The Cursed Prince

Hello, book lover, it’s your girl, Gaby back it again with another review about another baddie. This time I’m diving into the recently published The Cursed Prince by C.N Crawford.

The Cursed Prince is a dystopian-fantasy-romance novel that sprinkles in Norse mythology and zombies. Yep, a lot is going on in this short book, but let’s dive into the review.

Read More »

You’re going to wish you read The Poet X Sooner

This book is written in a series of vignettes by renowned slam poet Elizabeth Acevedo and follows the life of a young Dominican American girl from Harlem. The Poet X is prefect for lovers of poetry and slam poets.

“I only know that learning to believe in the power of my own words has been the most freeing experience of my life. It has brought me the most light. And isn’t that what a poem is? A lantern glowing in the dark.”

The Poet X Elizabeth Acevedo
Read More »

Know my name

Many of us have probably read or heard about Brock Turner, a Stanford student who raped an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. During the trial, we only knew this woman as Emily Doe until now. Chanel Miller pens and narrates her powerful Memoir, Know My Name, to finally tell her story and humanize herself after Brock and his lawyers defamed her.

Read More »

Read Odd One Out!

I considered myself to be a very inclusive reader, someone who reads books by BIPOC authors, but one glance at my Goodreads tells me that I can do better. So I decided to begin June reading Odd One Out by Nic Stone. Not only is Odd One Out an Own Voices novel, literature written by someone who identifies as a part of the same marginalized book as their character(s), but it’s also YA, which makes it accessible to many. Is it just me, or does anyone else have trouble comprehending some of the older literature with its superfluous vocabulary? I studied English in college, and during my first years, reading Shakespeare was a struggle!

Read More »

Books I did not finish (DNFed) in May

Sorry for the delayed posts but I felt that I needed to take a step back from publishing reviews on this blog and listen. As many of you know by know, the death of George Floyd sparked a revolution and I felt that my energy could better be spent sharing/signing petitions, donating, and listening.

Just because the movement appears to be fizzling out, our work is not done. Systematic racism and the oppression of Black bodies has always been an issue in the U.S and moving forward we must continue to listen and undo the racial bias in ourselves.

Sign these petitons

Beware donating to change.org as that money go directly to the company

https://www.change.org/p/us-senate-hands-up-act

https://www.change.org/p/justice-for-tony-mcdade

https://www.change.org/p/department-of-justice-investigate-the-killing-of-tamir-rice

https://www.change.org/p/andy-beshear-justice-for-breonna-taylor

If you’re still looking to donate check out these organizations

https://www.reclaimtheblock.org/home

https://www.blackdisability.org/

https://secure.actblue.com/donate/naacp-1

These are just a short list of resources for more ways to help, check out this Carrd

https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/

Read More »

Chilling Effect is the Latinx space novel we deserve!

Hello readers! I am finally back with another book review. For this week’s review, I’m jumping away from the spicy crazy romance of Beautiful Bastard to the spicy space adventure that is Chilling Effect by Valerie Valdes.

As mentioned before, this novel is on the spicy side, and that includes lots of bilingual swearing and implied sex scenes. So keep that in mind if you’re planning to gift this to a younger reader.

If you are a sci-fi fan and have been longing for a story starring a Latinx Capitan and psychic cats, continue reading.

Read More »

Beautiful Bastard was not what I was expecting

It’s been a while since my last post and safe to say the quarantine stress finally got to me. To combat it, I threw myself into sewing and watching animal crossing streams. That was great and all, but I was not able to focus on reading nor creating content for this blog.

I’m feeling much better now, and I hope to be able to get some bookish crafts up soon. For now, though, here is a book review for Beautiful Bastard.

Beautiful Bastard is one of the first books best writing friends Christina and Lauren published together. The first draft of Beautiful Bastard was a twilight inspired fanfiction written by Christina. Although readers won’t be able to tell while reading Beautiful Bastard. To read more about the origins of Christina Lauren, check out this interview.

Read More »

Crush the King and conclude this series!

Everleigh Blair is a noblewoman turned orphan turned Gladiator turned Queen and the star of the Crown of Shards. This underrated series falls under the adult fantasy genre and shares similar themes to Game of Throne. What sets this series apart from other fantasy novels is that in this universe, there is a way to snuff out magic. Evie may be the queen of Bellona, but unlike the other royals, she has no magic, rather she is immune to it, which makes her far more dangerous.

If you want to know more about the previous books in this series here’s the link to my review of the second novel in the series, Protect the Prince.

Read More »

That’s it?! Manga Review Princess Jellyfish’s final volume

Imagine this all the Amars suddenly becoming onboard with sewing and creating clothes for women like them. I never thought I’d see it either, but that’s exactly what happens in the last volume of Princess Jellyfish.


“Once upon a time…there was a tiny little castle. A group of slightly odd girls lived a nice fun life there.”

Akiko Higashimura Princess Jellyfish
Read More »

Princess Jellyfish Volume 8: The transformation edition

I don’t want this story to end! However, I am excited for the conclusion of this series.


After Kuranosuke wraps up a photo shoot at Mr. Fish’s building, he flirts his way to the top floor and meets Fayong, Fish’s secretary and childhood friend, instead of snitching to her boss that Kuranosuke has come for Tsukimi, she takes Kuranosuke to the basement and leaks key company secrets before letting him know where Tsukimi is.

Read More »

I love Pride and Prejudice but I have some thoughts

Pride and Prejudice is one of those rare books that I was not required to read in any of my English classes. Even while studying English in college, Pride and Prejudice was always absent from the syllabus. Given my love for the 2005 film, I don’t understand why I never read this book sooner.

I’m assuming a lot of readers have read this book since it is a classic, feel free to skip to my commentary. It will be marked with MY THOUGHTS in bold, followed by a star rating.

Read More »

Princess Jellyfish, the manga, is super cute!

Here is the opening title sequence for the Princess Jellyfish manga try not o fall in love while watching it.

Princess Jellyfish is one of my favorite animes to rewatch when Ineed a mood boost. Although, like most of my favorite animes, it is unfinished. Luckily for me, I spotted a majority of the volumes at my library, and I can’t wait to see where the story goes after the anime ended.

Read More »

Cruel Prince should really be called the Sad Prince

One day in October, I was living my best carefree life-blissfully unaware of the Folk of the Air series until my dearest friend Nessa decided to ruin my life by casually mentioning this series followed an enemy to lover’s trope.

In case I haven’t made myself clear on my feelings about this Trope, I loved them! This trope is top-quality writing, redemption arcs, soft moments. I live for it all.

Read More »

Red Queen made me look like a fool, five stars.

Red Queen starts as a typical dystopian novel, but all the twists and turns are like slipping on a banana in Mario Cart. I want to preface this review by stating the first part of this blog post will be the review, while the second part will be me reacting to the plot and will contain spoilers.

I’ve done this a thousand times before, watching the crowd like a wolf does a flock of sheep.

