ARC Review: American Sweethearts by Adriana Herrera

Title: American Sweetheart

Series: Dreamers #4

Author: Adriana Herrera

Published by:Karina Press

Publishing date: March 30th 2020

Genre: Romance

Pages: 288

Juan Pablo Campos doesn’t do regrets. He’s living the dream as a physical therapist with his beloved New York Yankees. He has the best friends and family in the world and simply no time to dwell on what could’ve been. Except when it comes to Priscilla, the childhood friend he’s loved for what seems like forever.

New York City police detective Priscilla Gutierrez has never been afraid to go after what she wants. Second guessing herself isn’t a thing she does. But lately, the once-clear vision she had for herself—her career, her relationships, her life—is no longer what she wants. What she especially doesn’t want is to be stuck on a private jet to the Dominican Republic with JuanPa, the one person who knows her better than anyone else.

By the end of a single week in paradise, the love/hate thing JuanPa and Pris have been doing for sixteen years has risen to epic proportions. No one can argue their connection is still there. And they can both finally admit—if only to themselves—they’ve always been a perfect match. The future they dreamed of together is still within reach…if they can just accept each other as they are.

Goodreads | Amazon

After loving the first three books in the Dreamers series, America Sweethearts was my most anticipated release of 2020 and I was really excited when I found out I was getting an eARC of it, so obviously as soon as I got my copy I read it and I’m happy to say that I was not disappointed.

American Sweethearts is part of a series of companion novels, which means that it can be read as a standalone if you don’t mind being spoiled for the previous books. In this book, the story centers around a second chance romance with just one small change because it’s not the second time the main characters – Juan Pablo and Priscilla- give their relationship a try, they actually have a long history of failed relationship attempts. Watching them become closer again, decide to work in their unresolved issues and choose to give their relationship another chance was so beautiful.

I do wish that there was a bit more about their history together in this book, there’s a few flashback but I think it would have been cool to know more as a way to understand their feelings and reservations about their relationship. There was a lot of “we both said things we didn’t mean or thing we regret” in this book, which is really vague. Also, it would have been interesting to know more because early on in the book, it’s clear that after the last failed relationship attempt, Juna Pablo started going to therapy to try to deal with his issues and be better, so when this book starts Juan Pablo is an incredibly swoon-worthy protagonist, who is constantly working on being more open and honest and listening more. Which is amazing, but the problem is that it was hard to appreaciate his character development because it happened before the book started. Also, not knowing more about his history with Priscilla, it was hard to understand why she had so many reservations about their relationship.

But honestly that’s my only really small complain about the book, because everything else was brilliant. I actually spent the whole book fangirling over Juan Pablo. And then there’s Priscilla, who is badass, smart and sassy, but who also lets herself be vulnerable and open when she is with Juan Pablo. I think my favorite part about this book were those moments when Priscilla and Juan Pablo talked about their fears, their dreams, their pasts in a very sincere way, when they were vulnerable with each other and were there when the other needed them.

Despite the main couple being Priscilla and Juan Pablo, American Sweethearts is still very much a queer book. It’s very clear that Juan Pablo has had relationships with men in the past and there are friendly interactions between him and one of his ex’s included in the book. This book is also incredibly sex positive. First of all, the main characters have so much chemistry and there’s enough trust between them to be open about what they want in bed, so the sex scenes are really steamy and there is even a pegging scene, which I had never read in a book before. Second of all, Priscilla actually has a podcast and a blog and she gives workshops about the right of enby folx and black and brown bodies to pleasure and, at one point in the book, she gives a workshop about pleasure after sixty. I think the way this book incorporates discussions about the importance of pleasure for people of different ages, races and gender identities is really important and meaningful.

