Reviewing 2020 Latinx YA Releases: Cemetery Boys, Furia & Never Look Back | Blogmas Day 7

Hi everyone! it’s day 7 of Blogmas and I want to share reviews for some amazing books I read lately and that were my last batch of 2020 releases by Latinx authors that I was looking forward to reading this year. I read a total of 23, a lot of them ARCs, which honestly in a year as hard as 2020 was such a source of happiness.

I had ARCs provided by the publishers for two of the books I’m going to talk about, Furia and Never Look Back, but this hasn’t affected the content of my review.

*The amazon links in this post are affiliate links, so if you use it I may get a small commission, that doesn’t affect the price of your book*

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his true gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free.

However, the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the school’s resident bad boy, and Julian is not about to go quietly into death. He’s determined to find out what happened and tie off some loose ends before he leaves. Left with no choice, Yadriel agrees to help Julian, so that they can both get what they want. But the longer Yadriel spends with Julian, the less he wants to let him leave.

Goodreads | Amazon

CW: Misgendering, allusions to deadnaming, depictions of gender dysphoria, discussion of parental death, references to blood magic

This book is SO GOOD! It manages to be sweet, hopeful, and fun, while still addressing difficult subjects like transphobia, deportation, homelessness, gang violence, and abusive parents. This book’s exploration of the way transness is viewed and treated in a lot of brown communities, and particulary in the Latinx community, is very powerful.

My favorite thing about this book is the main characters. I love Yadriel and Julian so much. Julian is like a puppy, he can’t stand still, he can’t stay quiet, he is such a vibrant character and I LOVE HIM. And thinking about the romance between Yadriel and Julian warms my heart and makes me so happy. They are adorable, I loved the way they listened and supported each other.

The plot in this book revolves around a murder mystery, which was fun and entertaining. Even if I did figure out the whole thing very early on, that didn’t matter to me, because I was enjoying the reading experience so much.

Rating: 4,5 stars

Furia by Yamile Saied Méndez

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

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

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

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

Goodreads | Amazon

CW: domestic abuse, child abuse, homophobia, femicide

This book has so many unique elements. It’s set in Argentina and it does such a good job of showing the reality of living there. The worries about jobs and the dollar price, the delicious food, the beutiful role that soccer plays in the communities, the way the patriarchy is so rooted in the culture and the many types of violence that women face, the wave of feminicides and the emergence of the #NiUnaMenos movement in Argentina. All of it makes this book feel like something you haven’t read before. I appreciate the way the characters, especially Camila and Diego, love their city even with the things that are not so pretty.

The inclusion of Women’s Soccer was such a cool and unique element as well, I love that we get to see the passion, determination and joy of women playing a sport they love, as well as the many obstacles that they have to face because of the patriarchy and the idea that it’s a men’s sport, and because of lack of funding and support.

I really like the main character, Camila. I love her passion for soccer and I love the fact that she knows what she wants and she goes for it. I think one of the most valuable aspects of this story is the development of Camila’s mom, I love that she found the streght to stand up for herself and for her kids and I appreciated the way her relationship with Camila evolved throughout the book. The romance is cute and a bigger part of the book that I thought it was going to be, and I like the way it wraps up, I think it’s hopeful but also realistic.

Rating: 4 stars

Never Look Back by Lilliam Rivera

Eury comes to the Bronx as a girl haunted. Haunted by losing everything in Hurricane Maria–and by an evil spirit, Ato. She fully expects the tragedy that befell her and her family in Puerto Rico to catch up with her in New York. Yet, for a time, she can almost set this fear aside, because there’s this boy . . .

Pheus is a golden-voiced, bachata-singing charmer, ready to spend the summer on the beach with his friends, serenading his on-again, off-again flame. That changes when he meets Eury. All he wants is to put a smile on her face and fight off her demons. But some dangers are too powerful for even the strongest love, and as the world threatens to tear them apart, Eury and Pheus must fight for each other and their lives.

Goodreads | Amazon

TW: sexual assault, panic attacks, anxiety, depression, PTSD

I really enjoyed this book, the writing is very captivating and the main characters are lovable and easy to root for. This book explores serious topics like toxic relationship, trauma and mental illnesses in a very honest way, which adds a layer to the story and makes it standout.

The most magical thing about yhis book is that it’s a love letter to Puerto Rico, to its beauty and to the strenght of its people, and that was such an emotional and raw element of the story. Also, the way this talks about Hurricane Maria is so powerful and heartbreaking.

