Latinx Book Bingo · readathon

90 Book Recommendations for the Latinx Book Bingo

Hi everyone, I’m so excited to finally be posting this! Last week was the official announcement of the Latinx Book Bingo, which I’m co-hosting, and since then so many people on twitter have been asking for recommendations for the different squares of the bingo and, today, I’m delivering SO MANY RECS in this post! I have worked really hard for a long time to have a wide selection of books on this list, because I want this to be useful for as many people as possible.

But before getting into the list, I wanted to make some clarifications about it:

  1. I haven’t read every book on this list, but I read #ownvoices reviews for almost every single one of these books to make sure the Latinx rep was good. Nonetheless, if you know the rep in one of the books is not good, please let me know!
  2. When I mention a book is #ownvoices, this means is #ownvoices for latinx rep. I wish I had the time to especify if other kinds of rep are also #ownvoices, but I honestly didn’t have the time.
  3. Next to the title and author, there’s a parentheses (), in which I added information like the genre of the books and the kind of rep they have, so you could know if it works for more than one square.

With that out of the way, here are the recommendations:

Latinx bingo board

Latinx Bisexual Main Character
Sci-Fi/ Fantasy with Latinx Characters
Latinx Main Character with Mental Illness
On Cover Representation
Historical Fiction with latinx main characters
Female/Female Relationship
Contemporary/Romance with Latinx Main Character
Refugee/Immigrant Story
Latinx Neurodiverse Main Character
Non Fiction
Male/Male Relationship
Magical Realism with Latinx Main Characters
Fat Representation
Afrolatinx main character
Classic Latinx Authors
Transgender /Gender Queer Latinx Main Character
Poetry
Disabled/Chronic Pain Main Character
Indigenous Main Character
Free Space

Are you participating in the Latinx Book Bingo? Are you reading any of the books on this list? or have you read already any of the books on this list? Let me know!

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bookish list

Most Anticipated Book Releases of September 2018: So many amazing books!

Most anticipated book releases 2018

September is gonna be such an amazing month for book releases, there’s so many books that I’m desperate to read that come out this month and I honestly can not wait!

Here are the six books being release in July that I’m highly anticipating, I hope you find something new to add to your tbr!

Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren 

I have read a few Christina Lauren books this year so far and I have really liked them, so off course I’m excited for their newest book to come out, especially since it’s a friends to lovers story with a premise that sounds hilarious. This is about two completely different people who have been acquaintances for years and start setting each other up on progressively terrible double blind dates, because there’s obviously nothing going on between them. I have heard nothing but good things from people that got ARCs, so I’m even more excited!

Release date: September 4th 2018

Pride by Ibi Zoboi 

I have heard great things about American Street by Ibi Zoboi, but I haven’t read it yet, so I’m excited to give one of her books a chance and what better choice than a Pride and Prejudice retelling with an afro-latinx main character, and a storyline that revolves around the gentrification of a primarily latinx neighborhood. Honestly, what more could I ask for?

Release date: September 18th 2018

Lethal White by Robert Galbraith 

I have been waiting forever for this book and I can’t believe it’s finally here! This is book 4 in the Cormoran Strike series and after the end of book 3, I’m excited to see the changes in the dynamic between the characters. In this book, Detective Cormoran Strike and his ex-asistant- now partner in the detective firm- Robin Ellacott, try to find out what happened years ago to a troubled man who comes looking for their help.

Release date: September 18th 2018

Escaping from Houdini by Kerri Maniscalo 

This has to be one of my most anticipated books of the year, it’s the third book in the Stalking Jack the Ripper series and I’m so excited to read about Audrey Rose and Thomas new adventure. In this book, the luxurious ship, where Audrey Rose and Thomas are passengers, becomes a floating prison of scandal, madness, and horror when passengers start being murdered and there’s nowhere to run from the killer. The fact that Kerri wrote a fake ending for the ARCs has me so intrigued, I need this book inmidiately!

Release date: September 18th 2018

Analee, In Real Life by Janelle Milanes 

I have been meaning to read Janelle Milanes’ debut novel The Victoria in my Head for a while, and I still haven’t done it, but because of that, I requested an ARC of this book and got it, and I’m excited to read it during the Latinx Book Bingo. This is the story of a latina girl, who’s mother passed away and she spends her time role playing in an online game where she mets a boy she likes but she isn’t able to tell him. At the same time, in real life, a popular boy asks her to be his fake girlfriend and he starts to coax her out of her comfort zone. I don’t know if I’m right, but I’m sensing a You’ve Got Mail situation and I’m excited about it!

