Book Review: The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

The Poet X

Title: The Poet X

Author: Elizabeth Acevedo

Publishing Date: March 6th 2018

Published by: HarperTeen

Genres: Comtemporary, YA

Pages: 368

Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking.

But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about. With Mami’s determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself.

So when she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out, much less speak her words out loud. But still, she can’t stop thinking about performing her poems.

Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent.

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The Poet X is an #ownvoices story about a dominican american girl called Xiomara. It’s a story that explores Xiomara’s struggle with inhabiting her body, a body that attracs attention and because of it, it’s unwillingly subjected to the male gaze; it also deals with growing up in a conservative latinx family that it’s extremely religious and that imposes faith and leaves no room for questions. It’s a book about trying to figure who you are in an enviroment that doesn’t leave much room to do so.

This book is written in verse, which allows the reader to connect with the main character, Xiomara, and her struggles so much more and it makes the story more compelling than it would have been if it was written like a normal novel. We get a direct line to the powerful emotions that she is experiencing and trying to express, which allows an intimacy that it wouldn’t have been possible any other way. Despise being written in verse, the narration is still easy to follow because all the different parts are connected and one flows into the other with ease.

One of  the strongest aspects of the book is the exploration of faith and religion; reading from Xiomara’s pespective, the reader gets to understand all her doubts around her own faith, but also her questioning of the rol that women have been assigned in catholisms as the sinners, the temptation and a lot of times the inferior gender. It also explores the tension that exists in a lot of latinx families when it comes to religion and how even when certain ceremonies like the Confirmation are meant to be a voluntary acceptance of the faith, they become this mandatory step to be a part of the family. Also, the way this books draws a parallel between prayer and poetry is absolutely sublime and it’s done in a very powerful way.

This book also explores complicated family dynamics and it’s particulary interesting to see the mother/daughter relationship; the misunderstanding, the judgement, the contrary beliefs, but also the way it develops when both mother and daughter try to understand each others truths. They don’t arrive to that point until a huge confrontation that it’s intense, raw and heartbreaking, but seeing the ups and downs of their relationships is compelling and engaging.

Throughout the story, Xiomara discovers slam poetry and it’s amazing to experience, through her perspective, the freedom and the happiness of finding a way to express all her thoughts and emotions in a time of her life when she really needs that outlet.

Rating: 4.7 stars 

Have you read this book? Did you like it? Do you have it on your tbr?

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Most Anticipated Book Releases – June 2018

Most anticipated book releases 2018

Hi guys! So, I have written one of these posts ever month this year,  I have been consisten in that sense at least, but I have done a very poor job of actually reading the books I’m anticipating. I’m hoping to make a post in June to check my progress, because reading my anticipated books was a goal of mine for 2018, so I hope that’s gonna motivate me to actually read some of the books I have put in these posts before the month ends. Let’s hope that actually happens!

Anyway, here are some of my most anticipated books that are being release in June 2018:

 

Mariam Sharma Hits the Road by Sheba Karim

Road trip + frienships + New Orleans + Muslim rep + South Asian rep + fun banter + Queer rep + self discovery = what else could I ask for?! This sounds like a book I would really enjoy and I was really excited to read it, until I look it up on Goodreads to write this post and saw that it doesn’t have the best reviews. I have been anticipating it for a while and that’s why I still included it, but I’m a bit nervious about it.

Release date: June 5th 2018

Ayesha At Last by Uzma Jalaluddin

The main character in this book is a muslim woman, who is an aspiring poet struggling with money issues, that sounds really interesting to me. Plus, this is an #ownvoices story. Also, it’s a Pride and Prejudice retelling and I love those!

Release date: June 12th 2018

Not the Girls You’re Looking For  by Aminah Mae Safi

Female friendship takes a central place in this story and I’m here for it! If we add the fact that this is a very diverse book in terms of culture and sexual orientation, I’m even more excited. Also, it’s #ownvoices!