Mare Barrow Red Queen
Read More »

I read Ninth House in two days- A messy but fun review

Ninth House was released this October, and it is Leigh Bardugo’s first adult novel. Ninth House tells the story of Galaxy “Alex” Stern, a high school drop out from California, who is enrolled at Yale University to join a secret campus organization named Lethe. Lethe is part of nine magical houses, and their main jobs are to regulate the activities of the other houses to make sure they are falling the rules. Lethe is small and consists of a core group of people: Dante, Virgil, Centurion, and Occulus. Centurion goes by the name Turner, an African American Police officer of New Haven, who has been paid by Lethe to cover up any magical crimes despite Turner’s involvement in Lethe, he is a good guy and a good cop. Occulus is also known as Dawes, a grad student who spends the majority of her time working on her dissertation at the Lethe house, but Dawes’ main job is to assist Dante and Virgil. Alex is Dante, and Darlington is Virgil. Darlington’s job is to show Alex the ropes of all Lethe house duties, one ritual involves scaring off ghosts or greys while another house cuts some random person open to read the future at least that’s how I interrupted it I’m still confused about the intricacies of that ritual.

Alex’s first semester at Yale is overwhelming, as she has to complete her assignments as an English major as well as her nighttime duties at Lethe. Darlington’s disappearence complicates everything, and Alex is left to carry out the duties of Lethe house on her own.  Alex starts to sense that things are amiss when Tara Hutchins, a New Haven girl, is murdered outside one of the magical houses. Everyone insists that Tara’s boyfriend is the culprit, but Alex thinks there is something off about Tara’s death. Alex enlists the help of Dawes and Turner to help her follow the trail of clues that suggest the other houses might have had some involvement in Tara’s death.


When I first cracked this book open in mid-November I was intrigued, but my attention was not fully captivated. I felt like I was in a slump, and when I’m in a reading slump I distract myself with either watching Tv or reading fanfiction. In this case, I did both.

I rewatched most of Bunheads and read some Star Wars fanfiction in case anyone was wondering.

However, when I realized I had three days to compete Ninth House, and I was only 100s pages deep, I knew I had to start reading and fast if I wanted to complete it this month.

When Alex became entangled in the murder of Tara Hutchins, so did I become entangled in this book. I begin to wonder what exactly happened to Darlington and maybe if Alex had killed him herself. However, after reading Alex’s longing to see Darlington again, I was even more confused. Where the two lovers? Should I be rooting for their ill-fated romance?

“I will serve you ’til the end of days.”

Darlington to Alex Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

As I continued to read Ninth House most of my questions were slowly piecing together answers.  Although the world is elaborate and all the houses and what they do, are at times, confusing I found it helpful to just get consumed in the story until you forgot about all your questions.

Despite the complexities of Ninth House this book is sure to reel you in with all the cool charaters. Aside from Darlington, Lethe house’s golden boy, and Alex’s mentor into the dark world of magic, and Dawes a reserved grad student who is always saving Alex’s ass, there is also North, a ghost who lurks around New Haven and is believed to have murdered his Fiancée.

As Alex gets deeper into the investigation of Tara’s death so does North’s character development and soon North goes from becoming a suspected murderer to a real softie who scares off other ghosts from following Alex.

Ninth House is also abundant with California and English writer’s references. If you are currently studying English in college, a lot of the poetry and stories referenced will be familiar to you. The whole Dante and Virgil dynamic should be a big hint on both the themes of the novel and that other prominent English writers may be referenced. If you grew up in Southern California, the landmarks mentioned will be easy to picture.

What surprised me about Ninth House was that Alex, the main character is brown. Alex’s grandmother often sung lullabies to her in Spanish, but the dialect in which these lullabies were spoken was one that I had never heard of or knew existed. The Spanish used in this novel is called Ladino, a Judaeo-Spanish, that was spoken by Jews who lived in Spain before Queen Isabella I and King Ferdinand decided to kick out the Jewish population. This little piece of information was super cool for me to learn, and it’s also insanely cool that this language becomes one of the biggest tools that Alex uses to defend herself from the greys.

“Quien se prestado se vestio, en medio de la calle se quito.”

Ninth Hose by Leigh Bardugo

Overall, Ninth House is a book that may have a slow start, but it will quickly suck you into the plot once things become interesting. Although Ninth House is the first book of the series there is no big cliff hanger in the end. However all the plot twists in this book are sure to keep you guessing. I loved this read, and I will considering adding it and the next installment onto my shelf forever.


Now for the real question.

Do I ship Alex and Darlington? Maybe so. Is this a bad idea considering what happened to one of my otps in Crooked Kingdom.

Probably.

But I’m going to casually ship them anyways.

And now a brief rant on Alex and Darlington

Sure Alex is a bit suspious, considering what she did to her “friends” back in LA, and Darlignton is the nerdy gentleman of Ninth House. The pair really have no business being together romantically. However, they’re a great team and if Darlington had been present for Tara’s investigation Alex probably wouldn’t have put herself in as much danger as she’d liked.

Plus Darlington has a cat and an attachment to his grandfather’s big mansion and if that doesn’t scream love interest then we clearly have different definitions.


I give Ninth House a five-star review, and if you have any bookish friends who love gothic-fantasies or books with a morally gray character, definitely pick up Ninth House. However, be aware that Ninth House deals with serious topics such as sexual assault, rape of a minor, drug use, suicide, self-harm, drowning, and lots of blood and gore.

Until next time continue living in libros,

Gaby

An Insanely Cute Fall Read

Witches and vampires dating? Read it. Witches and demons dating also read that. But witches and werewolves, nope never.

When I saw the cover to Mooncakes, I immediately knew I needed to read it this fall.


Mooncakes is a graphic novel written by Suzanne Walker and illustrated by Wendy Xu and came out this October. Nova Hoang is a witch who works at her grandmothers’ magic bookstore assisting customers with that day to day spell work. Nova also helps in solve supernatural happenings in her small town so when she hears about a giant white wolf in the woods Nova decides to investigate. However, when Nova comes face to face with the wolf, she realizes the wolf is none other than her old crush Tam Lang.

“My mother met Einstein, you know. Horribly limited man.”

Mooncakes by Wendy Xu and Suzanne walker

Tam confesses to Nova that while coming back into town, they spotted a horse demon in the woods. Nova agrees to help Tam, but they soon discover that Tam is the only one who can stop the demon by using their werewolf magic. While all this is going on, Nova and Tam decide to pick up where they left off and start dating.


I loved so many things about this book, but here are just a few of them. Nova is hard of hearing, and her blue hearing aids are visible in every panel she appears in. I loved that Nova’s disability remained visible throughout this novel. I returned to previous panels to search for them, and they were always there. My ignorance made me appreciate the visibility of Nova’s disability throughout this book, and it also made me pay closer attention to the artwork and not get swept up in the story.

” A white wolf?”

“Hugh! Like Jon Snow’s. Mrs. Crawford said it came right at her.”

Mooncakes by Wendy Xu and Suzanne Walker

I loved that Mooncakes included LGBTQ+ characters. Tam Lang, the love interest, uses they/them pronouns and is a super cool white werewolf. Additionally, I was surprised to learn that Nova has two nanas. All the descriptions of this book I had previously read stated that Nova works at her grandmother’s bookshop, which is technically true, but Nova having two grandmothers is an extra special detail that you do not discover until you read Mooncakes.