Lastly, this book has something that I have missed in the last two books in the series and it’s the presence of the group of friends. It was amazing to see them show up in this book trying to push Priscilla and Juan Pablo to be together because they knew that’s whay they wanted but also seeing them be ready to have their backs in case it doesn’t work out (again). Also, their families are very much invested in the relationship and they are rooting for them, especially their moms, which is a bit annoying for them, but it’s actually very fun to read about. The constant presence of their families in the book allows it to explore themes like family and the immigrant experience and its impact on first generation Americans, and like with the previous books in the series, the inclusion of Latinx culture is abundant in this book. Reading about the food, the words, the traditions is wonderful.

Have you read any books in this series? Are you planning on reading this book? Remember that it comes out March 30th 2020!

Add me on
Goodreads | Bloglovin | Twitter  | Pinterest | Letterbox

Book Tour: Tweet Cute by Emma Lord | A review of an amazing YA contemporary

Hi everyone! Before getting into the review, I want to thank St. Martin’s Press & Wednesday Books for inviting me to be part of the blog tour for this amazing book and for giving an eARC of it so I could read it. I also want to say that this is my honest opinion about the book and it was in no way influenced by being part of the blog tour.

Title: Tweet Cute

Author: Emma Lord

Published by: Wednesday Books

Publishing date: January 21st 2020

Genre: YA Contemporary

Pages: 368

Meet Pepper, swim team captain, chronic overachiever, and all-around perfectionist. Her family may be falling apart, but their massive fast-food chain is booming ― mainly thanks to Pepper, who is barely managing to juggle real life while secretly running Big League Burger’s massive Twitter account.

Enter Jack, class clown and constant thorn in Pepper’s side. When he isn’t trying to duck out of his obscenely popular twin’s shadow, he’s busy working in his family’s deli. His relationship with the business that holds his future might be love/hate, but when Big League Burger steals his grandma’s iconic grilled cheese recipe, he’ll do whatever it takes to take them down, one tweet at a time.

All’s fair in love and cheese ― that is, until Pepper and Jack’s spat turns into a viral Twitter war. Little do they know, while they’re publicly duking it out with snarky memes and retweet battles, they’re also falling for each other in real life ― on an anonymous chat app Jack built.

As their relationship deepens and their online shenanigans escalate ― people on the internet are shipping them?? ― their battle gets more and more personal, until even these two rivals can’t ignore they were destined for the most unexpected, awkward, all-the-feels romance that neither of them expected.

Goodread | Buy Links

Tweet Cute is a fun, adorable and witty book full of mouth-watering food, Twitter wars, sassy teenagers and complicated family relationships.

The main characters, Pepper and Jack, are both lovable characters; Pepper is determined and sassy, while Jack is kind and funny and both of them have flaws and insecurities that make them feel like real people. Pepper and Jack’s relationship starts with them feeling a mix between curiosity and irritation towards each other and it evolves into a tentative friendship then a very close frienship and finally a romantic relationship. Seening the development of their relationship is heartwarming and sweet and one of the best parts of the story. This book has a slow-burn, adorable romance between two very different people who have a strong connection.

Twitter plays an important part in the development of their relationship because Pepper and Jack run the social media accounts for their family restaurants and get into an anonymous Twitter war, which was really entertaining to read because both Pepper and Jack can be incredibly snarky and also because the author uses very current references to memes and pop culture to make the Twitter exchanges feel real and be engaging for the reader. Nonetheless, the Twitter war doesn’t remain anonymous for long and it ends up both bring Pepper and Jack closer together but also creating conflict in their relationship.

But Twitter is not the only online space where Jack and Pepper’s lives anonymously entertwine becuase it turns out that they have been talking to each other through an anonymous app for students of their school. After reading the synopsis, it’s easy to believe that this is gonna be a big part of the story, but that’s not the case and it actually feels like adding this element to the story doesn’t really contribute much to Pepper and Jack’s relationship because most of their interactions in the app happen before the book starts. Nonetheless, the few exchanges on the app that are present in the book are entertaining and including this element doesn’t take anything away from the story, so it’s not a big deal.