 Release date: June 19th 2018

Final Draft by Riley Redgate

This book has a pansexual, biracial,  plus-size main character, who is an aspiring writer, and I can’t wait to read her story. Plus, I heard that her group of friends is adorable and it’s a big part of the story and I’m excited to read about them.  Also, I have heard a lot of great things about Riley Redgate’s writing and her other books, so I want to read something by her.

 Release date: June 12th 2018

What June book releases are you anticipating? Do you want to read any of these books? Have you read any of these books and what did you think about them?

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Book Review: Secondhand Origin Stories by Lee Blauersouth (Blog Tour)

Superhero Origins tour banner (large)

Hi guys! I’m lucky enough to be part of the blog tour for this amazing book called Secondhand Origin Stories, which is a diverse book that involves sensitive issues, such as systemic racism and ableism.  I loved the book, here’s my review:

Secondhand Origin Stories cover.png

Title: Secondhand Origin Stories

Author: Lee Blauersouth

Publishing Date: 15 March 2018

Genres: Science Fiction, YA

Pages: 364

Opal has been planning to go to Chicago and join the Midwest’s superhero team, the Sentinels, since she was a little kid. That dream took on a more urgent tone when her superpowered dad was unjustly arrested for protecting a neighbor from an abusive situation. Now, she wants to be a superhero not only to protect people, but to get a platform to tell the world about the injustices of the Altered Persons Bureau, the government agency for everything relating to superpowers.

But just after Opal’s high school graduation, a supervillain with a jet and unclear motives attacks the downtown home of the Sentinels, and when Opal arrives, she finds a family on the brink of breaking apart. She meets a boy who’s been developing secret (and illegal) brain-altering nanites right under the Sentinel’s noses, another teenage superhero-hopeful who looks suspiciously like a long-dead supervillain, and the completely un-superpowered daughter of the Sentinels’ leader. Can four teens on the fringes of the superhero world handle the corruption, danger, and family secrets they’ve unearthed?

Goodreads | Amazon 

This book drops you right in the middle of a world where superheroes, villains and people with habilities exist, there’s especial goverment agencies and police units that regulate them and there’s corruption and injustice surrounding them. You have to learn about this world as you read, you see how everything works through the chracters’ perspectives and that’s how you learn about it. For me this worked really well, it didn’t take me too long to feel like I understood at least the basics of how the world worked and, after a little bit, I was able to keep up with the story without problem.

Something that I really enjoyed about this book was that it was intriguing from the start, there were secrets and mysteries around the four main characters and they didn’t know the answers either and they were trying to figure things out and that sucked me into the story inmediately, because I wanted to know what was going on.

As I said before, there’s four main characters, which were my favorite aspect of this book. I fell in love very quickly with three of those characters: Isaac, Yael and Jamie. They were the children of the superheroes and they were really complex characters,  a genius scientist, an non-binary aspiring superhero and a character that is both vulnerable and so strong. From the pov of these three characters, the reader gets to see the dynamics of the superhero team and how it is not only a team but a family. That element is crucial to the story, because the complicated family dynamics, which I found fascinating to read about, promt a lot of the events that move the plot along.

Then there’s the fourth main character, Opal, which took me a little longer to love. Opal is an outsider to the team, to the family and she very much felt like an outsider to the story for at least the first half of the book. During that first half, I prefered to read from the other 3 perspectives, because from them I could learn more about all the secrets that were being kept. Later on, when the circumstances made it so that all four characters have to be together in a more full time basis, that’s when I fell in love with Opal as well. She is a nice, smart, compasionate, down to earth character with a strong moral sense.

Secondhand Origin Stories is definitely a character driven book much more than a plot driven one. The main problems that the characters are trying to solve are corruption and injustice in such a large scale that one book is not enough to confront all the different characters that  play a part in that. This book, as the first in the series, manages to: make the characters aware of the problems, makes them decide to do something about it and makes sure that the team is as strong as it can be. It’s defintely a book that’s setting things up, but it’s not boring or slow, there’s so many things happening all the time. There’s one main storyline, that’s really interesting,  about technology and the ethical use of it, that’s one of the first issues that the characters have to confront and it has a direct relation to the corruption and injustice that they are trying to change.

