Favorite YA Books of 2020

Hi everyone! this is the start of my favorite books of the year series, I’m doing favorite YA books, favorite adult books and favorite romance books of 2020. The other two posts are coming in the next couple of days.

The last few years I have been reading less and less YA books, they simply don’t appeal to me as much anymore and in 2020 that trend was even more evident than in previous years. So far in 2020, I have read 196 books and out of those only 31 have been YA. Luckly, even when YA represents a small percentage of my reading, I managed to find some amazing YA books to talk about today. When I read YA is usually by Latinx authors and about Latinx characters, so that’s why all of these books were written by Latinx authors.

Withour further ado, here are my top 5 YA books of 2020 from least favorite to my absolute favorite:

5. Incendiary by Zoraida Cordova

When I read this book at the beginning of 2020, it had been a while since the last time a YA fantasy book gripped me the way Incendiary did. This book has an intricate magic system, intriguing characters, complex relationships, twists and turns that kept me at the edge of my seat, and an ending that left me wanting the sequel immediately. This is a tale of revenge, rebellion, betrayal, and secrets that change everything. (Full review)

4. Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

This book brought me so much joy and comfort. The main characters are lovable and they have the most adorable and heartwarming romance I read this year. This book manages to be sweet, hopeful, and fun, while still addressing difficult subjects like transphobia, deportation, homelessness, gang violence, and abusive parents. This book does an amazing job of exploring the way transness is viewed and treated in a lot of brown communities, and particularly in the Latinx community; how Trans people are tolerated but not truly accepted. (Full review)

3. Blazewrath Games by Amparo Ortiz

This book is action-packed and entertaining. I love how thorough and interesting the world building in this book is, but what makes this book so captivating and unique is Blazewrath, which is a sport played by teams of dragons and humans, and the Blazewrath games, which are an international sports tournament. The way Amparo Ortiz writes the Blazewrath matches is so incredible, I was at the edge of my seat the entire time while the matches took place, cheering for the Puerto Rican team. (Full review)

2. Lobizona by Romina Garber

This book takes elements that are common in the fantasy genre like an alternate dimension, werewolves, witches, a magical school and a magical sport, and it infuses them with Argentinian folklore and culture, which makes this book unique and captivating. Beyond that, Romina Garber does a great job of addressing important subjects like immigration and the situation that a lot of immigrants face in the United States, as well as sexism and gender essentialism within this magical world and even the Argentinian society. (Full review)

1. Miss Meteor by Anna-Marie McLemore & Tehlor Kay Mejia

McLemore and Mejia delivered a beautifully written, magical story about two characters learning to be true to themselves. This book has adorable friends to lovers romances, heartwarming friendships, wonderfully complicated siblings’ relationships, a powerful message, and amazing character development. I particularly loved how this book addressed heavier subjects like messed up beauty standards, xenophobia, and homophobia in a way that feels very organic. It doesn’t feel like a lesson on those subjects, it’s more about characters living their lives, encountering these things, and having to process and deal with them. (Full review)

What are your favorite YA books that you read in 2020?

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Surprising Books of 2020 | Blogmas Day 24

Hi everyone! Blogmas is almost over and while I have enjoyed writing posts, the truth is that since I decided to do Blogmas very last minute, I didn’t have time to write enough content and be prepared, so the last couple of weeks have been really stressful, so I’m looking forward to have a bit less stress after blogmas is over.

Yesterday I shared my Disappointing Books of 2020 and today I’m happy to talk about the books that surprised me in a good way this year. These are not my top books of the year, those posts are coming next week, I’m going to talk about top YA books, top Adult books and top romance books. But before that, let’s talk about surprising books of 2020:

Miss Meteor by Anna- Marie McLemore and Tehlor Kay Mejia

I don’t know why I wasn’t expecting to love this book because I loved everything I have read by these authors in the past. Maybe it had to do with the fact that it was YA contemporary, which I don’t read and don’t enjoy that much anymore. Nonetheless, this book surprised me because I ended up LOVING it, it’s one of my favorite books of the year. I loved everything about it from the romances to the friendships to the sibling relationships to the message. I would love to read more about these characters.

