Review + Playlist + Giveaway : Miss Meteor by Tehlor Kay Mejia and Anna-Marie McLemore | Book Tour

Hi everyone! I’m so excited to be sharing this review and playlist with all of you today. But before getting to that, I wanted to thank Karina @Afire Page and HarperCollins Intenrational for allowing me to be part of this book tour and giving me an eARC of the book.

Title: Miss Meteor

Author: Anna-Marie McLemore & Tehlor Kay Mejia

Publishing date: September 22nd 2020

Published by: HarperTeen

Genre: YA Magical Realism

Pages: 320

There hasn’t been a winner of the Miss Meteor beauty pageant who looks like Lita Perez or Chicky Quintanilla in all its history. But that’s not the only reason Lita wants to enter the contest, or why her ex-best friend Chicky wants to help her. The road to becoming Miss Meteor isn’t about being perfect; it’s about sharing who you are with the world—and loving the parts of yourself no one else understands. So to pull off the unlikeliest underdog story in pageant history, Lita and Chicky are going to have to forget the past and imagine a future where girls like them are more than enough—they are everything.

Witty and heartfelt with characters that leap off the page, Miss Meteor is acclaimed authors Anna-Marie McLemore and Tehlor Kay Mejia’s first book together.

 Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Book Depository

CWs: bullying, homophobic comments and xenophobic comments

Miss Meteor is one of the best books I have read in 2020. Tehlor Kay Mejia and Anna-Marie McLemore deliver a beautifully written, magical story about two characters learning to be true to themselves.

Chicky and Lita, the main characters, have very strong and distinctive personalities. They are absolutely captivating characters and seeing them grow and develop throughout this book is beautiful. Also, the way they slowly rebuild their friendship is very emotional and meaningful.

The sisterhood in this book is lovely and the Quintanilla sisters own my heart. Chicky has four older sisters and they are all very different from each other, and even when they irritate each other, there is so much love between them and it is amazing seeing them be there for Chicky when she asks for help. Another relationship between siblings that is very complicated and interesting is between Cole and his sister and it was incredible seeing Cole be honest and ask someone he loves to do better and be accepting and loving not only with him but also with others, especially within the queer community.

The romances in this book are so cute and one of my favorite things about it, I was rooting for the two couples the entire book. The slow-burn, angsty friends to lovers romance between Chicky and Junior was everything that I didn’t know I needed and the sweet friends to lovers romance between Lita and Cole with its “oh” moment was very heartwarming.

Plot-wise, when it came to the pageant, I suffered the entire time I was reading this because I was just wondering what was going to go wrong, who was going to sabotage Lita or what faux pas was she going to make. It was funny too because Lita always found a way to do something unexpected that a lot of time didn’t go well for her, from tug wars and falling in a fountain with another contestant to wearing a scuba diving outfit to the swimsuit competition.

Something that this book does really well is addressing heavier subjects like messed up beauty standards, xenophobia and homophobia in a way that feels very organic. It doesn’t feel like a lesson on those subjects, it’s more about characters living their lives, encountering these things and having to process and deal with them. This book shows characters that have to learn to be true to themselves and stand up to people who try to make them feel small or weird or like outcasts.

If you want a book with adorable friends to lovers romances, heartwarming friendships, wonderfully complicated siblings’ relationships, a powerful message and amazing character development, Miss Meteor is for you!

PLAYLIST

GIVEAWAY

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Have you read or are you plannign to read Miss Metero? What’s your favorite magical realism book?
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6 Amazing Middle Grade Books by Latinx Authors

Hi everyone! Today I have another post to celebrate Latinx Heritage Month, this time is a recommendation list of some middle grade books by Latinx authors that I LOVE! I didn’t use to read middle grade but last year started to give them a chance and I discover that middle grade books are actually comforting and hopeful and exactly what I need sometimes. Since then I have read a few of them mostly by Latinx authors and I decided to share some of my favorites!

Without further ado, here are my recommendations:

Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez

This is my favorite middle grade, the story is magical and hilarious and so, so special. Sal and Gabi’s voices are captivating and fun. I loved the Cuban rep and the representation of non-traditional families. It also has very interesting Sci-fi elements that included making holes in reality and reaching other universes. Beyond that, the main strength of the book is the touching and honest way in which Carlos Hernandez addresses a child’s experience with grief. While it’s overall a very hopeful, funny book, it’s also a little bit heartbreaking. (Amazon)

Ghost Squad by Claribel Ortega

This middle grade fantasy is inspired by Dominican folklore and it includes ghosts, magic, a lovely friendship between two wonderful girls, a cat, a conspiracy, accidentally freeing evil spirits, fun family dynamics, and nice and helpful adults that actually listen to kids. It also deals with grief in a very interesting way because it’s tied to the Dominican folklore. I love how unapologetically Latinx this book is from the food to the music to the chanclas and the folklore. (Amazon)

A Dash of Trouble by Anna Merino

This book has a very interesting concept in which magic is performed through baking, so this Mexican- American family owns a bakery and does spells there. Part of this book takes place during the Día de los Muertos which was really cool, and the plot revolves around a girl trying to do spells in secret that don’t go according to plan. The best part about this book is the complicated but loving relationship between sisters. (Amazon)

Dactyl Hill Squad by Daniel José Older

This book has one of the most unique and weirder premises I have encounter, it’s an alternative history where there are Dinasours in New York during the Civil War. It’s the perfect set up to address serious topics like racism and slavery in a middle grade book while following Afro-Latinx and Black kids on an adventure. This book has amazing writing, lovable characters, and cool dinosaurs! (Amazon)

Land of the Cranes by Aida Salazar

This book tells a powerful and heartbreaking story of a Mexican girl living in the States, and it addresses the nightmare that thousands of people are currently living in the United States thanks to the zero-tolerance policies and mass deportations of the current government. The poetry in the book is so evocative and the fact that it’s a little girl, who doesn’t entirely understand what’s happening, the one that tells the story makes it even more effective in transmitting how devastating the whole situation is. This book is heartbreaking in a way that only fantastic books can be. (Amazon + Review)