Lastly, I want to emphasize that readers pay attention to the background artwork during scenes because there are lots of cute Easter eggs. In particular, popular YA novels are visible behind Nova in the bookshop. This is super cool, considering Wendy Xu is a curator of YA and children’s books.

I do not have many negative points about this novel, but for the sake of this review, I decided to neat pick some details of this story. One thing I could never figure out was Nova’s age. This story takes place during the fall season, and considering that Nova never goes to school, I assumed she was 18 or older. Nova also mentions becoming best friends with Tatyana in high school, and the use of past tense suggests that both of them are older than high school age. Lastly, what happened to Terry? Will we ever know the answer to that mystery?

Mooncakes is up there with Don’t Date Rosa Santos as one of my favorite books this year. Mooncakes is the first graphic novel I have ever read, and I loved the way that the artwork flows with the story. I think I may need to add more graphic novels and even manga to my tbr list based on the artwork alone.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Until my next review continue living in libros,

Gaby

October Review

Remember when I made my October reading list a thick stack of Spooky literature? I had Cute Spooky books such as Babysitters Coven and Mooncakes, to Nostalgic Spooky with Hocus Pocus and the All New Sequel, to Mystery Spooks with Wicked Fox and Ninth House. I knew my October TBR was ambitious, but after completing my Latinx heritage month reading binge, I felt extra powerful.

Apollo cosplaying as a ghost

I started October by reading Permanent Record, a book that was not on my spooks list. However, Permanent Record decided that it was the book that I needed to start my October by arriving early at the library. Since Permanent Record arrived at the library during the first week of October, I simply could not refuse adding it to my pile.

I enjoyed the book, but it was not getting into the spooky spirit. In fact, Permanent Record had more of a winter in February feel.

Next, I decided to jump on the nostalgia boat and pick up Hocus Pocus and the All New Sequel. I saw this title all over Instagram last year, and although the reviews for it were not that great, my stubborn heart wanted to know more about Max and Alison. My fave couple turned out just fine, Alison as a lawyer and Max as a history teacher, oh, and they have a daughter named Poppy. However, my curiosity about Alison and Max could not keep me entertained throughout the book.

Hocus Pocus is a movie that premiered in the 90s and stars famous babes, Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker. Freeform is streaming Hocus Pocus every day in October for this year’s 31 Nights of Halloween. Given all these factors, I felt that the 200-page novelization of the movie was unnecessary. Although the novelization of the movie would guide new readers through the cult classic, a recap would have been quicker.

I considered myself a Hocus Pocus expert because I grew up watching this movie so, I decided to skip this whole section. Once I moved onto The All New Sequel, I realized I made a mistake because the characters bring up the legend of Elizabeth Sanderson. Someone who is not in the movie at all, but was added to this story for the sequel.

I flipped back to the beginning to find out who Elizabeth was and then returned to the present-day chapters. I was hoping to settle into the sequel with this additional information, but I could not. Poppy was bland and uninteresting her hobbies, included photography and a crush on her best friend. Once the story kicks off, Poppy and her friends sneak into the Sanderson Sister Cottage and summon the Sisters which results in horrible consequences very much like the original movie. But in order for the sisters to anchor themselves to this realm, they must trade their places in hell with Max, Alison, and Dani. At this point in the story, I was bored. I didn’t care about these characters anymore and I began my next read.

My next book was The Babysitters Coven, one of my most anticipated reads. I really enjoyed this book and will definitely read any future sequels. Check out my review here.

View this post on Instagram

Boo

A post shared by GABY | (she/her) (@livinginlibros) on

The Fourth book I read for October was Wicked Fox, and I found this book to be more interesting. I loved the reading about the mythology of the Gumiho and the way the author used Korean words in the dialogue. However, this book is heavy on the teen angst, and towards the end, I was tired of it. You can read my full review here.

Although I did not read as many books as I did in September, I still managed to get into the spooky spirit.

I got to visit the Freeform Halloween House

And a pumpkin patch

Besides these spooky activities I also got to hang out with my friends from university for the first time since graduation.

How was your October? Did you read anything good or enjoy a fun fall activity?

Until my next review continue living in libros,

Gaby

Teen Angst and a Nine Tailed Fox

Wicked Fox is the last book I read in October, and it wasn’t all I hoped it would be. This story is particularly unique as it features a Gumiho. A Gumiho is a fox with nine tails that can turn into a beautiful woman to lure their prey. Gumihos are believed to seduce men in order to feed off their energy. Sound familiar? A Gumiho is the Korean name for this legend, but other names include Kitsune and Huli jing. Although the legends vary from culture to culture, Wicked Fox is the story of Miyoung, a Korean teen living in Seoul, South Korea.

The story begins by introducing both Miyoung, a Gumiho teen, and Jihoon, a human teen, in alternating POVs. Miyoung is out on a full moon hunting a man to sustain herself while Jihoon is out walking his dog the two collide paths when Jihoon confronts a goblin. Miyoung saves Jihoon but in the process reveals her nine tails to him. Soon after this incident, Miyoung becomes the new girl at Jihoon’s school, and she ignores all of Jihoon’s attempts to befriend her. Overtime, Jihoon wears Miyoung down, and the two become friends and start dating.

Jihoon glanced up and met Miyoung’s eyes with his, giving her a wide grin. He had a kimchi stuck in his teeth. And she hated that it made his goofy smile even more endearing.

Wicked Fox by Kat Cho

However, the bubble shatters two hundred pages in when a Shaman ritual goes wrong, and through a sequence of tragic events, Jihoon ends up with Miyong’s fox bead, leaving Miyoung to slowly starve. Miyoung feels like she has no other choice but to leave Jihoon as her mother attempts to find a way for Miyoung to live without her bead.

The story concludes with Miyoung and Jihoon fixing their mistakes and living happily ever after, or so I thought until I flipped the page to the Epilogue, which leaves the novel off on a cliff hanger!

I found myself struggling to get through the first part of this book because I found it to be a little slow. Miyoung, during the first half of this book, does not interact with any other kids at her school, in fact, she tries her hardest to push them away, and it works on all of them except Jihoon and his friends. I got tired of Miyoung constantly pushing Jihoon away because sometimes she was nice to Jihoon while other times she was mean.

However, once everything goes wrong with the Shaman ritual, I found myself engrossed in the book once again until Miyoung decides to leave. The story becomes a bit boring as the two teens have a few more chapters of angst and longing for each other. At this point, I thought to myself what else could happen to these two? Haven’t they suffered enough?


Apparently not! The final chapters of this story provide another wild plot twist, and I was here for it. I wanted this story to end strong, and it did with the last scene. The epilogue reveals that not everything is as it seems, and there is definitely a sequel coming. This frustrated me because I just wanted this story to have a definite conclusion, and the epilogue ruined it. I wish I could say reading the next book will give me the answers I seek, but I am not invested enough in this story to find out what happens next.

