author and it’s mostly set in Domican Republic.
  • Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia: an adult horror book about a young woman who has to go to a creepy house in the middle of nowhere that it’s inhabited by creepy people who are keeping dark secrets to save her cousin. It has Mexican rep and it’s set in Mexico
  • Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno- Garcia: Adult Fantasy about a young woman who saves the Mayan god of death but ends up tying her fate to his by mistake and has to help him to save herself. It has Mexican rep and it’s set in Mexico.

Name in the Title

Non-fiction

Backlist title

  • Beneath the Citadel by Destiny Sosa: a YA Fantasy about a group of teens trying to pull off a quest that may cost them their lives. it has ace rep, bisexual rep, fat rep and anxiety rep.
  • Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera: A YA Contemporary about a queer Puerto Rican woman who spends a summer in Portland as an intern to a hippy white woman. It has Puerto Rican rep and lesbian rep.
  • Acting on Impulse by Mia Sosa:  Adult Romance about a physical trainer and a Hollywood star falling in love. It has Puerto Rican rep, and Afro-latinx main character and author.
  • Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova: YA Urban Fantasy about a teenage bruja who wants to get rid of her magic and ends up banishing her family to a magical land and has to rescue them. It has Ecuadorian rep, and an f/f romance

Afro-Latinx

  • By Any Means Necessary by Candice Montgomery: a YA contemporary story abouy a young man who is trying to save the bee farm his beloved uncle left him after his death while trying to start a new life at college. It has Brazilian rep, and an Afro-latinx mc & author.
  • The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo: a YA Contemporary about a girl who joind her school’s slam poetry club behind her mother’s back because in a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent. It has Dominican rep and it’s a backlist title.
  • Dactyl Hill Squad by Daniel José Older: a Middle Grade Fantasy about a group of kids living in an alternative reality where there are Dinasours in New York during the Civil War. This has afrolatinx rep and it’s a backlist title.
  • Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson YA Paranormal about a girl who resurrects her best friend and 2 other girls from her school using witchcraft  to prove that they were murdered, but they only have 7 days to do it. it has Mexican rep, fat rep, Afro-Latinx mc & author and it’s a backlist title.

Intersectional MC

  • Miss Meteor by Tehlor Kay Mejia and Anna-Marie McLemore: a YA story about a girl who enters a beauty pageant and asks her ex- best friend for help. To pull off the unlikeliest underdog story in pageant history, they have to imagine a future where girls like them are more than enough. It as fat rep, pansexual rep and trans rep.
  • When Reason Breaks by Cindy L. Rodriguez: a YA Contemporary story abut two girls, who are classmates and who are dealing with depression in very different ways. It has depression rep and it’s a backlist title.
  • Analee, in Real Life by Janelle Milanes YA Contemporary about a girl dealing with the death of her mother and the popular boy who asks her to be his fake girlfriend and coax her out of her comfort zone. It has Cuban rep, social anxiety rep and it’s a backlist title.
  • More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera: a story about a teen who is struggling with family tragedy and with things about himself that he wants to forget, and a memory-alteration procedure that might be the solution. It has gay rep,, Puerto Rican rep, and it’s a backlist title.

Translated book

  • Tender is the Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica: an adult horror book about an alternative reality where cannibalism is socially accepted and it explores the industry of human meat. It has Argentinian rep and it’s set in Argentina.
  • Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel: a classic about a woman who isn’t allowed to marry because she has to look after her mother until she dies, but she falls in love and her lover marries her sister to stay close to her. It has Mexican rep, it’s set in Mexico and it’s a backlist title.
  • The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende: a classic magical realism book about three generations of the Trueba family, a story that addresses the personal lives of this family and big political events in Chilean history.  It has Chilean rep, it’s set in Chile and it’s a backlist title.
  • City of Clowns by Daniel Alarcon: a graphic novel about a young Peruvian journalist fwho has to confront the idea of his father’s other family after his death while chronicling the life of street clowns in Lima. It has Peruvian rep, it’s set in Peru and it’s a backlist title.

Rec’d by a Latinx Reader (my recommendations!)

  • Lobizona by Romina Garber: A YA Fantasy about a girl who is an undocumented immigrant and she has a distinctive eye color, which ends up connecting her to a secret magical world of lobizones (werewolves) and witches. It has Argentinian Rep.
  • You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria: an adult romance about a soap opera star and a Telenovela star, who have to work together in a tv show for the biggest streaming service in the country and end up falling in love. It has Puerto Rican Rep.
  • Land of the Cranes by Aida Salazar a middle grade contemporary about a little girl whose dad gets deported and, later on, her and her pregnant mom are also taken into a deportation facility. it has Mexican rep.
  • Incendiary by Zoraida Cordova: A YA fantasy about a girl who has a magical ability that makes her feared and that has to infiltrate the palace in her kingdom to help a group of rebels that wants to save her people from persecution.

