Hi everyone! This is the start of a new feature where at the end of each month I’ll talk about the movies I watched. Last year I had a really bad year when it came to movies, I only watched 25 movies and only 5 of them got 4 stars or more. So this year I decided to try to watch at least 5 movies every month (not sure if that’s going to happen) and to watch movies that I actually think I’m gonna love and not just fun, silly, entertaining movies to pass the time, which is what I did last year. I’m obviously still going to watch some of those movies but I’ll try to watch other things as well.
So, here they are! The 8 movies I watch in January 2022:
This was so delightful. It had loveable characters, a magical, whimsical setting, it looked beautiful, it was so emotional and the songs were fantastic (I watched the Spanish version). I was scared that it wasn’t going to be the case, but I was pleasantly surprised because it felt Colombian and the way it incorporated Colombian history with armed conflict was heartbreaking but well done. I really loved it.
I was expecting this to be really bad and it…wasn’t. As someone who read the book, I couldn’t help but feel that the guy who played Josh was not Josh, but he didn’t suck as much as I thought he was going to. In the second half of the movie, he actually did a decent job. On the other hand, Lucy Hale was really good as Lucy. And surprisingly, they had chemistry so it was fun to watch them go from enemies to lovers on screen. Overall, an entertaining rom-com with some funny moments and then some sweet moments as well.
The acting, singing and in general all the performances in this movie were fantastic. I enjoyed the songs and the part of the movie that takes place on stage was captivating and powerful. My problem with this is that the part of the movie that takes place off stage, the biggest part of the movie, that deals with the day to day life of Jonathan was really hard to watch because he is portrayed as this self-absorbed, selfish guy (don’t know if he was or wasn’t like that) and I was so frustrated the entire time watching it. So it was not a pleasant watching experience, but there was a lot of good in there nonetheless.
Overall, I really enjoyed this film. The performances were fantastic, the costumes and sets were really well done, it had compelling characters, and the relationship between the sisters was so interesting and it functioned well as the heart of the film. The alternating timelines were a bit confusing at first, but they made the movie feel more modern and engaging. My one issue with this is that the resolution of some of the plotlines revolving around the romantic relationships didn’t work for me.
This was fun and it made me feel nostalgic, I loved seeing all the familiar faces from previous Spider-Man movies. It was a more emotional and darker movie than the other two, and it’s because it’s reflecting Peter’s journey and his development as a character, by the end, he is more weary and mature and I can’t wait to see where his character goes from here. Overall a good movie, but it did drag a little bit for me around the mid-way point.
I didn’t know what to expect but this was actually good. I love how much they showed and explored this universe, the politics, the different sides, the belief systems. It’s such an intricate movie with so much packed into it, I’m in awe. It’s also beautiful to look at and the performances are really good. While it was never boring for me, it did feel slow and it did feel like an introduction to the actual story, but I didn’t mind because it was interesting and captivating.
My feelings about this movie are definitely biased because I read and loved the book. This changes the story a little bit, but it keeps the eerie atmosphere and the feeling of mounting dread as the story progresses and that absolutely is what makes this movie. The message of the story is delivered with a lot less subtly than in the book but it’s also much clearer. The acting was fantastic and the way the movie looks works really well for the story.
I’m a big fan of Zoey Deutch and I have been meaning to watch this since it came out and I’m glad I finally did. This deals with important subjects but in a very entertaining way and from a very unlikely perspective. It is fast-paced and fun to watch and Zoey Deutch does a magnificent job and carries this movie, she is incredibly captivating onscreen.
What was the best movie you watched in 2021 and was the best one you watched this month? Have you watched any of the movies I mentioned?
Hi everyone! I have been thinking a lot lately about what I want to read in 2022 and how can read more books that I love this year, and one of the things that came to mind was reading more books by authors that I discovered and loved in 2021. I wanted to share this list in case you are looking for some new authors to read and I included the books I have read by them in case you need a place to start.
Without further ado, these are my favorite authors that I discovered in 2021:
Dolores Reyes wrote of one of my favorite books of 2021, her writing is absolutely beautiful, raw, and perfectly conveys emotions. She deals with heartbreaking topics in an honest way that leaves you reeling. I need her to write more books because her debut, Eartheater, is spectacular.
