Reading Challenges and 2020 Goals Update #2: Con Sabor Reading Challenge + #StartonYourShelfathon

Hi everyone! Today I want to talk about how am I doing with my 2020 goals and with the Reading Challenges I’m participating in. This update only includes the books I read from April to June, if you want to see my progress update from January to March, here’s the post I wrote about it.

Without further ado, here are my updates:

Con Sabor Reading Challenge is hosted by Dani @ metamorphoreader, Astrid @ Book Love Book Reviews, Natalia @ Books.Build.Life, and Nox @ Nox the ReaderMy goal for this challenge is to read 35 books by Latinx authors in 2020. I was supposed to be following the prompts for each month, but I didn’t end up doing that.

For this challenge, I read 6 books during the second trimester of the year. For a total of 16 books by Latinx authors read this year.

Incendiary | Ghost Squad | Clap When You Land | b.b. free #2 | b.b Free #3 | The House of the Spirits

#StartOnYourShelfathon is hosted by CW at The Quiet Pond, it started on December 2019 and my goal for this challenge is to read 50 of the unread books on my shelf and I want to read 15 specific books that I included on my tbr.

I have read 12 books for this challenge in the second trimester of 2020. For a total of 27 books read in 2020 that were on my shelf before the start of the year. I only read two books that were on my tbr: The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende and China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kuang. For a total of 4 out of 15 books from my tbr. I really need to start reading more books that are on my tbr!

To Be Taught, If Fortunate | An Unexpected Guest | A Question of Holmes | Everything I Never Told You | Hate to Want You | Kingdom of Needles and Bone | China Rich Gilfriend | The Bone Witch| The House of the Spirits | The Poppy War | We Hunt the Flame | Want

FANTASY BOOKS

In 2020, my goal was to read 20 fantasy books and I already completed that goal.  I read 15 fantasy books in the second trimester of 2020. For a total of 24 fantasy books in 2020.

The Poppy War | Jade City | Incendiary | Tunnel of Bones | Ghost Squad | Blood of Elves | The Deep | The Bone Witch | Rolling in the Deep | We Hunt the Flame | Storm Front | Locke & Key #1 | Fool Moon | The Black God’s Drums | Grave Peril

KEEP READING DIVERSELY

Another one of my goals is to keep reading diversely, obviously the 35 Latinx books count towards that goal but beyond that, I wanted to read 15 books by Black authors and 15 books by Asian authors and I already accomplished those goals!

In the second trimester of 2020 I read 13 books by Black authors, for a total of 24 books by Black authors read in 2020.

Say Her Name | Untouchable| Don’t Call Us Dead | The Deep | The Black God’s Drums | The Boyfriend Project | Guarding Temptation | Meet Cute Club | Wanna Bet | Xeni | Clap When You Land | White Rage | White Whisky Bargain

And in terms of Asian authors, in the second trimester of 2020, I read 14 books by Asian authors for a total of 15 in 2020.

Gotham High | The Bone Witch | Girl Gone Viral | A Gentleman in the Street | China Rich Girlfriend | Everything I Never Told You | Hate to Want You | The Trouble with Hating You| Want | Yes, No, Maybe So | Jade City | The Poppy War | The Marriage Game | We Hunt the Flame

Overall, I’m on track to accomplish my 2020 goals and to complete the reading challenges. I only need to read more of the books I put on my tbr for #StartOnYourShelfathon, that’s the only goal I’m behind on.

In which Reading Challenges are you participating this year? How are you doing with your 2020 goals?

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ARC Review: Incendiary by Zoraida Córdova

Title: Incendiary

Author: Zoraida Córdova

Series: Hollow Crown #1

Published by: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers 

Publishing date:  April 28th 2020

Pages: 384 

Renata Convida was a child when she was kidnapped by the King’s Justice & brought to the luxurious palace of Andalucia. As a Robari, the rarest & most feared of the magical Moria, Renata’s ability to steal memories from royal enemies enabled the King’s Wrath, a siege that resulted in the deaths of thousands of her own people.