The Dream Weaver by Reina Luz Alegre

A very sweet middle grade that deals with hard subjects like grief and complicated family dynamics. Despite all that, this book tells such a hopeful and happy story about giving yourself time to figure out your dreams, fighting for them but also allowing them to change with time. One of the strengths of this book is the discussion of now feeling Latinx enough thanks to not speaking the language, not eating the “right” food all the time, and other things like that. This book includes a bowling team, sleepovers, friendships, a strong sibling relationship, and a lovable grandfather. (Amazon)

Are you a fan of middle grade books? Which ones would you recommend?
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Book Review: Here to Stay by Adriana Herrera

Title: Here to Stay

Author: Adriana Herrera

Publishing date: August 25th 2020

Published by: Carina Press

Genre: Romance

Pages: 393

Julia del Mar Ortiz is not having the best year. She moved to Dallas with her boyfriend, who ended up ditching her and running back to New York after only a few weeks. Left with a massive—by NYC standards, anyway—apartment and a car lease in the scorching Texas heat, Julia is struggling…except that’s not completely true. Running the charitable foundation of one of the most iconic high fashion department stores in the world is serious #lifegoals.

It’s more than enough to make her want to stick it out down South. The only monkey wrench in Julia’s plans is the blue-eyed, smart-mouthed consultant the store hired to take them public. Fellow New Yorker Rocco Quinn’s first order of business? Putting Julia’s job on the chopping block.

When Julia is tasked with making sure Rocco sees how valuable the programs she runs are, she’s caught between a rock and a very hard set of abs. Because Rocco Quinn is almost impossible to hate—and even harder to resist.

Goodreads | Amazon

Here to Stay follows Julia, a Dominican-Puerto Rican woman, and Rocco, an Italian-Irish man. Julia is compassionate, smart, and funny while Rocco is sweet, responsible, and an overthinker. These qualities make them likable and easy to root for. Despite having so many obstacles in the way of them having a relationship, their chemistry is out of this world and they end up having a slow-burn, forbidden romance. Thanks to the amazing chemistry between them, the sex scenes in this book are so hot!

One of the strongest aspects of this book is the friend group, the Gotham Exiles. At the start of this book, Julia is missing New York so she invites all the New Yorkers that work in her company to meet up, after that, they start hanging out often and they quickly become close friends who understand and support each other like family. I love the found family trope and I enjoyed all the characters in this friend group, they all have define personalities and interesting jobs and backstories, so I’m hoping the other characters get their own books!

Julia and Rocco’s families play an important role in the story. I loved Julia’s family, they are loud, funny and loving and they are such an amazing addition to the book. On the other hand, Rocco’s storyline with his sister and niece is heartwarming and they way he is there for his sisters and supports her made me like him even more.

This book deals with some heavy subjects: 1) it addresses domestic abuse since Rocco’s dad is verbally and emotionally abusive and the way this book shows the impact of that abuse on Rocco is very powerful. 2) it also addresses the deportation of immigrants, since Julia works for a nonprofit that helps immigrant families.

My only issue with this book is that the will they or won’t they part of this book dragged a bit. Something would happen between the main characters and then they were like “oh no, never mind, it was a bad idea” and that happened so many times that it became a bit annoying. Also, I understand why Julia didn’t want to start something with Rocco, but sometimes in her desire to put some distance between them, she was rude and a bit mean, which I also didn’t love.

Overall, Here to Stay has lovable characters, an amazing friend group, a lovely slow burn romance and steamy sex scenes!

what romance books have you enjoy lately? What’s your favorite romance book by a Latinx author?
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It’s Not Magical Realism: Fantasy Books by Latinx Authors

Hi everyone! Today I have another post to celebrate Latinx Heritage Month and it’s a very exciting post because fantasy is one of my favorite genres and I have some recommendations if you want to read fantasy books by Latinx authors.

If you are wondering why this post includes “It’s not Magical Realism” in the title, it’s because oftentimes fantasy books by Latinx authors are label as magical realism, especially if they are paranormal or urban fantasy and it’s a big source of annoyance for Latinx authors and readers. Not everything that Latinx authors write and that includes magical elements in it should be pigeonholed as magical realism. Latinx and magical realism are not synonyms. This post is not about this discussion tho, so if you want to learn more a quick google search will help you out with that!

Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Goodreads | Amazon

  • This book follows a young woman and the Mayan god of death as they embarque on a quest, where they face all kinds of mythological creatures ande deities, in order to save their lives.

    • The writing makes it feel like reading a myth or fairytale, it was so engaging.

    • The Mayan mythology was captivating and lush, and since it’s a mythology that it’s not often used in fantasy books, this book was full of gods and mythical creatures that felt very new and unique.

    • It’s set in 1920’s Mexico and the mix of the mythological elements and the ‘modernity’ of the Jazz Age worked well and gave this story an even more unique touch.

Nocturna by Maya Motayne

Goodreads | Amazon

  • This book follows a thief with powerful magical abilities and a prince running from his past, who inadvertently free an evil force and then have to try to capture it again before it destroys everything.

  • The most magical thing about this book is the way it embraces Latinx culture and the way it uses Spanish as the language of magic in this world.

  • It addresses colonialism and slavery through the history of this fantasy world in a very organically and subtle way.

We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia

Goodreads | Amazon

  • This story follows a young women, who has trained all her life to be a primera, a wife who runs her husband’s household. But when a rebel group treatens to expose her biggest secret, she is forced to start working for them. All this while having to live with the enemy, her husband’s other wife, the Segunda, in charge of giving him children.

  • This books has two beautifully complex main characters, a forbidden sapphic love story, fascinating mythology, an infuriating world and a flawed and complicated rebelious group.

    • The strengh of this book lays in the way it addresses immigration, privilege, poverty and opression, because it manages to evoke so many emotions and be incredibly thought-provoking, it’s brilliantly done.

Beneath the Citadel by Destiny Soria

Goodreads | Amazon

  • This book follows Cassa, the orphaned daughter of rebels, who is determined to fight back against the high council to do it she must go on a heist and her only allies are no-nonsense Alys, easygoing Evander, and perpetually underestimated Newt.

  • This book has five main characters, who are queer, poc or struggling with mental illness and trauma. They all have distintive voices and personalies and the author seamlessly integrates the different aspects of the characters identities to the story.

  • This book is full of twists and turns and a fast pace that keeps the book entertaining and engaging.