While gruesome horror is not my favorite type of horror, I have to admit that Grady Hendrix has a talent for writing these disgusting scenes that leave me feeling gross-out, but doing it sparingly and not having them be the central elements in his books, which is why I like his work so much. Moreover, the way he incorporates important social themes in his book is something I enjoy.
Not only is Mariana Enriquez’ writing beautiful and captivating, but her concepts and the way she explores important themes in her stories are impactful and thought-provoking. I have heard nothing but great things about her backlist, and I’m hoping to explore so much more of it in 2022.
I read all 5 books that are currently out in her Veronica Speedwell series, and I became a big fan of Deanna Raybourn mainly because she does a great job creating characters that are not perfect but they are easy to root for, and also developing captivating relationships and dynamics between those characters.
Nghi Vo’s writing is lyrical and powerful and she has the ability to create a magical world, captivating characters and deeply moving stories in a short amount of pages, while also exploring feminist themes and filling her books with Asian-inspired culture and mythology.
Samanta Schweblin writes weird, confusing, thought-provoking books with interesting concepts that dealt with important current social issues. While Little Eyes didn’t completely work for me, it’s a book that has stuck with me and I think that’s why Schweblin made it into this list, her books are really impactful.
What are some amazing authors you discovered in 2020?What authors you read in 2021 would you recommend and what book did you read by them?
Hi everyone! Recently I realized that I read a lot of short books in 2021 and I know that in December a lot of people are trying to reach their reading goals, so I thought I would help a little by recommending some amazing short books from a mix of genres.
Without further ado, let’s talk about the books:
The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo: This is a story about the bonds women form with each other in the midst of the rise and fall of an empire. If you like an emotional fantasy novella with beautiful writing, set in a very interesting and whimsical world and full of captivating characters, this story is for you!
Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor: This novella accomplishes a lot in terms of world-building and character development for such a short amount of pages. If a sci-fi story revolving around the daughter of the Angel of Death sounds interesting to you, check this one out!
Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke by Eric LaRocca: this is a very bizarre story from the very beginning and it escalates quickly to being gross, disturbing, and even more bizarre. It’s best to go into knowing nothing about it. If you are looking for a horror novella and you like weird books, this one is for you.
Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin: An atmospheric, disorienting, trippy book that comments on the use of pesticides in Argentina, but adding a paranormal element that it’s never quite explained but that adds to the weirdness and creepiness of the story.
Eartheater by Dolores Reyes: A powerful book about the violence that women face, with an interesting concept revolving around a woman who can see how people died or where they are and what happened to them by eating earth connected to the person. If you like a magical realism story with feminist themes and beautiful writing, this one is for you!
Things We Lost in the Fire by Mariana Enriquez: This is a short story collection that deals with poverty, addiction, police brutality, and so much more,. It’s told through a gothic lens and with a touch of paranormal elements (a lot of them related to Argentinian folklore). If you like disturbing and quietly eerie stories, this collection would be perfect for you!
Blind Date with a Book Boyfriend by Lucy Eden: A quick, fun and, sweet romance novella. The characters were great, and their chemistry and connection were amazing. The guy was a hot cinnamon roll, who loved romance novels, it’s easy to see why the main character liked him so much.
Her Night with Santa by Adriana Herrera: This is smut and it’s great smut. For such a short novella, Adriana Herrera manages to give us compelling characters, an instant connection and tons of chemistry between the characters, and a lot of very steamy scenes.
I Think I Might Love You by Christina C. Jones: This is a quick and entertaining romance novella. It has one of the funniest and most awkward first meetings between the main characters I have ever read. The protagonists have captivating and unique voices and great chemistry between them.
What short books would you recommend? Did you have a reading goal this year? How are you doing with your reading goal?
Hi everyone! The fourth round of the Latinx Book Bingo has come to an end, I had so much fun hosting this year and I’m so grateful and happy becuase so many people participated. I love seeing people reading and enjoying books by Latinx authors.