Queer Rep

  • Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas: A YA fantasy about a trans boy and a ghost who are trying to solve a murder mystery and end up falling in love. It has latinx and trans rep and a m/m relationship.
  • When the Moon was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore: A Magical Realism story about two best friends, a trans boy who loves the moon and a Latina who grows roses from her hands, and how they face their struggles while falling in love. It has latinx and trans rep and it’s a backlist title.
  • They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera: A YA Sci-fi story set in a world where people know when they are going to die and two teens decide to spend their last day together. It has gay rep, OCD & anxiety rep, Puerto Rican and Cuban American Rep. It has an intersectional mc and it’s a backlist title.
  • Each of Us a Desert by Mark Oshiro: a YA Fantasy about a girl who has to listen and ,magically absorbe the stories of the people of her town that may produce bad feels because if she doesn’t the stories manifest themselves as monsters. It has a f/f relationship.

Song Title

For this prompt, you can chose a book with a title that has the word “song” in it, or a title that it’s the same as the name of a song or it’s the same as song lyrics.

  • Never Look Back by Lilliam Rivera: A YA retelling of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth, it deals withe mental illness, toxic realtionships and trauma. It has Puerto Rican Rep.
  • Dance All Night by Alexis Daria: romance novella about a broadway start and a dancer who works for a tv dance competion falling in love.
  • We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay MejiaA YA Fantasy about a young woman forced to help a rebelious group to save herself, who learns to stand up for what she believes in. It has a f/f romance.
  • Pride by Ibi Zoboi: A YA retelling of Pride and Prejudice that focuses on gentrification. It has Haitian-Dominican Rep and it’s a backlist title.

Author’s debut

  • Blazewrath Games by Amparo Ortiz: a YA Fantasy about a group of teens who are representing Puerto Rico in the Blazewrath games, which is an international sports tournament where teams of dragons and humans compete. It has Puerto Rican rep.  
  • Ghost Squad by Claribel A. Ortega: A Middle Grade Fantasy about two girls who accidentally awaken malicious spirits and have to team up with a grandma and a cat to save their town. It has Dominican rep.
  • The Dream Weaver by Reina Luz Alegre: a Middle Grade Contemporary about a girl who has to go live with her grandfather and ends up joining a bowling team and trying to save here grandpa’s bowling alley. It has Cuban Rep.
  • American Dreamer by Adriana HerreraAdult Romance about the owner of a food truck and a nerdy librarian who fall in love. It has a Afro-Latinx main character and author, it has gay rep and it’s a backlist title.

Any book by a Latinx author

  • His Perfect Partner by Priscilla Oliveras: this is an adult romance about a single dad and his daughter’s dance teacher. It has Puerto Rican & Mexican Rep and it’s a backlist title.
  • Nocturna by Maya Motayne: A YA Fantasy about a thief and a prince who have to work together to save their kingdom after freeing an ancient evil power. This is Dominican inspired.
  • Category Five by Ann Davila Madrigal:  A YA Horror about about teenagers who get involved with a supernatural mystery involving ghosts. It has Puerto Rican Rep and it’s set in Puerto Rico.
  • With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo: A YA Contemporary about a teen mom fighting for her dream of becoming a chef while falling in love with a cute guy. It has Puerto Rican rep.

Indie Published

  • The Infamous Miss Rodriguez by Lydia San Andres: Adult Historical Romance about a rebellious Afrolatinx heroine and an Argentinian hero. It’s set in the Caribbean, it has a Afrolatinx protagonist and it’s a backlist title.
  • Peluda by Melissa Lozada-Olivia: a poetry collection about the link between femininity, body hair, the immigrant experience and Latina identity. The author is Guatemalan-Colombian.

2021 Release

This is the only category where I’m recommending books that I haven’t read, because the 2021 releases that I have read are either sequels or I didn’t love them enough to recommend them. So what I’m going to do is mention the 2021 releases that are not part of a series and that I can’t wait to read.

I hope this post is useful to everyone participating in the Latinx Book Bingo or to anyone who wants to read more books by Latinx authors!
Are you participating in the Latinx Book Bingo? Have you picked the books for your tbr?
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Anticipated Releases of the Last Third of 2021

Hi everyone! After a long and terrible reading slump, I lost track of the books I was excited about. As a way to get back my desire to read and my excitement for books, I decided to look through my goodreads and just pick the books I’m looking forward the most and since they are some great book I want to share them with all of you.

Here are some books that are coming out in the last third of 2021 and that sound amazing:

A Lot Like Adios by Alexis Daria

Release date: September 14th 2021 

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Hi Mich. It’s Gabe.