I think it’s important to mention that this is a really diverse book. The main characters are all queer, including a non binary main character.  Also, one of the main characters is a black girl and there’s conversations throughout the book about systematic racism and especially about racial profiling and incarceration of black people. Additionally, there are deaf characters and there are characters that use ASL to communicate, and while there’s ableism portrait in this book, it’s called out and talked about on page.

Rating: 4,5 stars 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lee Blauersouth

After about a decade of drawing comics independently or with small presses, Lee started writing prose out of a combination of peer pressure and spite, then continued out of attachment to their favorite made-up people. They live in Minnesota even though it is clearly not a habitat humans were ever meant to endure, with their lovely wife/editor, the world’s most perfect baby, and books in every room of the house.

If you like categories, they’re an ENFJ Slytherin Leo. If you’re looking for demographics they’re an agender bisexual with a couple of disabilities. If you’re into lists of likes: Lee loves comics, classical art, round animals, tattoos, opera, ogling the shiner sciences, and queer stuff.

Author website | Goodreads | Pinterest  | Twitter

BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

23 April (Monday)

24 April (Tuesday)

25 April (Wednesday)

26 April (Thursday)

27 April (Friday)

6 Anticipated Releases by Latinx Authors (Seconf Half of 2017)

6 anticipated releases by latinx authorsI have been trying to increase the amount of books I read that are written by Latinx Authors for a long time now, but I keep feeling like I don’t try hard enough. I think about doing it often and I planned to do it all the time, but I think I don’t take as much actions to actually do it. As a Latina myself, I feel like I need to commit to this goal of reading more books by Latinx authors and promoting those books on my blog as well.

That’s why, I looked up the releases for the second half of 2017 written by latinx authors and I chose some that sounded interesting to me and that I wanted to read. All these books not only are written by latinx authors, they also have latinx main characters.

The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez (August 22nd 2017)

A girl who loves Punk + a conservative school with an strict dress code + misfits that create a punk band + illustrations and collage art because the main character loves zines= what else do I need to say?! Even if I don’t read middle grade often, this one sounds amazing!

The Closest I’ve Come by Fred Aceves (November 7th 2017)

A kid with an absentee mother + an abusive stepfather + who lives in a poor neighborhood + he wants to find love in his life and wants to leave his neighborhood behind +  a program for troubled teens with potential = a story about a boy that learns that bravery is about being true to yourself. I’m interested in seeing how the conversation about poverty, abuse and dysfunctional families is handled. That’s definitely makes me really want to read this book.

The Victoria in my Head by Janelle Milanes (September 19th 2017)

A shy teenager with the dream of being a rock star + overprotective Cuban parents + paralyzing-stage-fright + unattainably gorgeous boy = a story about a girl looking for the courage to confront her insecurities, fight for her dreams and love. A YA contemporary with a latinx main character that sounds like it’s NOT gonna be a sad, dark contemporary, it’s just what I need!

Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore (October 3rd 2017)

Magical realism + bisexual representation + amazing family dinamic + different kinds of relationships between women as a central part of the story +  Anna-Marie McLemore’s writing = the only thing I have to say is that I can’t wait! I loved When the Moon was Ours and I’m really excited to read another of McLemore’s books.

I am not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sanchez (October 17th 2017)

This book deals with grief and with learning that a person that it’s gone wasn’t as perfect as you thought, which to me is always a interesting concept, but the fact that this revolves around a mexican family makes a concept that is not that unique something really special.

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera (September 5th 2017)

In this book, people get told if they are gonna die in the next 24 hours and there’s an app called Last Friend that finds you someone to spend your last day with. It’s an interesting concept and there’s LGBTQ+ representation! I haven’t read any of Adam Silveras other books, but I’m really excited to finally read something by him. I haven’t hear anything but great things.