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

This book had two things against it, it was YA which as I said before I’m not really drawn to anymore and it was a love story between a human and ghost and I thought it was going to be a sad book because of that. But despite all that, it surprised it me and it ended up being one of the most comforting books I read in 2020, it gave me so much joy. I particularly loved the main characters, they were adorable, and their relationship.

Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson

I’m almost done with the YA books, but this is another one that surprised me, and I ended up enjoying a lot more than I thought I would. It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me feel invested in the characters and their relationship, and it was a book that brought me a lot of comfort during a hard year.

Category Five by Ann Dávila Madrigal

This book surprised me because I had heard very mixed things about the first book in the series, since they are companion books, I ended up skipping book one and jumping straight into this one and it was a great decision. I didn’t think I was going to like this as much as I did, I enjoyed the spooky aspect of the book and I liked the characters, but my favorite thing about it was the way the author integrated what has happened in Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria, especially the abandonment of Puerto Rico by the U.S. Government.

This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone

I started to read this book with extremely high expectations because everyone was loving it, and I immediately had a problem with the writing, it’s was too purple prose and wordy for my taste. I had to reread passages so many times to be able to understand because the amount of unnecessary and complicated words was A LOT. Nonetheless, this book surprised me because once I got used to the writing and the love story started, I was invested! The romance in this book was so angsty and emotional, the yearning was a beautiful thing to witness and I ended up really enjoying this.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

This book was on my tbr for YEARS and there was something about it that made me feel interested in reading it while it also made me thing I wasn’t going to love. So you can imagine my surprise when I started this book and immediately fell in love with it. Emily St. John Mandel managed to weave together storylines that seemed completely unrelated and I loved the complexity of the storytelling.

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

I don’t know why I had low expectations for this book, maybe because I felt like everyone described this book in vague terms and I like to go into books knowing very clearly what they are about. Now I totally understand why people are so vague when talking about this book, because it’s a bit nonsensical, it has a very vague plot, there’s a lot of stories within stories, but it’s also whimsical and magical. This book surprised me because I loved everything about it.

Sapphire Flames by Ilona Andrews

This was my first Ilona Andrews’ book, and I was pleasantly surprised when I realized that this wasn’t going to be a romance book with a half-baked world and magic system. I loved how complex and interesting the fantasy elements of this book were, and I’m really excited to read more Ilona Andrews’ books in the future.

Headliners by Lucy Parker

This book surprised me because my previous experience with Lucy Parker wasn’t great, I really disliked the writing in that book, so I was very hesitant to read another one of her books, but everyone seemed to love Headliners, so I decided to give it a chance and I’m so glad I did. I was so surprised when I finished this book and realized I LOVED it. This book was hilarious, the main characters were adorable together and the best part about this book is that they both acted like adults, who talk to their significant others and trust each other.  

Only When It’s Us by Chloe Liese

I wasn’t expecting to love this book as much as I did, this is my favorite romance of the year, and I was really surprised by it because I read it on a whim when none of my friends had read it or reviewed it, I just saw someone on Goodreads add it and it sounded interesting, so I picked it up and it ended up being a frenemies to lovers, slow burn, angsty and emotional romance that I absolutely loved.

What books surprised you in 2020?

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Books That Brought Me Comfort in 2020 | Blogmas Day 18

Hi everyone! Writing today’s post brought me so much joy, because I just remember how much I love all of these books and how heartwarming they are.

This was supposed to be a post about funny books or books that made me laugh in contrast to yesterday post of Books that Wrecked Me in 2020, but I didn’t read as many funny books and, I think with everything that happened this year, I really appreciated comforting books a lot, so I decided to share some books that brought me comfort in 2020:

The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune

Plot: This book is about a caseworker who is assigned to investigate an island orphanage for magical children deemed especially dangerous, and has to make a recommendation about the continuatuon or closing of it.