Labyrinth Lost + Bruja Born by Zoraida Cordova

Goodreads | Amazon

  • Each book in this series follows one of the Mortiz sisters, who are brujas and who always end up getting into trouble when their spells backfire.

  • This series includes a variaty of magical beings like brujas, werewolves, vampires, fairies, zombies and so much more. All of them as well as a lot of the mythology in this book are steeped in Latin American culture and mythology. And that’s one of the main things that’s wonderful about this book: how unapologetically Latinx it is.

Each of Us a Desert by Mark Oshiro

  • This book tells the story of Xochital, a girl who has been the Cuentista of her community, she takes the stories involving secrets, lies and deceit that produce feelings like guilt and she gives them back to the land so people can be forgiven by their god. If this process doesn’t take place, the stories manifest themselves as Pesadillas – monsters out of nightmares.

    • Each of Us a Desert is a quiet fantasy book about the role of stories in our lives and in our communities and the link between the stories we are told and the things we believe in and have faith in. This is a character-driven book with a loose plot but with strong thematic elements.

Incendiary by Zoraida Cordova

  • This book follows Renata, who thanks to her unique magical power was kidnapped and forced to work for the King only to escape and join the rebels. But when the commander of her unit is taken captive, Renata has to return to the palace under cover and complete his top secret mission.

    • One of the stronger aspects of this story is that it feels like like something bad is about to happen at any moment because Renata is living in the midst of enemies and there are so many secrets and interests at play.

      • Incendiary has an intricate magic system, vivid characters, twist and turns that will keep you at the edge of your sit and an ending that will leave you wanting more

Have you read any of these books? Are any of them on your tbr? What Fantasy book by Latinx authors have you enjoyed?
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2020 isn’t over yet! Upcoming Releases by Latinx Authors I’m Eager to Read

Hi everyone! Today is a very exciting day because it marks the start of Latinx Heritage Month, which goes from September 15th to October 15th, and the start of the two readathons that take place during this time, Latinx Book Bingo and Latinxathon.

It also means that for the next few weeks, all my posts will be in celebration of Latinx Heritage Month. I will post book recommendations, book reviews, updates of my reading and other fun posts all revolving around books by Latinx authors.

For the first post I decided to make a list with some amazing books by Latinx authors that are coming out in the remainder of 2020 and that I can’t wait to read. I may have cheated a little bit an included a couple that I already read, but I wanted to talk about them! Also, shout out to Joey, who help me come up with the title of this post.

Each of Us a Desert by Mark Oshiro

Xochital is destined to wander the desert alone, speaking her troubled village’s stories into its arid winds. Her only companions are the blessed stars above and enimagic lines of poetry magically strewn across dusty dunes.

Her one desire: to share her heart with a kindred spirit.

One night, Xo’s wish is granted—in the form of Emilia, the cold and beautiful daughter of the town’s murderous mayor. But when the two set out on a magical journey across the desert, they find their hearts could be a match… if only they can survive the nightmare-like terrors that arise when the sun goes down.

I was lucky enough to get the chance to review an arc of this book and interview the author. If you like character-driven fantasy books with strong thematic elements, this one is for you! It comes out the day I’m posting this, September 15th. (Amazon)

The Land of the Cranes by Aida Salazar

Nine-year-old Betita knows she is a crane. Papi has told her the story, even before her family fled to Los Angeles to seek refuge from cartel wars in Mexico. The Aztecs came from a place called Aztlan, what is now the Southwest US, called the land of the cranes. They left Aztlan to establish their great city in the center of the universe-Tenochtitlan, modern-day Mexico City. It was prophesized that their people would one day return to live among the cranes in their promised land. Papi tells Betita that they are cranes that have come home.

Then one day, Betita’s beloved father is arrested by Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) and deported to Mexico. Betita and her pregnant mother are left behind on their own, but soon they too are detained and must learn to survive in a family detention camp outside of Los Angeles. Even in cruel and inhumane conditions, Betita finds heart in her own poetry and in the community she and her mother find in the camp. The voices of her fellow asylum seekers fly above the hatred keeping them caged, but each day threatens to tear them down lower than they ever thought they could be. Will Betita and her family ever be whole again?

I also got an arc of this book and you can read my review, where I gush about how amazing this middle grade book is. Everyone should read this powerful book, which unfortunately is incredibly relevant right now. It’s heartbreaking in a way that only fantastic books can be. This book comes out today, September 15th. (Amazon)

Furia by Yamile Saied Méndez

In Rosario, Argentina, Camila Hassan lives a double life.

At home, she is a careful daughter, living within her mother’s narrow expectations, in her rising-soccer-star brother’s shadow, and under the abusive rule of her short-tempered father.

On the field, she is La Furia, a powerhouse of skill and talent. When her team qualifies for the South American tournament, Camila gets the chance to see just how far those talents can take her. In her wildest dreams, she’d get an athletic scholarship to a North American university.

But the path ahead isn’t easy. Her parents don’t know about her passion. They wouldn’t allow a girl to play fútbol—and she needs their permission to go any farther. And the boy she once loved is back in town. Since he left, Diego has become an international star, playing in Italy for the renowned team Juventus. Camila doesn’t have time to be distracted by her feelings for him. Things aren’t the same as when he left: she has her own passions and ambitions now, and La Furia cannot be denied. As her life becomes more complicated, Camila is forced to face her secrets and make her way in a world with no place for the dreams and ambition of a girl like her.

I keep hearing great things about this book and I’m sad that I didn’t manage to read the e-arc I had before the book was release. Nonetheless, this is going to be the first book I read for the Latinx Book Bingo and I hope to have my review up really soon! This book also comes out today, September 15th. (Amazon)

Never Look Back by Lilliam Rivera

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.

I love the fact that we are getting a retelling of a Greek myth with Latinx characters!! The fact that this one also includes Taíno mythology in it makes it sound even more incredible. I ahve heard great thing about this book so I’m sure it won’t disappoint. This book also comes out today, September 15th. (Amazon)

Miss Meteor by Tehlor Kay Mejia and Anna-Marie McLemore

Amazon.com: Miss Meteor eBook: Mejia, Tehlor Kay, McLemore, Anna-Marie:  Kindle Store

There hasn’t been a winner of the Miss Meteor beauty pageant who looks like Lita Perez or Chicky Quintanilla in all its history. But that’s not the only reason Lita wants to enter the contest, or why her ex-best friend Chicky wants to help her. The road to becoming Miss Meteor isn’t about being perfect; it’s about sharing who you are with the world—and loving the parts of yourself no one else understands. So to pull off the unlikeliest underdog story in pageant history, Lita and Chicky are going to have to forget the past and imagine a future where girls like them are more than enough—they are everything.