After burning out in her corporate marketing career, Michelle Amato has built a thriving freelance business as a graphic designer. So what if her love life is nonexistent? She’s perfectly fine being the black sheep of her marriage-obsessed Puerto Rican-Italian family. Besides, the only guy who ever made her want happily-ever-after disappeared thirteen years ago.

It’s been a long time.

Gabriel Aguilar left the Bronx at eighteen to escape his parents’ demanding expectations, but it also meant saying goodbye to Michelle, his best friend and longtime crush. Now, he’s the successful co-owner of LA’s hottest celebrity gym, with an investor who insists on opening a New York City location. It’s the last place Gabe wants to go, but when Michelle is unexpectedly brought on board to spearhead the new marketing campaign, everything Gabe’s been running from catches up with him.

I’ve missed you.

Michelle is torn between holding Gabe at arm’s length or picking up right where they left off—in her bed. As they work on the campaign, old feelings resurface, and their reunion takes a sexy turn. Facing mounting pressure from their families—who think they’re dating—and growing uncertainty about their futures, can they resolve their past mistakes, or is it only a matter of time before Gabe says adiós again?

After loving You Had Me at Hola and a few other books by Alexis Daria, I’m really looking forward to reading this, specially because I have heard nothing but amazing things about.

First Love, Take Two by Sajni Patel

Release date: September 21st 2021

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On the verge of realizing her dream of being a doctor, Preeti Patel should be ecstatic. But between the stress of her residency, trying to find a job, and managing her traditional, no-boundaries family, Preeti’s anxiety is through the roof. Relationships and love aren’t even an option. Fortunately, Preeti’s finally found a new place to stay . . . only to discover that her new roommate is her ex.

Preeti never quite got over Daniel Thompson. Super-hot, plenty of swagger, amazing cook—the guy is practically perfect. And if it weren’t for their families, there might have been a happily ever after. But it’s hard to keep her sanity and libido in check when the man of her dreams is sleeping mere feet away. Can Preeti and Daniel find a way to stand up and fight for each other one last time . . . before they lose their second chance?

The first book in this series of companion novels, The Trouble with Hating You, was one of my favorite romances of 2020, and I can’t wait to read something new from this author. I’m looking forward to seeing how the author tackles racims within the asian community since I know that is a big part of this book.

The Bronzed Beasts by Roshani Chokshi

Release date: September 21st 2021 

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After Séverin’s seeming betrayal, the crew is fractured. Armed with only a handful of hints, Enrique, Laila, Hypnos and Zofia must find their way through the snarled, haunted waterways of Venice, Italy to locate Séverin.

Meanwhile, Séverin must balance the deranged whims of the Patriarch of the Fallen House and discover the location of a temple beneath a plague island where the Divine Lyre can be played and all that he desires will come to pass.

With only ten days until Laila expires, the crew will face plague pits and deadly masquerades, unearthly songs and the shining steps of a temple whose powers might offer divinity itself…but at a price they may not be willing to pay.

I have been counting the days until this book comes out since I read the ending of book 2 because what an ending it was. I think there’s going to be so much angst and heartbreak in this book but I’m ready, I just want to know how this trilogy ends.

Dragonblood Ring by Amparo Ortiz

Release date: October 12th 2021

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After the Sire’s capture, teen athletes Lana Torres and Victoria Peralta travel to Puerto Rico with their former Blazewrath team. While Lana discovers her roots, nothing fills the void Blazewrath’s cancelation has left in Victoria. But it’s up to their team and the Bureau to protect their dragons.

But when reports of burning towns and kidnapped dragons dominate the news, Director Sandhar refuses to answer the girls’ questions. So they follow him into his Transport Charm into Le Parc Du Chasseurs.

In this French theme park, they find dragons forced to fight. When the Blazewrath World Cup ended, people turned to this illegal sport for wealth. So now, not only are the Sire’s followers looking to release him, the leader of this fighting ring wants Puerto Rico’s dragons to fight in Bloodbath too.

I LOVED Blazewrath Games and I can NOT wait to know what happens next and how this story ends. I’m specially excited since we get a new pov in this book from a very interesting and intriguen but not really likable character.

Well Match by Jen DeLuca

Release date: October 19th 2021

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Single mother April Parker has lived in Willow Creek for twelve years with a wall around her heart. On the verge of being an empty nester, she’s decided to move on from her quaint little town, and asks her friend Mitch for his help with some home improvement projects to get her house ready to sell.

Mitch Malone is known for being the life of every party, but mostly for the attire he wears to the local Renaissance Faire–a kilt (and not much else) that shows off his muscled form to perfection. While he agrees to help April, he needs a favor too: she’ll pretend to be his girlfriend at an upcoming family dinner, so that he can avoid the lectures about settling down and having a more “serious” career than high school coach and gym teacher. April reluctantly agrees, but when dinner turns into a weekend trip, it becomes hard to tell what’s real and what’s been just for show. But when the weekend ends, so must their fake relationship.