Now Renata is one of the Whispers, rebel spies working against the crown and helping the remaining Moria escape the kingdom bent on their destruction. The Whispers may have rescued Renata from the palace years ago, but she cannot escape their mistrust and hatred–or the overpowering memories of the hundreds of souls she turned “hollow” during her time in the palace.

When Dez, the commander of her unit, is taken captive by the notorious Sangrado Prince, Renata will do anything to save the boy whose love makes her place among the Whispers bearable. But a disastrous rescue attempt means Renata must return to the palace under cover and complete Dez’s top secret mission. Can Renata convince her former captors that she remains loyal, even as she burns for vengeance against the brutal, enigmatic prince? Her life and the fate of the Moria depend on it.

But returning to the palace stirs childhood memories long locked away. As Renata grows more deeply embedded in the politics of the royal court, she uncovers a secret in her past that could change the entire fate of the kingdom–and end the war that has cost her everything.

Goodreads | Amazon | Books Depository

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. Can you tell I loved this book? that’s because I really, really did.

Renata, the main character of Incendiary, is a fascinating character. She is not the strongest, the smartest or the most cunning, she is a normal girl that has to deal with a complicated past and with powerful abilities that make her be needed and feared and hated at the same time. The way she deals with her trauma and her guilty, and especially the way her self-recrimination affects her relationships with others and colors all her interactions feels completelly realistic. All the secondary characters are intriguing, especially since it’s hard to know which role are they playing in the large scheme of things. It truly feels like no one in this book can be trusted, which helps build the tension throughout the story.

As a background to these characters, there’s a kingdom and a culture inspired by the Spanish Inquisition, which gives this story a very rich and complex setting and history. In this kingdom, there are characters that are like judges and they are tasked with defending their belief system by eradicating anyone who threatens it. In this case, they believe that the Moria, which are the people with magic abilities in this world, are a threat and they have to be wiped out. The magic of the Moria is fascinating and unique with different types of powers, metals that make them more poweful and special stone that stores memories. It’s unusual to find magic systems that are intricate and interesting and at the same time manage to be easy to understand, but this book delivers just that.

One of the stronger aspects of this story is that it feels like like something bad is about to happen at any moment, Renata is living in the midst of enemies while trying to save her people and enact revange but there are so many secrets and interests at play that the whole book feels like mystery that Renata and the reader have to solve. This tension and sense of danger that build throughot the book are the testament of the excellent writing, which it’s fluid and captivating and it goes well with the fast pace of the story.

Finally, to top all of that off, this book is full of twists and turns and while they are really shocking, there are enough clues throughout the book that it doesn’t feel like the twists come out of nowhere. And the ending is full of truths and revelations that will leave wishing you had the second book in your hands right away.

Are you planning on reading this book? Does it sound like something you would enjoy? Have you read any other book by this author?
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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!

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Con Sabor Reading Challenge 2020: let’s read Latinx books!

Con Sabor Reading Challenge is hosted by Dani @ metamorphoreader, Astrid @ Book Love Book Reviews, Natalia @ Books.Build.Life, and Nox @ Nox the Reader and the goal of the challenge is to motivate people to pick up as many books by Latinx authors as they can. The challenge ends December 31st and the sign up sheet, which you can find here, is open all year, so anyone can join at any time they want. The hosts have also created prompts that you can participate in each month if you so wish. You can earn badges by either reading a certain number of books or by participating in these prompts.

*Click the book titles to go to the Goodreads page*

GOALS

Like I have mentioned in other posts, my goal for this year is to read 35 books by Latinx authors, which means I’m trying to get the badge of Latinx Historian.