I would recommend this book if you love lots of teen angst and stories not set in the U.S.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

If you are intrigued by the legend of the Gumiho and don’t mind reading subtitles, I recommend the Kdrama, “My girlfriend is Gumiho.” This Korean drama features a Gumiho, who saves the life of Dae-Woong by giving him her fox bead. Mi-ho decides to stick around, and Dae-Woong makes sure she is happy by frequently treating her to Korean Barbeque. The drama is super cute and the theme song is catchy.

Have a spooky Halloween and continue living in libros,

Gaby

Babysitters coven

Babysitter’s coven was one of my most anticipated reads this Halloween season. The cover is gorgeous and aesthetically pleasing, I mean, who wouldn’t want to DIY their jean jacket after seeing this cover?


Esme is the voice of The Babysitter’s coven, and she is an anti-social 17-year-old, who runs a babysitting club with her friend Janice. Esme’s club does not have any members besides her and Janice, so the two besties mostly hangout during their meetings and split up babysitting jobs. Esme’s life is normal until she somehow makes a ball move with her mind during gym class.

The plot thickens when new girl, Cassandra Heaven, becomes adamant about joining the babysitter’s club. Esme assumes Cassandra may need some extra cash, so she allows her to join. However, Cassandra’s first babysitting job reveals she has no experience in childcare and she is forced to reveal her true intentions for joining the club.

Before Cassandra’s mother passed, she left her daughter a note stating that she must find the babysitters. Cassandra assumed the babysitters could help her explain why she can start fires with her mind, but when Esme acts oblivious. Cassandra forces Esme to come to terms with her own powers. The two super teens quickly become friends as they try to figure out the meaning behind the note.

Both girls are sitters, special people with superpowers that have been destined to protect the world from evil. So, when children start to report seeing monsters coming into their rooms, the sitters must save the kids and defeat the demons all before the parents can get home.

Esme is witty, funny, and a fashionista! I love it when characters have a vast knowledge of pop culture. Additionally, her dog, Pig, is awesome and deserves all the belly rubs. Can Pig become an honorary Salem Saberhagen? Anyways, Esme is a fashion icon, she buys most of her clothes from the thrift store and is very creative with her outfits. Every morning before school, she texts Janice her outfit inspiration for the day, which can range from pop culture references to random moods.

Cassandra is cool, but there are times in the novel in which she allows the power to get to her head and uses her new abilities to benefit her life. As a result Esme has a little power trip as well.

I understand why Cassandra chose to use her power selfishly as she has lived a hard life. However, Cassandra’s actions are never addressed in this novel, which leads me to believe that it will become a plot point in a future sequel.

The supporting characters in this novel are all very interesting. As mentioned previously, Janice is Esme’s best friend and a fashionista, but she disappears towards the middle of the novel. Instead, Cassandra takes over as Esme’s main friend. I know that Cassandra is essential to the plot, but I wished that Janice did not have to disappear because I wanted to learn more about Janice. Another major supporting character is Brian, the football coach, who is essentially the sitter’s watcher, if you speak Buffy. I found Brian to be boring, but that’s probably because I’m not a fan of football and this man was obsessed with the sport. I wanted to know more about his previous job as a sitter’s mentor.

Dion is the last supporting character I wanted to discuss because he is Esme’s love interest. Dionysus, or Dion as he nicknamed in this story, is Cassandra’s older brother and her legal guardian. According to Esme, Dion is super handsome, Greek god handsome (HA!), so of course, Esme goes heart eyes for him. However, the two lacked some chemistry, so I wonder if Esme will have another love interest in the future, I have a theory it might be Cassandra, but if that’s the case, where does that leave Dion’s character?

The Babysitter’s Coven does not end in a cliff hanger, but it does end in a way that makes it clear that this book is just the beginning of a series, nevertheless, the ending is satisfying.

I want more answers about the sitters, and I want to know what happens next with Esme, Cassandra, and friends.

If you were wondering about picking up this book for spooky season, do it!

Until next time continue living in libros,

Gaby

Yes his name really is Pablo Neruda

I’m starting October with a not very spooky read, Permanent Record, as I’m currently waiting for my spooky reads to come in at the library. Permanent Record is Mary H.K. Choi’s second novel and as a big fan of Emergency Contact, I was very excited about this book.


Pablo Neruda Rind is a college dropout, confused at life, 20-year-old bodega cashier in Brooklyn, and in credit card debt. Pablo spends most of his nights as a cashier making up stories about his regular customers as entertainment when one day, a very eccentrically dressed woman walks into the store and hands Pablo her credit card. This is when Pablo realizes that this woman is Leanna Smart, an ex-Disney star, turned pop singer. Pablo is captivated by her personality and never expects to see her again after their one-night ice cream sharing snack session. However, a few weeks later, Leanna pops up back into the store, and this time Pablo asks her out. The two begin a very secret romance that is limited to texting, face time, and short phone calls. However, when Pablo is not with Leanna, he’s busy dodging his debt collectors and swerving his mother’s “what do you want in life talks.” The more that Pablo entangles himself with Leanna’s life, the more he neglects his own. But, once Pablo starts to notice just how different Leanna’s life is, he starts to find it harder to ignore what is really going on with him.

I don’t care what any of the assholes I live with tell you. I don’t work at a bodega. It’s a health food store.

Mary H.K. Choi Permanent Record

This book is told through Pablo’s point a view, as a half Korean, half Pakistani twenty-year-old New Yorker. There is a lot of diversity in this book. Almost all the characters are people of color, Pablo’s roommates, his boss, coworkers, school staff, Leanna herself is half Mexican, and one of the handfuls of characters that can speak another language. I loved this aspect of the book because there are many novels set in New York that do not make people of color visible, which I feel is ignorant considering New York’s history of immigration.

Pablo’s parents are both college-educated, his father was born in New Jersey and studied engineering while his mother migrated to the U.S at age nine and studied medicine, so this makes Pablo feel a bit inadequate but not enough to push himself into reapplying to college. College was one of the main topics of this book. Pablo either had friends who graduated or dropped out, Leanna herself wished she could attend college too. Pablo does not know what he wants to study or what he wants to do with his own life, but his goal for most of the book is to get back into NYU as if attending would give him direction in his life. I have very often heard people give the advice, “don’t worry you’ll figure it out” in college, which could be the case for some people but not everyone. I think Pablo was right in holding off on college until he figured himself out. One thing I noticed that is the same from Emergency contact is Choi writing style which includes the character oversharing every small detail and runaway thought. I enjoyed that kind of extra-ness but I don’t think it’s for everyone.

“Pablo Neruda’s my first name.”

“The poet?”

“Yeah,” I say.

“Jesus. That’s emo.”