As summer begins, Faire returns to Willow Creek, and April volunteers for the first time. When Mitch’s family shows up unexpectedly, April pretends to be Mitch’s girlfriend again…something that doesn’t feel so fake anymore. Despite their obvious connection, April insists they’ve just been putting on an act. But when there’s the chance for something real, she has to decide whether to change her plans–and open her heart–for the kilt-wearing hunk who might just be the love of her life.

While I didn’t love the second book in this series of companion novels, I’m still very excited for this finale book because I’m curious about how is a relationship between April and Mitch going to happen. It’s funny because that realtionship doesn’t make sense to me but that’s what’s intriguing me so much about this book.

All the Feels by Olivia Dade

Release date: October 26th 2021

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Alexander Woodroe has it all. Charm. Sex appeal. Wealth. Fame. A starring role as Cupid on TV’s biggest show, God of the Gates. But the showrunners have wrecked his character, he’s dogged by old demons, and his post-show future remains uncertain. When all that reckless emotion explodes into a bar fight, the tabloids and public agree: his star is falling.

Enter Lauren Clegg, the former ER therapist hired to keep him in line. Compared to her previous work, watching over handsome but impulsive Alex shouldn’t be especially difficult. But the more time they spend together, the harder it gets to keep her professional remove and her heart intact, especially when she discovers the reasons behind his recklessness…not to mention his Cupid fanfiction habit.

When another scandal lands Alex in major hot water and costs Lauren her job, she’ll have to choose between protecting him and offering him what he really wants—her. But he’s determined to keep his improbably short, impossibly stubborn, and extremely endearing minder in his life any way he can. And on a road trip up the California coast together, he intends to show her exactly what a falling star will do to catch the woman he loves: anything at all.

I have been looking forward to this book since I read Spoiler Alert, I think Alex is going to be such a great hero and I can’t wait to explore more the dynamic between him and Lauren.

I Hate You More by Lucy Gilmore

Release date: November 2nd 2021

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Ruby Taylor gave up pageant life the day she turned eighteen and figured she’d never look back. But when an old friend begs her to show her beloved Golden Retriever at the upcoming Canine Classic, Ruby reluctantly straps on her heels and gets to work.

If only she knew exactly what the adorably lazy lump of a dog was getting her into.

If there’s one thing veterinarian Spencer Wilson knows in this world, it’s dogs. Human beings are an entirely different animal. Especially stubborn, gorgeous women clearly in way over their heads. As judge for the local dog show, Spencer advises Ruby to quit while she still can, but her old fervor for winning has returned―and she wants to show the stern, broody-eyed judge that she’s more than just a pretty face. In the end, she’ll show him who’s best in show.

This sounds SO GOOD! I haven’t heard about this author before, but the synopsis sounds great, the cover is so cute and I love the grumpy/sunshine trope, so I’m really excited to give this a chance.

Our Violent Ends by Chloe Gong

Release date: November 16th 2021

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The year is 1927, and Shanghai teeters on the edge of revolution.

After sacrificing her relationship with Roma to protect him from the blood feud, Juliette has been a girl on the warpath. One wrong move, and her cousin will step in to usurp her place as the Scarlet Gang’s heir. The only way to save the boy she loves from the wrath of the Scarlets is to have him want her dead for murdering his best friend in cold blood. If Juliette were actually guilty of the crime Roma believes she committed, his rejection might sting less.

Roma is still reeling from Marshall’s death, and his cousin Benedikt will barely speak to him. Roma knows it’s his fault for letting the ruthless Juliette back into his life, and he’s determined to set things right—even if that means killing the girl he hates and loves with equal measure.

Then a new monstrous danger emerges in the city, and though secrets keep them apart, Juliette must secure Roma’s cooperation if they are to end this threat once and for all. Shanghai is already at a boiling point: The Nationalists are marching in, whispers of civil war brew louder every day, and gangster rule faces complete annihilation. Roma and Juliette must put aside their differences to combat monsters and politics, but they aren’t prepared for the biggest threat of all: protecting their hearts from each other

I LOVED the first book in this series and I can’t wait what happens after THAT ENDING! I’m loving that duologies are becoming more popular and I’m excited to see how the story of Juliette and Roma wraps up.

What upcoming releases are you excited for? Are you looking forward to any of the books I mentioned?
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Latinx Book Bingo Announcement | Latinx Heritage Month 2021

Hi everyone! I’m really excited to share with you all that … the Latinx Book Bingo is officially coming back in 2021! This is the forth round of the readathon and Paola and I are so happy to be hosting it again this year.

THE BINGO 

The Latinx book bingo will take place from September 15 to October 15, which is when we celebrate Latinx Heritage Month. The goal of the readathon is to highlight books written by Latinx authors.