I’m part of the book tour for this book, so I’ll be posting my review in the last week of September. Here are some reasons I’m really excited for it: pansexual rep, trans rep, friends-to-lovers times two and complicated siblings relationships. This book comes out on September 22nd. (Amazon)

Blazewrath Games by Amparo Ortiz

Lana Torres has always preferred dragons to people. In a few weeks, sixteen countries will compete in the Blazewrath World Cup, a tournament where dragons and their riders fight for glory in a dangerous relay. Lana longs to represent her native Puerto Rico in their first ever World Cup appearance, and when Puerto Rico’s Runner—the only player without a dragon steed—is kicked off the team, she’s given the chance.

But when she discovers that a former Blazewrath superstar has teamed up with the Sire—a legendary dragon who’s cursed into human form—the safety of the Cup is jeopardized. The pair are burning down dragon sanctuaries around the world and refuse to stop unless the Cup gets cancelled. All Lana wanted was to represent her country. Now, to do that, she’ll have to navigate an international conspiracy that’s deadlier than her beloved sport.

I don’t think there’s a book that sounds cooler than this. I mean, an international sporting competion with dragons!!! I’m so excited! I have an e-arc of this one and I’ll be reading it at the beginning of Latinx Book Bingo and I hope to have my review up before it’s released. This book comes out on October 6th (Amazon)

A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow by Laura Taylor Namey

Teenage master of Cuban cuisine, Lila Reyes, is eager to inherit her family’s Miami bakery along with her sister, Pilar. But between spring and graduation, Lila’s abuela dies, her best friend abandons her, and her long-time boyfriend dumps her. Fearing Lila’s emotional health, her parents defy her wishes and entrust her summer to family and their Winchester, England inn. Even though she’s given a space to cook at the inn, she longs for Miami, the seat of her Cuban roots. Being a Miami Cuban baker is her glorified past and destined future, forged by years of training by her loving abuela.

Days into her stay, Orion Maxwell barges into Lila’s inn kitchen with a delivery from his family’s tea shop. A nuisance at first, opposite ingredients soon learn to blend. Orion befriends Lila, introducing her to his mates and devouring her food––comida Cubana.

Orion entertains her with his mental collection of superstitions and sweeps her onto his vintage motorbike. He wraps cold, underdressed Lila in his wool cardigan and becomes her personal tour guide. His mum’s early-onset (FTD) Dementia gives Orion a unique outlook––he never asks too much of the world, accepting what he can’t control. Lila soon discovers this British boy brings empathy to her loss because he’s living his own.

Before long, Lila can’t control the route of her own heart as she begins to fall for more than a new love. England has charmed her. And a special opportunity in London tempts her. As her return ticket looms, Lila feels impossibly caught between two flags. Hearts aren’t supposed to split like this––between a beautiful boy and a beautiful family. Between exploring an uncharted future in a rich new place, and honoring Abuela’s treasured legacy.

This sounds really cute! I always love books that revolve around food and the fact that this book has to do with Cuban food is even more exciting, and as someone that have always wanted to go to England, the setting of this book is another plus for me. This book comes out on November 10th (Amazon)

This Is How We Fly by Anna Meriano

17-year-old vegan feminist Ellen Lopez-Rourke has one muggy Houston summer left before college. She plans to spend every last moment with her two best friends before they go off to the opposite ends of Texas for school. But when Ellen is grounded for the entire summer by her (sometimes) evil stepmother, all her plans are thrown out the window.

Determined to do something with her time, Ellen (with the help of BFF Melissa) convinces her parents to let her join the local muggle Quidditch team. An all-gender, full-contact game, Quidditch isn’t quite what Ellen expects. There’s no flying, no magic, just a bunch of scrappy players holding PVC pipe between their legs and throwing dodgeballs. Suddenly Ellen is thrown into the very different world of sports: her life is all practices, training, and running with a group of Harry Potter fans.

Even as Melissa pulls away to pursue new relationships and their other BFF Xiumiao seems more interested in moving on from high school (and from Ellen), Ellen is steadily finding a place among her teammates. Maybe Quidditch is where she belongs.

But with her home life and friend troubles quickly spinning out of control–Ellen must fight for the future that she wants, now she’s playing for keeps.

This is a coming of age story with a main character who questions her gender and struggles with her cultural identity, which makes this such a needed and important book. There’s also a character who uses Xe/Xyr pronouns and that’s so exciting for me. I know this is HP related and that’s not the best thing, but just from the little details, it seems like a book that opposes everything JKR stands for. (Amazon)

Are any of these books on your tbr? What books by Latinx authors are you looking forward to read it?
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ARC Review: Land of the Cranes by Aida Salazar

Title: Land of the Crane

Author: Aida Salazar

Publisher: Scholastic 

Publication Date: September 15th, 2020

Genres: Middle Grade Contemporary, Poetry

Nine-year-old Betita knows she is a crane. Papi has told her the story, even before her family fled to Los Angeles to seek refuge from cartel wars in Mexico. The Aztecs came from a place called Aztlan, what is now the Southwest US, called the land of the cranes. They left Aztlan to establish their great city in the center of the universe-Tenochtitlan, modern-day Mexico City. It was prophesized that their people would one day return to live among the cranes in their promised land. Papi tells Betita that they are cranes that have come home.

Then one day, Betita’s beloved father is arrested by Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) and deported to Mexico. Betita and her pregnant mother are left behind on their own, but soon they too are detained and must learn to survive in a family detention camp outside of Los Angeles. Even in cruel and inhumane conditions, Betita finds heart in her own poetry and in the community she and her mother find in the camp. The voices of her fellow asylum seekers fly above the hatred keeping them caged, but each day threatens to tear them down lower than they ever thought they could be. Will Betita and her family ever be whole again?