For my part, I managed to read 13 books for this readathon and even if I was 3 books short of my goal, I found some amazing books and some incredible authors that I can’t wait to read more books from.
Here are some of my thoughts on the books I read for the Latinx Book Bingo:
Things We Lost in the Fire by Mariana Enriquez (4.5 stars): This book does a good job of commenting on subjects like poverty, addiction, feminicide, police brutality, and so much more, through a gothic lens and with a touch of paranormal elements (a lot of them related to Argentinian folklore). Most of the stories are disturbing and quietly eerie, some with grotesque moments, some transmitting very well the sense of dread and fear of the characters, and a lot of them with spooky and mysterious circumstances. The author leaves the resolution of a lot of the stories up to the reader’s imagination, so it feels like they end quite abruptly, which is a bit jarring but ends up working really well to maintain the sense of uneasiness that the stories create.
Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin (4 stars): This was very atmospheric, it was disorienting and trippy because the story is told by a confused, feverish woman, and the book makes the reader feel the frustration of the main character, Amanda, with this very intense and strange little kid who is very pushy and vague with his answers. Beyond that, Samantha Schweblin does a good job of commenting on the use of pesticides in Argentina and its effect on the land, the water, the animals, and the people, but adding a paranormal element that it’s never quite explained but that adds to the weirdness and creepiness of the story.
Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado (4 stars): This was such an unsettling short story collection, it was weird, unique, powerful, and thought-provoking. It was full of interesting concepts, beautiful writing, and stories that had a lot to say about the experiences of women and the bodies that they live in, the things that are done to their bodies, the way their bodies are viewed and perceived, and the meanings that are assigned to their bodies, both by themselves and others.
The Undocumented Americans by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio(4 stars): This is a book about the varied struggles and perseverance of different Latinx undocumented Americans. It’s a book about their experiences, mixed with the author’s own experiences of being undocumented and having undocumented parents, and it’s told in a very casual tone. This book does a great of showing how wildly different the experiences of being an undocumented American are and how the effects of undocumented vary from person to person. The author talks about the undocumented immigrants’ experiences with access to healthcare, work opportunities and conditions, old age and retirement, education and so much more.My only issue with this is that there was something about the writing style that didn’t completely work for me. I think it had to do with the author’s voice.
Her Night with Santa by Adriana Herrera(4 stars): This is smut and it’s great smut. For such a short novella, Adriana Herrera manages to give us compelling characters, an instant connection and tons of chemistry between the characters, and a lot of very steamy scenes. This was a fast, fun and steamy read
One Week to Claim It All by Adriana Herrera(4 stars): This was so fun, dramatic (in telenovela style) and steamy. The main characters had a lot of chemistry and they were easy to root for. My one issue is that the heroine forgot quite easily (before she knew the truth) about what he did to her, which didn’t seem realistic when she has been angry at him for 10 years, but I didn’t mind it too much.
Lupe Wong Won’t Dance by Donna Barba Higuera (3,5 stars): I struggled a lot with the first half of this book because the main character, Lupe, is not necessarily a likeable character. For a big portion of this book, she is selfish, self-centred, and she steamrolls her friends and I had to keep reminding myself that she is a child who is learning about these things. Nonetheless, by the end, I appreciated her character development and I ended up enjoying the second part of the book a lot because it showed her slowly realizing the things that she had done wrong, changing her way of seeing things and working to make up for the way she had behaved. I also appreciated the way this book talked about outdated traditions that are not as inclusive as they could be and should be and how they can be changed without taking away the meaning and significance that they have for people.
Signs Preceding the End of the World by Yuri Herrera (3,5 stars): This novella addresses immigration in a very compelling way by mixing myth and reality, the writing is good and the linguistic choices are interesting. I don’t know if it was because it was so short but something was missing for me.
Sabrina and Corina by Karla Fajardo Anstine (3,5 stars): I have mixed feelings about this collection. These are mostly stories about women suffering and going through hard things -violence, abandonment, inherited trauma, loss, grief – and it does a good job depicting these things but there was no hope here and that made me struggle reading this. Also, these were slice of life stories and I figure out while reading this that I don’t like that in short story collections, most of the time I was left feeling like there was something missing.