The aim of the bingo is to read as many Latinx books as you can, guided by the prompts on the bingo board.  You can also try to get a bingo (read all prompts on a single line or row — you can read horizontally, vertically, and diagonally), but it’s not necessary, we just hope you read some Latinx reads during this month.

We always want to promote intersectional stories, so while there’s one square that says intersectional MC – which prompts you to read a book where the main character is Latinx AND is part of the LGBTQIA community or has a mental illness or is neurodivergent or disabled- we hope you try to read as many intersectional stories as you can throughout the readathon.  

OTHER INFO

If you want up to date information or recommendations, follow  @LatinxBookBingo  on Twitter or @LatinxBookBingo on Instagram. You can use the #LatinxBookBingo hashtag for all your related tweets and posts and we will retweeting and sharing on our platforms.

I will be posting a tbr and a recommendation list in the next couple of weeks in case you need help setting up your tbr. Also, my twitter and Instagram dms are always open if you need recs!

I hope you can join us! If you have any questions, please let them in the comments! 

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A Very Late May, June & July 2021 Wrap Up

Hi everyone! I’m back after an unexpected hiatus. I have been in the worst reading slump of my life the last few months and it was the type of slump that extended to include not wanting to blog or be active in the community in any way. This reading slump felt so different from my usual reading slumps. Normally I will feel the desire to read, but not be able to find a book I want to read or a book I can get into, but this time I actually didn’t feel any desire to read, I didn’t miss reading, I didn’t think about book or reading at all and that was really scary because reading has always being such a huge part of who I am and it felt like I was losing that.

I only read one book in may, I forced myself to read 6 books in June but I ended up not loving anything I read which I think it’s because I was forcing myself to read, so I decided to take some time and not make myself read and that turn into not reading anything at all for the entire month of July, I didn’t finish a single book which has never happened in the last 7 years. After that, I started to try to read again and fell asleep every single time I picked up a book, but after consistently trying the last couple of weeks I’m happy to say I’m reading again and enjoying it.

Now, I’m also feeling up to blogging again and that’s why I’m here to talk about the books I read during may and june:

Sweethand by N.G. Peltier (4 star): This book was funny, steamy, and entertaining. The main characters are so well crafted, they feel like real people with real passions and they have so much chemistry. The side characters are great as well, I have never read a book set in Trinidad and Tobago and I really appreciated that aspect, and the plot surrounding the wedding planning was so fun since there were so many shenanigans involving the wedding party. I

Hang the Moon by Alexandria Bellefleur (between 3.5 – 4 stars): I LOVED the first 100 pages of this book, the characters, their chemistry, their conversations, everything. Brandon was really sweet, and Annie was cool but relatable. But I didn’t care for the conflict in the story, I can totally see how Annie’s choice could have been hard, but the way it was presented in the book made it obvious that it wasn’t actually that hard, it felt like the book was dragging. I feel like the author was going for a low-angst romance, but it went too far and it entered boring territory for me. Nonetheless, I still loved the relationship and the characters. I also loved the friend group in this book and the depiction of friendships

People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry (3,5 stars): both of the main characters were likable, I love friends to lovers stories so enjoyed that aspect of the book, and the back and forth between the past and the present made the build-up of their relationship interesting to read about. My main problem with this book is that the big reveal of why they stopped talking for 2 years took way too long and it was so anti-climatic, the main characters had been best friends for 10 years and stopped talking for something so minimal that it didn’t make sense. Also, I didn’t love the last part of the book, the conflict after the reveal felt almost like an unnecessary complication.

Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne (3,5 stars): This is more of the sweet, low angst, with a loose plot, kind of romance book. It has likable main characters and side characters that steal the show because they are so funny and have huge personalities. The book focuses a lot on characters development and that’s definitely one of the strong elements of the story. The romance is not bad, but it could have been better. In the end, all the conflicts were resolved a little bit too easily and quickly.

The Dating Plan by Sara Desai (3 stars): The first 50% of this book relied too much on the history between the main characters and that didn’t work for me. I didn’t get why Daisy was still so upset about what happened betwene them so many years ago, and at the same time, she lets a lot of time pass without asking Liam for an explanation. And that’s another thing, it took way too long to find out why Liam stood her up for prom and it started to feel like it was being dragged out for too long. I liked the second half of the book a lot more, they started to spend more time together, get to know each other, and when they get together, their romance was fun and cute. I also enjoyed seeing them work through their individual issues and grow as characters in the second half.

Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig (3,5 stars): I thought this book was going to be less a memoir of Matt Haig’s history with depression, and more of an uplifting, hopeful book from someone who lives with depression. But that was not what this book was or what it was trying to be. Nonetheless, even for what it was, which is mostly a memoir, it felt to me like there was a lack of depth that left me wanting more out of this.