Mary h.k. Choi permanent record

Choi makes it clear that Leanna is very busy, either touring, taking business meetings, or at meet and greets, but sometimes she only gives Pablo half her attention. Choi makes it clear that Leanna is very busy, either touring, taking business meetings, or at meet and greets, but sometimes she only gives Pablo half her attention. This was a big point made when Pablo is in Korea and, instead of telling him that she’s taking a business meeting in China, Leanna lets Pablo believe that she’s still in Korea and that she could show him Seoul, a place he always wanted to visit. When Leanna finally gets back in Korea, she apologizes to Pablo and gives him her apology but continues to text on her phone that was really when I was done with her. She hardly gets to see her boyfriend, and when she’s finally with him, she decides not to give him her full attention. This was when I started to realize that Leanna wants a boyfriend that can conform to her schedule, or else it would never work out. That’s asking a lot for anyone.

Additionally, when Leanna and Pablo are caught by the paparazzi, Leanna refuses to explain to Pablo what “it’s taken care of” means as if it’s a dirty secret. An explanation would have taken two seconds, Leanna later accuses Pablo of wanting to benefit from her fame. Like really, girl? I’m pretty sure it was made clear that he does not want that, or your money when he turned down that expensive coat, she tried to buy him.

Lastly, I feel like I never got to know Leanna at all. Who was her father? Does she still speak to her mother? What was it like to be emancipated at 15 at then be managed by another teenager? Why Pablo? Pablo acted like he knew a lot about her but maybe he only thought he did.

One thing that I wanted to be addressed was why Leanna chose to use the name Leanna Smart instead of her real name as Carolina Suarez. I think this point would have added to the other Hollywood/ media racism that was brought up by Tice’s tv role. And maybe it could have added a little more insight into Leanna’s character.

The following sentence is going to spoil the ending, so just skip this whole paragraph if you have to. I only like to read books with a happy ending, because I need some fluff and happiness in my life, and I like to see the characters happy. But this book does not give us that, and I was really glad it did not. Leanna and Pablo were not a good fit at this moment in their lives, and although they would have made a great couple, I think they were better apart.

My rating for this book

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Until next time continue living in libros,

Gaby

All the reason to read “Don’t Date Rosa Santos”

A sleepy beach town, a love interest who can bake, chismoso viejietos, Don’t Date Rosa Santos has it all.


Don’t Date Rosa Santos is my favorite book this year!

Rosa Santos lives in the small seaside town of Port Coral, Florida. The town is very reminiscent of Star Hallows with its array of supporting characters and yearly festivals. What mainly sets this book apart from other books set in small towns is that the majority of the characters of Port Coral are of Latin American descent. Because of the unique cast of characters, readers are immersed in a world of guayaba pastelitos and characters who code-switch between English and Spanish.

Rosa is a high school senior with dual enrollment at a community college, which allows her to take her classes online and earn college credit. Rosa is in the middle of finalizing her enrollment to the University of Charleston when she learns that the town may have to cancel their annual Spring festival and sell the Marina. Rosa convinces the town to rebrand its spring festival as a fundraiser. This puts Rosa in the path of Alex Aquino, a new cutie in town. Alex assists Rosa with the fundraiser, but despite her crush, Rosa tries to keep Alex at a distance because of her family’s curse. All the men in Rosa’s family have tragically died because of the sea, and since Alex is a sailor himself, Rosa wants to keep him safe.

“The height difference is very tol and smol. You could climb him or something.”

Don’t Date Rosa Santos pg. 137

Rosa also struggles with her own identity in this novel. Her grandmother, her main caretaker, refuses to talk about Cuba, the country she was forced to flee. Rosa is curious about her roots, so she signs up for a study abroad trip to Cuba through Charleston, the only problem is, Rosa does not know how to tell her grandmother.

As mentioned earlier, the Santos family is cursed. Rosa’s pregnant grandmother, Milagros (Mimi), leaves Cuba with her husband in a small boat he constructed, but while navigating the dangerous waters, he drowns. Mimi gives birth to Rosa’s mother, and together the two of them make a home for themselves in Port Coral. In Port Coral, Mimi keeps herself occupied by being the town’s curandera or a healer.

Rosa’s father was a sailor, who owned a boat at the Port Coral Marina, however when Rosa’s mother is pregnant, her father goes missing at sea. Rosa is born without knowing her father or grandfather. Rosa’s mother is an artist who travels all over the U.S painting murals, but when Rosa turns 9, her mother decides to permanently leave her with her grandmother. Unlike Mimi, who deals with her trauma by healing others, Rosa’s mother’s solution to her trauma is to keep moving, only staying in Port Corral as long as necessary.

The Santos family curse is more of an inherited trauma passed down through the generations. The citizens of Port Coral know that Rosa should never go near the ocean, and when Rosa develops a friendship with Alex, the viejitos begin to gossip about them because he is a sailor.

I wish I could have a concrete answer on whether this curse ends up effecting Rosa’s life, but the story ends before I could find out. The story concludes on a hopeful note, and I believe the Santos women are working to heal from their trauma.

Besides the small-town vibe of Port Coral, this book also has a lovely description of food. I was very much craving a Cuban pastelito throughout various points in the novel. I might just have to make a trip to the local Cuban bakery. If you have not had the pleasure of trying a guava pastelito or Cuban food, in general, I highly recommend you try it. It’s delicious.

“Mrs. Peña delivered a shrimp ceviche served alongside plátano chips still warm from the fryer and crispy chicharrones”

“She left, and I spooned a mountain of ceviche onto a plátano and shoved it in my mouth. The lime and salt sang together in a concert.”

Don’t Date Rosa Santos is a great book to binge read. The plot is interesting, but so are the different characters. If you want a good read for Latinx Heritage Month, Don’t Date Rosa Santos is the perfect book.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Until next time continue living in libros,

Gaby

Edward sucks, human Jacob is awesome, and I wish Bella would love herself. 😭😭😭

At 12 I proclaimed myself team Edward forever. Now at 22 I am not so loyal.

It’s a wolf thing

Today I will be reviewing the second installment in the twilight series, New Moon. Check out my review of Twilight here.

New Moon was my least favorite book in the series back when I was a teen, mostly because Edward was absent for most of it. As an adult, I have made peace with this book and have also realized that Edward is low key trash.

New Moon begins with Bella dreaming about becoming an old lady while Edward remains youthful. She wakes up from this dream, stressed out because it’s her birthday and she’s officially older than Edward. Later at school, she compares Edward to a pagan god and beats herself up for not measuring up to Edward.

“I pulled into the familiar parking lot behind Forks High School and spotted Edward leaning motionlessly against his polished silver Volvo, like a marble tribute to some forgotten pagan god of beauty”

S. Meyer

Honey no! Love yourself!

Bella has some insecurities about their relationship and rightfully so, how do you date an immortal? You can’t.

After school, Bella forces Edward to sit and watch the 1960’s version of Romeo and Juliet. It’s during this rewatch that Edward begins to tell Bella what exactly happened last Spring when James was hunting her and Bella like the caring person she is, ran away from her bodyguards, Alice and Jasper, to meet up with James. Edward recalls the sheer amount of hopelessness that he was feeling after losing Bella for those short hours, and he even goes as far as to tell her that he contemplated suicide if he hadn’t reached Bella in time. Edward tells Bella how easy it is for humans to die while a vampire can only really die via the Volturi.