This book is really heartwarming. It has endearing characters, a fascinating concept, a story that will make you feel happy and hopeful while asking tough questions about privilege, prejudice, and complacency. The most comforting aspect of the book for me are the lovable characters, the relationships between them and the found family aspect.

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

Plot: When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his true gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo and ends up summoning the ghost of  the school’s resident bad boy.

This book manages to be sweet, hopeful, and fun, while still including difficult subjects like transphobia, homelessness, gang violence, and abusive parents. The main characters are adorable and the romance between Yadriel and Julian warmed my heart and made me so happy.

Miss Meteor by Anna-Marie McLemore

Plot: Lita Perez enters the Miss Meteor beauty pageant and asks her ex- best friend, Chicky Quintanilla, for help. 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.

This book is fantastic, the friends to lovers romances are adorable, the friendships healed my soul, the siblings’ relationships are wonderfully complicated, the message is so powerful and the character development is great. I can’t think of a book that made me happier this year.

You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Thompson

Plot: this is a story about  about Liz, a Black teenage girl living in a very white small town, who has to run for prom queen in order to get a scholarship so that she can attend her dream school.

This is a cute, fluffy, heartwarming YA contemporary with an incredible main character, an adorable romance and a hopeful message. It strikes a balance between the more comforting elements of the story and important discussions about homophobia, poverty and racisms.

The Dream Weaver by Reina Luz Alegre

Plot: This story is about Zoey, a twelve year old, who is trying to save her grandfather’s bowling alley while participating in bowling tournament with a group of friends.

A very sweet middle grade that deals with hard subjects like grief and complicated family dynamics. Despite all that, this book tells a hopeful and happy story about giving yourself time to figure out your dreams, fighting for them but also allowing them to change with time. It includes a bowling team, sleepovers, friendships, a strong sibling relationship, and a lovable grandfather. 

The Strange Case of the Alchemist Daughter by Theodora Goss

Plot: Mary Jekyll is looking for her father’s old partner, the murderous Edward Hyde. Instead she finds Hyde’s daughter, Diana, as well as the daughters of other famous scientists. With the help of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, Mary and the others are going to solve the mysteries of their origins

This is a fun, captivating adventure story told in a unique and often hilarious structure where the characters from the book interrupt the story to add their own commentary. What made it so comforting for me is the found family at the heart of the story, a group of lovable monstrous girls supporting and protecting each others.

The Switch by Beth O’Leary

Plot: Leena is ordered to take a sabbatical from work, so she escapes to her grandmother house to rest. Eileen is newly single, about to turn eighty and she’d like a second chance at love but her tiny village doesn’t offer many options. Leena proposes a two-month swap, Eileen will live in London and Leena will stay in rural Yorkshire.

This is a very cute story and the reason it was so comforting for me is that Eileen as a characters was endering, caring, and comforting. I LOVED her storyline, the friendships she built, how much she helped others, her character development and even her love story.

What books brought you comfort in 2020? Have you read any of the books I mentioned?

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Books by Latinx Authors that Need Adaptations

Hi everyone! Today is the last day of Latinx Heritage Month and I was planning to post my Latinx Book Bingo wrap up. Nonetheless, I am hurrying to finish one more book to complete the bingo board and I’m pretty sure it’s gonna take me all day today, which is why I’m not posting my wrap up and instead I decided to share this post.

I was inspired to write this after a panel that I did with the other hosts of the Latinx Book Club for the Latinx Heritage Month Book Festival. You can watch the whole live show HERE. During the panel, we talked about some books by Latinx authors that we would like to see adapted as tv shows or movies. My answers during the live show were Miss Meteor and Blazewrath Games, and I’ll talk about them in this post, but I have been thinking about it since then and I came up with other books by Latinx authors that I’ll love to see adapted.

