Rebellious Sapphic Girls in YA Fantasy (Crier’s War Blog Tour and Giveaway!)

When you’re a rebellious girl in a fantasy setting, you’re defying certain power systems. If you add to that the fact that you’re a queer girl, you end up also going against patriarchal and heteronormative notions of desire.

In this post, brought to you by the Crier’s War Blog Tour (thanks to Karina from AfirePages), I’m talking about fantasy YA books where the main characters are both sapphic and rebelling against the systems they were born into. They all go about it in different ways, and I thought it would be interesting to put them under the microscope and analyze what makes them special (in my heart).


In the debut novel by Nina Varela, CRIER’S WAR, we follow two girls: Lady Crier and Ayla. Both girls are polar opposites and come from different worlds. In this world, beings named Automae (which are sort of cyborgs) have overthrown the humans who made them and rule over them cruel and mercilessly. 

Lady Crier is the daughter of Sovereign Hesod, ruler of their lands. Crier is betrothed to a man who seeks power and to eradicate humans from existence to prove how superior Automae are. On the other hand, Ayla is a human girl trying to make her way into the Automae’s castle in order to exact her revenge after her family was killed and she was left to be raised by rebels. When Ayla saves Crier’s life one fateful night, Crier seemingly can’t stop thinking about Ayla and decides to take Ayla on as her handmaiden. 

Even as there’s political intrigue going on, Crier seeks to be heard by her father and to join the ranks of the governing body. Ayla, however, still plots her revenge, wishing to take out the Sovereign Hesod and Crier’s fiancé as her feelings for Crier become muddled in her mind and heart. 

In a way, Crier learns how to be more human in learning how to love, while, Ayla’s struggling not to give into her burning desire to have revenge and also trying not to fall for her target. In the process, they come together in moments of silent appreciation and admiration, learning a bit of what makes the other tick, realizing that tenderness in the face of violence can be revolutionary in itself. 


If you’d like to read more YA books with sapphic girls and radical tenderness, here are some of my personal favorites:

  1. Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova- If you’re searching for a love story about your identity, coming to terms with it as you keep learning about yourself, and along the way fall in love with your best friend, then this is the perfect book for you. 
  2. We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia- Sometimes you fall in love with the woman your husband is also married to, and that’s fine, especially when you’re spying on your husband and his family in the name of rebellion. And sometimes romance doesn’t have to look a certain way for it to be valid, which is important considering the patriarchal, machista fictional world of Medio.
  3. Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust- If you like subdued contemporaries like We Are Okay by Nina LaCour, you’ll love this quiet fantasy based on Snow White, where the princess learns that love comes in different shapes and forms and tenderness isn’t always a romantic form of affection.
  4. Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst- In the world of Denna and Mare, Denna is betrothed to Mare’s brother, yet is increasingly attracted to the fierce princess who’s teaching her how to ride horses as a metaphor about learning how to be independent. (Its sequel, Of Ice and Shadows, is available now as well!)

Purchase CRIER’S WAR here

OR ENTER A GIVEAWAY OF THE BOOK HERE!!


Image result for crier's war cover
ID: [cover of Crier’s War by Nina Varela, it has golden detailing that’s very linear and in the center it reads “One mortal, one One Made– one loved, one betrayed” over the title. in the bottom there are two girls silhoutted and they’re reaching for the other’]
Synopsis:

From debut author Nina Varela comes the first book in an Own Voices, richly imagined epic fantasy about an impossible love between two girls—one human, one Made—whose romance could be the beginning of a revolution.

Perfect for fans of Marie Rutkoski’s The Winner’s Curse as well as Game of Thrones and Westworld.

After the War of Kinds ravaged the kingdom of Rabu, the Automae, designed to be the playthings of royals, usurped their owners’ estates and bent the human race to their will.Now Ayla, a human servant rising in the ranks at the House of the Sovereign, dreams of avenging her family’s death…by killing the sovereign’s daughter, Lady Crier.

Crier was Made to be beautiful, flawless, and to carry on her father’s legacy. But that was before her betrothal to the enigmatic Scyre Kinok, before she discovered her father isn’t the benevolent king she once admired, and most importantly, before she met Ayla.

Now, with growing human unrest across the land, pressures from a foreign queen, and an evil new leader on the rise, Crier and Ayla find there may be only one path to love: war.