I will also be trying to follow the prompts that the hosts have set up for each month and I won’t make a tbr for all of them yet because I’m a mood reader and I like hving the freedom to choose what I read every month, but will be sharing the books I’ll read to fulfill the first three prompts. But before that I’ll share the prompts:

  • January- Book with mental health representation
  • February- Romance
  • March- Fantasy
  • April- Contemporary
  • May- A genre out of your comfort zone
  • June- LGBTQI+ representation
  • July- Afrolatinx main character
  • August- Fat representation
  • November- Retelling

MY READING

  • I already finished one Latinx book in January, which was More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera and it helped me complete the prompt for mental health representation. Also, this means I have already earned a badge!
  • In February, I’ll read The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa, which is romance with an Afro-Latinx main character and by a Afro-Latinx authors and that helps me fulfill the prompt for the month and it’s also perfect to read during Black History Month.
  • In March, I’ll read Incendiary by Zoraida Cordova. I have an earc of this book and I want to read it before it comes out and it helps me fulfill the fantasy prompt, so it’s perfect for March.

I’ll update you on my progress with this challenge in three months and then I’ll choose the next books that I’ll read to fulfill the prompts of the next three months.

Are you joining the Con Sabor Reading Challenge? What are some books by Latinx authors that you love? What books by Latinx authors are on your tbr?

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Romance Books by Latinx Authors | Blogmas Day 5

Hi everyone! Today I’m bringing you a post that I had planned to write for Latinx Heritage Month, but I didn’t get around to it, so I thought I would post it now!

I read A LOT of romance and I’m the first one to admit that it took me a long time to realize that I was only reading romance books by white authors and about white characters and while I love a lot of those stories, the true is that it’s amazing to feel represented in the books you read and that’s why I have been making a effort to read more romance book by Latinx authors. Since I have read quite a few of them lately, I thought it was a good idea to share some of my favorites with you.

If you are just now realizing that you have never read a romance book by a Latinx author or if you have read some of them but want to read even more, I have good news … I got you! Here are some romance books by Latinx authors that you may want to add to your tbr.

You can read all of the series mentioned in this post out of order if you don’t mind spoiling the previous books or you can skip one of the books without problem if are more interested in other books in the series

Dreamers Series by Adriana Herrera

The Dreamers series by Adriana Herrera has three books that are already out and a fourth one that is coming out March 2020, so you have the enough time to catch up with this series before the last book is out. And let me tell you, it will be totally worth it! This is my favorite romance series by a Latinx author.

These books are about a group of 4 friends that are Latinx and each book is the story of one of them falling in love. Great writing, fantastic friendships, some of the sweetest romances I have ever read, mentions of amazing Latinx food and music, conversations about important subjects like domestic violence and police brutality are some of the reason why I love this series and why I would totally recommend it!

American Dreamer: a Dominican guy who owns an Afro Caribbean food truck, a sexy librarian, a m/m relationship.

American Fairytale: Cuban-Jamaican social worker, Dominican- American businessman with a cute daughter, a m/m romance.

American Love Story: A Haitian professor and activist, an assistant district attorney, a very complicated m/m romance full of tension and difficult conversations.

Delicious Desires Series by Sabrina Sol

The Delicious Desires series has three books that are all out already. I love books two and three the most, so those are the books I recommend more strongly. Since these are companion novels the main characters from each book are related to someone in the next book and that’s how the books are connected.

One of my favorite things about this series is that there’s a lot of mouth-watering Latinx food in it, so be ready to get hungry while reading! The amazing writing, the fact that these books include some of my favorite tropes and the really steamy scenes are other reasons why I recommend this series.

Delicious Temptation: Mexican Baker heroine, who’s a good girl, a ex-bad boy mexican hero, a second chance romance and delicious Latinx desserts

Delicious Complication: a Mexican wedding planner heroine, a Puerto Rican restaurant owner hero, a couple that goes from dislike to love and have a fake engagement.

Delicous Satisfaction: a Puerto Rican chef heroine, a Mexican-American lawyer hero, the best friend’s sister trope and delicious Latinx food.

Love on Cue Series by Mia Sosa

duo mia sosa

The Love on Cue series has three books that are all already out, but I have only read the first two. These are companion novels and the characters in the books are connected, so the hero from book one is the brother of the heroine from book two.