While the online exchanges play a part in Pepper and Jack’s relationship, this book focuses a lot on their interactions and their connection in real life and that works really well and it makes the story more charming and appealing. Another thing that works really well is the dual perspective because that way we get to know both characters better and they feel more three dimentional but also because it makes this story actually feel like the story of both of them as individuals and as a couple. Lastly, this book does a very good job of depicting complicated relationships with family members, wether it’s with parents or siblings. This element adds depth to the story and it makes it more relatable.

Overall, Tweet Cute is an engaging and entertaining story which focuses on an adorable romance between two characters that are very different from each other but that have an amazing relationship.

Have you read this book? How did you feel about it? Do you agree with my opinion?
About the Author

Emma Lord is a digital media editor and writer living in New York City, where she spends whatever time she isn’t writing either running or belting show tunes in community theater. She graduated from the University of Virginia with a major in psychology and a minor in how to tilt your computer screen so nobody will notice you updating your fan fiction from the back row. She was raised on glitter, grilled cheese, and a whole lot of love. Her sun sign is Hufflepuff, but she is a Gryffindor rising. TWEET CUTE is her debut novel. You can find her geeking out online at @dilemmalord on Twitter.

Add me on

Goodreads | Bloglovin | Twitter  | Pinterest 

Book Review: Love Her or Lose Her by Tessa Bailey

Title: Love Her or Lose Her

Author: Tessa Bailey

Series: Hot & Hammered #2

Published by: Avon

Publishing date: January 14th 2020

Genre: Romance

Pages: 384

Rosie and Dominic Vega are the perfect couple: high school sweethearts, best friends, madly in love. Well, they used to be anyway. Now Rosie’s lucky to get a caveman grunt from the ex-soldier every time she walks in the door. Dom is faithful and a great provider, but the man she fell in love with ten years ago is nowhere to be found. When her girlfriends encourage Rosie to demand more out of life and pursue her dream of opening a restaurant, she decides to demand more out of love, too. Three words: marriage boot camp.

Never in a million years did Rosie believe her stoic, too-manly-to-emote husband would actually agree to relationship rehab with a weed-smoking hippy. Dom talking about feelings? Sitting on pillows? Communing with nature? Learning love languages? Nope. But to her surprise, he’s all in, and it forces her to admit her own role in their cracked foundation. As they complete one ridiculous—yet surprisingly helpful—assignment after another, their remodeled relationship gets stronger than ever. Except just as they’re getting back on track, Rosie discovers Dom has a secret… and it could demolish everything.

Goodreads | Amazon

I have been waiting to read Love Her or Lose Her since I finished Fix Her Up, the first book in the series, about six months ago. In that book there were glimpses of Rosie and Dom’s relationship that left me incredibly intrigued and I couldn’t wait to find out more, so off course I read it as soon as it came out and while I enjoyed a lot of things about it, ultimately it didn’t live up to my expectations.

I loved Rosie right away and as I kept reading I could relate more and more to her. She is such a strong, brave, determined character that’s flawed and has insecurities, but works to overcome them. And then there’s Dom, I’ll admite that I have my issues with Dom, he’s very alpha male, the protective guy who can be a bit too possesive and he has some very antiquated ideas about being the provider for his wife and men not showing emotions. I think he had internalized a lot of toxic masculinity and it was hurting him and ruining his marriage and he had to work on that, and while he doesn’t completely change these aspects, he learns to see why they are wrong or why they can be harmful and that’s depicted well in the book, even if I wanted to see those realizations taken further. But despite the things they needed to work on indivudually and as a couple, the chemistry between Rosie and Dom was fantastic and it was so evident anytime they were together in this book.

I actually really enjoyed the first half of this book, mainly because of the way it depicted two people that loved each other but that had stopped putting work into their marriage, two people who had to accept that things in their marriage were not ok and that both of them had played a part in getting to the point they were in and both of them had to be commited to try and work through their issues and choose to stay and fight for their marriage. I think the book did a good job of showing that whole process with all its ups and downs in the first half.