I have done a post like this in the past and you can check it out HERE. In that post, I mentioned two books by Latinx authors, so I won’t repeat those here.

Without further ado, here are some books by Latinx authors that need adaptations:

*click the book titles to go to the Goodreads page and the movies/series titles to go to watch the trailer on Youtube*

Blazewrath Games by Amparo Ortiz

I see Blazewrath Games as a movie that would be a mix between How to Train Your Dragon and Catching Fire. The movie would have the sense of adventure and fun from How to Train Your Dragons, as well as the lovable dragons, but the places would look advance and sleek like the Capitol and the arena looks in Catching Fire, while also sharing with that movie the depiction of manipulation and control by some evil figure. Beyond that, I think an international sport tournement with dragons would make for a very cool movie!

Miss Meteor by Anna-Marie McLemore and Tehlor Kay Mejia

Miss Meteor would be a great tv show that would be like the movie Dumplin’ with a touch of the Rosewell, New Mexico series. It would have the small-town pageant, the messed-up beauty standards, and a main character fighting against them from Dumplin’, but it would also have a small town with a strong connection to space and with beings from space like Rosewell, New Mexico. I think the adorable romances and the complicated siblings’ relationships would make a very compelling tv show.

Tender is the Flesh by Augustina Bazterrica

I think Tender is the Flesh would make an excellent tv show, a crossover between Hannibal and a zombie show, it would have the logical and precise approach to cannibalism while including a bit more gore. I think Tender is the Flesh would be more disturbing than Hannibal and it would lean even more into gray and brown tones for the look of the show, to represent the desperation and loneliness of the future this book takes place in. The whole concept of this book, cannibalism is legal and there’s an entire industry to produce human meat, is very disturbing and fascinating and it would translate well to a tv show.

Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson

This one is going to sound weird, but I imagine an adaptation of Undead Girl Gang as a Netflix show similar to Julie and The Phantoms. A show with a cool, bright aesthetic that looks like fun and lighthearted but that addresses grief very prominently. I also think the show could be similar to Julie and the Phantoms because they both include people that come back from the dead and they both put a humorous touch to the situation. But Undead Girl Gang would be sadder, darker, and a lot more witchy. I think the plot of this book is so entertaining and far-fetched that it would be perfect for tv.

Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno

I imagine Don’t Date Rosa Santos as a tv show that’s a mix between Jane the Virgin and Gilmore Girls. It would be unapolagetically Latinx and it would be full of vibrant and bright colors, especially blue and yellow, just like Jane the Virgin, and it would be similar to Gilmore Girls because of the small town where everyone knows each other and the complicated and tense family dynamics especially between the women in a family.

What shows do you think need to be adaptated?
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My Favorite 2020 Releases by Latinx Authors

Hi everyone! Latinx Heritage Month is almost over, which means my posts in celebration of it are also coming to an end. I talk about and highlight books by Latinx authors all year round, but during this month I have talked only about them, and I’m very proud of the content that I have put out. If you want to see the other posts that I have written for Latinx Heritage Month 2020, you can check them out HERE.

Today’s post is about my favorite 2020 releases by Latinx authors. I had 20 books to choose from, so I decided to do this a top 5, and they are ranked, so this list starts with my absolute favorite. It was hard to choose, but I’m happy with my selection!

1. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-García

I loved everything about this book, the writing captured me from the very beginning, I was so invested in the story, and I connected to the main character. The atmosphere and setting were perfectly creepy, the plot was so intriguing, and it kept me guessing, and the villains are so easy to hate, I had a strong negative reaction towards them. I also enjoyed the way Silvia Moreno-García included important discussions about sexism, colonialism, and eugenics. And the ending was so satisfying. (REVIEW)