Release date: September 18th 2018

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green 

Honestly, I’m mainly curious to see if this is any good since it’s Hank Green’s first book and the premise sounds intriguing. In this book, a bunch of sculptures started to show up in different cities around the world and this is the story of the woman that posted the first video of one of the sculptures online and how that video went viral and that changed her life. Also, it’s about the mystery surrounding the sculptures, about what they are and what they want from us. I have hard that this is quirky, pop-culture-filled, sci-fi-ish and I’m excited to read it!

Release date: September 25th 2018

What September book releases are you anticipating? Do you want to read any of these books? Have you read any of these books and what did you think about them?

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blog tour · giveaway · Review

Blog Tour: Mirage by Somaiya Daud (Review + Giveaway)

Mirage-Banner-FFBC

I’m so excited to be part of the blog tour for such an amazing book! If you want to check out the other stops of the tour, here’s the tour schedule.

Mirage-Cover

Book: Mirage (Book #1 in the Mirage series)

Author: Somaiya Daud

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Release date: August 28, 2018

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Science Fiction

In a star system dominated by the brutal Vathek empire, eighteen-year-old Amani is a dreamer. She dreams of what life was like before the occupation; she dreams of writing poetry like the old-world poems she adores; she dreams of receiving a sign from Dihya that one day, she, too, will have adventure, and travel beyond her isolated moon.

But when adventure comes for Amani, it is not what she expects: she is kidnapped by the regime and taken in secret to the royal palace, where she discovers that she is nearly identical to the cruel half-Vathek Princess Maram. The princess is so hated by her conquered people that she requires a body double, someone to appear in public as Maram, ready to die in her place.

As Amani is forced into her new role, she can’t help but enjoy the palace’s beauty—and her time with the princess’ fiancé, Idris. But the glitter of the royal court belies a world of violence and fear. If Amani ever wishes to see her family again, she must play the princess to perfection…because one wrong move could lead to her death.

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Mirage is a wonderfully written sci-fi story, with amazing characters and a rich setting, that provides a message about the importance of culture and traditions, especially for communities that have had a lot taken from them,  that it’s really important in the times we are living in. 

This is definitely a character driven story, the plot moves really slowly, not a lot of things happen and there’s no that much action. So if you prefer plot drive, action packed books, this may not be for you. BUT if you are like me and prefer character focused books, you’ll really enjoyed this one. I was absolutely captivated by the characters, especially Maram and Amani, the princess and the body double. In one hand, Amani is a relatable and likable character; she isn’t trained to be a fighter, she isn’t great at strategy, she is just a girl that is put in a difficult situation and manages to survive. On the other hand, Maram is cruel and arrogant, but as the story unfolds, her backstory is revealed and it’s easy to see that she is conflicted by a lot of the things that have happened and it’s trapped between what it’s expected of her and who she wants to be. Honestly, she is such a complex character and probably my favorite in this book. 

The romance is very prominent  in this story and, at the beginning, I didn’t know how to feel about it because I thought it was gonna be insta-love, but then as the story progresses, I realized there’s instant attraction, but then there’s enought moments and conversations between the two characters to show why they fell in love. They have a lot in common and they are in similar situations, so they understand each other.

Now, going back to the plot,  it was not the most original and unique plot. It follow the line of a girl from a lower class taken to the palace to perform some kind of task that put her life in risk to protect the conquering queen or king and then becoming friends with people in the palace and later on joining the rebelion.  BUT the fact that it is Moroccan inspired, added the uniqueness that was missing from the plot, there were so many elements of this wolrd, in term of history, religion and traditions that felt new and interesting and especial, because they haven’t been portrait in sci-fi before and that defintely made me enjoy this book more.

Another thing that I think it’s worth mentioning is that this felt a lot more like a fantasy than a Sci-fi book. I think that has to do with the fact that the plot has elements that are common in YA fantasy books and that maybe aren’t as common in Sci-fi. Also, there are mythological creatures and gods in this story and they are given a lot more attention than things like space travel and the technology behind the androids that serve as guards.