Author bio:

Nina Varela is a nationally awarded writer of screenplays and short fiction. She was born in New Orleans and raised on a hippie commune in Durham, North Carolina, where she spent most of her childhood playing in the Eno River, building faerie houses from moss and bark, and running barefoot through the woods. These days, Nina lives in Los Angeles with her writing partner and their tiny, ill-behaved dog. She tends to write stories about hard-won love and young people toppling the monarchy/patriarchy/whatever-archy. On a related note, she’s queer. On a less related note, she has strong feelings about hushpuppies and loves a good jambalaya. CRIER’S WAR is her first novel.

You can find Nina at any given coffee shop in the greater Los Angeles area, or at http://www.ninavarela.com

 

Sunshine Blogger Award tag

Hi everyone! I was tagged by Nicky at smallqueerbigopinions/nickyoflaherty and they’re amazing so you should follow them! Thank you so much!!

Rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blogging site.
  2. Answer the questions.
  3. Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.
  4. Notify the nominees about it by commenting on one of their blog posts.
  5. List the rules and display the sunshine blogger award logo on your site or on your post.

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Questions for Me:

1. If you could change the genre of one of your favorite books, which book would you pick, which genre, and why? One of the books I really love is The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, and I’d really love to see the legend/myth of Achilles and Patroclus as a space opera. I think the drama would translate well and I just like space. Imagine all the lyrical prose you could write about the vastness of a galaxy and being able to find your soulmate right beside you. Fuck me up.

2. Do you read graphic novels? Why or why not? I do, I’m just very picky! The last graphic novel I read was The Nameless City by Faith Erin Hicks, which was just Okay. Some I really love, though, are Fun Home by Alison Bechdel, and The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins by The McElroys and Carey Pietsch.

3. What’s one book you read that was hyped up so much by other people, yet you were disappointed when you read it? Act Like It by Lucy Parker. I just really don’t like alpha heroes, especially ones who are extremely entitled and borderline abusive.

4. What’s the last book you rated five (5) stars, and why did you love it so much? The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo! I love her verses, and the fact that it made me tear up at the beach while reading the scene where Xiomara confronts her mother. Fuck!!!

5. When rating a book three (3) stars, do you consider that a bad or good rating? Or neither? Show your work! I consider it a mediocre rating. Sometimes I’m just personally unable to give it 4 stars due to my own personal misgivings with the book (see: Lies My Girlfriend Told Me by Julie Anne Peters, which had the first gay Latina I ever read about but the portrayal of her makes absolutely no sense).

6. Share five (5) of your favorite tropes and recommend at least one book to go with each trope!

  • enemies to lovers – I Wanna Be Where You Are by Kristina Forest
  • heists! – The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
  • latinas defying the patriarchy – Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore
  • bisexual love triangle – Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova
  • found family – Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez

7. If you worked in a library and were asked to recommend three (3) YA fantasy books, which would you choose and why? We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia for its complexity in that it’s not a magical fantasy, nor an Earthen fantasy, but it’s a world closely resembling ours with political crises similar to ours. A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi, because you can have a romance full of lush, delicious prose, while still having fun. And Bruja Born by Zoraida Córdova, because you can have urban fantasy full of zombies while still being able to talk about trauma and family. 

8. Which books are your most anticipated for the rest of 2019? Nocturna by Maya Motayne, Zoraida Córdova’s A Crash of Fate, The Fire Keeper by J.C. Cervantes because I need to know how Zane is doing, The Tenth Girl by Sara Faring, Slay by Brittany Morris, Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron, Dear Haiti, Love Alaine by Maika and Maritza Moulite, Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi dDeyemi, and so many more oh God.

9. Share one author who you think is underrated/underhyped and which book of theirs you think someone should start with to get the best feel for the author’s style. Anna Meriano and Mia Garcia. I loved A Dash of Trouble and I loved The Resolutions, so that should tell you where to start.

10. Alpha males or beta males? Why? Betas! I already gave good reasons, but I still have yet to find an Alpha hero that is fucking respectful toward their LI. Anyway, read Take the Lead by Alexis Daria.

11. What is your GoodReads goal for 2019? My goal is to read 50 books in 2019, but I’m already at 32/50 and it’s mid-April. 


I’m tagging for this challenge Caro santanareads, 24hryabookblog, Kazen alwaysdoing, and whoever wishes to do so (you’re all Sunshines to me!)