Little Eyes by Samanta Schweblin (3 stars):I had a hard time getting into this book because the stories felt very disjointed and I wasn’t really interested in some of them. Nonetheless, the second half of the book is a lot more interesting, because you know the characters of the different stories, you see what it means to them to be a keeper or a dweller, what relationship they establish with the kentukis and the people on the other side of them, as well as broader implications of this technology. The end was very pessimistic and cynical but it seemed realistic to me and while it wasn’t entirely satisfactory, it was thought-provoking.
Unearthed: A Jessica Cruz Story by Lilliam Rivera and Steph C. (4 stars): I ended up enjoying this, I think it does a great job of discussing the difficulties and fears that undocumented immigrants experience and I think that’s the best part of this graphic novel. The portrait of Jessica’s emotions was very well done and her anger and despair felt very realistic after everything that she went through. My main issue with this is that it includes Mayan gods but that element didn’t really feel integrated into the story and I wish the gods played a bigger role than simply being angel and devil figures whispering in Jessicas ear in a couple of scenes and that’s it.
Eartheater by Dolores Reyes (4.5 stars): This is a powerful book mainly about the violence that women face. It has a compelling main character that felt like a real, complex, fully rounded person, a fascinating concept – a women who can see how people died or where they are and what happened to them by eating earth connected to the person – and writing that, beyond being absolutely beautiful and raw, perfectly transmits the array of feelings that the main character goes through and that the story tries to capture: anger, frustration, fear, grief, passion, indifference, love. I only docked 0.5 stars because the ending wasn’t as satisfactory as I wanted, but overall it was a fantasctic read.
What was the last book written by a Latinx author that you read? What’s your favorite book by a Latinx author?
Hi everyone! For the last couple years I have seen so many announcements of Latinx books being adapted as movies or series and it makes me so excited! So I decided to put together a list of upcoming screen adaptations of books by Latinx authors. I’m sure I missed some adaptations but I tried to include as many as I could and I ended up with a total of 12 adaptations of Adult, YA and Middle Grade books written by Latinx authors.
Without further ado, here they are:
Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin is the story of a young woman named Amanda, who lies dying in a rural hospital clinic. A boy named David sits beside her. She’s not his mother. He’s not her child. Together, they tell a haunting story of broken souls, toxins, and the power and desperation of family. (Goodredas)
The book was adapted as a movie by Netflix, and Samanta Schweblin, the author of the book, co-wrote the script. The movie is coming out on October 13th (it’s almost here!), it was shot in Northern Patagonia (Chile), the director is Peruvian, it had a largely female Chilean crew, mostly Argentine actors and it’s in Spanish.
This book it’s going to translate into a really creepy and unsettling movie, and I can’t wait to watch it. The trailer looks really good and exactly how I pictured everything when I was reading.
Mexic Gothic is the story of a young woman called Noemi, who receives a letter from her cousin begging for someone to save her from her husband. Noemí heads to rescue her not knowing what she will find. Once there, Noemí is mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, and soon she may find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind. (Goodreads)
Mexican Gothic is being adapted as a limited series on Hulu, it’s being produced by Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos and Silvia Moreno-Garcia is also an executive producer. According to the author, it will probably have between 8 and 10 episodes. Some more information: here and here
This was my favorite book of 2020, and I think it’s going to make a perfectly suspenseful, weird, and immersive series. I’m really excited to see who gets cast in this and I hope they do the characters justice.
One Hundred Years of Solitude
One Hundred Years of Solitude tells the story of the rise and fall, birth and death of the mythical town of Macondo through the history of the Buendiá family. It chronicles the irreconcilable conflict between the desire for solitude and the need for love. (Goodreads)
Netflix is producing a Spanish-language original series based on this novel written by Gabriel García Márquez. The author’s sons Rodrigo and Gonzalo García will serve as executive producers on the series, which will be filmed mainly in Colombia. Some more information: here
Anyone who has even attempted to read this book (like me, because I have never actually finished it) knows that it’s the type of book that it’s SO HARD to adapt, so I’m very nervous about this adaptation but I also have hope it will turn out alright.