Mirage is beautifully written, it has complex and fascinating characters, Moroccan inspired setting and traditions that give it a unique touch, and a  mix between sci-fi and fantasy elements that also make it seem new and exciting. For those reasons I enjoyed my time reading it inmensly. 

Rating: 4,3 stars 

About the author:

SomaiyaDaud-Photo Somaiya Daud was born in a Midwestern city, and spent a large part of her childhood and adolescence moving around. Like most writers, she started when she was young and never really stopped. Her love of all things books propelled her to get a degree in English literature (specializing in the medieval and early modern), and while she worked on her Master’s degree she doubled as a bookseller at Politics and Prose in their children’s department. Determined to remain in school for as long as possible, she packed her bags in 2014 and moved the west coast to pursue a doctoral degree in English literature. Now she’s preparing to write a dissertation on Victorians, rocks, race, and the environment. Mirage is her debut, and is due from Flatiron Books in 8/28/2018

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Giveaway: 

  • Prize: One finished copy of Mirage by Somaiya Daud (USA only)
  • Starts: 8/22/18
  • Ends: 8/30/18
 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Latinx Book Bingo · readathon

Latinx Book Bingo Announcement

latinx book bingoI’m so excited to FINALLY be able to tell you guys about this amazing event I have been working on for a long time with some other wonderful people!

The Latinx book bingo will take place from September 15 to October 15, which is Hispanic Heritage Month 2018. The bingo is being hosted by Paola (@Mancerelle), Allie (@Alliembooks) and myself (@SofiainBookland) and it was created as a way to highlight books about latinx characters and 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.

Latinx bingo board

I just want to quickly explain that the idea is to read some intersectional stories, so the first square, for example, says Bisexual MC and that means read a book with a main character that it’s both Latinx AND bisexual. When the square says MC W/ Mental Illness, it means read a book that has a Latinx main characters with a mental illness. It’s the same with all the squares that mention other identities.

 Also, we have a few chats planned on Twitter and this is the schedule:

  • September 22
  • September 29
  • October 6
  • October 13

The Twitter chats will be done through the @LatinxBookBingo Twitter account, and you can use the #LatinxBookBingo hashtag for all your related tweets and posts. 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.

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

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movies wrap up · The movie Journal

The Movie Journal: July 2018

The Movie Journal

The Movie Journal is a feature where I keep track of the movies I watch in 2018 and my thoughts about them. Here are the movies I watched in July:

Get Out (4,3 stars) 

A young African-American visits his white girlfriend’s parents for the weekend, where his simmering uneasiness about their reception of him eventually reaches a boiling point.

  • Directed & Written by: Jordan Peele
  • CastDaniel KaluuyaAllison WilliamsBradley Whitford

I went into this movie having no idea what the plot actually was and I was not expecting what happened. Jordan Peele finds a way to use this generic horror movie plot to make a thought provoking movie full with social commentary. Also, the acting in this movie is fantastic and there’s this tension that builds through the entire film that kept me at the edge of my sit.

El Bar (4 stars) 

In bustling downtown Madrid, a loud gunshot and two mysterious deaths trap a motley assortment of common urbanites in a decrepit central bar, while paranoia and suspicion force the terrified regulars to turn on each other.

  • Directed by: Álex de la Iglesia
  • Written by:  Jorge GuerricaechevarríaÁlex de la Iglesia
  • Cast:  Blanca SuárezMario CasasCarmen Machi

This movie is entertaining and funny. The acting is really good, even if the characters are a bit like caricatures. There’s a very big plothole at one point in the movie, but I was able to ignore that for the most part. Honestly, it’s just a fun movie to watch and it manages to puts human behaviour under the microscope in a very smart and captivating way.

Table 19 (4,2 stars) 

Eloise, having been relieved of maid of honor duties after being unceremoniously dumped by the best man via text, decides to attend the wedding anyway, only to find herself seated with five fellow unwanted guests at the dreaded Table 19. 

  • Directed & Written by:  Jeffrey Blitz
  • Cast: Anna KendrickLisa KudrowCraig Robinson

I’m huge fan of movies that are heartfelt comedies with an ensemble cast, so I really enjoyed this one. Also, I love almost anything Anna Kendrick is in, so that help as well. This movie has likable characters, solid performances by the cast, there’s a surprising twist revealed maybe a little less than halfway through the movie that worked really well, and all that makes a charming movie that manages at times to have a real emotional weight.