2. Miss Meteor by Anna-Marie McLemore and Tehlor Kay Mejia

This book took me by surprise, and I don’t even know why since I loved previous books by both of these authors. This book is so heartwarming, I was invested in the friends to lovers romances, which were adorable, and I loved the siblings’ relationship in this book, the Quintanilla sisters own my heart. To me, this was a very magical story about two characters learning to be true to themselves, and I fell completely in love with it. (REVIEW)

3. Lobizona by Romina Garber

I have been waiting for this story for a long time. Fantasy is my favorite genre, I love reading fantasy books, and I’m so happy to finally have a book that contains so many of the fantasy elements that I love but it’s full of Latinx characters and it’s completely unapologetically about the inclusion of Argentinian culture and the Spanish language. This book delivers Argentinian werewolves and witches, a magical school, a magical sport based on soccer, a traditional Argentinian drink with magical properties and so much more. This story just made my heart so happy. (REVIEW)

4. Blazewrath Games by Amparo Ortiz

Continuing with the trend of books that made me happy, this year we got a book by a Latinx author that includes dragons (!!), and I couldn’t be more excited. This book was fun and entertaining. There’s a sport that involves dragons, which was so cool, I was invested in team Puerto Rico, and I suffered during all their matches. The world-building was incredible, all the lore around the dragons was fascinating, the history of the Blazewrath Games was so expansive, and I’m in awe of the amazing job that Amparo Ortiz did with all that. (REVIEW)

5. You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria

As someone who grew up watching telenovelas, this book felt like home and it made me nostalgic. I loved that this included behind the scenes from the show that they were recording, I found all of that so interesting. But my favorite part was obviously the romance in this book, it’s so rare for me to like both of the main characters in a book equally, but Jasmine and Ashton are both amazing and it was so easy to root for them as a couple, they had so much chemistry and a very strong emotional connection.(REVIEW)

Have you read these books and did you enjoy them? What are some of your favorite 2020 releases?
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Book Tour: Miss Meteor by Tehlor Kay Mejia and Anna-Marie McLemore | Review, Playlist & Giveaway

Hi everyone! I’m so excited to be sharing this review and playlist with all of you today. But before getting to that, I wanted to thank Karina @Afire Page and HarperCollins Intenrational for allowing me to be part of this book tour and giving me an eARC of the book.

Title: Miss Meteor

Author: Anna-Marie McLemore & Tehlor Kay Mejia

Publishing date: September 22nd 2020

Published by: HarperTeen

Genre: YA Magical Realism

Pages: 320

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.

Witty and heartfelt with characters that leap off the page, Miss Meteor is acclaimed authors Anna-Marie McLemore and Tehlor Kay Mejia’s first book together.

 Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | Book Depository

CWs: bullying, homophobic comments and xenophobic comments

Miss Meteor is one of the best books I have read in 2020. Tehlor Kay Mejia and Anna-Marie McLemore deliver a beautifully written, magical story about two characters learning to be true to themselves.

Chicky and Lita, the main characters, have very strong and distinctive personalities. They are absolutely captivating characters and seeing them grow and develop throughout this book is beautiful. Also, the way they slowly rebuild their friendship is very emotional and meaningful.

The sisterhood in this book is lovely and the Quintanilla sisters own my heart. Chicky has four older sisters and they are all very different from each other, and even when they irritate each other, there is so much love between them and it is amazing seeing them be there for Chicky when she asks for help. Another relationship between siblings that is very complicated and interesting is between Cole and his sister and it was incredible seeing Cole be honest and ask someone he loves to do better and be accepting and loving not only with him but also with others, especially within the queer community.

The romances in this book are so cute and one of my favorite things about it, I was rooting for the two couples the entire book. The slow-burn, angsty friends to lovers romance between Chicky and Junior was everything that I didn’t know I needed and the sweet friends to lovers romance between Lita and Cole with its “oh” moment was very heartwarming.