My Questions:

  1. Are you a fast reader or a slow reader?
  2. What’s an overly hyped book/series that you haven’t been able to get into?
  3. What genre (sci-fi, fantasy, contemporary, etc) do you wish you read more of?
  4. What’s a book you’d hand-sell to anyone and everyone who crosses your path?
  5. Which book has lit up your heart and made you feel loved?
  6. Mention a book with a plot twist that had you gasping out loud.
  7. This is a no-judgement zone: do you dog-ear pages?
  8. What was the last book by a Black woman that you read? The last book by a Latina? By an Asian woman? By a Native or Indigenous woman? Are you conscious of who’s writing the media you consume?
  9. When was the last time words moved you and shifted the perception of something in your head?
  10. Do you review all the books you read or only specific ones?
  11. As book bloggers, we are both consumers and creators: we consume books and proceed to create content about what we’ve consumed, only for someone else to consume what you’ve created. Is there ever a break between being both consumer and creator? ….In all seriousness, what’s your favorite post you’ve created and why?

Thank you all for reading! Tomorrow, my review of Sal and Gabi will be up, so make sure you come back and check it out, since it’s been a long time in the making.

Upcoming Spring ’19 Book Releases by Latinx Authors & Illustrators

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(banner that says “Latinx Spring Reads 2019” on top, @boricuareads under the 2019, and in the bottom there are book covers with leaves and stems under them to simulate flowers)

The snow is starting to melt, the trees are looking green again, flowers are beginning to welcome sunshine and showers…

Here? It’s gonna get hotter as Easter approaches, with more people bathing at the beach and more tourists starting to arrive for their Spring Breaks. That’s right, Spring is around the corner. The time between Spring and Summer is my favorite, as it’s cool enough for me to wear cool jackets and but also hot enough that we don’t have to wear coats (I mean, I don’t have to wear coats at any given time here, but I’m being empathetic for those going through harsh winters and who are waiting for Spring to arrive).

It also means it’s time to bring a new list to your lives, or, what I’ve dubbed “#Read&Latinx.” We’ve had Summer 2018 (#ReadLatinx), Fall 2018 (#2Read2Latinx), and Winter ‘18-19 (#ReadLatinx:Winter Drift) to prepare for this monster list. 

Curating these lists is both a joy and a curse, seeing as I’d like to buy every single book but I know that can’t be feasible (I’m both broke and unemployed). Working on these posts is my way to give back to a community of writers that can be often ignored by a community of readers as well as publishing at large when they’re not given ample publicity in comparison to many hegemonic writers.

In any case, I’m proud to present over 70 books that will be releasing between February 15th and May 31st, 2019. It consists of books written and/or illustrated by Latinx authors. The list will be divided by age category (Picture Books, MG, YA, or Adult) as well as genre (Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry, Anthology) and subgenres (Literary, Contemporary, Fantasy, etc.) Each of the books listed will have the title, the name of the author/illustrator, its release date, and a short description written by yours truly. Each category is sorted by release date. Books marked by an asterisk (*) are ones I don’t know their official release date or don’t have enough information about.

Disclaimer: This compilation is by no means exhaustive or comprehensive; it only contains titles I’ve been able to find through extensive research. If you know of a book I didn’t list, or have a correction to make, don’t hesitate to let me know!

Continue reading “Upcoming Spring ’19 Book Releases by Latinx Authors & Illustrators”

“Tú Me Hiciste Brujería:” Witchy Latinx Books by Latinx (& BOOK GIVEAWAY!)

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description: banner with details from the book cover of “a sprinkle of spirits” and text that reads “a sprinkle of spirits” blog tour”

This piece is a part of the A Sprinkle in Spirits Blog Tour! If you wanna know how you can win a copy of A Sprinkle in Spirits, scroll all the way to the end. Or, you know, continue reading my post ’til the end.

Continue reading ““Tú Me Hiciste Brujería:” Witchy Latinx Books by Latinx (& BOOK GIVEAWAY!)”

Year of the Asian TBR

Hi, everyone! Today I’m gonna be talking about Year of the Asian.

Created by a group of bloggers [Lily (blog: Sprinkles of Dreams, twitter: @sprnklsofdreams), Shealea (blog: Shut Up Shealea, twitter: @bookshelfbitch), Vicky (blog: Vicky Who Reads, twitter: @vickycbooks), and CW (blog: The Quiet Pond, twitter: @artfromafriend)], you can read all about the challenge here.