I wanted to bring up this scene, not because of the sensitive topic but because it felt a bit manipulative to me. Sure Edward has the right to express his feelings but to say that human life is far easier to take just made me realize that their relationship is toxic.

Fast forward to her birthday party, Jasper almost bites her, Edward pushes Bella into a glass table, Bella ends up with stitches, and this incident convinces Edward that they need to break up.

So how does he do it?

By leaving her in the woods with no way to get back home!!!!

What a caca head.

Bella falls into a depression because Edward was her entire world, and the break up devastates her. Eventually, Bella pieces herself back together and decides to reach out to her old friend Jacob Black. Jacob is 16, at this point and maybe he’s a little naïve, and maybe Bella takes advantage of his kindness, but Jacob’s company helps Bella’s loneliness. And for that reason, I switched to Team Jacob. Their relationship was more friends to potential lovers but, we don’t get to see that happen.

Although, I praised Jacob for his actions that all changes when he is initiated into the pack. I quickly jumped ships when Jacob turned into a wolf and decided to ghost Bella, essentially taking notes from Edward. After Jacob’s transformation, he forgets all about being there for Bella and starts to focus more on the pack. Jacob’s attitude grows worse once Edward comes back. He even goes as far as to break the pact he made with Bella by snitching on her to Charlie about the motorbike she had Jake fix up for her just so Bella would be grounded.

As for Edward, Bella forgives him but she is hesitant to trust him again. Edward is aware of this and begins to communicate with her more. Although Edward still sucks in my opinion he does earn back some points for regretting the pain he put Bella through and apologizing.

I will rate New Moon as 3/5 Stars.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This book was far more easy to maintain my attention and I loved all the scenes with Jacob and his friends.

Also we cannot forget that Charlie Swan is a great dad. Shout out to him for chewing Edward a new one and being awesome.

Stay tune for my review of Eclipse! I plan on reading it soon.

Until then continue living in libros,

Gaby

This sequel SLAPS


Today I am excited to finally review Protect the Prince by Jennifer Estep.

Protect the Prince is the second book in the Crown of Shards series, and it was released this past July. Kill the Queen, the first book in the series, was such an addicting read! An Evil Queen, gladiators, magic, and a kick-ass heroine what more could you want?

“Summer queens are fine and fair, with pretty ribbons and flowers in their hair. Winter queens are cold and hard, with frosted crowns made of icy shards.”

Kill the Queen was all about Everleigh quest to survive after her cousin, queen Vasila, along with the help of Maeven, decided to murder her entire family along with anyone else attending the seven spires ball. Evie, as the only survivor of her family line, runs off and joins the Black Swam Troupe, an old gladiator group. Evie does not reveal her true identity at first but as she grows stronger she comes to the conclusion that she must avenge her family and her Kingdom.

Protect the Prince picks up right where we left off in Book one. Everleigh is the queen of Bellona and she feels undeserving of the title, even though she won the duel to death against her cousin. Along for the ride are old favorites from the Black Swan Troupe: Paloma, Cho, Serilda, and Sullivan who all act like political advisors as well as bodyguards. As soon as Evie ascends the throne, she is sent to Andvari on an apology tour: the Andvarian King lost his son and a politician during the Seven Spire massacre. Luckily for Evie, her gladiator crush, Sullivan, is the illegitimate son of the king and sets up a meeting between the two kingdoms. Things heat up in Andvari when the King insists that Evie marry his remaining son thus creating an alliance between both their kingdoms. Maeven and her assassins return to take out Evie and the Prince, complicating their alliance.

After the events of the first book, Evie is surer of herself: she can kick ass without a doubt. However, she is unsure of her role as queen. I wanted to scream at Evie that she is the most powerful queen Bellona could ever have but sadly I could not. Evie is much more powerful than we initially thought. Recall in book one that Evie is immune to magic which thus allowed her to defeat her cousin even after being hit by Vasilla’s lighting.

There is more to Evie’s immunity than deflecting magic, turns out Evie can force that immunity out of her body. Extremely useful when surrounded by a bunch of magic wielders.

I loved this addition to Evie’s power! I’ve read plenty of books that deal with magic, but I’ve never read about a character who is immune altogether. That is a game-changer in my opinion

Sullivan continues to play the same games with Evie by denying becoming her boyfriend. His excuse once again is “noble” because he knows she will not gain anything from their relationship. Conveniently, we learn in this novel how Sullivan developed this insecurity. Sully comes around eventually which made me extremely happy: I have been rooting for these two to get together since their initial meeting. I am a sucker for the prince angst. I don’t want to spoil just how they get together but it is such a beautiful scene.

I felt like Clara Oswald throwing flowers at the 10th doctor when he married the queen. I Love my OTP and cannot wait to read more about them in the next book.


This book is not as bloody as the first one but there is still plenty of mature content. I would recommend these books to anyone who wants to jump into fantasy and wouldn’t mind some spiciness.

🌶️🌶️

Until next time readers continue living in libros,

Gaby

Michael sucks but we been knew these facts

Are you impatiently awaiting the second movie to the Crazy Rich Asians series? Me too. So, I did what any another impatient person would have done, and I read the sequel. If you want to check out my review of Crazy Rich Asians, the novel you can do so here.

Two years have passed since Rachel almost ended her relationship with Nick Young due to his meddling family. Nick has since distanced himself from his family; speaking to everyone except his mother and his grandmother. His relationship with Rachel has never been better. Rachel is ecstatic to become Mrs. Nicholas Young, but she wishes her father could be there on her special day. False lead, after false lead, has led Rachel to think that maybe she will never know her father. However, Eleanor Young can find any one and to no ones surprise she finds Rachel’s father. As a result Nick and Rachel forgive Eleanor and she becomes a part of their lives again. But no one expected Rachel’s biological father to be China Rich aka Richer than God.

Just like in Crazy Rich Asians, China Rich Girlfriend tells the story of multiple rich families. I read Crazy Rich Asians in July, and I still managed to forget the names of characters and family relations. This time around, there was no family tree to guide me so, I got wrecked. However, I did figure it out, for the most part, so do not let that put you off.

For this review I want to explore Astrid’s story arc. Last we saw Astrid her ex-boyfriend Charlie Wu, had purchased Micheal’s company which saved their marriage, or so we thought. Michael does not know how to act with his new riches he goes as far as to covert the bottom floor of their new home into a personal museum for all of his cars. Which would not be so much of a problem if his ego wasn’t so big, I mean the man locked his child in a closet for playing around the cars, get a grip dude. Initially, I was a little happy for Michael, he always wanted the ability to buy Astrid one of her couture dresses and now he could but I never knew that would come at the cost of his values.

Michael is never wrong. When a deal with investors falls through, he blames Astrid because either she did not wear the right outfit, or her earrings looked too cheap. All in all, Michael is very manipulative, and their marriage is toxic. Astrid tries to understand her husband and give him the benefit of the doubt. She reason that his angry is only temporary and it will subside. She continues to follow this logic even when Michael continues to blame her whenever something goes wrong.