Things We Lost in the Fire
Things We Lost In the Fire is a short story collection that brings contemporary Argentina to vibrant life as a place where shocking inequality, violence, and corruption are the law of the land.The short story being adapted depicts the extreme actions of a group of women in response to male violence. (Goodreads)
It was announced in July 2021 that the short story Things We Lost in the Fire will be adapted as a movie. Prano Bailey-Bond has been attached to write and direct and Rodrigo Teixeira (Call Me by Your Name) and Lourenço Sant’Anna (The Lighthouse) will produce. More information: here
The short story that it’s being adapted is so disturbing and thought-provoking and I’m sure it will make a powerful movie.
Her Body and Other Parties
Her Body and Other Parties is a collection of short stories that that map the realities of women’s lives and the violence visited upon their bodies. (Goodreads)
An anthology series based on Her Body and Other Parties is in development at FX. Machado will serve as a producer. The project is headed by writer-producer Gina Welch (Feud, Ray Donovan, The Terror). It’s described as a feminist Black Mirror with fairy tale themes, its hours threaded together with a recurring ensemble of female characters. More information: here and here
I’m not sure how some of this stories are going to be adapted, in particular Especially Heinous, which is inspired by Law & Order, but I’m excited to see how they do it. I think it’s going to be a very weird show and I’m looking forward to watching it.
I am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter is the story of a girl who is dealing with the death of her sister who was their parent’s perfect daughter. Julia is not a perfect Mexican daughter and soon she discovers that her sister might not have been as perfect as everyone thought, so she embarks on a journey to find out the truth about her sister. (Goodreads)
It was announced on February 2021 that I am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter is being adapted into a movie for Netflix, the author (Erika Sanchez) will serve as a co-producer, it will be America Ferrera’s feature directorial debut and Linda Yvette Chávez, the co-creator of Gentefied, adapted the screenplay. Some more information: here
I haven’t read the book and I honestly don’t have any intention to read it, but I will watch the movie since it sounds like a good story, I want to support Latinx adaptations and I really like America Ferrera.
They Both Die at the End
In a world where people get a message the day they are going to die letting them know it’s their last day and where there’s an app called Last Friend where you can find people to spend your last day, two boys with one day left meet for one last great adventure- to live a lifetime in a single day. (Goodreads)
Entertainment One acquired the rights to develop for television and Adam Silvera will write the adaptation. More information: here
This adaptation is going to make me cry, I’m sure of it and I can’t wait.
More Happy Than Not
Aaron is struggling after a family tragedy and his new best friends, Thomas, helps him get through it. As Aaron and Thomas get closer, Aaron discovers things about himself that he wants to forget, and a revolutionary memory-alteration procedure might be the solution. (Goodreads)
HBO Max is developing a one-hour series based on More Happy Than Not and Adam Silvera will serve as executive producers on the project. The series will be developed by Creative Engine Entertainment and eOne (which is also developing Anna K). More information: here
I can’t wait to watch this, I think if they do a good job with the adaptation, it can become a beloved movie just like “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” is, but including Latinx and queer people, and directed at a younger audience.
With Fire on High
With The Fire on High is the story of a teen mom fighting for her dream of becoming a chef while struggling to balance being a mom, going to school, helping support her grandmother, being a friend, and falling in love with a cute boy. (Goodreads)
In August 2019, it was announced that Picturestart (which is a relatively new company launched by the ex-film boss of Lionsgate) acquired the rights and will develop and produce a film based on this book. The author, Elizabeth Acevedo, will be writing the screenplay to adapt it. More information: here
I really hope they don’t make this all about the hardships Emoni has to face, I know that part has to be included, but I love the fact that it’s a book about all the ways in which she continues to thrive and grow even when facing difficult decisions
Clap When you land
Clap When You Land is the story of two sisters, one living in the Dominican Republic and the other in New York, that didn’t know the other existed until their father died in a plane crash. Now they have to figure out if they can be sisters and what that will look like. (Goodreads)
In December 2020, it was announced that Made Up Stories acquired the rights to develop Clap When You Land as a television series. Emmy-winning Bruna Papandrea will executive produce and Elizabeth Acevedo will also executive produce and write the pilot. More information: here
I’m curious about how they are going to integrate the poetry of this book into the story or if they are going to make a regular film. I’m usually not a fan of voice overs but I can’t definitely see them working for this adaptation.