The great dialogues, lovable characters, complicated family dinamics and the fact that the second book discusses diversity in the movie industry are some of the reason why I recommend this series.

Action on Impulse: an afro-Puerto Rican heroine, who is a personal trainer, and a Hollywood actor hero.

Pretending He’s Mine: a Black Hollywood agent, a flight attendant/singer heroine, a fake relationship and the best friend’s little sister trope.

Dance Off Series by Alexis Daria

dance off series.jpg

The Dance Off series has two full novels and one novella that are out already and there is supposed to be a third novel that doesn’t have a release date yet. I have read the two full novels but I have not read the novella.

What I love about this series is that it has a unique premise with the dance competion tv show, really steamy scenes, couples with lots of chemistry, three dimentional characters and so many other great things. Honestly, more people should definitely read this!

Take the Lead: Puerto Rican heroine, who is a pro dancer, a reality tv star hero, who looks like a viking and lives in Alaska and a dance competition tv show that brings them together.

Dance with Me: Puerto Rican heroine, who is a pro dancer in a dance competition tv show. Ukrainian hero, who is a coreographer and a judge in the tv show. Friends with benefits that end up living together.

His Perfect Partner by Priscilla Oliveras

His Perfect Partner

This is the first book in a series and it’s the only one I have read so far, but I already own a copy of the second book and I’ll definitely be reading it soon.

His Perfect Partner has a Puerto Rican main character, who is a dance teacher for small kids and she fall in love with the single father of one of her students, who is Mexican-American. This is such a sweet romance story, but mainly I loved the relationship between the heroine and the little girl and the way the main character’s family accepted and loved the hero and his daughter. Also, this book is a bit heartbreaking so be prepared because it’s gonna give you a lot of feels. And just so you know, this doesn’t have explicit content. (Goodreads)

Kulti by Mariana Zapata

I have read a few Mariana Zapata books and I have loved them all, but I decided to include Kulti on this list because it’s the one that has a half Mexican, half Argentinian heroine.

Mariana Zapata is the queen of slow burn romances and this is definitely a slow, slow burn, but it’s so worth it at the end. My favorite thing about this book is the complex characters that have a captivating relationship that slowly goes from dislike to friendship to love. Also, I love sport romances and I had so much fun with this one that revolves around soccer since it’s the sport I’m most familiar with. (Goodreads)

Have you read any of these books? Did you enjoy them? Do you have recommendations for romance books by Latinx authors?

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My 5 Favorite YA Books by Latinx Authors | Latinx Heritage Month 2019

YA books by Latinx authors

Hi everyone! Since it’s Latinx Heritage Month, I thought a great way to celebrate was talking about some of my favorite book by Latinx authors. This is the first post of  the series and since I read so many YA books I decided to start with those.

Don't Date Rosa Santos

Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno (YA CONTEMPORARY)

It’s not often that a book breaks my heart and makes me sob, but this book managed to do just that. This book has beautiful writing, complex but lovable characters, a community that’s like a huge family, but the most special thing about it is the brilliant and bittersweet way it explores the feelings of a granddaughter of immgrants: the feelings of confusion and guilt for belonging to two places at onces, for speaking biligual words, for not knowing exactly where she comes from and what happened to the family that stayed behind.

we set the dark on fire

We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia (YA FANTASY)

This book captured my heart with two beautifully complex main characters, a forbidden love story, fascinating mythology, an infuriating world and a flawed but commited rebelious group. This bookfeels Latinx, it IS unapologetically Latinx and it has the respectful and wonderful Latinx representation that we need in fantasy. Beyond all those amazing things, 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.

juliet-takes-a-breath

Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera (YA CONTEMPORARY)

This book holds a very special place in my heart, it was one of the first YA books with a Latinx main character that I ever read and I fell completely in love with it.  This book has amazing writing, complex, messy and vulnerable characters, it talks about feminism and about being queer in a thought-provoking way, and it shows the different perspectives that exist in these broader movements and the importance of intersectionality. This book is insighful and provocative and I think it’s incredible important for teens, because it’s a great introduction to femenist and queer ideas.