I wish this was a bit longer, just because I wanted more time to establish Eury and Pheus’ relationship and I wanted to spend a bit more time in the Inframundo at the end. I think the final part of the books feels a bit like vignettes and I wish there was a bit more time to explore and see more of the Inframundo, which was such a cool part of the story.

Rating: 4 stars

Have you read these books? Are you planning on reading them? what 2020 releases by Latinx authors have you read this year?

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Ranking all the books I read this month aka My November Wrap Up | Blogmas Day 3

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Hi everyone! For blogmas day 3, I’m sharing my November wrap up. I read a lot of books in November, so I’ll keep this introduction short. As usual, in my wrap ups, I rank all the books I read in a month from least favorite to favorite. Without further ado, here are all the books I read:

MY LEAST FAVORITE BOOK

Night of the Mannequins by Stephen Graham Jones (3 stars): I don’t know how to feel about this story. It was not what I was expecting at all and I think I would have liked the story I was expecting more than the story this book actually tells. It did some things I hated and it did some things I liked.

THE OK ONE

American Christmas by Adriana Herrera (3,5 stars): This was short, sweet, and heart-warming. I think the plot was interesting but the ending was SO unrealistic and I wish we got to see the characters actually being ok and dealing with things going badly. I do understand that they deserved a happy ending, but at the same time, I can’t say I loved the ending.

THE ONES I LIKED

Wrapped Up in You by Talia Hibbert (3,7 stars): This was short and sweet. Talia Hibbert did an amazing job handling mutual pinning in a short novella. I liked the main characters and their friends to lovers romance.

Blood Rites by Jim Butcher (3,7 stars): I mainly enjoyed this book because Murphy has a big role in it, I really like her friendship with Harry. I like that we got to know more about Thomas, and I also appreciate that we learned more about the different types of vampires. The case in this book isn’t the most interesting, but it is ok.

Death Masks by Jim Butcher (3,7 stars): The beginning is slow and it drags a bit. The books in this series are starting to feel a little formulaic to me. Nonetheless, I ended up really enjoying the second half of the book, the villain this time around is interesting and I always enjoy seeing the recurring side characters.

Burn for me by Ilona Andrews (3,7 stars): I really enjoyed this, but I was expecting more. I like the main characters and their dynamic. But I’m hoping that the plot, world-building and the main character’s powers get more complex and interesting as the series progresses.

Crazy Stupid Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams (3,7 stars):  I really liked the friends to lovers romance in this book and the main characters. But I had issues with the romance not feeling- at some points- like the main focus of the book.

THE ONES I REALLY LIKED

Never Look Back by Lilliam Rivera (4 stars): The writing in this book is very captivating, I liked the main characters, I think this does a great job of discussing depression and PTSD, but my favorite part of this book is that it’s a love letter to Puerto Rico and that aspect of it made me so emotional.

Furia by Yamile Saied Méndez (4 stars): I really liked the main character, Camila, the fact that this includes female Fútbol and it’s set in Argentina, the discussions about feminism and femicide, the evolution of Camila’s relationship with her mom, I even liked the romance.

The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare (4 stars): I really like the way Tessa Dare writes historical romances. I like the characters in this book, especially Emma, I like the whole grumpy/sunshine dynamic between the main characters, and I especially like how steamy this is.

Recipe for Persuasion by Sonali Dev (4 stars): I really like Sonali Dev’s writing, I like the main characters and the romance in this book. But my favorite part is the complicated family dynamics, the presence of all relatives in this book adds a lot to the story.

The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline (4 stars): This book has an interesting but devastating concept and characters that you root for. The last half of this book kept me at the edge of my seat and there was a point while reading when I couldn’t help but think “WHAT ELSE ARE YOU GOING TO DO TO THEM?!” There were a couple of things that happened towards the end that weren’t that realistic, but I didn’t mind too much.

Emerald Blaze by Ilona Andrews (4 stars): The world-building and magic system are amazing, I LOVE the family dynamics and all the side characters, I really like Catalina and I liked Alessandro more than in the first book. I also really liked their relationship, the romance in this book can be a bit cheesy and over the top, but it wasn’t that bad and it didn’t affect my enjoyment of the story.

Sword of Destiny by Andrzej Sapkowski (4 stars): I like the characters in this series so much and I love seeing more of them and getting to know them better through these stories. The complicated relationships between them are so entertaining.

4.The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang (4 stars): This book is brilliant. I’m not the biggest fan of Military fantasy, but this series does it so well that I’m still really engaged with the story. I LOVE the main group of characters so much and I appreciate the way this book discusses colorism, colonialism, and the role of religion within colonialism.