Are you planning on reading any of these books? Do you have recommendations for books written by latinx authors? Let me know in the comments! 

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March 2017 Wrap Up

monthly-wrap-up-1

Against all odds, I read 6 books in March. One of them was a super short poetry collection, but the other five were full novels and all five of them were diverse books. Today I’m gonna talk about them!

march 2017 wrap up

1.Coffee Boy by Austin Chant (4,3 stars)

This is a short, interesting and cute  romance book that explores really important topics, especially related to trans issues. Also, Coffee Boy is  #ownvoices, both the main character and the author are trans men. This book has positive bisexual representation, as well. One of the things I enjoyed the most is the romance, seeing how the relationship between Kieran and Seth developed was amazing.

2.The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (5 stars) 

I don’t even know how to put into words how amazing this books is. The Hate U Give is an #ownvoices book about the Black Lives Matter movement, this is such a heartbreaking book and it’s really hard to read because the situations the characters end up in are so enraging. At the same time, it has amazing family dynamics, great friendships, it has interesting storylines for all the characters and it has great representation.

3. Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall (4,5 stars) 

Anothe book that I really really loved. Under Rose-Tainted Skies is an #ownvoices book about a girl that has agoraphobia, anxiety and OCD. I think the way that was handled was believable  and sensitive. Norah, the main character, is interesting and funny and Luke, the love interest, is respectful and kind. I really liked the fact that this book doesn’t treats love as a cure for a mental illness.

4. The House on Mango StreetThe House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros (3,4 stars) 

I thought the storie in this book were so important, but I didn’t like the writing style at all and because of that I felt like I couldn’t connect with the narrator or the stories that much. I still understood the messages the stories were trying to convey, but I didn’t enjoy the reading experience.

5. Future Leaders of Nowhere by Emily O’Beirne (4,2 stars)

I received this book from the publisher in exchange of a honest review. This is an amazing book about two girl, one is bisexual and the other is Indian-Australian and a lesbian. This book has an interesting setting and premise, it’s a mix between a summer camp and a Model UN. Which means there’s outdoorsy activities and, at the same time, each group represents a State that has resources, territory, population and the different groups have to negotiate between themselves to better their positions. It’s an interesting book that adresses important subject thorughout.

caught in the quiet

Caught in the Quiet by Rod McKuen (2 stars) 

I ended up reading this book because I had 30 minutes before my friend picked me up at the library. I was looking for a really short book to read in that time and the title of this poetry collection caught my eye. Sadly, I have to say that this was extremely disappointing. It was cheesy and mediocre at best.

 

  Have you read any of these books? Did you enjoy them? Do you want to read any of them? Let me know in the comments! 

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Diversity Spotlight Thursday #7

diverse-spotlight1

Diversity Spotlight Thrusday is a weekly meme hosted by Aimal from Bookshelves and Paperbacks. Every week, the participants are suppost to choose one book for each of the three categories: a diverse book you have read and enjoyed, a diverse book on your tbr, and a diverse book that has not yet been released. 

If you didn’t know, I also decided to pick  books that have  less than a thousand ratings on Goodreads, because I want to promote less known diverse books and authors, and I will try to choose only #ownvoices books, because I want the authors that I promote to be members of minorities and marginalized groups.

read

If the Dress Fits by Carla de Guzman 

if-the-dress-fitsMartha Aguas kind of has it all–she’s an accountant who loves numbers, an accident-prone puppy that loves her, and the perfect wardrobe. 

Yes, she wears a dress size 24, her bras don’t fit and she’s never had a boyfriend, but so what? 

It becomes a big deal when her perfect cousin Regina announces her engagement to Enzo, the only boy she’s ever loved (he doesn’t know, so don’t tell him!) Suddenly Aguases from all corners of the globe are coming for the event, and the last thing Martha wants is to be asked why she still prefers her lattes with a waffle on the side. 