Astrid turns to Charlie again and she tells him all about her problems with Michael. Charlie is there for Astrid because he stills loves her, and he believes she no longer loves him, given that she will not leave her husband. Charlie is wrong, of course. Astrid is in denial about her feelings for Charlie and her husband’s behavior.

I almost wished movie Astrid could come to book Astrid’s rescue and deliver the iconic line to Michael again, “It’s not my job to make you feel like a man.” Check out the clip below.

However, book Astrid does deliver another iconic scene when she decides to leave Michael. Michael promises her that he will drag her and her family through the papers but he is wrong.

” Michael, don’t you know by now that my grandmother and Uncle Alfred are the largest private shareholders of Singapore Press Holdings? We’re not going to be in the papers. We’re never going to be in the papers.”

This reprimand is what Michael deserves.

My rating for China Rich Girlfriend is

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I am very excited to read Rich People Problems hopefully I will be able to read it soon.

Until next time continue living in libros,

Gaby

PS.

Here is my attempt to recreate the cover.

A Short Review of Crazy Rich Asians

“Aiyoooooh, finish everything on your plate, girls! Don’t you know there are children starving in America?”

Kevin Kwan

I am sure a handful of readers have either read Crazy Rich Asians or seen the movie by now, for today’s blog post I thought I share my thoughts on the book.

Crazy Rich Asians tells the story of Rachel Chu, an NYU Econ Professor, who was raised by a single immigrant mother. Rachel’s boyfriend, Nick Young, another professor at NYU, invites her to spend a summer with him and his relatives in Singapore. Rachel thinks Nick is just an ordinary guy who was born in Singapore and attended school in England. But Rachel is in for the shock of her life when she discovers that Nick’s family is not just rich but crazy rich, and everyone hates her.

This book bore me at the beginning. There are so many characters who act like brats and not enough drama I almost put the book down thirty pages in!

In July, I went camping and had nothing to do but read Crazy Rich Asians on my phone. Naturally, I got sucked into the story and I ended up enjoying it.

One of the things I disliked about Crazy Rich Asians was all the different characters that appeared I found it very confusing. A lot of these characters only had brief introductions and continued appearing in the story but I could not remember what rich family they were tied too.

Luckily, Kwan has a family tree at the beginning; and I found myself constantly flipping back to the family tree to refresh my memory. However, there is no family tree to save you if you forget the name of one of Nick’s friends.

The second thing that annoyed me with this book was all the slang and phrases. I love when authors sprinkle phrases in different languages because it adds depth to the story. But Kwan constantly uses these colorful phrases and only defines them once which confused me and took me out of the story.

I give Crazy Rich Asians 4 stars.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I recommend picking this book up on a lazy Sunday morning when you’re feeling under the weather. All of the drama and scandal might just be what you need to get you out of the funk.

Until next time keep living in libros,

Gaby

I hate to say it, I hope I don’t sound ridiculous but I hated the novel To All the boys I loved before

I’m Back!

Same hot mess but now with a bachelor’s degree. I breifly fell off the edge of the earth for a bit there, nothing wild happened I just needed extra space and time to focus on schoolwork.

I thought I kick off my new unemployed/ super free status with a review of Jenny Han’s To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. For those of my readers who haven’t read this book or seen the iconic Netflix movie I will quickly summarize the plot. The story centers around Laura Jean Song Covey, a Korean American teen, living on the East Coast. Laura Jean is the 2nd of three sisters and she loves to stay at home, bake, scrapbook, and knit. For the most part Laura Jean’s life is pretty much sheltered, and her sisters are really her only friends. Laura Jean has never had a boyfriend, but she has had plenty of crushes who she writes love letters too with no intention of ever handing these letters out. However, when Laura Jean’s letters are accidentally mailed out, she ends up in a fake relationship with Peter, who she thought she no longer had feelings for.

This story is a slow. After her older sister, Margot leaves for college in Scotland; Laura Jean spends 30 pages sad about her departure. At this point I was tapping my fingers on the desk wondering when Peter would make his grand entrance and the plot would kick off. However, after the initial excitement of their fake relationship I was bored but I continued reading anyways. The book continues with not much excitement happening between Laura Jean and Peter’s relationship until their Ski Trip when everyone becomes super noisy about their sex life.

Unlike other readers on goodreads who were annoyed by Laura Jean’s personality, I found her to be more boring than anything. I have similar hobbies to Laura Jean, and I like staying home but not to the extent that Laura Jean enjoyed her alone time. Moreover I found Margot annoying, she constantly caused Laura Jean stress about college by reminding her that she was doing things wrong at home. Let your sister be a teen Margot!

Kitty was more interesting than her two sisters, in my opinion, she is sassy and can be a brat but at the end of the day she only wants to help her sisters.

So some of you may wonder how does this book compare to the movie? In my opinion the movie brought a lot of these characters to life and made them more interesting. Movie Peter and Laura Jean are the cutest! And I tolerate movie Margot. The Movie also made Kitty shine even more.

I would recommend this book to readers who are curious about the story behind the movie or if anyone is impatient and wants to find out what happens to Peter and Laura Jean after the events of the movie.

I would give this book 2.5/3 stars as it is a pretty average read and good world to jump into if you need a quick and easy read and a great distraction.

Until next times friends continue Living in Libros,

Gaby

PS.

I began reading the sequel and I had to put it down after 100 pages because I was so bored. I’m hoping the movies continue to bring life to these characters.

The Selection Series

Dear Readers,

I have been out of touch with the YA community for a long time and I am know just starting to catch up with the great stories that have been published since my absent.  One such story that knocked me out into the next galaxy was The Selection series by Keira Cass.

The Selection Series for those who were blissfully unaware like yours truly, are a series of books that follow a young woman named American who lives in a future dystopian version of the United States. In this dystopian society the U.S, now renamed the country of llléa, is basically governed by a caste system. The higher the number you are the poorer you live eight being the lowest and as America describes it those who are eights are basically homeless. Being a one of course means you’re living the good life and in the case of The Selection series you’re basically royalty. This fictional USA is also governed by a Monarchy and once the prince becomes of age women all over the country are invited to compete for him as part of the Selection. America, wanting to please her mother, submits her application to the Selection believing that her chance of being picked will be slim. Additionally, our girl America is dating this guy, Aspen, and they’re practically engaged when she decides to enter the contest. However, a stupid fight leaves America heartbroken and on the other side of the country where she meets Prince Maxon and her feelings about both of men become complicated.

Book 2 starts off with America and Maxon cuddling in the gardens their favorite spot in the palace. After an incidence involving America’s bff the two get in a nasty fight and spend the rest of the book detached from each other. In fact, both end up getting close to other people. America of course rebounds to Aspen, her comforting ex, while Maxon ends up getting close to Kriss, one of the remaining members of the selection.

