Lobizona a young adult fantasy novel by Romina Garber promises a story about a young Argentine discovering the truth of her heritage, but this novel is way more than that! Nothing in the blurb of Lobizona prepares readers for the rich and imaginative world that they’ll step into.Read More »
We are now in the second half of Latinx heritage month, and I’ve finished one book on tbr. I may have gotten sidetracked by reading the Venatrix Chronicles (review to come), which has lots of action and adventure that I abandoned my current reads.
Blazewrath Games was amazing and immediately after I picked up Incendiary but the novel wasn’t as fast paced as I liked so I then picked up Lobizona which was more my speed. As I’m slowly making my way through both novels I’ve decided to share some of my favorite quotes from both.Read More »
Leaves are falling, sunflowers are blooming, and the smell of pumpkin spice is in the air. Fall brings delicious snacks and the excuse to watch Over the Garden Wall.
But before Fall is officially on the calendar, there’s a special month-long celebration known as Latinx heritage month. Like many book bloggers, I’m going to dedicate this month to reading books by latinx/latine authors.
However, as we are on the eve of spooky season, I will also slip in some paranormal literature novels too.
Curious about the origins of Hispanic heritage month and why I emphasize this an Latinx celebration? Check out the page on the U.S government’s website.
*This post contains affiliate links. I receive a commission if you complete a purchase through one of my links.Read More »
Today is my stop on the Historically Inaccurate book tour! I received this arc from the team at Colored Pages Bookish Tour. Check them out if you’re a fellow book blogger.
Historically Inaccurate by Shay Bravo is a new adult fiction novel that’s out everywhere September 29.
Soledad just wants things to go back to normal after her mother’s deportation she’s had to move homes, switch schools, and adjust to life without her. When Sol decides to join her College’s history club she doesn’t expect to have to sneak into a house and steal a fork. However, Sol is caught by Ethan Winston a resident of the house and the chance encounter forever changes her life.
To celebrate it’s release I thought I turn some of my favorite quotes into graphics that you may download if you please.Read More »
Hey book lovers! It’s that time of year again when the weather cools down, sweaters come out, and leaves begin to fall. But with the start of Autumn also comes the start of Latinx Heritage Month! In case you didn’t know, Latinx Heritage Month spans from September 15 to October 15 and if you need some ideas on what books to pick up this month, keep on reading.Read More »
As Latinx heritage month comes to a close I thought I would share my thoughts on the books I have read for this month.
Don’t Date Rosa Santos has a special place in my heart. I really loved this book because of it’s small town setting. Because Rosa grows up in Port Corral she knows everyone in town and is a very helpful neighbor. The small town in this book reminded me of Star Hallows and I hope to someday find a small town like this. Additionally, the fact that the love interest Alex is both a sailor and a baker made me just as happy.
We Set the Dark on Fire is a book that I didn’t know I needed into my life until I read it. A dystopian, romance and spy narrative, We Set the Dark on Fire is all of these things. I really loved this because the main character Dani is such a bad bitch! Dani really tries to follow the rules of her society but when her husband decides he rather have a trophy wife and not an equal it really pushes Dani to turn against him. I really can’t wait to see what the next book has to offer.
Bruja Born is a book that I began reading at the beginning of the year was able to finish. Jumping back into this book was not difficult I love the world that Cordova has created and I will definitely read more of her books in the future.
Isabel Allende writing is beautiful and captivating. I loved the Trueba women in the house of the spirits especially Clara and her unknown dog/wolf/ mythical being hybrid Barrabas. That being said The House of the Spirits was not the book for me I really wanted to love this book and maybe I would have if Esteban wasn’t so much of a caca head.
Corazón was a book that felt like coming home. I loved Salgado’s descriptive writing and the little anecdotes of her daily life that she turns into poetry. I love the way that Yesika chose to share her corner of Los Angles with nostalgia and to what it is today.
After spending a whole month reading nothing but books written by Latinx authors I noticed that the border was a common theme between all these books. Even though Bruja Born and and We set the Dark on Fire are both fantasy novel there was still this presence of a border.