when-the-moon-was-ours

When the Moon was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore (YA MAGICAL REALISM) 

This book is magical, mysterious and captivating and it’s probably my favorite magical realism book of all time and a book I’d recommend to anyone that wants to start reading this genre. This book has beautiful, flowery and poetic writing, an intriguing plot, an alluring atmosphere and complex and fascinating villains. It’s has a dark and dangerous vibe that underlies the story and that makes the reader feel unease and worry and that adds a compelling and engrossing element to the book.

labyrinth-lostLabyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova (YA URBAN FANTASY) 

Witches, fairies, an all latinx cast of characters and great bisexual rep … there was no way I wasn’t gonna love this one. The mythology and magic in this book are rooted in Latinx traditions and beliefs in such big and profund way that it can’t be confused with anything else but a love letter to Latinx magic and that’s the most amazing thing about this book. Another great thing about it is that the unveiling of Los Lagos, the magical world where part of this book takes place, is done in such a slow and delibareted way that you can’t help but be completely captivated by it.

Have you read any of this books? Do you want to read any of them? What YA books by Latinx author do you love? 
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100 Book Recommendations for the Latinx Book Bingo| Latinx Heritage Month 2019

Hi everyone! Today I bring you a post I have been working on for a long time and I’m super excited to finally share it with you. In this post, there are recommendations for the Latinx Book Bingo 2019, which I’m hosting again this year.  Before getting into the recs, here are some things you should know about them:

  • In each category, the recommendations are organized depending on age group: First, you’ll find YA books, then Middle Grade books and finally Adult books.
  • Click on the title and it will take you to the Goodreads page for the book.
  • I haven’t read every book on this list, but I read #ownvoices reviews for almost every single one of them to make sure the Latinx rep was good. Nonetheless, if you know the rep in one of the books is not good, please let me know!
  • Next to the title and author, there’s a parentheses (), in which I added information like the genre of the books and the kind of rep they have, so you could know if it works for more than one square.
  • If you can’t find a book that intests you and fits one of the categories on this list and need more options, here’s the list I made for the bingo last year: 90 Book Recommendations for the Latinx Book Bingo. Maybe you’ll find what you’re looking for there!

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

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Any book by a Latinx author
Intersectional main character (mc)
Afrolatinx main character
On Cover Representation
Fat Representation 
Backlist Title
Non-Traditional format
Recommended by a Latinx Reader  (My recs for you!)
Non Fiction
Are you participating in the Latinx Book Bingo? Are you reading any of the books on this list? or have you read already any of the books on this list? Let me know!
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Latinx Book Bingo Announcement | Latinx Heritage Month 2019

Hi everyone! I’m so excited to share that the Latinx Book Bingo is officially coming back for a second edition this year! 🎉🎉🎉

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The Latinx book bingo will take place from September 15 to October 15, which is Hispanic Heritage Month 2019 (or how we are choosing to called it: Latinx Heritage Month). The bingo is being hosted by Paola (@Mancerelle), Allie (@Alliewithbooks) and myself (@SofiainBookland) just like last year and the purpose of it is to highlight books about latinx characters and written by latinx authors.

The aim of the bingo is to read as many Latinx books as you can, guided by the prompts on the bingo board.  You can also try to get a bingo (read all prompts on a single line or row — you can read horizontally, vertically, and diagonally), but it’s not necessary, we just hope you read some latinx reads during this month.

I want to quickly explain that we always want to promote intersectional stories, so the square that says intersectional MC prompts you to read a book where the main character is Latinx AND is part of the LGBTQIA community or has a mental illness or is neurodivergent or disabled. Something similar happens with the square that says fat rep, it means read a book with a character that it’s both Latinx and fat.

The Grief KeeperThe main difference between last year and this year is that we have a group book, which is The Grief Keeper by Alexandra Villasante, and the amazing thing is that we are reading this book as part of a month long readalong organized by the hosts of the Latinx Book Club (which I’m part of as well), the Latinxathon and us, the host of the Latinx Book Bingo. For this we are using the hashtag #LatinxLitTakeover.  I couldn’t be more excited that we all decided to read this book together as a way to start or further conversations about immigration (which is one of the main themes of the book) considering everything that’s happening right now and how it’s affecting thousands of immigrants.