Plot-wise, when it came to the pageant, I suffered the entire time I was reading this because I was just wondering what was going to go wrong, who was going to sabotage Lita or what faux pas was she going to make. It was funny too because Lita always found a way to do something unexpected that a lot of time didn’t go well for her, from tug wars and falling in a fountain with another contestant to wearing a scuba diving outfit to the swimsuit competition.

Something that this book does really well is addressing heavier subjects like messed up beauty standards, xenophobia and homophobia in a way that feels very organic. It doesn’t feel like a lesson on those subjects, it’s more about characters living their lives, encountering these things and having to process and deal with them. This book shows characters that have to learn to be true to themselves and stand up to people who try to make them feel small or weird or like outcasts.

If you want a book with adorable friends to lovers romances, heartwarming friendships, wonderfully complicated siblings’ relationships, a powerful message and amazing character development, Miss Meteor is for you!

PLAYLIST

GIVEAWAY

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/24842cbd18/

Have you read or are you plannign to read Miss Metero? What’s your favorite magical realism book?
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It’s Not Magical Realism: Fantasy Books by Latinx Authors

Hi everyone! Today I have another post to celebrate Latinx Heritage Month and it’s a very exciting post because fantasy is one of my favorite genres and I have some recommendations if you want to read fantasy books by Latinx authors.

If you are wondering why this post includes “It’s not Magical Realism” in the title, it’s because oftentimes fantasy books by Latinx authors are label as magical realism, especially if they are paranormal or urban fantasy and it’s a big source of annoyance for Latinx authors and readers. Not everything that Latinx authors write and that includes magical elements in it should be pigeonholed as magical realism. Latinx and magical realism are not synonyms. This post is not about this discussion tho, so if you want to learn more a quick google search will help you out with that!

Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Goodreads | Amazon

  • This book follows a young woman and the Mayan god of death as they embarque on a quest, where they face all kinds of mythological creatures ande deities, in order to save their lives.

    • The writing makes it feel like reading a myth or fairytale, it was so engaging.

    • The Mayan mythology was captivating and lush, and since it’s a mythology that it’s not often used in fantasy books, this book was full of gods and mythical creatures that felt very new and unique.

    • It’s set in 1920’s Mexico and the mix of the mythological elements and the ‘modernity’ of the Jazz Age worked well and gave this story an even more unique touch.

Nocturna by Maya Motayne

Goodreads | Amazon

  • This book follows a thief with powerful magical abilities and a prince running from his past, who inadvertently free an evil force and then have to try to capture it again before it destroys everything.

  • The most magical thing about this book is the way it embraces Latinx culture and the way it uses Spanish as the language of magic in this world.

  • It addresses colonialism and slavery through the history of this fantasy world in a very organically and subtle way.

We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia

Goodreads | Amazon

  • This story follows a young women, who has trained all her life to be a primera, a wife who runs her husband’s household. But when a rebel group treatens to expose her biggest secret, she is forced to start working for them. All this while having to live with the enemy, her husband’s other wife, the Segunda, in charge of giving him children.

  • This books has two beautifully complex main characters, a forbidden sapphic love story, fascinating mythology, an infuriating world and a flawed and complicated rebelious group.

    • 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, it’s brilliantly done.

Beneath the Citadel by Destiny Soria

Goodreads | Amazon

  • This book follows Cassa, the orphaned daughter of rebels, who is determined to fight back against the high council to do it she must go on a heist and her only allies are no-nonsense Alys, easygoing Evander, and perpetually underestimated Newt.

  • This book has five main characters, who are queer, poc or struggling with mental illness and trauma. They all have distintive voices and personalies and the author seamlessly integrates the different aspects of the characters identities to the story.

  • This book is full of twists and turns and a fast pace that keeps the book entertaining and engaging.

Labyrinth Lost + Bruja Born by Zoraida Cordova

Goodreads | Amazon

  • Each book in this series follows one of the Mortiz sisters, who are brujas and who always end up getting into trouble when their spells backfire.