Although the border theme in Bruja Born is not presence in a way that one would conventional think. I argue that it is still very much presence. The supernatural creatures in this novel must not reveal themselves to humans, instead the brujas practice in secret. In this sense the Mortiz sister split themselves away from what they are as brujas in order to not draw attention to themselves. On top of that, the Mortiz family is latinx and also experience the struggles as people of color.
We Set the Dark Fire interweaves the border narrative into the novel with characters who have had to cross a border into Medio for better opportunities. However, during this crossing one of the characters witnessing something extremely traumatic while the other character remembers her own crossing and they both bond over it.
Rosa Santos lives with the small snippets that her grandmother has shared with her of Cuba and as she enters adulthood she dreams of one day visiting the Island that caused so much joy and sorrow for her family.
When a dictator takes control in Chile, Blanca and Pedro flee the country because it is no longer safe for Pedro, a communist sympathizer, to live there. Additionally, Alba is also given the opportunity to flee her country she decides to stay even though she is in danger as well.
Lastly, Salgado’s Corazón yearns for a El Salvador from her memories and a Silverlake before it was gentrified. Salgado remembers eating mangos in El Salvador and later eating them with her lover this common link between both countries is not coincidental. I believe Salgado links them together to highlight the longing for El Salvador.
This border theme is saddening and highlights that border trauma is something that runs through generations. After discovering this link between the novels I was reminded of Gloria Anzaldua’s Borderlands. In this book, Anzaldua offers many great points that resonated with me but the one quote that has stuck with me is as follows:
Have you noticed this theme or other themes during Latinx heritage month? If so leave your thoughts below in the comments I would love to read them.
Until next time continue living in libros,
I have a lot of feelings about The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende. This book did not go as I expected, and in the end, I think I liked it.
Before I begin my review I want to let my readers know that this books deals with a lot of mature topics such as rape, violence, and abuse. In my review I will be mentioning these things so feel free to skip this review if you need to.
The House of the Spirits tells the story of the Trueba family beginning with Clara De Valle, a clairvoyant young girl with an eccentric personality. Esteban Trueba narrates almost all of the story and he is engaged to Clara’s older sister, Rosa the most beautiful woman in the city, but after her tragic death Esteban decides to rebuild his family’s rancho, Tres Marías. At Tres Marías Esteban is tortured by dreams of Rosa and because of his horniness, he decides to rape many of the young girls in Tres Marías until he decides he needs a wife.
Clara De Valle spends most of her day speaking to ghosts and predicting future events. Clara also has a sidekick in the form of Barrabás a mysterious creature that resembles a very large dog.
After the death of Rosa, Clara becomes mute and on her 19th birthday she announces to her family that she will marry her sister’s ex fiancé, Esteban Trueba, even though she does not love him. At Clara’s engagement ceremony her childhood companion, Barrabás dies in her arms signaling the beginning of her adult life. Clara and Esteban are married and have three children Blanca, Jaime, and Nicolas.
Blanca does not inherit her mother’s ability to divine the future but, like her aunt Rosa, Blanca has a talent for creating fantasy creatures out of clay. Blanca also falls in love with Pedro Tercero, her childhood friend from Tres Marías. However, when Esteban discovers that Blanca has been sneaking out to meet her lover, he beats her and knocks Clara’s teeth out when she attempts to intervene. After the incident mother and daughter leave Tres Marías for their home in the city where they live with Blanca’s sibiling’s Jaime and Nicolas. Back in the city, Blanca discovers that she is pregnant, and Esteban marries Blanca off to a French count. However, Blanca discovers her husband’s secret photography room, she decides to leave him and gives birth to Alba at her parent’s home in the city.
Alba inherits her aunt Rosa’s green hair and is an overall a happy child raised by a single mother and her uncle Jaime. Alba, unlike the rest of the family members, is the only one who regularly talks to her grandfather Esteban and because of this Esteban decides that Alba will be the person to inherit Tres Marías.