Nonetheless, the second part of the book revolved around such a ridiculous conflict and that’s where my issue with this book was. I spent so much of the second half wanting to scream at Dom “JUST TELL HER ALREADY”. This book uses the miscomunitation trope, which is a trope I strongly dislike, and in this book it’s worse because the first half was spent getting the characters to learn to communicate and then the conflict in the second half relied on them not doing it. And while I understand that growing and changing doesn’t happen in a day, so off course there were still going to be problems with the communication, this conflict was so ridiculous that it was pretty annoying. The worst of all is that the conflict dragged for a long time and I was bored. And then the resolution was incredibly rushed and I kept thinking that if less time was spent in such a ridiculous conflict more time could have been spent seeing the characters getting to a good place again.

Overall, there were a lot of things I liked about Love Her or Lose Her, but my enjoyment was severely affected by the conflict in the second half of the story. Nonetheless, I’m still really excited to read the next book in the series, the glimpses of the main couple that are present in this book left me wanting more.

Rating: 3,6 stars

Have you read this book? How did you feel about it? Do you agree with my opinion?

Add me on

Goodreads | Bloglovin | Twitter  | Pinterest 

Book Review: Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh

Title: Reign of the Fallen

Author: Sarah Glenn Marsh

Published by: Razorbill

Publishing date: January 23rd 2018

Genre: YA Fantasy

Pages: 375

Odessa is one of Karthia’s master necromancers, catering to the kingdom’s ruling Dead. Whenever a noble dies, it’s Odessa’s job to raise them by retrieving their souls from a dreamy and dangerous shadow world called the Deadlands. But there is a cost to being raised–the Dead must remain shrouded, or risk transforming into zombie-like monsters known as Shades. If even a hint of flesh is exposed, the grotesque transformation will begin.

A dramatic uptick in Shade attacks raises suspicions and fears among Odessa’s necromancer community. Soon a crushing loss of one of their own reveals a disturbing conspiracy: someone is intentionally creating Shades by tearing shrouds from the Dead–and training them to attack. Odessa is faced with a terrifying question: What if her necromancer’s magic is the weapon that brings Karthia to its knees?

Goodreads | Amazon

Trigger/content warnings: substance abuse, talk of suicide, violence and death

Reign of the Fallen is a book that was on my tbr since it came out two years ago, a book I kept hearing great things about, which is why I finally decided to pick it up. Unfortunately, I didn’t end up enjoying it as much as I hoped.

The beginning of the book is very enjoyable, the world and magic are engaging and it has a lot of unique elements. I loved the idea of a world ruled by people who died a long time ago, but keep coming back because they feel a responsability towards the people in their kingdom. In this world, the Dead have prohibited change, inventions and progress, which I found to be an interesting element of the story that’s used in a very organic way to cause conflict.

One element that I found fascinating and unique in this story is that the Dead have to pay a big price for coming back (they must remain shrouded or risk transforming into zombies) as well as the necromancer pay a big price to bring people back (they only get one life). That’s one element that this book handles well: the price of magic. Nonetheless, I have one problem with the magic system, which is that there isn’t a very clear limit to what healers can do in this book, so it felt like unless a character died inmediately, they always survived even the most horrific injuries and I think that lowered the stakes of the book.

A very important element of this story is that it addresses substanse abuse and addiction in a way that reflects this issue in our world and still makes sense for the story. I think the way this book shows how grief can make people vulnerable to addiction is very important and in general, the way this portraits grief feels realistic and devastating. This book also addresses recovery of an addiction and I think the way the first few days of that process are portrait is well done, but I also think that after those initial days, it almost feels like the character is “cured” and that’s not how addiction works and I’m not sure how to feel about it.