The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side by Agatha Christie (3,5 stars): This was a fun mystery, there were a bit too many coincidences but I actually didn’t mind that. My problem is that Miss Marble wasn’t that present in the book even if she was supposed to be the main character. I know she is an old lady, but I hoped she was going to be a bigger part of the story and not just show up occasionally when people are telling her what they found out about the case and then at the end to solve the whole thing.

The Tunnel by Ernesto Sabato (3 stars): This was a really fast read and it kept me engaged throughout the story, even when the main character is truly unlikeable and the female character is only there as part of his story and we only know what the main character chooses to tell us about her. I understand that this is the kind of book that it’s more about the philosophical ideas that it’s trying to address than about anything else, and while there were some interesting existentialist ideas explored in this, at the end of the day, this is simply not the kind of book I like

What is your favorite and least favorite book of the last few months?

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What I’ve Been Watching #5: Shadow and Bone, Vincenzo, Crazy Rich Asians and more

Hi everyone! Before getting into the post there’s something I need to talk about. As I mentioned in my last post my country, Colombia, is going through a very difficult situation. Protests over rising poverty, unemployment and inequality have been met with police brutality, there has been 3405 cases of police brutality, 43 people killed by the police, 1445 arbitrary arrest, 22 victims of sexual assault by the police, and there are hundreds of missing protestors. This has all happened since April 28th when the protests started and things are getting worse since the president ordered a full military deployment in the major cities. Please pay attention to what’s happening in Colombia, citizens are being mudered and terrorized by the police, the army and the government, human rights are being violated and there’s no end in sight.

Here’s more information about what’s going on: video and article – article – article – article – video – video

Now let’s talk about some of the things I have watched lately. Honestly, I’m really behind with the “what I’ve been watching” posts, because I haven’t been blogging or reading with everything that has been going on in Colombia, and watching things has become my main escape, so you can expect a few of these posts in the future.

Without further ado, let’s talk about some tv shows and movies:

Shadow and Bone

I really enjoyed this show, the beginning was a bit slow for me, but the second part was SO GOOD. I really liked Alina in the show, which surprised me since I never felt any particular attachment to her while reading the books, she is strong and captivating in the show. But the biggest surprise of all is that Mal was actually one of my favorite characters (if not my favorite) in the show even tho I always disliked him in the books. Also, I really like him with Alina in the show, so far they are my favorite ship. I was expecting The Darkling to be more mysterious and scarier, but they humanized him a bit too much, especially when it came to his relationship with the other Grisha. Nonetheless, I liked Ben Barnes performance. Overall I liked the crows, and Jasper was fantastic. I felt like something was missing from the portrait of Kaz, some of the depth of the character was missing, but I recognize that he is a hard character to adapt since his internal monologue is lost from books to screen. In terms of plot, I found the beginning with all the setup to be a tiny bit boring, but it does pick up and by the second half of the show I could stop watching. The two things that didn’t really work are the Nina/Matthias storyline, which didn’t feel integrated with the rest of the story, and the half-assed attempt of including diversity in the story by making Alina Asian and handling badly. (rating: 4 stars)

Vincenzo

This show is fantastic, it has great writing, it’s very well shot and it has an engaging storyline of taking justice into your own hands and a villanous character fighting this big evil corporation with the help of a lawyer and a big assortment of random side characters. The characters in this show are all well developed, there are so many side characters and you feel like you get to know them and all the actors did an amazing job. The two leads in particular are brilliant in their roles, Song Joong-Ki was captivating in his role as Vincenzo, he managed to be dark and charming at the same time, and Jeon Yeo-Been is incredible playing a character that is cool and badass at times and other times is goofy and funny and she does both things so well. The chemistry between the two leads is amazing and the tension between them just builds and builds throughout the show until it pays off. The way that relationship slowly progresses is amazing.(rating: 5 stars)

Crazy Rich Asians

This was a rewatch for me and I found this movie as fun and as entertaining the second time around. I love getting to see the world of the rich and famous with the unique twist that they are not white Americans. The way this movie shows the different social and cultural dynamics and the way it shows Singapore was fantastic. The acting in this movie is amazing, everyone does an amazing job. I liked the main storyline revolving around the romance between Nick and Rachel and all the conflicts because of their different backgrounds, but it was definitely the weakest part of the film. Singapore as a setting and the storyline revolving around Astrid and her failing marriage definitely stole the show and made the film more enjoyable. (Rating 4,5 stars)

The Spy Who Dumped Me

I love Mila Kunis and this movie was on Netflix, so I decided to watch this fully believing it was going to be terrible, but surprisingly it wasn’t. This is really funny, it mocks a lot of common spy movie tropes, and don’t get me wrong, it was absolutely ridiculous, but it worked because it doesn’t take itself too seriously. Mila and Kate Mckinnon are fantastic in their roles, their chemistry is great and they are hilarious together. Sam Heughan in this is good too and Gillian Anderson was the cherry on top of the whole movie. (rating: 3,5 stars)