Book 3 is a whirlwind. America comes to the realization that Maxon’s heart might not solely belong to her and decides to really fight for Maxon and breaks things off with Aspen. Additionally, in this book America and Maxon make an alliance with the Northern rebels after finding out that they want the same things. The King tries to get America to drop out of the competition by any means necessary. Moreover the tension builds when it is revealed that the King is abusing Maxon whenever he makes a mistake. America also decides to tell Maxon the truth about Aspen and her feelings for him. Some drama happens and Maxon comes close to marrying Kriss but alas another rebel attack occurs leaving Maxon the only surviving member of the royal family. Now that his father’s gone Maxon is free to marry America and ascend the throne.

So, let’s get to the tea.

I stayed up late to read all of these books and I have no regrets about binging this series.

What I loved about these books was that the writing is pretty easy to follow none of those loaded words that make you feel smart after looking them up in the dictionary. The plot itself is very lighthearted. Even though the world is dystopian nothing overly violent happens. Also, I really want to take a moment to appreciate Prince Maxon for not being a total jerk that was my expectation of him when I initial dived into this series. This is the perfect series to read when you just lose all your focus while studying and need a break.

The big thing that made me disappointed in these books was the lack of peoples of color. The history of this world is that the United States was taken over by China and then after few more world wars the U.S united with Canada, Mexico, and Central America to form Illéa. All of these countries that have formed to become llléa are diverse so where are the peoples of color in this series? Did these women of color not get chosen to compete?

However, after reading book two I discover that Elise, one of the remaining girls in the selection, is Asian! In addition, I also believe that it is briefly mentioned that Maxon’s mother is from a country that sounds similar to Panama, so I am unsure whether that means that Maxon is at least biracial. Regardless I wish the series gave me a more concrete answer for why peoples of color are absent.

Here’s is the map of Illea which I found in collection of short stories about the side characters of these series.

 I also felt it was a bit wack that Maxon and America decide to keep the fact that the King is abusing Maxon a secret between them as they do not want to worry the Queen. However, after being with Queen Amberly throughout this series I feel that if she would have known this was happening, she would have ripped off her husband’s crown so fast and forced the King to step down. Thus, making Maxon the king and putting an end to his father’s toxic reign. That would have probably been a more dramatic ending and more satisfying for me at least.

I did enjoy Celeste redemption arc. I overall enjoy when evil characters go grinch and have a change of heart. I loved that Lucy ended up falling in love with Aspen given that the poor girl has gone through so much. Plus, the way that America describes Aspen, the boy is a cutie.

Although my rant seems like I hated this series that is a stretch. For me these books were a page turner. I spent the early hours of the morning reading these books. And after writing this review I will most likely continue reading this series in order to find out what the sequel “The Heir” is all about.


Anyways continue Living in Libros,

Gaby

My trip to San Miguel de Allende

Travel Diary

Hello friends, book goblins, and wanderlusters!

Today’s post will be all about my recent trip to México. Unlike my previous trips to the motherland, my trip to the pueblito of San Miguel de Allende was for a poetry conference sponsored through my Uni. This program was set up through a study abroad program, but unlike a lot of study abroad trips, this particular one was for a week rather than a full semester. I liked this because it meant I would not have to be away from my dog, Apollo, for that long 😊. During my trip, I participated in a poetry workshop with other U.S poets who have experience writing and publishing poetry. During the workshops, we would collectively get together and read and critique each other’s poetry. It was super awesome! Even though a majority of my classmates did not have experience in the publishing world, we could still offer valid critiques for these seasoned poets.

I learned a lot about my craft during this trip, such as how to make my images stronger. I wrote a handful of poems during this trip, which of course, I’ll share on the blog after editing them.

Nicknamed the Venice of México, San Miguel is one of the most visited cities in the world. One of the things that makes this small town so unique is the beautiful cobblestone roads but beware of these aesthetically pleasing streets because they are not kind to tennis shoes.

I arrived immediately after the New Year, a few days before Dia de Los Reyes, and because they had not yet arrived, the town was still decorated with lights, Christmas trees, and nativity scenes. This made me feel like I was at home with my family as we also wait after we have cut the Rosca de Reyes to put away our Christmas decor.

The Starbucks travel mug for this city

For a such a small town there was so much to see in San Miguel. Although the pueblo is known for la parroquia de San Miguel, named after the archangel Michael, you know the one that put Satan in hell, there were a lot of other churches named after various saints within walking distance. The one from my photo is named Templo de San Francisco.


Templo de San Francisco

At night in the jardín, there were often mariachi men singing and playing instruments. There were also people dressed in colonial-style clothing, wigs, and fake swords giving history lessons. And of course, also haunting the jardín at night were the stray dogs. There was one dog in particular that I continued to see throughout my trip here, a yellow lab who was a little dusty but looked well fed. Every time this dog saw my group of friends, he wagged his tail at us. On one of my early morning walks into town, I found this dog trying to wife up another stray dog, this one was white, and had brown spots. I hope the two became best friends and continue to greet the people of San Miguel.

If restaurants aren’t your thing, then you’ll want to try out the street food. Vendors sell various treats such as elotes, chicharrones, tortas, fruta, and tostilocos, all over the jardín. But the one cart that made me drool the most was the one selling ice cream. The ice cream is homemade and tastes good.

Knock me into the next galaxy good.

And it’s only 20 pesos, around 1 dollar. The flavors this stalled offered were fresas con crema, elote, and horchata. I got to sample chocolate and devour the elote ice cream. The chocolate ice cream tasted just like abuelita chocolate while the elote ice cream tasted like tamale de elote, if you ever had the pleasure to try those I highly recommend.

A view of the alley of artisans

As for shopping, there were a lot of stores to get souvenirs from. However, the souvenirs I wanted such as coin purses and handcrafted sculptures, were expensive in the town square. However, after entering the huge Mercado in which they sell food, DVDs, clothing, I was overwhelmed by its vastness. I had no luck finding my souvenirs here either, but as I continued to follow the Mercado down different streets, I eventually found the alley of artisanos, which was full of the handcrafted trinkets I was looking for. If you are going on a souvenir hunt and want to get something with Frida Kahol on it, you won’t have any problems here.

On one of my last days in Guanajuato, my class and I visited a pyramid just outside of town. Upon entering the small lobby of the arachnological site, roamed the cutest dog trotting and seeking sunshine for her morning tan. Her feet were muddy as if she had taken a dip in a river earlier. The pyramid itself was super cool, and unlike a lot of pyramids built in México, this one faced the sun. Our guide informed us that the indigenous people who built it this way, so it was the first thing they saw as they climbed it. Another interesting thing about this particular site was that not too far from the pyramid, the Virgin of Guadalupe appeared on a disc. So this area was named after la virgen. It’s truly fascinating that a religious site has a way of remaining religious forever.

The area where I am standing is what they called the Underworld

On our last day, our professor took my class to the local hot springs, where we proceeded to play marco polo in the warm pool. Aside from the warm pools that hot spring also had a man-made cave that you could walk through to get into their hottest pool, the grotto. This cave had a small waterfall that poured hot water into the pool and guests got in line to stand under it. Free back massage! I visited the hot springs with a slight cold so my time in the steamy room just cleared up all my sinuses.

And that concluded my trip to San Miguel de Allende. It was a lot of fun, and if given the opportunity, I would go again.