Ghost Squad is a Middle-grade novel about two girls who accidentally awaken malicious spirits and have to team up with a grandma and a cat to save their town and the spirits of the dead who are disappearing. (Goodreads)
In February 2020, it was announced that Ghost Squad will be adapted as a live-action hybrid film, which will be directed by Brenda Chapman. Scholastic Entertainment, Josephson Entertainment (Enchanted, Life As We Know It), and Twas Entertainment are developing and producing the project. More information: here
This is going to be so comforting to watch on screen, it’s such a sweet story and I can’t wait to see who is going to play Babette
Sal and Gabi Break the Universe
Sal and Gabi Break the Universe is a middle-grade story about a boy who can open portals to other universes and who is dealing with the death of his mother, and a smart girl who is trying to discover his secrets. (Goodreads)
It was announced in September 2021 that Sal and Gabi Break the Universe will be adapted as a series for Disney Branded TV. Eva Longoria and Ben Spector will develop and produce the series. More information: here
Sal and Gabi are two of my favorite book characters of all time, so I’m both nervous and excited to see who is going to play them. I have really high hopes for this adaptation and I hope it doesn’t disappoint.
Are you planning on watching any of these adaptations? Which one are you most excited about?
Hi everyone! I have a very exciting post today as part of my celebration of Latinx Heritage Month. I have been trying to get into horror lately and obviously I have tried to pick up horror books by Latinx authors, which is why I wanted to recommend some of them to you. Since it’s almost spooky season, I thought it woulf be a great time for this post. I am also mentioning some books that are on my tbr since I’m so new to this genre.
Since getting interested in horror written by Latinx authors, I have learned that there has been a huge boom of horror books in Latin American countries in the last few years, especially horror books written by women. That’s why most of my recommendactions are translated books and most of the books on my tbr too. Also, simply because I want to read more books set in and written by people living in Latin American countries.
Working at the local processing plant, Marcos is in the business of slaughtering humans —though no one calls them that anymore. Marcos tries not to think too hard about how he makes a living. After all, it happened so quickly. First, it was reported that an infectious virus has made all animal meat poisonous to humans. Then governments initiated the “Transition.” Now, eating human meat—“special meat”—is legal. Then one day Marcos is given a gift: a live specimen of the finest quality. Though he’s aware that any form of personal contact is forbidden on pain of death, little by little he starts to treat her like a human being. And soon, he becomes tortured by what has been lost—and what might still be saved.
This book is actually very disturbing because it makes cannibalism seem like something that could actually happen, the way the author executes the whole concept makes it seem so plausible. Bazterrica does a great job of thinking about all the things we do with animals (eat them, hunt them, use them for skins and to test drugs) and she incorporates all that to the story but changes the animals for humans. She also really goes into a lot of detail about the process of producing human meat from raising to slaughtering to processing to distribution. She explains how everything is done and it’s very unsettling because you can’t help but be repulsed and interested at teh same time.
Another thing that the author does very well is communicating the feeling of desperation, desolation, and loneliness that this society lives in even if they try to pretend they don’t. She creates the perfect atmosphere for the story, which reflects the decline of all the moral values in this society. Beyond the concept, setting, and atmosphere, the plot revolves around events of a smaller scale but it’s as disturbing as everything else
A young woman named Amanda lies dying in a rural hospital clinic. A boy named David sits beside her. She’s not his mother. He’s not her child. Together, they tell a haunting story of broken souls, toxins, and the power and desperation of family.
This is a short book that’s very atmospheric, the reading experience is disorienting and trippy since the story is told by a confused, feverish woman, and the author does a great job of transmiting the frustration and fear that the main character feels caused by this very intense and strange little kid who pushes her to talk and won’t answer her questions. Reading this book is a very inmersive experience because all of these elements.
Beyond that, Samanta Schweblin does a good job of commenting on the use of pesticides in Argentina and its effect on entire towns and the people who live in them, but adding a paranormal element that it’s never quite explained but that adds to the weirdness and creepiness of the story.