Off Course

This is a Spanish movie and I watched it because my favorite Spanish actress, Blanca Suárez, plays the main character in it. I went into this movie with the wrong expectations, I thought this was going to be a great romactic movie and it was not. The two characters are barely together at all throughout the film, but by the end, thee movie treated their relationship like a big love affair. Also, it’s kind of boring, the characters are unlikable and do a lot of stupid things, and the plot goes nowhere. The only good thing about this movie is its portrait of one type of immigrant experience lived by this egocentric Spanish man that needs to learn some hard lessons. Through the movie he struggles for money in another country, without speaking the language and having people depending on him financially back home, it does a good job of showing some of the humilliations and hardships of the immigrant experience, and it’s self aware enough to recognize that the way the main character is being treated as a Spanish man in Germany, it’s how Spanish people hve always treated Latinx people who immigrate to Spain. (rating: 1.5 stars)

What have you watched lately? What’t the best show or movie you have watched so far in 2021?

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On My Radar #3: Book I never thought I would want to read

Hi everyone! Before starting this blog post, I need to talk about the reason why I have been gone for the last month. My country Colombia is going through a very difficult situation and I didn’t want to post without talking about it and for a long time I didn’t have the strength to write anything about it but today I will.

In Colombia, protests over rising poverty, unemployment and inequality have been met with police brutality, there has been 2155 cases of police brutality, 43 people killed by the police, 955 victims of physical violence by the police, 1388 arbitrary arrest, 22 victims of sexual assault by the police, and there are around 400 missing protestors. This has all happened since April 28th when the protests started. Please pay attention to what’s happening in Colombia, citizens are being mudered and terrorized by the police, the army and the government, human rights are being violated and there’s no end in sight.

Here’s more information about what’s going on: video and articlearticlearticlearticlevideovideo

Today, I’m back with another edition of On My Radar, which is a feature where I talk about books that I have heard a lot about and I’m curious about, but I’m not sure if I should give them a chance, whether it is because they are outside my comfort zone, they got mixed reviews or any other reason. My idea is that hopefully, you all can help me decide which books are worth reading.

In the past On My Radar posts, I talk about books other people loved and books that other people hated. This time, I’m going to talk about books that when I first heard about them, I never thought I would actually consider reading them because they didn’t sound like something I would like, but since then, they have stayed on my radar and I have heard a lot of good things, so I’m intrigued enough to consider reading them.

Ice Planet Barbarians by Ruby Dixon: the first time I heard about this book and this series I thought it sounded absolutely ridiculous, I only knew that it was about women falling in love with blue aliens and that it was really steamy but it didn’t sound like my thing. But since then most of my favorite romance booktubers have read and loved this and now I’m so intrigued about it.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott: This book is huge, it’s a classic and it’s historical, and none of that sounded interesting to me when I first heard about this book, it didn’t sounds like something that I would ever want to read. But when the movie came out in 2019 it seemed like everyone was reading this book and loving it and that made me really intrigued. Tho I don’t know if I’m intrigued enough to read a 900 pages book.

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden: I have been hearing about this book for years and it never sounded even remotely appealing to me, it sounded boring and I was sure that I was never going to read this. But it stayed in my radar since so many people talk about it and then recently someone described it in a way that made it sound really interesting and like a completely different book than the one I had heard described before and that’s what it’s making me consider reading it.

Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger: Another book that didn’t sound that interesting to me when I first heard about it and it didn’t help that so many people kept saying that it was more like a middle grade than YA. Nonetheless, since then people I trust have talked about how amazing this is and someone in particular described this book in a way that intrigued me. But I’m still on the fence about it because I’m not great with lower YA books.

Which of these books do you think I should read? Are there any books that you never thought you would want to read but ended up loving?

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April 2021 Wrap Up: a lot of books that I really enjoyed

Hi everyone! I’m super excited for this wrap up because I read a lot of books that I enjoyed, I have been having a very good reading year in 2021 and I’m happy about it and happy to be able to share my thoughts about these books with all of you:

Race to the Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse (4 stars): This is a fun adventure full of Navajo mythology and lovable characters. This was really action-packed and easy to read. I really enjoyed that each one of the characters had different strengths and got to use them to help in their quest.

The Shadow Crosser by J.C. Cervantes (3,5 stars): The disbaility rep in this series left a lot to be desired (for more thoughts, here’s my full review). I still loved the characters, they were so fun to read about, always ready for adventure, funny, and easy to root for. The writing is really good, Cervantes manages to give Zane such a captivating and real voice. I also loved all the Mayan mythology and the adventure in this book was really fun. There were some pacng issues especially at the end.