In College Alba falls for Miguel, a communist advocate, who tries to steer Alba away from the danger of becoming involved in the political protests. During Alba’s arc of the story, the country, which I assumed was chile, experiences a transition from democracy, but was really oligarchy, to communism, and last to a military dictatorship. Alba has a good heart and she ends up feeding the poor and hiding the country’s most wanted men. Miguel leaves Alba to become a guerrilla fighter and soon after that she is kidnapped by Esteban Garcia, a descendant of the first woman that Esteban Trueba rape. Alba is tortured and raped during her time with Esteban but when she is eventually freed, she returns to her grandfather and the two decide to write this story.
I hated Esteban Trueba so much. He had a savior complex and always needed to be in a position of power. Esteban always compared his peasant workers to children in order to justify why they should not have certain privileges such as being paid. In addition, Esteban is a rapist and he beat his family members, so he is a shitty person. Towards the end of the novel Esteban’s has a change of heart and begins to regret his actions as a politician and he helps Blanca and Pedro Tercero flee the country as well as freeing his granddaughter Alba. However, Esteban is the reason all these bad things happened in the first place. He created the villain, Esteban Garcia, by raping his grandmother, and Esteban was the one who put him in power by recommending him to the police academy.
Almost all of the novel is told through Esteban’s perspective, so this gave me mixed feelings however, I loved Clara and her descendants. What I took away from this novel is that the women in this family are resilient. After Esteban knocks Clara’s teeth out, she continues to live her life. She does not leave Esteban, but she spends the rest of their life together not speaking to him which is worse.
Blanca goes on after her father beats her bloody for sleeping with Pedro Tercero. And she continues to see Pedro against her father’s wishes. Eventually she runs away with him and Esteban has no choice but to help them.
“Pedro Tercero García, whom she would imagine among the clouds of sunset and or in golden wheatfields of Tres Marías.”
Lastly, Alba continues to live her life despite the trauma she went through at the hands of her cousin Esteban. This becomes Alba’s revenge against her abuser and maybe that is something she learned from the women in her family.
Right now, my rating of this novel is 3 stars.
I would not recommend this book to everyone given all the depictions of sexual violence contained within the pages. I overall enjoyed Allende’s writing and I hope there is another book of hers that I enjoy even more.
Until my next review continue living in libros,
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.
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.
Until next time continue living in libros,
I did not learn about Latinx heritage month until, I was in college and even then, I thought, “oh this must be new that’s why I never heard of it”.
While researching this topic, I discovered that Latinx heritage month began as a weeklong celebration in 1968. Later, Regan expanded it to a month-long celebration, starting on September 15th. According to the government’s website, this celebration begins in the middle of the month because the 15th and 16th of September are Independence Days for many Latin American countries.
Now that I am aware of this celebration, I want to celebrate this event by exclusively reading books written by Latinx authors for the whole month. Although Latinx heritage month begins on the 15th, I want to get a head start! I am going to begin my Latinx TBR at the beginning of September so that I can dedicate my attention to them before I get swept up in spooky season.
In this blog post, I want to share with you my ambitious list of Latinx books I hope to read this month.
1. Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno
Rosa Santos is a girl caught between two cultures and a curse. Rosa is supposedly cursed by the sea an because of it no one wants to date her.
2. We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia
Daniela is the top student at an exclusive school, Medio, that only allows women of pedigree. The school is meant to train young women to be the wife who runs the households or the wife who raises his children. . However, on the eve before graduation Daniela is asked to spy for a resistance group who want to bring equality to Medio.
3. Bruja Born by Zoraida Córdova
Lula was only trying to save her boyfriend from the unfortunate car accident that claimed the lives of many of her classmates. Which did not expect was to end up pissing off death herself.
4. The house of the spirits by Isabel Allende
This story follows a family through three generations and mixes both politics and magical realism.
5. Corazón by Yesika Salgado
This poetry book has been on my list for the longest time! Yesika is an LA native with roots in El Salvador, Corázon is her collection of love poems.
This is my list so far but if anyone has suggestions, leave them in the comments below. Until next time continue living in libros,