Goodreads | Amazon | IndieBound

I received an eARC from the publisher in exchange of an honest review,

Land of the Cranes is a touching book told in verse that addresses the nightmare that thousands of people are currently living in the United States thanks to the zero-tolerance policies and mass deportations of the current government.

This book tells the story of a little girl whose dad gets deported and, later on, her pregnant mom and she are also taken into a deportation facility and kept in a cage in inhumane conditions. It explores the cruelty they faced and the ways this little girl found to keep going and even help others that were in the same situation as her.

Land of the Cranes is a powerful and heartbreaking story and I had a lump in my throat the entire time I was reading it. The poetry in the book is so evocative and the fact that it’s a little girl, who doesn’t entirely understand what’s happening, the one that tells the story makes it even more effective in transmitting how devastating the whole situation is.

Aida Salazar makes some interesting writing choices that pay off. The references to Aztlan and the cranes through the book are used as a perfect vehicle to show the main character’s innocence and hopefulness, and the picture poems that Betita creates through the book, which are drawings with short poems written in the back, add a special element to the story and play an important role because they become a source of comfort for her and a source of inspiration and hope for those around her.

Everyone should read this touching book, which unfortunately is incredibly relevant right now. It’s heartbreaking in a way that only fantastic books can be.

Do you read middle grade book? What middle grade books have you loved recently?
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Book Review: Each of Us a Desert by Mark Oshiro | Book Tour

Hi everyone! Today, I have a review for you as part of the book tour for Each of Us a Desert by Mark Oshiro, this tour was organized by Colored Pages and you can see the rest of the schedule for the tour here. I posted my interview with the author a few days ago, so go check that out!

Title: Each of Us a Desert 

Author: Mark Oshiro 

Publisher: Tor Teen 

Publication Date: September 15th, 2020

Genres: YA Fantasy

From award-winning author Mark Oshiro comes a powerful coming-of-age fantasy novel about finding home and falling in love amidst the dangers of a desert where stories come to life. Xochital is destined to wander the desert alone, speaking her troubled village’s stories into its arid winds. Her only companions are the blessed stars above and enigmatic lines of poetry magically strewn across dusty dunes.Her one desire: to share her heart with a kindred spirit.One night, Xo’s wish is granted—in the form of Emilia, the cold and beautiful daughter of the town’s murderous conqueror. But when the two set out on a magical journey across the desert, they find their hearts could be a match… if only they can survive the nightmare-like terrors that arise when the sun goes down.

Goodreads | Amazon | Indiebound

Each of Us a Desert is a quiet, introspective fantasy book about the role of stories in our lives and in our communities and the link between the stories we are told and the things we believe in and have faith in. This is a character-driven book with a very loose plot but with strong thematic elements.

This book tells the story of Xochital, a girl who has been the Cuentista of her community from a very early age. She has the responsibility of listening and absorbing through a magical process the stories involving secrets, lies, deceit that produce feelings like guilt, sadness, resentment, and giving them back to the land so people can be forgiven by their god. If this process doesn’t take place, the stories manifest themselves as Pesadillas – monsters out of nightmares. At least that’s what Xochital has been told her entire life, and she has been struggling for a long time with this responsibility that she didn’t choose for herself.

After something happens that changes everything, she leaves her town and in her journey to faraway places, she goes through a spiritual journey where she realizes that beliefs are based on stories that have been passed down through generations and those stories are interpreted in so many different ways across times and places and no one can be sure which interpretation is the truth. Throughout this book, Xochital has to come to terms with the fact that what she was told is binding and absolute truth may not be and she realizes that she has to choose for herself what she thinks is right.

There’s also a very strong theme of community and this book explores the repercussions of what Xochital does for her community as a Cuentista because she takes the stories and leaves the people in her town feeling absolved of the guilt, and it’s almost like an easy way out. This book explores the idea that as long as we don’t actually face the truth and the consequences of our mistakes, there is no way to learn, grow and heal as individuals and as a community.

Mark Oshiro makes very interesting and unique writing choices in this book, which worked really well with the story. This book is told from Xochital’s perspective as she tells her story to her god, and as she does, she questions them and challenges them. Another interesting choice is that whenever Xochital takes a story from someone else, there’s a short story interwoven into the narrative where she shares the confession that the other character just made. This choice works because it feels like you’re being told a secret and it’s hard not to feel intrigued and curious about what that other person did that has caused them to be consumed by guilt. Also, the way the author incorporated Spanish – which is very prevalent in the book- felt very organic and added a special element to the story.

The author doesn’t give too many explanations about the world or the magic system, and while I do wish we got a bit more information, this choice makes everything feel very intriguing. There are so many captivating elements to this world: there are magical animals, there are masked villains that seemed like something out of a horror movie, there are magic poems, there’s a secret town under the earth where some horrible things happened and so much more. Also, this book is set in a very violent world, so people are killed in gruesome ways, they are mutilated, there’s a lot of detailed descriptions of corpses and a lot of other graphic depictions that are borderline body horror.

Lastly, I think it’s important to clarify that while there is a sapphic romance that it’s not the focus of the book at all and it’s actually a very small part of the story. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the small moments between Xochital and Emilia.

Some other reviews by Latinx reviewers that you should check out: Gabi’s and Linda’s.

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Blog Tour: Interview with Mark Oshiro, author of Each of Us a Desert

Hi everyone! I’m so happy and excited and grateful to be writing this post. I’m part of the book tour for Each of Us a Desert by Mark Oshiro and I got to interview them! This is my first author interview, which makes it so special to me, and also Mark’s answers are great and I’m happy to be sharing them with you. My review of the book will be posted on Wednesday.

This tour was organized by Colored Pages and you can see the rest of the schedule for the tour here. Today is the first day of the tour, so make sure of checking out the other posts and support the release of this wonderful YA fantasy book that includes Latinx and Queer representation.

About the Book

Title: Each of Us a Desert 

Author: Mark Oshiro 

Publisher: Tor Teen 

Publication Date: September 15th, 2020

Genres: YA Fantasy

From award-winning author Mark Oshiro comes a powerful coming-of-age fantasy novel about finding home and falling in love amidst the dangers of a desert where stories come to life. Xochitl is destined to wander the desert alone, speaking her troubled village’s stories into its arid winds. Her only companions are the blessed stars above and enigmatic lines of poetry magically strewn across dusty dunes.Her one desire: to share her heart with a kindred spirit.One night, Xo’s wish is granted—in the form of Emilia, the cold and beautiful daughter of the town’s murderous conqueror. But when the two set out on a magical journey across the desert, they find their hearts could be a match… if only they can survive the nightmare-like terrors that arise when the sun goes down.