After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find. Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer but she is not afraid.
There are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness. And Noemí, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind.
This is a creepy, atmospheric, and disturbing book that has beautiful and captivating writing. The story is so effective in being scary because even when it’s not clear if there are ghosts, magic, or other supernatural things going on, the real villains of the story are manipulative, abusive, disgusting men that you could find anywhere in the world and anytime in history. This book is creepy from very early on, Moreno-García made my skin crawl with the simplest scenes, sometimes nothing too scary was happening but with one perfectly crafted phrase, I was spooked. Also, this includes important commentary on sexism, colonialism, and eugenics that gives depth to the story.
Short story collection that brings contemporary Argentina to vibrant life as a place where shocking inequality, violence, and corruption are the law of the land, while military dictatorship and legions of desaparecidos loom large in the collective memory.
This book does a good job of commenting on subjects like poverty, addiction, feminicide, police brutality, and so much more, through a gothic lens and with a touch of paranormal elements (a lot of them related to Argentinian folklore). Most of the stories are disturbing and quietly eerie, some with grotesque moments, some transmitting very well the sense of dread and fear of the characters, and most of them revolving spooky and mysterious circumstances. The author leaves the resolution of a lot of the stories up to the reader’s imagination, so it feels like they end quite abruptly, which is a bit jarring but ends up working really well to maintain the sense of uneasiness that the stories create.
After the hurricane, some see destruction and some smell blood. The tiny island of Vieques, located just off the northeastern coast of the main island of Puerto Rico, is trying to recover after hurricane Maria, but the already battered island is now half empty. To make matters worse, developers have come in to buy up the land at a fraction of its worth, taking advantage of the island when it is down. Lupe, Javier, and Marisol are back to investigate a series of murders that follow in the wake of a hurricane and in the shadow of a new supernatural threat.
This is the only YA book on this list, and it’s a quick and entertaining read set in Puerto Rico about teenagers who get involved with a supernatural mystery. This is a ghost story and the really interesting thing about it is that the ghost element is deeply related to the history of Pueblo Rico, and particularly, the history of Pueblo Rico as a colonized land. There are a couple spooky ghost scenes, which was a fun element of the story. Also, the author does a great job of integrating what has happened in Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria- especially the abandonment of Puerto Rico by the U.S. government – to the book
I definitely want to explore the horror genre more and specifically, horror written by Latinx authros, so here are some books that have caught my eye and that I’m hoping to read soon:
Hurricane Season by Fernanda Melchor: The story of a small town were the Witch turns up dead. And the discovery of her corpse propels the whole village into an investigation of how and why this murder occurred. Rumors and suspicions spread. As the novel unfolds new details, new acts of depravity or brutality are revealed.
Weep,Woman, Weep by Maria DeBlassie: The story of La Llorona, who roams the waterways looking for the next generation of girls to baptize, filling them with more tears than any woman should have to hold. And there’s not much they can do about the Weeping Woman. Mercy knows this, probably better than anyone. She lost her best friend to La Llorona and almost found a watery grave herself. But she survived. Only she didn’t come back quite right and she knows La Llorona won’t be satisfied until she drags the one soul that got away back to the bottom of the river.”
The Children by Carolina Sanín: The story of a woman who discovers a mysterious young boy on the pavement outside her apartment building: Fidel, who is six years old, a child with seemingly no origins or meaning. With few clues to guide her as she tries to discover his real identity, Laura finds herself swept into a bureaucratic maelstrom of fantastical proportions.
Little Eyes by Samanta Schweblin: The story of little mechanical stuffed animals called Kentukis, which have gone viral across the globe. They have cameras for eyes, wheels for feet, and are connected to an anonymous global server. Owners of kentukis have the eyes of a stranger in their home; or you can be the kentuki and voyeuristically spend time in someone else’s life, controlling the creature with a few keystrokes. These creatures can reveal the beauty of connection between farflung souls – but they also expose the ugly humanity of our increasingly linked world.
Have you read any horror books by Latinx authros? Do you have any recommendations?