Thank god for Max. Goofy, funny, dependable Max, who finds himself playing the fake boyfriend at the family festivities. But why does it feel like only one of them is pretending?

Goodreads

If the Dress Fits is an #ownvoices book, both the main character and the author are Filipinx and have an under represented body type. This book is a funny and cute romance story between Martha, a plus sized woman of color who has a positive relationship with her weight, and  Max, a biracial veterinarian, who loves to read, is really romantic and quotes books in random moments. I totally recommend it! Here’s my full review.

tbr

When Michael Met Mina by Randa Abdel-Fattah

When Michael Met Mina

When Michael meets Mina, they are at a rally for refugees – standing on opposite sides.

Mina fled Afghanistan with her mother via a refugee camp, a leaky boat and a detention centre.

Michael’s parents have founded a new political party called Aussie Values.

They want to stop the boats.
Mina wants to stop the hate.

When Mina wins a scholarship to Michael’s private school, their lives crash together blindingly.

Goodreads

This book has been on my tbr for a while, I found out about it when I was looking for books with Muslim main characters. The truth is that I haven’t read that many books with positive Muslim representation and I’m definitely interested in changing that. I have heard that When Michael Met Mina is a really political book that adresses racism and imigration and I think those are very important subjets right now. I can’t wait to read this!

coming-soon

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez 

I am not your perfect mexican daughter

Perfect Mexican daughters do not go away to college. And they do not move out of their parents’ house after high school graduation. Perfect Mexican daughters never abandon their family. But Julia is not your perfect Mexican daughter. That was Olga’s role.

Then a tragic accident on the busiest street in Chicago leaves Olga dead and Julia left behind to reassemble the shattered pieces of her family. And no one seems to acknowledge that Julia is broken, too. Instead, her mother seems to channel her grief into pointing out every possible way Julia has failed.

 

But it’s not long before Julia discovers that Olga might not have been as perfect as everyone thought. With the help of her best friend Lorena, and her first kiss, first love, first everything boyfriend Connor, Julia is determined to find out. Was Olga really what she seemed? Or was there more to her sister’s story? And either way, how can Julia even attempt to live up to a seemingly impossible ideal?

Goodreads

I’m latinx and I’m always looking for books with positive latinx representation, so off course I’m incredibly excited about I am not your perfect mexican daughter. I have heard nothing but great things about the representation in this book and I can’t wait to read it. The release date is October 17th 2017.

Have you read any of these? Did you like them? Can you recommend me some diverse books you love? 

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Diversity Spotlight Thursday #5

diverse-spotlight1

Diversity Spotlight Thrusday is a weekly meme hosted by Aimal from Bookshelves and Paperbacks. Every week, the participants are suppost to choose one book for each of the three categories: a diverse book you have read and enjoyed, a diverse book on your tbr, and a diverse book that has not yet been released. 

If you didn’t know, I also decided to pick  books that have  less than a thousand ratings on Goodreads, because I want to promote less known diverse books and authors, and I will try to choose only #ownvoices books, because I want the authors that I promote to be members of minorities and marginalized groups.

read

Coffee Boy by Austin Chan
Coffee Boy

After graduation, Kieran expected to go straight into a career of flipping burgers—only to be offered the internship of his dreams at a political campaign. But the pressure of being an out trans man in the workplace quickly sucks the joy out of things, as does Seth, the humorless campaign strategist who watches his every move.

Soon, the only upside to the job is that Seth has a painful crush on their painfully straight boss, and Kieran has a front row seat to the drama. But when Seth proves to be as respectful and supportive as he is prickly, Kieran develops an awkward crush of his own—one which Seth is far too prim and proper to ever reciprocate.