3. Brazen and the Beast by Sarah MacLean (4 stars): I really loved both of the main characters, but especially Hattie. Her fight to be in control of her own life was wonderful. She was witty, she was charming, she was smart. I LOVED Hattie. And her bantering and flirting with Whit was fantastic. I loved Whit too and the two of them together were perfection.

MY FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE MONTH

2. The Stange Case of the Alchemist Daughter by Theodora Goss (4,5 stars): I love the characters, monstrous girls are my favorite thing in the world, I love their relationship with each other and the found family aspect of the book, I found the premise and the mystery really interesting, I love the funny and unique structure in which this book is told, I love that it includes characters out of classical stories, basically I love everything about this.

1.Cementery Boys by Aiden Thomas (4,5 stars): This book is SO GOOD! My favorite thing about this book is the main characters. I love Yadriel and Julian so much. Julian is like a puppy and I LOVE HIM. And the romance between Yadriel and Julian warms my heart and makes me so happy.

Was november a good reading month for you? What were your favorite and least favorite books of the month?

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7 Quotes that Will Make You Want to Read Never Look Back by Lilliam Rivera | Book Tour

Hi everyone! I’m lucky enough to be part of the blog tour for Never Look Back by Lilliam Rivera that is being hosted by Colored Pages Tour. For my stop, I wanted to share my favorite quotes from the book because I think once you read them, you’ll want to read the full book too. My full review of this book is coming in a couple of days, but for now, I wanted to share this post with all of you.

Book: Never Look Back

Author: Lilliam Rivera

Publication Date: September 15th, 2020

Publisher: Bloomsbury YA

Pages: 320 pages

Genre: YA, Magical Realism

Featuring contemporary Afro-Latinx characters, acclaimed author Lilliam Rivera blends a touch of magical realism into a timely story about cultural identity, overcoming trauma, and the power of first love.

Eury comes to the Bronx as a girl haunted. Haunted by losing everything in Hurricane Maria–and by an evil spirit, Ato. She fully expects the tragedy that befell her and her family in Puerto Rico to catch up with her in New York. Yet, for a time, she can almost set this fear aside, because there’s this boy . . .

Pheus is a golden-voiced, bachata-singing charmer, ready to spend the summer on the beach with his friends, serenading his on-again, off-again flame. That changes when he meets Eury. All he wants is to put a smile on her face and fight off her demons. But some dangers are too powerful for even the strongest love, and as the world threatens to tear them apart, Eury and Pheus must fight for each other and their lives.

Goodreads | Amazon |Bookshop


The writing in this book is so beautiful that I could have chosen a million different quotes, but I chose quotes that reflect my two favorite aspects of the book:

The constant presence of Puerto Rico

My favorite aspect of this book is how unapologetically Latinx it is, the important role Puerto Rico plays in this story, and how much the love for Puerto Rico shows up on every single page. Here are some amazing quotes that show that:

1. “Puerto Rico is not a cursed island meant to be repeatedly ravished, be it from hurricanes or corrupt men or demented spirits. If I let her thought nestle into my bones, I will stay complacent. I will accept evil as something warranted. I know I don’t deserve this, and neither does my home.”

2. “What I’m trying to say is parts of Puerto Rico may have been destroyed, but beauty always finds a way of making a comeback”

3. “It wasn’t as if we weren’t prepared for Hurricane Maria. We were. That day was different. What began as a slow build—some rain, some tossed palm trees— transformed into an unnatural predator.” 

The hopeful tone

Another aspect I love about Never Look Back is the hopefulness that it’s present throughout the book even in the midst of very hard and heartbreaking situations. Here are my favorite quotes that reflect that:

4. “You have to know your history before you can move forward…Some people say dwelling in the past can be a crutch, but you can’t ignore it either. There has to be a fine balance.”

5. “What’s the point of singing if you’re not using your voice to move mountains?”

6. “For so long, I could only see darkness, always waiting for evil to come for me. I forgot what true happiness was until recently […] I forgot there is beauty everywhere, and I’m worthy of it.”

7. “Life isn’t only about anguish and grief. There’s hope too.”