The characters in this book are amazing, particulary the side characters. I have a special place in my heart for Valoria and Jax and they are the main reason I’m considering reading the second book. Something I really loved about this book is how diverse the chaacters are, the main character has brown skin and she is bisexual (which is #ownvoices rep), there are two gay characters and two women that are attracted to other women, one of which is black. All of it is seemesly integrated in the story and it’s not made out to be a big deal in this world. The only character I have an issue with is the villain, because it’s so obvious who it is and worst of all, he is a boring villain with plain motivations, cero cleverness and no depth at all.

Now, it’s time to talk about my main issue with the book. First of all, I don’t understand why having so many options of people that had great chemestry and relationships with the main character, the author had to choose someone who is connected to the main character in a weird and complicated way to be the love interest. I actually liked the main character when she was not with the love interest, but the moment they were together I found them to be nearly insufferable.

But beyond all that, the worst part for me is the dynamic between them, the main character spends a big portion of the book being rude and disrespectful to the love interest without reason and there’s a point where she punches the wall next to the love interest face and the love interest actually thought she was going to hit her and honestly that’s just not an acceptable behavior. Also, the relationship didn’t make sense to me because I couldn’t really understand why these two girls would like each other, it’s like a weird instant connection that comes out of nowhere and it’s based on nothing.

Overall, Reign of the Fallen has an interesting world and magic system, as well as lovable character, but a really boring villain and a terrible romance.

Have you read this book? How did you feel about it? Do you agree with my opinion?

Add me on

Goodreads | Bloglovin | Twitter  | Pinterest 

Book Review: An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

Title: An Enchantment of Ravens

Author: Margaret Rogerson

Published by: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Publishing date: September 26th 2017

Genre: YA Fantasy

Pages: 300

Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes—a weakness that could cost him his life.

Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love—and that love violates the fair folks’ ruthless laws. Now both of their lives are forfeit, unless Isobel can use her skill as an artist to fight the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.

Goodreads | Amazon

I went into An Enchantment of Ravens with weird expectations that were not met. I thought I was gonna love this book because I had heard that it was romance heavy, it had great characters and a amazing love story, which are things I usually love. I had also heard that it wasn’t particulary strong in terms of plot, world building and magic system, but I was sure I could love it even if that was true. All of these ideas were based on reviews I had read and all of these ideas were wrong.

So let me tell you about what I liked and what I didn’t like about this book:

WHAT I LIKED

The whole concept around the Crafts: In this world, humans can do Crafts while fairies can’t: they can’t cook or write or paint or sew or do anything that involves creating something. They will literally die if they create anything. I think this concept is one of the only unique things about this book and I found it incredibly fascinating. The book addresses in a very brief and superficial but interesting way the idea of what’s the purpose and meaning of life if you can’t create anything and if don’t leave anything behind when you die. I wish there was even more of that in the book.

The way painting and feeelings are entwined: I don’t want to spoil anything so I’ll just say that in this world, fairies can’t have feelings, but as the story progresses, it becomes evident that that’s not exactly true and painting plays a big part of that discovery. It’s something that adds an intriguing and thought-provoking element to the story.

The writing: this book has a beautiful and poetic writing style that isn’t too flowery or distracting from the story.

The twists: The last 40% of this book got better for me just because it’s full of twists and turns that I didn’t see coming, so actually became engrossed in the story for the first time in the last 100 pages.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE

The characters: I found almost every character in this book, but specially the main characters, two dimentional; their personalities were flat and they felt like characters I have seen before. Also, Isobel was so annoying sometimes and that was my main problem with the first half of the book, I just didn’t like her.

The romance: I could have gotten over the whole instalove thing (and there is instalove, I don’t care what anyone says) if I had believed in the connection between Isobel and Rook, but alas I did not. I didn’t understand why or when they fell in love, it made absolutely no sense to me and even after they were supposedly in love, I didn’t feel like they had any chemistry or real connection. I started to like them together a little bit in the last like 15%, but even then I wasn’t a big fan.