Goodreads | Amazon | Indiebound

The Interview

1. What should readers expect out of Each of Us a Desert?

Firstly: the book is almost unrecognizable compared to my debut, Anger is a Gift. I deliberately wanted to write a book that was, in every way possible, nothing like my first one. That was partly so that my readers—I have actual readers now, THIS IS SO EXCITING—would come to expect that every novel of mine is going to be a curveball. Even as I’m now working on YA #3, it’s nothing like my first two novels.

I also wrote a book that was very ambitious to complete. So on a craft level, it was a challenge in a way Anger was not. Desert is told with a unique framing device (the entire book is a single prayer); it’s technically in first and second person; it’s got a bunch of poems in Spanish; and there are short stories embedded within the text, too. Expect a very different experience reading a book!

2. How is your process different when you are writing a contemporary book like Anger is a Gift and a fantasy book like Each of Us a Desert?

Ooooh, this is a lovely question. There’s logistical stuff that’s different. I had to do way more planning before I ever wrote a word of the actual manuscript. You also have to put a lot of thought and care into the world you’re constructing so that it makes sense. With fantasy, you can’t assume the reader knows what you’re referring to, especially if it’s a detail or a worldbuilding tenet that hasn’t appeared on the page before. It forced me to consider how exposition would work, too! How was I to convey information about the world of Empalme and Solís to the reader without overwhelming them or making them feel cheated?

I only have the answer to that relative to this book. The framing device of the book helped me immensely because it actually meant I could skip over things! Xochitl didn’t need to narrate certain things because they weren’t relevant to the story she was telling her god. On top of that, because the book has poetry, prose, and short stories, I had to plot out where those all landed in the structure. So, the most general answer to this question is: Literally every part of this was harder, hahaha.

3. What was your favorite part about writing this book? 

Yo, writing fantasy means you can do WHATEVER YOU WANT! I know that probably seems obvious, but this is my first secondary fantasy story ever, and now I get why people spend their whole lives in the genre. You get to let your imagination run wild in a way that feels so beautifully freeing.

On specific thing I had so much joy writing was the pesadillas—the physical manifestations of sins. In this world, the longer a person goes without seeking a cuentista (like Xochitl, for example), the more likely it is that your sin comes alive and takes physical form. The book is creepier and more visceral because of that, but it also meant I could pull emotional threads in the cast of characters in really satisfying ways. For example: What does guilt look like if it comes alive? What about unprocessed grief? How can these appear as a threat while also allowing the reader to empathize or understand a character? So I got to lean heavily on horror tropes and techniques, and I’m a huge horror fan. It was a DELIGHT to write.

4. Is there a message you would like readers to take away from the book?

Generally, I love letting a work speak for itself, and I believe a story always takes a life of its own once it’s out in the world. It’s been really fascinating to see people’s interpretation of the book so far because they’re far more varied than the ones for Anger. Which makes sense! Anger was a remarkably straightforward novel, both in terms of the storytelling and the themes explored. This one has far more ambiguity and mystery to it.

That being said, if I was to assign any one intentional message, it’s that it’s okay to ask questions. The act of questioning the world around you is not how I was raised, and there’s some of that friction in the early part of the novel. I was very much in an environment where, as a kid, I was told things about the world and expected to believe them forever.

Xochitl believes certain things about herself and her powers because she doesn’t know to question them. And when the first domino falls and doubt enters her mind, it’s terrifying. So, I wanted to create a space where a teenager could question everything, where it was allowed, where it was rewarded.

5. What’s next for you? Any exciting new projects?

Oh, there are so many new things coming! I’m finishing up this interview the day after I turned in my first edit on The Insiders, which is my middle grade debut! It’s the story of a 12-year-old boy who discovers a magical closet while hiding from bullies, and it unites him with two other kids across the country who are dealing with similar issues. It’s my chance to really dig into some heavier themes (like bullying and who is complicit in it), but also just… fling myself into a wacky, chaotic adventure.

I’m working on my third YA book, which will see me returning to the contemporary world! But it’s also very, very dark, and what little I can tell you is that it’s probably the closest I’ll ever get to writing about my childhood. I am currently pitching it as—and I promise you, the end result makes sense!—if Hereditary had no supernatural elements and was thrown in a blender with Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe.

And finally: I have short stories coming out in Vampires Never Get Old: Tales With Fresh Bite, From A Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back, A Universe of Wishes: A We Need Diverse Books Anthology, That Way Madness Lies, and This Is Our Rainbow.

About the author

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Mark Oshiro is the author of Anger is a Gift (Tor Teen), winner of the 2019 Schneider Family Book Award and nominated for a 2019 Lammy Award (in the LGBTQ Children’s/Young Adult category). Upcoming novels include Each of Us a Desert (Tor Teen), a YA Fantasy novel out September 15, 2020, and The Insiders (Harper Collins), a MG Contemporary with magical elements out Fall 2021. When they are not writing, crying on camera about fictional characters for their online Mark Does Stuff universe, or traveling, Mark is busy trying to fulfill their lifelong goal: to pet every dog in the world.

I hope you liked this interview, please go a preorder the book and support it, it’s truly a great story. Also, keep your eye on my review that will be posted soon!

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Ranking all the books I read this month aka My August Wrap Up

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Hi everyone! I’m so excited to talk about the 20 (!!) books I read this month, especially since I really enjoyed most of them. But before getting into the books I just wanted to share that I JOINED BOOKSTAGRAM!!!! It has been a little less than a month but I’m havig so much fun. If you have a booktagram account, let me know in the comments so I can follow you or follow me there so I can check out your account. My acocunt is Bookish Wanderess.

Now, without further ado, here is my August wrap up:

*Click on the title of the book to go to the Goodreads page + the amazon links are affiliate links which means I may get a small commission if you decide to use them, it doesn’t affect the price of books* 

My Least Favorite Books of the Month

My least favorite books this month were a really disappointing romance book and a frustrating one.