Goodreads| Amazon

I just finished this two days ago and I really really liked it. It’s a short, interesting, cute and fun romance book that explores really important topics, especially related to trans issues. This book is #ownvoices, both the main character and the author are trans men. This also has positive bisexual representation. The romance in this was amazing, I really enjoyed seeing the relationsip between Kieran and Seth develop.

tbr

Peter Darling by Austin Chant

Peter Darling

Ten years ago, Peter Pan left Neverland to grow up, leaving behind his adolescent dreams of boyhood and resigning himself to life as Wendy Darling. Growing up, however, has only made him realize how inescapable his identity as a man is.

But when he returns to Neverland, everything has changed: the Lost Boys have become men, and the war games they once played are now real and deadly. Even more shocking is the attraction Peter never knew he could feel for his old rival, Captain Hook—and the realization that he no longer knows which of them is the real villain.

Goodreads| Amazon

When I finished Coffee Boy, I knew inmideately that I wanted to read another book by Austin Chant really soon and that’s why I got this book and I’m gonna try to read it during March. This is an #ownvoices retelling of Peter Pan, in which Peter is transgender , and that sounds so amazing. Definitely want to read this one soon.

coming-soon

Queens of Geeks by Jen Wilde

queens of geeks

When BFFs Charlie, Taylor and Jamie go to SupaCon, they know it’s going to be a blast. What they don’t expect is for it to change their lives forever.

Charlie likes to stand out. SupaCon is her chance to show fans she’s over her public breakup with co-star, Jason Ryan. When Alyssa Huntington arrives as a surprise guest, it seems Charlie’s long-time crush on her isn’t as one-sided as she thought.

While Charlie dodges questions about her personal life, Taylor starts asking questions about her own. Taylor likes to blend in. Her brain is wired differently, making her fear change. And there’s one thing in her life she knows will never change: her friendship with Jamie—no matter how much she may secretly want it to. But when she hears about the Queen Firestone SupaFan Contest, she starts to rethink her rules on playing it safe.

Goodreads | Amazon 

I have heard great things about this book and I decided to included in this week’s spotlight because its release date is March 14th 2017, which is next week. I’m so excited to finally be able to get this and read it. Queens of Geeks is a story that has a main character that is autistic named Taylor and a bisexual asian main character named Charlie. This book is #ownvoices because both the author and one of the main character are autistic.

Have you read any of these? Did you like them? Are you planning on reading any of them? Can you recommend me some diverse books you love? 

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Book Review: How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake

 how-to-make-a-wish

Title: How to Make a Wish

Author: Ashley Herring Blake

Published by: HMH Books for Young Readers

Publishing date:  May 2nd 2017

Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult

Pages: 336

All seventeen year-old Grace Glasser wants is her own life. A normal life in which she sleeps in the same bed for longer than three months and doesn’t have to scrounge for spare change to make sure the electric bill is paid. Emotionally trapped by her unreliable mother, Maggie, and the tiny cape on which she lives, she focuses on her best friend, her upcoming audition for a top music school in New York, and surviving Maggie’s latest boyfriend—who happens to be Grace’s own ex-boyfriend’s father.

Her attempts to lay low until she graduates are disrupted when she meets Eva, a girl with her own share of ghosts she’s trying to outrun. Grief-stricken and lonely, Eva pulls Grace into midnight adventures and feelings Grace never planned on. When Eva tells Grace she likes girls, both of their worlds open up. But, united by loss, Eva also shares a connection with Maggie. As Grace’s mother spirals downward, both girls must figure out how to love and how to move on.

Goodreads | Amazon

*I received an ARC through Netgalley in exchange of an honest review. The release date for this book is May 2nd 2017

How to Make a Wish is a character driven book with a really quiet story, it takes turns being heartbreaking, honest, complicated, adorable and heartwarming. Something that makes this book incredibly special is the fact that it’s #ownvoices in terms of sexuality, both the author and the main character are bisexual. The way in which Grace’s bisexuality is describe in the book feels real and honest and the way her bisexuality  is treated and viewed by other characters as something normal is so meaningful. The representation in this book is accurate and thoughtful and it’s not limited to bisexuality, there’s also amazing representation with the love interest, Eva, which is a biracial lesbian girl and I think this is especially important because there’s so little accurate representation of biracial people that having such a positive and relevant representation means a lot.