The pace: the first 15% of this book was engaging even if the pace was slow thanks to the beautiful writing. But once Isobel and Rook met this book got so slow, there were like 50 pages of them stumbling around the woods and since I didn’t care for the characters and found them annoying, it wasn’t fun to read. Then things got a bit more interesting but still the pace was slow and then all of the sudden everything started to happen at once. Basically, the pace was all over the place and it negatively affected my reading experience.

The ending: It was ok, it just felt too easy.

Have you read this book? How did you feel about it? Do you agree with my opinion?

Add me on

Goodreads | Bloglovin | Twitter  | Pinterest 

Book Review: The Alchemists of Loom by Elise Kova | Blogmas Day 20

Title: The Alchemist of Loom (Loom Saga #1)

Author: Elise Kova

Published by: Keymaster Press

Publishing date: January 10th 2017

Genre: Adult Fantasy

Pages: 395

Ari lost everything she once loved when the Five Guilds’ resistance fell to the Dragon King. Now, she uses her unparalleled gift for clockwork machinery in tandem with notoriously unscrupulous morals to contribute to a thriving underground organ market. There isn’t a place on Loom that is secure from the engineer turned thief, and her magical talents are sold to the highest bidder as long as the job defies their Dragon oppressors.

Cvareh would do anything to see his sister usurp the Dragon King and sit on the throne. His family’s house has endured the shame of being the lowest rung in the Dragons’ society for far too long. The Alchemist Guild, down on Loom, may just hold the key to putting his kin in power, if Cvareh can get to them before the Dragon King’s assassins.

When Ari stumbles upon a wounded Cvareh, she sees an opportunity to slaughter an enemy and make a profit off his corpse. But the Dragon sees an opportunity to navigate Loom with the best person to get him where he wants to go. He offers her the one thing Ari can’t refuse: A wish of her greatest desire, if she brings him to the Alchemists of Loom.

Goodreads / Amazon

I had a bit of trouble getting into this book and it has to do with the fact that the descriptions are not that great and, because of that, I had a hard time picturing what was happening in any given scene but specially WHERE it was happening because the descriptions of places, weapons and creatures are really vague, so it gets a bit confusing. That issue continues throughout the book, I did get used to the writing style and I was able to picture things more clearly, but never as well as I would have liked.

One of the most interesting aspect of the book is that there are no humans in this world, there are two main species, the fenthri and the dragons, which both resemble humans but their skin color, their hair color, the shape of their fingers and of their ears are different. To be clear, in this world humans don’t exist at all and I had never read a book where that was the case before.

In this book, there are two societies in this book that have completely different structures and value different things and it was fascinating to see what happened when those two societies came into contact with each other and the way the book disscusses colonialism in a very organic way within the story was very thought-provoking. Also, it was interesting to read a steampunk fantasy and see how the steampunk elements were mixed with the magic and the consequences that has, which leads to a discussion about progress and how sometimes the things we create can have unexpected results, which was really insightful.

The main plot of this book revolves around a journey to the Alchemists Guild and throughout that journey the author gets to show us the world, or at least the Fenthri world and some of the five guilds that exist in that society, which was enteratining to read about. My only problem is that I don’t feel like Elise Kova managed to create enough tension, so, when the characters had troubles throughout their journey I was never really worried or scared for them, I felt like they were gonna be fine. So, as much as I was entertained the entire time, I was never completly engaged by the plot.

What I was captivated by when I was reading this book were the characters. This book has four perspectives and I liked all of them. One of the POVs is actually one of the antagonists and, at the beginning, I didn’t understand why it was included but it ended up beign my favorite perspective to read from, because she was so ruthless and loyal. Another perspective was the main character’s friend, Florence, and I loved how observant and kind she was as well as the role she played in the groups dynamic. As for the main characters, Arianna and Cvareh, I really liked them as individuals and enjoyed their dynamic that went from hate and mistrust to the opposite.