  • This series includes a variaty of magical beings like brujas, werewolves, vampires, fairies, zombies and so much more. All of them as well as a lot of the mythology in this book are steeped in Latin American culture and mythology. And that’s one of the main things that’s wonderful about this book: how unapologetically Latinx it is.

Each of Us a Desert by Mark Oshiro

  • This book tells the story of Xochital, a girl who has been the Cuentista of her community, she takes the stories involving secrets, lies and deceit that produce feelings like guilt and she gives them back to the land so people can be forgiven by their god. If this process doesn’t take place, the stories manifest themselves as Pesadillas – monsters out of nightmares.

    • Each of Us a Desert is a quiet fantasy book about the role of stories in our lives and in our communities and the link between the stories we are told and the things we believe in and have faith in. This is a character-driven book with a loose plot but with strong thematic elements.

Incendiary by Zoraida Cordova

  • This book follows Renata, who thanks to her unique magical power was kidnapped and forced to work for the King only to escape and join the rebels. But when the commander of her unit is taken captive, Renata has to return to the palace under cover and complete his top secret mission.

    • One of the stronger aspects of this story is that it feels like like something bad is about to happen at any moment because Renata is living in the midst of enemies and there are so many secrets and interests at play.

      • 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

Have you read any of these books? Are any of them on your tbr? What Fantasy book by Latinx authors have you enjoyed?
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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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February TBR: Black History Month + Latinx Book Club + Anticipated Releases

Hi everyone! It’s time for my February tbr and I’m very excited to read the books I picked. Most of the books I’ll be reading in February are books by Black authors because February is Black History Month; I also included on my tbr the book pick of the Month for the Latinx Book Club, which is a book by an Afro-Latinx author; and lastly, I included 3 of my most anticipated releases of the year.

As I did in my January tbr, I have a list below with the goals and challenges that I want to keep track of in 2020 and I chose an emoji that represents each one. Next to each of the books on my tbr, I’ll put the emoji of the goal or challenge that that book is going to help me fullfil.

  • Read 20 fantasy books in 2020 (🔮)
  • Read 35 books by Latinx authors in 2020 (🔥)
  • Keep reading diverse books: by Asian authors (☁️), by black authors (🌞), other #ownvoices rep (🌈)
  • Read 50 books by the #StartOnYourShelfathon challenge (⭐)
  • Read the 20 books on my tbr for the #StartOnYourShelfathon challenge (💫)
  • Read a book from a genre that’s not fantasy or romance (🦄)

Without further ado, here is my Febraury tbr:

🔮⭐💫🌞 The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin: This book has been on my tbr for so long, I have heard nothing but great things and I’m excited!

🌞⭐🦄 Binti: The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor: I read the first two books in this series almost two years ago and I need to finally read the conclusion to the story.

🔥🌞⭐🦄 American Street by Ibi Zoboi: I’m reading this for the Latinx Book Club, which I co-host on Twitter and Goodreads

🌞 ⭐A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole: I have read and liked two books in this series, so I’m excited to read this one, especially aince it seems to be the favorite of a lot of my friends

🔥🌞The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa: one fo my most anticipated releases of the year since I love Mia Sosa’s Love on Cue series. Release date: Fabruary 4th

🌞 ⭐🦄Queenie by Candice Carty Williams: This has been on my tbr for a year but the synopsis is resonating a lot with where I am in my life right now, so I can’t wait to read it.

🔮The King of Crows by Libba Bray: The Diviners Series is one of my all time favorite series and I can’t wait to read the final book. Release date: February 4th

🔮🔥 We Unleash The Merciless Storm by Tehlor Kay Mejia: The first book in this series was one of my favorite books of 2019, so I can’t wait to see what happens next. Release date: February 25th

Dominik by Sawyer Bennett: This is the sixth book in this series and I have really enjoyed the previous books, so I’m really excited for this one. Release date: February 18th

What are your reading plans for February? If you want to buddy read any of the books on my tbr, let me know in the comments!

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