One of the best things about this book is the romance, Grace and Eva are really cute together and their interactions are really smart and entertaining. There are some steamy moments in this book; there are make out scenes and a sex scene and I think there is so much sex positivity and also  it’s amazing to see how Grace and Eva always make sure the other is comfortable with what they are doing, they always ask for verbal consent and I think the fact that that is portrait makes this a really valuable book. Also, there’s  female masturbation in this book and again the sex positivity is off the charts, it’s shown like something natural and normal and that’s incredible. Furthermore, it’s delightful to see an amazing platonic relationship between a girl and a boy being present in this story. Grace and Luca are best friends,  there are no secondary motivations, neither is in love with the other, they are just friends and that is refreshing.

Now, for the heartbreaking part of this book, one of the main parts of the story revolves around this raw, painful and honest depiction of the relationship between Grace and her mother. Maggie, Grace’s mother, is an unreliable parent, she’s reckless, unpredictable and clueless, she puts her child in impossible situations and this part is so well-written that it’s easy to feel and connect with Grace’s anger, sadness and her feelings of helplessness. There’s so many moments between Grace and Maggie that are so profundly heartbreaking that they make reading this book really hard. On the other hand, there’s Eva, who’s mother just passed away and this book explores grief in a devastating way. There’s this scene in the beach when Grace and Eva first meet that it’s so heartbreaking and raw, that it’s hard to imagine how someone is able to write a scene that can make the reader feel so much. Another thing that it’s magnificent in this book is the fact that as much as Grace makes Eva feel better, Eva’s grief doesn’t go away, it’s always there and that so incredibly honest and sad.

Overall, this was a fantastic book with a diverse cast of characters and a story that at times makes you feel devastated and at other times can be heartwarming.

Rating: 4,5 stars

Are you excited to read this book? Have you read it already? Did you like it? 

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Book Review: If the Dress Fits by Carla de Guzman

if-the-dress-fits

Title: If the Dress Fits

Author: Carla de Guzman

Published by: Midnight Books

Publishing date:  October 15th 2016

Genre: Romance, new adult

Martha Aguas kind of has it all–she’s an accountant who loves numbers, an accident-prone puppy that loves her, and the perfect wardrobe. 

Yes, she wears a dress size 24, her bras don’t fit and she’s never had a boyfriend, but so what? 

It becomes a big deal when her perfect cousin Regina announces her engagement to Enzo, the only boy she’s ever loved (he doesn’t know, so don’t tell him!) Suddenly Aguases from all corners of the globe are coming for the event, and the last thing Martha wants is to be asked why she still prefers her lattes with a waffle on the side. 

Thank god for Max. Goofy, funny, dependable Max, who finds himself playing the fake boyfriend at the family festivities. But why does it feel like only one of them is pretending?

Goodreads| Amazon

I received this book through a giveaway hosted by the amazing Marianne @Boricuan Bookworms . Thank you so much for giving me the chance to read this book! 

If the Dress Fits is a funny and cute romance story. This is a #ownvoices book both for being overweight and being Filipinx. The main character, Martha, is plus sized woman of color and she has a positive relationship with her weight, which makes this story really valuable. The love interest is Max, a biracial veterinarian, who loves to read, is really romantic and quotes books in random moments. They are both interesting characters and it’s entertaining to read about them.

The romance in this book is on point, the relationship between Martha and Max is adorable. It’s easy to tell from the beginning that they care for each other and that they are really supportive of one another. Max sees through Martha and calls her out when she isn’t honest with herself. This book is a perfect example of fake dating and the best friends to lovers trope done right, they allow some emotional moments and makes this book really swoony.