We are planning some amazing things through the @LatinxBookBingo Twitter account, so follow us to get recommendations of Latinx reads,  to find some lovely Latinx bookish people since we are doing shout outs throughout the month and to participate in the giveaway we are hosting. You can use the #LatinxBookBingo hashtag for all your related tweets and posts. I will be posting a tbr and a recommendation list in the next couple of weeks in case you need help setting up your tbr.

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

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Latinx Book Club | Announcement + Our First Book Club Pick!

latinx book club.jpg

Hi everyone! If you follow me on Twitter or if you are a part of the bookish community on Twitter, you may have heard about the Latinx Book Club, which I am co-hosting with 5 lovely Latinx bloggers and booktubers. We started this project at the beginning of March and we already have over a 1000 followers on the Twitter account!!! The response has been amazing and I’m so happy to be a part of this project.

But let’s back up a little bit! The Latinx Book Club is – obviously a book club – meant to highlight and boost Latinx authors and Latinx books. Each month, we are voting to choose one book by a Latinx author that we will read together and then discuss it in a twitter chat. The books can be YA or Middle Grade and they can be from any genre. 

The other hosts of the book club are Cande (@Latinx Magic+ @iamrainbou), Jocelyn (@Yogi With a Book + @joceraptor ), Alicia (@A Kernel of Nonsense + @booknonsense), Dani (@ Metamorphoreader + Metamorphodani) and Carolina (@Santana Reads + @Santanareads)

You can find all the info for the book club on the Twitter and Instagram accounts. Also, if you are interested in finding out about Latinx books being release or great Latinx books with amazing rep, you should follow the twitter account!

About a week ago, we put up a poll on Twitter for people to vote and help us choose our April book pick and the results are in! We are so excited to read and talk about this book with everyone that decides to participate!

Without further ado, here is our first book club pick:

aprilbookpick.png

The Storm Runner is a Middle-Grade Fantasy book with a disabled Latinx main character and it’s full of Maya mythology. Also, it’s one of the Rick Riordan Presents books!

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Trigger warnings: internalized ableism and use of ableist language

“Zane has always enjoyed exploring the dormant volcano near his home in New Mexico, even though hiking it is challenging. He’d much rather hang out there with his dog, Rosie, than go to middle school, where kids call him Sir Limps a Lot, McGimpster, or Uno — for his one good leg. What Zane doesn’t know is that the volcano is a gateway to another world and he is at the center of a powerful prophecy. 

A new girl at school, Brooks, informs him that he’s destined to release an evil god from the ancient Maya relic he is imprisoned in — unless she can find and remove it first. Together they return to the volcano, where all kinds of crazy happens. Brooks turns into a hawk, a demon attacks them in a cave, and Rosie gives her all while trying to protect Zane. When Zane decides to save his dog no matter the cost, he is thrust into an adventure full of surprising discoveries, dangerous secrets, and an all-out war between the gods, one of whom happens to be his father. To survive, Zane will have to become the Storm Runner. But how can he run when he can’t even walk well without a cane?

Feisty heroes, tricky gods, murderous demons, and spirited giants are just some of the pleasures that await in this fresh and funny take on Maya mythology, as rich and delicious as a mug of authentic hot chocolate.”

Are you joining the Latinx Book Club? Are you excited with out first book club pick? Have you read The Storm Runner before? 

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Latinx Book Bingo Wrap Up: Books I Read During Hispanic Heritage Month

latinx book bingo

Hi guys! This post is a bit late, it’s my first post in a while because my life completely changed (in a good way!) about a month ago and just now I’m starting to get the time and energy to get back into blogging and reading.

