Hi everyone! I’m lucky enough to be part of the blog tour for Never Look Back by Lilliam Rivera that is being hosted by Colored Pages Tour. For my stop, I wanted to share my favorite quotes from the book because I think once you read them, you’ll want to read the full book too. My full review of this book is coming in a couple of days, but for now, I wanted to share this post with all of you.
Book: Never Look Back
Author: Lilliam Rivera
Publication Date: September 15th, 2020
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Pages: 320 pages
Genre: YA, Magical Realism
Featuring contemporary Afro-Latinx characters, acclaimed author Lilliam Rivera blends a touch of magical realism into a timely story about cultural identity, overcoming trauma, and the power of first love.
Eury comes to the Bronx as a girl haunted. Haunted by losing everything in Hurricane Maria–and by an evil spirit, Ato. She fully expects the tragedy that befell her and her family in Puerto Rico to catch up with her in New York. Yet, for a time, she can almost set this fear aside, because there’s this boy . . .
Pheus is a golden-voiced, bachata-singing charmer, ready to spend the summer on the beach with his friends, serenading his on-again, off-again flame. That changes when he meets Eury. All he wants is to put a smile on her face and fight off her demons. But some dangers are too powerful for even the strongest love, and as the world threatens to tear them apart, Eury and Pheus must fight for each other and their lives.
The writing in this book is so beautiful that I could have chosen a million different quotes, but I chose quotes that reflect my two favorite aspects of the book:
The constant presence of Puerto Rico
My favorite aspect of this book is how unapologetically Latinx it is, the important role Puerto Rico plays in this story, and how much the love for Puerto Rico shows up on every single page. Here are some amazing quotes that show that:
1. “Puerto Rico is not a cursed island meant to be repeatedly ravished, be it from hurricanes or corrupt men or demented spirits. If I let her thought nestle into my bones, I will stay complacent. I will accept evil as something warranted. I know I don’t deserve this, and neither does my home.”
2. “What I’m trying to say is parts of Puerto Rico may have been destroyed, but beauty always finds a way of making a comeback”
3. “It wasn’t as if we weren’t prepared for Hurricane Maria. We were. That day was different. What began as a slow build—some rain, some tossed palm trees— transformed into an unnatural predator.”
The hopeful tone
Another aspect I love about Never Look Back is the hopefulness that it’s present throughout the book even in the midst of very hard and heartbreaking situations. Here are my favorite quotes that reflect that:
4. “You have to know your history before you can move forward…Some people say dwelling in the past can be a crutch, but you can’t ignore it either. There has to be a fine balance.”
5. “What’s the point of singing if you’re not using your voice to move mountains?”
6. “For so long, I could only see darkness, always waiting for evil to come for me. I forgot what true happiness was until recently […] I forgot there is beauty everywhere, and I’m worthy of it.”
7. “Life isn’t only about anguish and grief. There’s hope too.”