One of the best parts of the book is that it’s set in the Philippines and it’s amazing to see the vibrant cultural represented, this book is fasicnating and insightful. There is also an incredible family dinamic in this book that is really amusing, all the family members –  the titas, the grandma, the dad, the sister and Regina- are interesting and captivating, even when they don’t show up so often. They can be annoying and make thoughtless comments at times, but there’s still a lot of love and support between them.

The only minor problem with this book is the Enzo storyline, he is a guy Martha went to university with and there’s history there and now he is marrying her cousin; all that storyline feels a bit unnecessary . It would have been amazing to read more about Max instead of all the parts about Enzo.

Rating: 4 stars

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Book Review: God Smites and Other Muslim Girl Problems by Ishara Deen

god-smites

Title: God Smites and Other Muslim Girl Problems

Author: Ishara Deen

Published by: Deeya Publishing Inc.

Publishing Date: January 15th 2017

Pages: 236

LIKE NANCY DREW, BUT NOT…

Craving a taste of teenage life, Asiya Haque defies her parents to go for a walk (really, it was just a walk!) in the woods with Michael, her kind-of-friend/crush/the guy with the sweetest smile she’s ever seen. Her tiny transgression goes completely off track when they stumble on a dead body. Michael covers for Asiya, then goes missing himself.

Despite what the police say, Asiya is almost sure Michael is innocent. But how will she, the sheltered girl with the strictest parents ever, prove anything? With Michael gone, a rabid police officer in desperate need of some sensitivity training, and the murderer out there, how much will Asiya risk to do what she believes is right?

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*I recieved a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. * 

God Smites and Other Muslim Girl Problems is a funny, charming and interesting book that talks about the problems Muslims have to deal with in everyday life, particulary, Muslim teenage girls. The heart of this book is the main character Asiya, she is funny and smart, she has a unique voice that shines throughout the book, she cares deeply about other people, while being a bit naive at times.

Furthermore, the humour in this book is absolutely brilliant and that comes from being honest and outspoken about things that are not often talked about in YA and turning the awkwardness that can surround topics like sex and religion in something funny. Some of the funniest moments in the book are when Asiya has conversations with God, she thinks about the most innapropiate things while she prays or simply talks to God in her head. Those moments were relatable and hilarious, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t moments where that those same subject are addressed seriously and with thoughtfulness, but there’s a good balance between the funny and the serious.

Also, the way this book talks about muslim problems is insightful and it can be uncomfortable in its truths. As this books addresses Muslim problems, it also shows perfecly that not all Muslims share the same ideas or have the same interpretation of what the Quran says. They are a community, they are part of the same religion, but that doesn’t mean they are all the same, that they all have the sames opinions or attitudes. They are all individuals and have their own personalities and their own ways of seeing and understanding the world.

The relationship between Asiya and her parents is really important to the story and religion plays a big role in that relationship. Sometimes it’s really frustrating to see how her parents refuse to listen and are really overprotective, but at the same time, it’s easy to see that they love her and want the best for her. Not to mention, that the relationship developes throughout the book, and by the end, the door starts to open for a more open and honest relationship between Asiya and her parents.

Moreover, the relationship between Asiya and Michael plays a big part in the story and the scenes between them are extremely cute; the whole ‘I don’t really know you yet, but you are nice and I like you’ thing was written so well, because it didn’t feel like insta-love. Asiya likes Michael but she reminds herself throughout the book that she doesn’t knwo him that well and that she doesn’t know if she can trust him, which was refreshing. On the other hand, Michael is a mystery and he is not enterely trustworthy; only time will tell if he is good enough for Asiya. Additionally, Asiya’s best friend, Abby, is amazing. Even if she isn’t in the book that much, her character shines and it seems she is going to be a lot more present in the next book. Asiya and Abby’s relationship is definitely a great representation of a healthy female friendship.

Finally, this books manages to be funny and insightful at the same time; the writting is incredibly strong, the pace is even throughout the book and the mystery is not predictable. Likewise, the main character has a unique voice and the other characters feel real and flesh out.

Rating: 4,2 stars

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