Basically, its purpose is to continue spreading the works of Asian authors and creators, and it takes the entire year.

Some rules:

  • Read as many books by Asian authors as you can,
  • In order for a book to count, you must start and finish it in 2019,
  • You can join in at any given time fo the year.
  • Relax and have some fun!

For the specifics on how to join in, check out the linked post or their twitter account @YearOfTheAsian.

Green and blue award badge with a brown Phillipines Tarsier in the center, and with one gold star above the award.
(look at the cute badge for the first level!)

I’m pretty much a mood reader, so I’m pledging to read at least 10 books (Phillipine tarsier) by Asian authors.

I already have some books that I own and that I want to read this year, so I’m gonna share all of them (they’re more than 10) and hope you can join in:

    • The Girl King by Mimi Yu (one i’m currently reading!)
    • Love, Hate and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed (let me live!)
    • Firestarter by Tara Sim (I need to finish Chainbreaker first but I believe in myself)
    • Smoke in the Sun by Reneé Ahdieh (I got it last year and was afraid of finishing this duology!)
    • Want by Cindy Pon (I knooow)
    • The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi (my copy is supposed to get here next week, wish me luck) 
    • Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan (I got it like a week ago in P A R I S)
    • For A Muse of Fire by Heidi Heilig (I’ve never read anything by Heidi Heilig -I don’t count my failed attempt to read The Girl From Everywhere– but my friends love her writing and I trust them)
    • The Young Elites by Marie Lu (I loved Legend, and I loved Warcross)
    • Serpentine by Cindy Pon (hellooooo I love Cindy Pon)
    • Prophecy by Ellen Oh (I got this last year so I’m looking forward to reading it)
    • Gates of Thread and Stone by Lori M. Lee (I read her story in A Thousand Beginnings and Endings and I loved it! Excited to read this!)
    • I Wore My Blackest Hair by Carlina Duan (poetry! I love!)
    • The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan (I’m ready to be crushed sometime this year)
    • The Reader by Traci Chee (I’ve heard good things about this series and I want to get into it!)
    • Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman (I got this on sale and I’ll read when I’m in the mood for a quiet read)
    • The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty (I wanna get into more Adult Fantasy! Everyone and their mom loves this series, so I’m dreading getting into it)
    • The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang (Another Adult Fantasy people loved, so !!!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m trying not to buy a lot of books this year, seeing as I’m blessed with a pretty substantial collection of books as well as a lot of ARCs by Latinx authors that will tide me over this year. I’m also BROKE and unemployed, which hinders my ability to buy books right now. I tend to impulse-buy books when I’m feeling anxious, which exacerbates my anxiety even more. However, if any of you wish to get me any books, my regular Amazon book wishlist is right here, while my #ReadLatinx wishlist is over here.

I’m really excited about this challenge, already looking forward to eating up these amazing books.

What do y’all think of this TBR? Any notable books in this list I should bump up?

Books That Impacted My Life

My friend and fellow Puerto Rican blogger Wilmarie made a post about books that others NEED to read. I like the idea of sharing books that may have impacted your life because it may help figure out a piece of the puzzles that we all are. I’m not gonna say you need to read these books, that’s not really my style. I don’t wanna shove a book down your throat and then make you feel uncomfortable if you don’t like what I like.

This post is gonna be me sharing some books that I feel have helped shaped my life or books I admire for their words. If you find one of the books I’m sharing might also affect you, then hopefully that’s good. Books that matter leave a fingerprint in your soul. These are the ones that have left my soul well-worn and give you pieces of my own puzzle.