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20. Mangos and Mistletoe by Adriana Herrera: The characters are so hot and cold, towards each other, they switched from liking each other to being angry or mean to each other constantly. They really didn’t spend more than 5 consecutive pages without fighting in the entire book. And still, they ended up falling in love.

The writing as always with Adriana Herrera was really good, the sex scenes were very well written and I liked the way this book the different relationships that both main characters had with their culture. They were both Dominican but, while Kiskeya lived most of her life in the Dominican Republic, Sully lived in the States and that made their experiences and their feelings towards their culture very different. (Amazon)

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19. Scoring the Player’s Baby by Naima Simone:  The main characters in this book have a lot of chemistry and the sex scenes are steamy. But I was very frustrated with some of the hero’s comments in this book. He talks about losing his Man Card all the time and anytime he does something even remotely linked to femininity he “is acting like a p*ss*”. There were a lot of gender normative comments and I was annoyed. (Amazon)


The”Just Ok” Books

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These can be books that 1) I had issues with, but I don’t have a strong negative opinion about them 2) had good elements but bored me or didn’t really impact me in any way, the meh books.

18. The Grownup by Gillian Flynn: the main character has a strong and clear voice that’s very captivating from the beginning. The start of the story – plot wise- is very meh, but then the twist happens and it’s so messed up but so cool! And then the ending happened and I’m not sure what to feel, it wasn’t disappointing but it was at the same time. (Amazon)

The “I Mostly Liked Them, But…” Books

These are books that I had significant issues with, but they had redeeming qualities that made me mostly enjoy them:

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17. Most Eligable Bachelor by Annika Martin: This was ok. My issue with this book is that the change from we distrust and dislike each other to we are absolutely infatuated with each other was very abrupt and it made the relationship not feel entirely believable. Also, the dialogue was kind of cheesy and I think I noticed more because I listened to the audiobook and the narrators weren’t great. Nonetheless, the sex scenes were steamy, and overall this was a quick and entertaining book. (Amazon)

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16. Beyond the Gender Binary by Alok Vaid-Menon: This was ok. It’s a very short book that covers basic topics about gender and specifically the gender binary. Its particular focus is refuting some of the misconceptions that a lot of people have. This book addresses the subjects it covers in a very superficial way and sometimes the author makes some comments that needed a bit more nuance. (Amazon)

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15. Temporary Wife Temptation by Jayce Lee: The characters had chemistry, there were interesting side characters (which made me excited for book 2!) and I really loved the way that Garret’s family welcomed Natalie. My main issue with this book was that there were weird time jumps and I felt like important scenes were skipped and the book felt kind of choppy. Also, the real reason behind the third act conflict was silly and the ending felt rushed. (Amazon)

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14. When a Scot Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare: Very early on the main characters started to like and care for each other and I couldn’t see or understand why and that was my main issue with this book: I had trouble believing in the relationship between the main characters. I liked the second half of this book a lot more than the first, I think the relationship ended up being really sweet. (Amazon)

The Ones I Liked

The ones I liked are books that I had really small issues with, but after I finished them I had mainly positive feelings towards them:

13. Daugther of the Siren Queen by Tricia Levenseller: This series is entertaining and fun. Even when this book was a bit darker than the first one, it was still a lighthearted read overall. While the romance was a big part of the book, this sequel has a lot more plot than the first book and I enjoyed that about it. It’s very action-packed and fast-paced which makes it a quick read. (Amazon)

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12. Engagement and Espionage by Penny Reid: I enjoyed this mainly because I love Cletus and Jenn and I loved getting more of them and their relationship. Also, seeing the rest of the Winstons was lovely. Nonetheless, I wasn’t a big fan of the mystery aspect of the book, I mean it was ok but I wasn’t wowed. I feel like the mystery was a bit forced and a lot of convenient things happened. Still, I will obviously continue with the series. (Amazon)

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11. The Black Flamingo by Dean Etta: This is a story told in verse about identity and belonging. I think this covers a lot of different and important topics in a powerful and beautiful way, but also a bit superficially. There’s so much the book tries to cover and it’s such a short, quick read that there’s no time to explore any subject very deeply. I enjoyed this a lot, I think I just wish there was more of it. (Amazon)

10. Finding Joy by Adriana Herrera: This was cute and low angst. I really liked the romance between the two main characters, Elias was adorable and Desta was just chaotic. (Review + Amazon)

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9. Sapphire Flames by Ilona Andrews: This was my first Iliona Andrews book and I really enjoyed it. I loved the main character, the world and magic system are fascinating and complex and the mystery was really engaging. My issue with this was the romance, it felt like Alessandro was pretending or acting the entire time and even Catalina mentions it at some point. We only got to see very small glimpses of the real him and it wasn’t enough for me, I need more to really get on board with him as a character but also with the romance in the book. (Amazon)

The Ones I Really Liked

I consider books I really liked the ones that stay with me and that I recommend all the time, but they are not new all-time favorites:

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8. The Land of the Cranes by Aida Salazar: This book tells a powerful and heartbreaking story and I had a lump in my throat the entire time I was reading it. The poetry in the book is so evocative and the fact that it’s a little girl, who doesn’t entirely understand what’s happening, the one that tells the story of deportation and family separation makes it even more effective in transmitting how devastating the whole situation is. (Amazon)

7. Category Five by Ann Davila Cardinal: the characters were very complex and layered, which I really enjoyed, and the different relationships between them were compelling. The mystery was intriguing and I really liked the way the author integrated what has happened in Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria. (Review + Amazon)

6. Party of Two by Jasmine Guillory: I really liked this one! the characters were great, flawed but likable, and I could see why they liked each other. I really enjoyed that we actually got to see them get to know each other and fall in love. My issue with this book is that it did drag a little for me once they went public with their relationship, but overall it was still really enjoyable (Review + Amazon)

5. The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite: This was cute and interesting and the romance was just SO SOFT! The plot revolves around sexism in STEM back in 1816 and I was so invested!!! (Review + Amazon)

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4. The Switch by Beth O’Leary: I enjoyed this books a lot. I loved the journeys each main character goes on and the changes they both experience. I think the way this book addresses grief was very realistic. The secondary characters were captivating and adorable. I really liked the romances even if they were a bit rushed. (Review + Amazon)