The Latinx Book Bingo took place from September 15th to October 15th, the first week of the readathon everything was going great, but then I moved from Colombia to Spain on September 23rd and I had so much to do and I was so jet lagged, that reading wasn’t my priority. Honestly, I wanted to read so much more than the 7 books I ended up reading, but I’m still so happy because I read some incredible books and so many people participated in the readathon and  we got to highlight amazing latinx authors and books. 

Now, without further ado, here are the books I read for the Latinx Book Bingo:

Peluda by Melissa Lozada- Oliva (3,5 stars) 

I really liked the ways in which this short poetry collection makes visible the relationship between femininity, body hair, the immigrant experience and Latina identity. This themes really resonated with me. This didn’t get a higher rating because the poetry style wasn’t my favorite, I felt like sometime the message got a bit lost in the writing choices.

My Wicked Wicked Ways by Sandra Cisnero (3,5 stars) 

I liked the poetry style in this collection, but I felt like the poems were a bit incohesive and the way some of the themes were explored didn’t resonate with me that much. I actually found this collection not to be memorable.

America Vol. 1: The Life and Times of America Chavez by Gabby Rivera (4 stars) 

I really like the art style and the characters in this comic, I liked the diversity and the representation, but I do feel like the world building and the storyline were very choppy. Nonetheless, I had a lot of fun reading this, I’ll keep reading it and I would totally recommend it.

Pride by Ibi Zoboi (4 stars)

It took me a bit of time to get used to the main character in this book, Zuri, she was extremely judgmental and sometimes plain rude. But she changed as the book went on, not completely, but enough to let me enjoy the story. I liked the relationship between Zuri and Darius, with their banter and bickering, but I feel like there were some conflicts between them at the end that were solved too easily or just abandoned. Nonetheless, the reason why I ended up really liking this book and my favorite part of this book was the way it dicussed gentrification and class. I think inlcuding these subjects added to the original story and made it more relevant to our time. I also loved the representation of a Haitian-Dominican family, in terms of the religion, the food and the family dynamics.

Analee, In Real Life by Janelle Milanes (4 stars)

This book features one of my favorite tropes, which is fake dating, Analee’s relationship with Seb was so entertaining and they had a lot of chemestry. On the other hand, I thought there was gonna be a lot more of Analee’s online life in the book and that Harris (her internet friend/crush) was gonna show up a lot more. Nonetheless, I was pleasently surprise by the fact that even when those relationships were important to the story, the real focus was family. I loved the way Analee learned to accept, appreaciate and love the people she had in her life.  Watching Analee’s relationship with her dad, her stepmom and stepsister become stronger and more honest was amazing. Another thing I really liked was seeing Analee’s Cuban culture highlighted, as well as the way her social anxiety and low self-esteem were handled.

Bruja Born by Zoraida Córdova (4 stars)

This book is set in New York City and not in some other realm like the first book, so it felt a little less magical, but there were a lot of new and interesting elements in terms of the worldbuilding, which I really liked. We were introduced to hunters, vampires, new brujas, casimuertos (similar to zombies) and even the goddess of death made an apperance. I really loved the main character, Lula, she was going through so much and she was struggling with her mental health, but she was resilient, strong and she grew so much in this book and learned to love herself again, and I couldn’t help but root for her. Also, with this series, family is such an important part and I love the portrait of uncondicional love and sisterhood.

Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-García (3,4 stars)

I found the mythology in this book fascinating because there were different species and subspecies of vampires that came from all around the world and had there own histories, powers and apperances. Nonetheless, I didn’t found the main two characters interesting at all, one of them actually annoyed me quite a bit and I would have liked the book to focus on some of the secondary characters. Also, there was a lot of action and violence in this book, a lot of explicit content when it comes to injuries and death, which it’s not my thing.

The Final Results

final results

 

I didn’t get a bingo, but I think I did an okay job. I read books that counted towards 9 of the squares and I’m happy with that!

 

 

 

 

If you participated in the Latinx Book Bingo and you posted wrap up posts, leave me a link because I would love to check them out! If you have read any of these books, let me know your thoughts, so we can chat about them!  

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