If you are someone who likes character-driven fantasy books I think you would enjoy this one and if you like fantasy that it’s light on the descriptions, this may also be for you.

Have you read this series? Are you planning on reading it?

Add me on

Goodreads | Bloglovin | Twitter  | Pinterest | Tumblr 

Thoughts & Aesthetics: Nocturna by Maya Montayne

Nocturna.jpg

Title: Nocturna

Author: Maya Motayne

Published by: Balzer +Bray

Publishing date: May 7th 2019

Genre: YA Fantasy

Pages: 480

To Finn Voy, magic is two things: a knife to hold under the chin of anyone who crosses her…and a disguise she shrugs on as easily as others pull on cloaks. As a talented faceshifter, it’s been years since Finn has seen her own face, and that’s exactly how she likes it. But when Finn gets caught by a powerful mobster, she’s forced into an impossible mission: steal a legendary treasure from Castallan’s royal palace or be stripped of her magic forever.

After the murder of his older brother, Prince Alfehr is first in line for the Castallan throne. But Alfie can’t help but feel that he will never live up to his brother’s legacy. Riddled with grief, Alfie is obsessed with finding a way to bring his brother back, even if it means dabbling in forbidden magic.

But when Finn and Alfie’s fates collide, they accidentally unlock a terrible, ancient power—which, if not contained, will devour the world. And with Castallan’s fate in their hands, Alfie and Finn must race to vanquish what they have unleashed, even if it means facing the deepest darkness in their pasts.

Goodreads | Amazon

Nocturna is an entertaining book that, while not having the most original plot and characters, feels unique in some ways thanks to the incorporation of Latinx culture and Spanish language in its world and magic system.

The main characters of Nocturna, Alfie and Finn, are both interesting in their own ways and that’s due to how they are impacted by their pasts in different but very powerful ways and how that affects the plot of the story. Alfie is a cinamon roll type of character that, at the same time, it’s a mess and makes a lot of mistakes, and throught his character, Montayne explores the ways in which grief can cause a person to be a mess, make the wrong choices and screw everything up.

On the other hand, Finn’s character is compelling because she uses a facade of being tough and heartless as a way to hold on to some control after having experienced a situation in which she was manipulated and controlled by someone else. Her development, her vulnerability and her contradictions throughout the book are not only escencial to the plot, they also give an emotional backbone to the story.

The dymanic between these characters is really entertaining and the snarky comments and the banter are fun to read, but there are also these tentative moments when they are vulnerable and honest with each other and they are so tender and beautiful. At the end, the development of their relationship is captivating and touching.

In terms of the villain, it’s interesting that this book has two villains in one and seeing the struggle for power and for control within the villain is interesting because the struggles between these two villain are not caused by one trying to stop the other from doing evil things, it’s about setting priorities for what evil things to do first and that adds a compelling element to the story.

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. Maybe it’s because there’s not that many YA fantasy books that do this, but the fact that those things are incorporated it felt special and meaningful. Another aspect of the book that it’s interesting is the way it addresses colonialism and slavery through the history of its world, and how it’s done in a very organically and subtle way.

Lastly, the main issue of this book is the pacing because it’s really uneven, so there are long bits in the book where characters are talking or thinking or planning and then some action would take place but inmediately after there would be another long strech where not a lot would happen. That constant start and stop of the action didn’t allow the book to flow as well as it could have.

Overall, while not being extremely original and having some issues with pacing, Nocturna does a great job of seamlessly incorporating Latinx culture and spanish to the story in a beautiful and meaningful way, and it does a good job too of including discussions about colonialims and slavery in a interesting, toughtful and organic way.

Have you read this book? Do you have recommendations of fantasy books inspired by different cultures? 

Add me on
Goodreads | Bloglovin | Twitter Pinterest |