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3. Headliners by Lucy Parker: Sabrina and Nick were adorable together and the best part about this book is that they both acted like adults, who TALK to their significant other. There is no miscommunication in this book, and even more, the opposite of that trope is in this book. Also, Lucy Parker does something so refreshing with the ending! (Review + Amazon)

2. Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall: the two main characters go through so much character development in this book and I loved it. Luc and Oliver’s romance has just the right amount of angst and seeing them be there for each other and slowly fall in love is so heartwarming. They are adorable together. (Review + Amazon)

My Favorite Book of the Month

My favorite books of the month can have different ratings depending on how good a particular reading month was. This month I read an amazing roamnce book that quickly became one of my favorite romance books of the year:

1. You Had Me At Hola by Alexis Daria: I LOVED THIS! It’s so rare for me to like both main characters in a book equally, but Jasmine and Ashton were both amazing and they had so much chemistry! I liked that they also had a strong emotional connection. (Review + Amazon)

What were your favorite and least favorite books you read this month? Have you read any of the books on this wrap up?
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Reviewing Romance Books: Party of Two, The Switch, Headliners and The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics

Hi everyone! I’m really excited to have 4 mini review for you today of books that I really, really enjoyed. I gave all of these books 4 stars and I would totally recommend them!

The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite

Goodreads | Amazon

Lucy has helped her father with his astronomy work for years, so when she finds she finds a letter from the Countess of Moth after his death, looking for someone to translate an astronomy text, she knows where to go. Catherine expected to hand off the translation and wash her hands of the project—instead, she is intrigued by the woman who turns up at her door and she agrees to let Lucy stay. They start to fall in love, but sabotage and old wounds threaten to sever the threads that bind them.

Historical romance is not usually a subgenre that I read, so I wasn’t sure what to expect from a historical romance with queer characters. I thought it may be angsty and sad, but I am so glad it isn’t. This is a cute and interesting story and the romance is just SO SOFT! Lucy and Katherine are strong, smart and passionate and they care for each other so much and want what’s best for each other. The plot revolves around sexism in STEM back in 1816 and I was invested!!! I was frustrated over the situations Lucy had to face and I was rooting for them in their fight against the patriarchy.

My only little complaint is that the “fight” the characters have in the third act didn’t make any sense to me, I literally read the conversation 3 times and I didn’t understand what happened and why they got to the conclusion that they did at the end of that conversation. But is is a very small issue and I ended up really loving this book.

Party of Two by Jamine Guillory

Goodreads | Amazon

Party of Two is about  Olivia Monroe, who just moved to LA to start her own law firm and who meets a gorgeous man at a hotel bar and discovers too late that he is none other than senator Max Powell. Olivia has zero interest in dating a politician, but a sweet gesture convinces her to give him a chance. They date in secret for a while but when they decide to go public with their relationship, the media attention may prove to be too much.

I really enjoyed Party of Two! The characters were great, flawed but likable, and I could see why they liked each other. They were both successful, ambitious, smart and kind and they both cared about helping their communities. I really enjoyed that the book actually shows them go out in dates, get to know each other and slowly fall in love. The progression of the relationship felt realistic. I also appreciated that, as always with the books in this series, it didn’t shy away from addressing white privilege, racism and even incarceration of black and brown youth.

My issue with this book is that it did drag a little for me once they went public with their relationship, but overall it was still really enjoyable.

Headliners by Lucy Parker

Goodreads | Amazon

Headliners (London Celebrities, #5) by Lucy Parker

Hedliners is about two tv presenters, who have a very public rivalry, are forced to work together resurrect a sinking morning show and save their careers —and someone on their staff doesn’t want them to succeed. When mishaps start to happen on set, Sabrina and Nick find themselves working together to hunt down the saboteur and discovering they might have more in common than they thought. When a fiery encounter is caught on camera, the public is convinced that the reluctant cohosts are secretly lusting after one another. The public might not be wrong.

I loved this book! The main characters are tv presenters that don’t like each other but have to work together and it’s awkward and hilarious. I laughed out loud so many times while reading this. This book does an amazing job showing how the relationship between the main characters slowly evolves and changes. That is really important because Sabrina has a very real and valid reason to hate Nick, so the slow pace really worked with the story.

Sabrina and Nick are adorable together and the best part about this book is that they both act like adults, who TALK to their significant other, don’t assume the worst, and actually trust each other. There is no miscommunication in this book, and beyond that, the opposite of that trope is present in this book. Both characters are so good at communicating, and that’s not the only refreshing thing about this book, Lucy Parker steps away from the “romance formula” in the third act of the book, which I truly appreciated. My only issue with this is that it dragged a little bit in a few places, but overall it was great!

The Switch by Beth O’Leary

Goodreads | Amazon

The Switch: The funny and utterly charming novel from the bestselling  author of The Flatshare (English Edition) eBook: O'Leary, Beth: Amazon.es:  Tienda Kindle

The Switch is about Leena Cotton, who is ordered to take a two-month sabbatical from work, so she escapes to her grandmother Eileen’s house for some overdue rest. Eileen is newly single and about to turn eighty. She’d like a second chance at love, but her tiny village doesn’t offer many eligible gentlemen. Leena proposes a solution: a two-month swap. Just like that, Leena stays in the samll village and Eileen goes to Londo and both of them have adventures that change their lives.

I enjoyed The Switch a lot. I loved the journey each main character goes on and the changes they both experience. Grief is a esencial part of those journeys, especially for Leena, and I appreciated that this book addresses grief in a very realistic way and it does a good job of showing how the characters relationship with grief changes with time. While Leena’s journey is mostly about overcoming grief, Eileen steals the show with her journey of self discovery and of helping the people around her.

The secondary characters in this book are captivating and adorable. It is very interesting to see Leena and Eileen have to interact and build relationships of their own with people in the other woman’s life. The romances in this book are not the focus of the story, but they are present and I really liked them. Since this book was focused on so many other things related to the character’s personal growth, the romance feel a bit rushed. But overall, the love stories in this are really adorable.

Beth O’Leary is very ambitious, each main character in this book has a completely separate plot and romantic subplot and, because of that, the stories aren’t as flesh out as they could have been, still both plots were engaging and cute.

Have you read any of these books? What romance books have you enjoyed lately?
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