Hello readers! Today I’m going to review an upcoming latinx book. Originally, I planned to read Somewhere Between Bitter during Latinx heritage month, but because I have no self-control, I began another book series (Hidden Legacy but Ilona Andrews). And my carefully crafted tbr was swallowed into the abyss. If you would like to read those reviews, you can find them here.
Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet is the newest novel by Leakan Zea Kemp set to debut April 2021. And the cover is simply gorgeous!
*Disclaimer: I received an advanced reader’s copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.
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Penelope Prado, an aspiring pastry chef, has always dreamed of opening her own pastelería next to her father’s restaurant, Nacho’s Tacos. However, Pen’s parents don’t share her dream– leaving Pen to choose between disappointing her traditional Mexican-American parents or following her own path. When she finally confesses her secret to her parents, her life is completely changed. But then she meets a cute new hire at Nacho’s who sees through her hard exterior and asks the questions she’s been too afraid to ask herself.
Xander Amaro has been searching for a place to belong since his father left home. When he’s hired at Nacho’s he finally has a chance for stability and the money to find his father. But when Xander and Nacho’s are threatened, he’ll do anything to hold onto them.
Somewhere between Bitter and Sweet is an engrossing coming of age young adult (although the characters are legally adults). Four stars from me.
The characters are likable and will welcome you into the story. The writing in this novel makes you feel like you’re part of the prank wars, the kitchen staff at Nacho’s, and Pen’s neighborhood. Now and again the authors pens some sentences that take my breath away.
Pen gives off the air of a courageous and independent young woman. From her decision to drop out of school to her choice to rent her own apartment instead of returning home. That is all a front. Pen is stubborn and independent, but not all the time. Which I loved seeing. We all have our emotional breakdowns now and then.
Despite Xander’s tragic backstory, he isn’t stubborn like Pen, but he has a big heart. Xander becomes super protective of the people in his life. For example, after he begins dating Pen, he doesn’t hesitate to run out and defend her.
This novel also touches on some heavy things like self-harm, depression, anxiety, violence, and of course, ICE. The novel handles all these things with seriousness and care. However, keep those things in mind if you choose to read this novel.
Despite the things I loved in this novel there were also things that I wasn’t much a fan of. For example, Penelope has two younger siblings, Hugo and Lola, but there aren’t many scenes with them, and I forgot they were there. I’m curious why the author included them when they do not have a storyline. In contrast, Pen’s older brother Angel has a bigger role in the story and is the more memorable sibling.
Additionally, Pen and Xander’s love story felt a little rushed. This might have been due to me taking long breaks from reading this novel, but I did not feel their chemistry. However, I did like them together and the way they uplifted each other and the way their personalities complimented each other. They were cute AF.
Until next time I’ll be living in libros,
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