Have you read this book? Do you want to read it? What magical realism books have you loved recently?
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2020 isn’t over yet! Upcoming Releases by Latinx Authors I’m Eager to Read

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

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

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

Each of Us a Desert by Mark Oshiro

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

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

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

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

The Land of the Cranes by Aida Salazar

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

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

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

Furia by Yamile Saied Méndez

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

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

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

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

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

Never Look Back by Lilliam Rivera

Eury comes to the Bronx as a girl haunted. Haunted by losing everything in Hurricane Maria–and by an evil spirit, Ato. She fully expects the tragedy that befell her and her family in Puerto Rico to catch up with her in New York. Yet, for a time, she can almost set this fear aside, because there’s this boy . . .

Pheus is a golden-voiced, bachata-singing charmer, ready to spend the summer on the beach with his friends, serenading his on-again, off-again flame. That changes when he meets Eury. All he wants is to put a smile on her face and fight off her demons. But some dangers are too powerful for even the strongest love, and as the world threatens to tear them apart, Eury and Pheus must fight for each other and their lives.

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

Miss Meteor by Tehlor Kay Mejia and Anna-Marie McLemore

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

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

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

Blazewrath Games by Amparo Ortiz

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This Is How We Fly by Anna Meriano

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

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

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

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

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

Are any of these books on your tbr? What books by Latinx authors are you looking forward to read it?
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9 Books with Depression Representation

9 Books Monday is a feature here on Bookish Wanderess, where I talk about 9 books that have positive representation of diverse experiences including the experiences of people of the LGBTQIA community, Native people, people of color, people with physical and cognitive disabilities or mental illnesses, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities.

In the past, I have done posts about 9 book with: 

This time I talking about 9 books with Depression Representation and before getting into them, I want to put a trigger warning because most of these books deal with suicide, so be careful if that’s something that triggers you.

5 BOOKS I READ AND LOVED

Darius the Great is not Okay by Adib Khorram

Darius is a biracial, gay boy, who has depression, and this is a story that centers around family, tradition and mental health. This book does something very special because Darius’ father also has depression and this depicts the way depression affects their relationship and it shows them as they realise that they need to be more open and honest with each other. This also shows the way cultural beliefs can affect the way mental illness is view and understood.

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan

This book starts with the death of the main character’s mother, who commits suicide after years of struggling with depression. This book talks about the stigma surrounding depression and how it makes it hard to discuss it with family and friends; it also shows the feelings and thought process of the loved ones of someone who has depression; it portraits how hard depression is and how there’s no easy fix and how suicide affects the loved ones that are left behind.

When Reason Breaks by Cindy L. Rodriguez

This book portraits depression through the stories of two girls – one of them a Latinx girl- that experience this mental illness in very different ways. One is loud and angry and the other tries to pretend everything is okay and hides her problems from everyone. This book does a wonderful job of showing contrasting experiences with depression and it also shows that different kinds of relationships can help you go through periods where you are struggling with mental health, but only because they bring company and support, never as a cure.

Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

This book is a memoir that focuses on living with depression, on how that looks like in the day to day basis, it includes the good and bad that comes with it, and it handles those topics in a brilliant way. This book manages to be humorous while still being touching and powerful. Jenny Lawson does an incredible job finding the words necessary to explain certain feelings and experiences, the way she translates her experience with depression into words is magnificent.

In the Country We Love by Diane Guerrero

This memoir covers a lot of different events from Diane Gurrero’s life going from her parents deportation when she was a child to her being casted in Orange is the New Black. One of the things this book touches on is her struggle with depression and anxiety, and while it’s small part of the book, Guerrero is so honest and raw about it that it makes it a very powerful and touching account of living with mental illness.

3 BOOKS ON MY TBR

Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig

This is Matt Haig’s memoir about his struggle with depression and it’s full of in-depth descriptions of his dark thoughts and feelings, which is why most people say that this needs to be read when a person is in a good place mentally. This book is a collection of experiences, thoughts, practical tips and affirmations on one man’s experience with mental illness

The Memory of Light by Francisco X. Stork

This book focuses on the recovery from a suicide attemp instead of the events leading up to it . It’s a books about living when life doesn’t seem worth it. This takes place in a hospital’s mental ward, so it includes characters with different mental illness and it’s inspired by the author’s own experience with depression.

Ghost of a Feeling by Celestine Trinidad

This is a romance book where the main characters meet when one of them is about to commit suicide and the other stops them. This book looks at the harsh reality of mental health struggles and the repercussions of denying people the help and support that they need.

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Never Look Back by Lilliam Rivera

This is a YA retelling of Orpheus and Eurydice set in the Bronx. Eury is a girl who lost everything in Hurricane Maria and is haunted by the trauma—and by an evil spirit. This book deals with anxiety, ptsd and depression.

What books with depression rep have you read and loved? Which ones are on your tbr?

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