Jurassic World 2: Fallen Kingdom (4,2 stars) 

When the island’s dormant volcano begins roaring to life, Owen and Claire mount a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction-level event.

  • Directed by:  J.A. Bayona
  • Written by: Derek ConnollyColin Trevorrow
  • Cast: Chris PrattBryce Dallas HowardRafe Spall

This is a very entertaining movie, one of my favorite things is that they left the tension build up before the dynosaurs showed up a couple times and it worked really well to convey the scariness of the situation. It’s a fun movie to watch but that’s about it, perfect if you want a family friendly ,enjoyable movie. It had a chance to be a smarter movie with the “do we save the dynosaurs from extintion or not” question, it could have been an exploration of ethics and the responsabilities of humans towards other species, and while that was mentioned, the movie really didn’t go there.

Have you watched any of the movies I mentioned? Did you enjoy them? Do you want to watch any of them? Let me know in the comments! 

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bookish list

5 Books with Amazing Female Friendships

5 books with amazing female friendshipsThe other day I was reading Cait’s post  Should YA Books Focus On Friendship More? (FT. 10 Friendships I Freaking Adore) and it got me thinking that we do need more books with amazing friendships, but I especially would like to see more books with female friendship. I have always thought that if we want more books with certain elements, we need to promote the books that already exist that include those elements, so I went throught the books I have read in 2018 and selected my 5 favorite books with amazing female frienships and here they are:

The Pros of Cons The Pros of Cons by Alison Cherry, Lindsay Ribar & Michelle Schusterman

This is about 3 girls that meet when they are in the same hotel for 3 different cons: a Percussion convention, a fandoms convention and a taxidermy conventionsThese 3 girls meet and help each other through heartbreak, friendship problems & family drama. They are supportive, understanding and wonderful to each other. I almost cried happy tears because there friendship was so heartwarming.

Genre: Contemporary, YA (2018 release)

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal 

This is about a woman named Nikki, who takes a job teaching “creative writing” at the community center of London’s Punjabi community. Her students turn out to be Punjabi widows, that have a wealth of fantasies and memories, so Nikki helps them express their untold erotic stories. The friendship in this book between Nikki and the group of widows is amazing because they are so different from one another, they are all Punjabi but Nikki was raised in a less traditional way,  she has a completely different way of seeing things, so there are awkward moments and clashes. At the end, all these women grow and change thanks to their friendship, they learn about themselves and step out of their comfort zone.

Genre: Romance/Contemporary, Adult (2017 release)

the way you make me feel The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo 

This book is about a girl named Clara, who lives for pranks and disruption, until she takes one joke too far and her dad sentences her to a summer working on his food truck alongside her uptight classmate Rose. This is an enemies to friends story, where two very different girls are forced to get to know each other and they realise that maybe there’s more than what they had seen in the other. Clara and Rose’s friendship shows that real friends help you grow, challenge you to be better, support you and help you see how amazing you are.

Genre: Contemporary, YA (2018 release)

we are okay

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

This book is about Marin, who hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend, Mabel.  Now, months later, Mabel is coming to visit and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid.  I included this one on this list, because even when Marin and Mabel were romantically involved at some point, this book is about two friends finding their way to each other. Also, we get to see Marin understand that she can let Mabel be there for her when things get hard, she doesn’t have to go through it alone.

Genre: Contemporary, YA (2017 release)

marriage of inconvenience Marriage of Incovenience by Penny Read (Knitting in the City #7) 

This is the last book in the Knitting in the City series, which is a romance series about 7 woman that are friends and have a knitting group and in each book one of them finds love. But honestly, the most wonderful thing about this series is the friendship between these women. They are so different from one another, but that makes their dynamic hilarious.  They are supportive and undertanding, they would do anything for each other and they are there for each other when things get hard. Seeing their friendship grow and change in each book is amazing.

Genre: Romance, Adult (2018 release)

What books have you read lately with amazing female friendships? What are your favorite female friendships of all time? Let me know in the comments! 