The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan (4 stars): at the beginning of this book this is slow but it still interesting since there’s so much to learn about the world. Then close to the end, the action picks up and it doesn’t let up. This book introduces new bad guys, who are so much more interesting and easy to hate than the nebulous big bad guy of the series. My one complaint about this book, besides the uneven pacing, is that something happened right at the end in terms of the relationship between some of the characters that I didn’t understand and I think it points to a direction that I don’t like.

The Time of Contempt by Andrzej Sapkowski (3,5 stars): This starts slow and there’s not enough Geralt. I love Yennefer and Ciri, so I enjoyed their parts of the story. But the author changed perspectives in a way that didn’t work for me, it felt clumsy and it felt like the characters I know and love weren’t in the book as much. After the slow first half, things picked up so much speed and I enjoyed the action-packed part of this book. The political intrigued, the different players, the different factions was really interesting. The main thing I didn’t like about this was the ending, this handled sexual assault badly.

Moon Called by Patricia Briggs (4 stars): This was a fun, quick read. Mercy is an amazing main character, strong, compassionate, a bit too reckless, flawed, she was captivating and easy to root for. The other characters and the dynamics between them are interesting and compelling. The plot was entertaining and fast-paced, and the writing was good.

Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs (4 stars): I liked this one even more than the first one because the plot and the villain are more interesting, darker, and more twisted. I still love Mercy as the main character, she is just very likable, and all the other characters are pretty great too. I usually don’t like love triangles but I’m not disliking the relationships in this one, because I like both guys and their relationships with Mercy and also because it’s very clear who she is going to end up with.

Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs (4 stars): I loved most of this book, it was fun getting to see more of the fae and finding out some of their secrets. As always all the characters were great and I enjoyed the way this resolves the love triangle storyline. Now, that ending was fucking brutal. I wish I had seen content warnings before reading, because what happened shocked me, left me reeling and absolutely devastated me. CW: rape

Twice Shy by Sarah Hogle (4,5 stars): This is such a sweet slow burn, sunshine/grumpy romance with a good dose of forced proximity. It has great character and very low angst. (Full review)

The Intimacy Experiment by Rosie Danan (4 stars): the main characters are very compelling, likable and easy to root for, and their relationship is so sweet. It talks about religion in an intersting way. It’s a bit longer than it needs to be (full review).

To Love and to Loathe by Martha Waters (4 stars): the main characters have a lot of chemistry, the banter is great and the whole “teach me how to be good in bed” part of the story allows some great representation of communication during sex. The one thing I didn’t like about this book is that there’s a sapphic side character in this book and the portrayal is not great, also the main character outs her to her friends, which sucks.

Meet Me in Paradise by Libby Hubscher (4 stars): this is women’s fiction and not romance. It does a great job of ecploring the main character’s personal growth and her relationship with her sister. There’s a romance and it sweet, but I wish they had a bit more chemistry. The ending is heartbreaking and made me cry. (Full review)

Damaged Goods by Talia Hibbert (4 stars): Samir was so sweet!!! I loved him and Laura together. And Laura’s character development was incredible for such a short novella. this is a story about healing after an abusive relationship and it depicted that in a beautiful, painful, and very honest way.

Blind Date with a Book Boyfriend by Lucy Eden (4 stars): This was a quick, fun and sweet novella. I usually don’t like romances that take place in one day because they feel unrealistic, but this one I didn’t mind. The characters were great, their chemistry and connection worked really well. 

Dance All Night by Alexis Daria (3,5 stars): This was fun, but a bit too insta love-y for my taste. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the plot, which revolved around a deal they made to have three dates that will make her fall in love with him and with Christmas and both of the main characters (especially the hero) were likable and captivating, particularly when they were together.

Well Played by Jen DeLuca (3 stars): This is a weird book because it was easy to read, entertaining and I loved seeing more about the ren faire (even if I wish there was more of it). But I had big issues with it: The catfishing goes on for way too long and it’s treated like it’s not a big deal, the main characters get zero character development, the hero doesn’t grovel enough (or at all) at any point).

Much Ado About You by Samantha Young (4 stars): This was a sweet, low-angst romance. I really enjoyed the way the relationship slowly develops, how the main characters become friends but from the first moments, there’s this attraction and tension between them that they can’t deny. I loved the small English rural town setting and all the side characters were great. Once the characters get together, their relationship was sweet and there are quite a few steamy moments between them throughout the book. My one complaint is that the conflict at the end felt forced, even if it was foreshadowed.

One by One by Ruth Ware (4 stars): This was a very fun and satisfying read. I love how atmospheric it is, how the mystery slowly unravels, and the tension increases. The last part was very intense and I was very invested, but I do think it that the last chase took a bit too long.

What is your favorite and least favorite book of May? Was May a good reading month for you?

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