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wrap up

July 2018 Wrap Up ( including what I read for the #7in7Readathon)

monthly-wrap-up-1

Life Update 

I RECEIVED GREAT NEWS!!! Ok, I’m gonna stop screaming now, but it’s just that I’m so excited. Last month in my life update I said that I hadn’t gotten the scholarship that I applied to. BUT actually, I was told half way through july that I did get the scholarship. I’m going to Spain in less than 2 months to get my Master’s Degree, I’ll be living there for a year and I couldn’t be happier. So, I have been running around trying to get all the paperwork and everything else ready, which means my anxiety has been a bit out of control, but I’m still really excited.

What I Read 

Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan (4,2 stars): The first half  was amazing, I was at the edge of my sit and I couldn’t stop reading because I wanted to know what was happening to Susannah. The part of the recovery was slower but still really interesting, and then the last 10% of this was too focused on medical facts. Overall, a fascinating and honest  book.

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by  Balli Kaur Jaswal (4,3 stars): I loved the characters in this, the relationships between them, the premise, the themes it addressed in terms of gender and religion. I LOVED THIS! It was funny, it was heartfelt and I think it will be one of my favorite books at the end of the year.

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata (3 stars): This has a very peculiar main character, there’s almost no plot and it’s entirely character driven, but there’s not that much character development. It’s an interesting read, but not enjoyable.

Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray (4,2 stars): I really liked the mystery in this one and the spooky vibes. Evie annoyed me a little bit in this book, but I loved the rest of the characters. My ship tried to sail in this one, but I don’t know if it’s gonna make it or not, which worries me a bit. I loved the ending, I think it’s the perfect set up for the next book.

Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant (4,6 stars): One of the best books I have read this year, it’s a very complex and scientific look at mermaids and it’s so SCARY! I’m not kidding this is horror sci-fi, which I had never read, and I was so scared that I had an anxiety attack at one point. Anyway, my only issue is that the second half gets a bit too scientific and I didn’t quite understand some things.

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (4,4 stars): Loved the secluded setting, there were several mysteries at the time, which kept me guessing, and it was so intriguing. (Review)

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie (4 stars): I loved the secluded setting, the methodical way in which the murder is investigated and the very surprising ending. (Review)

Lord Edgware Dies by Agatha Christie (3,6 stars): I didn’t guess the ending of this one, because I thought my guess was too obvious, but at the end I was right.

The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie (3,4 stars): This has an annoying narrator, but I really enjoyed that there were lot of viable suspects. I found the ending logical but not satisfying. (Review)

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie (4 stars): this book has one of the best endings to a mystery that I have ever read, it’s so shocking. (review)

Evil Under the Sun by Agatha Christie (3,8 stars): I really liked that this has a few different perspectives, which gives more information about the murder,  I liked  the twist at the end, even if it was a bit far fetched. (Review)

#7in7Readathon Wrap Up 

I managed to read 7 book in 7 days and also I was able to finish all the challenges! It was a great readathon to be a part of and I met amazing people on twitter because of it.

The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night by Jen Campbell (4 stars):  I really enjoyed this short story collection, they were all beautifully written. (Review)

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson (4 stars): I’m not a fan of graphic novels, but this one was so good, it almost made me cry.

Love & Misadventure by Lang Leav  (2 stars): There were only 5 poems that I actually liked in this collection, the rest were those poems that are one sentence and that’s it and they were just not for me.

Cóndores no Entierran Todos los Días by Gustavo Álvarez Gardeazabal  (4 stars):  This book is set in my hometown and reading it was a unique and meaningful experience, especially, because it’s historical fiction and my grandma actually knew some of the people in it.

The A.B.C. Murders by Agatha Christie (3,6 stars): I didn’t enjoy this one as much, it was really slow and there were no clues or information for Piroit to solve the crimes until almost the very end. I did like the reveal of who the murderer was.

Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie (3,6 stars): I really liked this one, I liked the reveal because I didn’t see it coming but it was really far fetched. I didn’t like what happened after the reveal of who the murderer was.

Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski: I had a hard time getting into this, but then I was so intrigued by the mystery and wanted to know what happened. I was so scared at one point because I was reading this alone in the middle of the night and it has a very spooky subplot. I wasn’t completely happy with the ending, but I enjoyed the book.

On the Blog

Here’s everything I posted this month on the blog:

Have you read any of the books I mentioned? Did you enjoy them? Do you want to read any of them?Tell me what happened in your life during July! What did you read? What did you post? 

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