  1. When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore: There should be a name for the feeling you have when you first read Anna-Marie McLemore’s words. Her words have a way of moving you, and not in the way that leaves you lying down and processing everything, but in a way that you feel your soul shift and sway to the rhythm of her story. You ache for Miel and Sam’s troubles, ball up your fists at The Bonner Girls, feel embraced in Miel’s sister’s warmth… No other book I’d read had concisely written out the anger and betrayal a queer Latina might feel at being manipulated and abused by white women. There’s a particular cruelty to white women and how they weaponize the purity of their womanhood against marginalized people, especially brown folks. Beneath all the flowery prose that makes you swoon, there’s an indictment of such behavior. That instantly endeared me to McLemore’s literary powers.
  2. Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore: As an extension, Wild Beauty further reinforced my love for Anna-Marie’s words. This especially after the fact that the Nomeolvides girls were all bisexual, all brown, all great. A metaphor for land rights, objectification of brown bodies, exploitation of labor, and white supremacy, Wild Beauty went above and beyond what I would’ve expected from the author. It firmly cemented her as a mainstay in my own literary canon.
  3. La Pasión Segun Antígona Pérez by Luis Rafael Sánchez: If there’s one book (that I actually read in high school) that I can point to and say shaped me, it’s this one. A modern retelling of the Greek tragedy Antigone, Sánchez painted the atmosphere in which many Latin American countries under military dictatorships were living in at the time of it being penned. Its protagonist: a woman who’s been imprisoned for wanting to give her friends a proper burial after being executed for their radical leftist politics. It was the first time I saw a Latina protagonist that was speaking against a government’s tyranny and oppression, and though it’s still tragic, it made me want to be like her.
  4. Merci Suárez Changes Gears by Meg Medina: No other book I’ve read has cut up my heart with regards to the loss of a loved one in the way this one did. It had me sobbing in bed at 3am, because Merci’s allowed to be angry and upset over the people she loves hiding her grandfather’s condition from her. Though I didn’t experience my grandparents’ slow descent in the same way she did, I felt connected to her feelings and felt identified with her.
  5. Como agua para chocolate/Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel: This book was one of the few books I read in high school that I really loved. The way the author used humor and magical realism to talk about how internalized misogyny can get passed even in a household that’s incredibly matriarchal, all while still maintaining a forbidden lovers plot, made me incredibly happy as a teen. Also, that scene at the wedding where everybody starts crying and feeling sick was hilarious, especially since I read it around the height of Bridesmaids, which was one of my favorite movies at the time.
  6. The Ruby Oliver/Boyfriend series by E. Lockhart: I know this choice might come as a surprise, but this series helped me a lot when I was coming to terms with the fact that I have anxiety and depression. I read this series when I was still in high school, but it has resonated with me until today. If you don’t know much about the series, it’s about a girl who starts getting panic attacks in high school and decides to start visiting a therapist to cope with her feelings. It showed me that therapy is a good thing, and that it’s a way to pinpoint what’s causing you most distress. Ruby might think her problems are superficial, but it helped me realize that no problem is superficial when it comes to your body and your responses to them are valid.  
  7. Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan: This book was probably (I’m pretty certain) the first book I’d read with a Latina protagonist in it. I’d been a fan of many books, but this one I held so close to my heart. The fact that it was written by a Latina and its protagonist had a Spanish name… blew my mind. I don’t remember much about it now or my reaction to it then, but it’s impacted me until now. It’s the book that turned me onto accepting that there could be people like me in the thing I liked to do the most, which was read all day every day.
  8. We Are Okay by Nina LaCour: A lot of books are either plot-driven or character-driven, and though many would characterize this story as a character-driven story, I would describe it as an emotion-driven story. Not many books focus on the actual feelings of their characters, and this was so different from anything I’d ever read. Since the MC had tamped down all her feelings and she runs away from all the bad stuff happening around her, there’s an uncovering of feelings and the readers goes along with the MC as she rediscovers old and new emotions.
  9. Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova: In Zoraida’s book I found so many firsts: the first fantasy book by a Latina that I’d read since I read Isabel Allende’s Aguila & Jaguar trilogy as a teenager, and the first book with a bisexual Latina as a protagonist that had a love triangle and it wasn’t really questioned. So I found myself represented in Alex Mortiz’s journey and her own existence, all while reading about magic and family, which are some of my favorite things to read about. Even though Isabel Allende’s series already existed in my mind, it was still from a boy’s perspective, which I didn’t care much for. Thus, Alex’s adventure helped me in my rediscovery of Latinx literature (I’d been reading mostly books by white authors), and in accepting myself as a bisexual Latina.
  10. From Twinkle with Love by Sandhya Menon: This is more specific, but when I was in middle/high school I had a really rough friendship breakup that really left sad and feeling isolated, but it made me make rely on new friends, much in the same way that Twinkle had to in the book. I had a very emotional making-up with that friend about two years after the whole fallout, and we’re still best friends, but seeing Twinkle go through basically the exact same thing I went through was so incredible. I think teen-Me would have really cherished this and helped her go through those tough times.
  11. A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi: Even though I’d read The Star-Touched Queen, it was this story that made me fall in love with Roshani Chokshi’s words. It was funny, romantic, heart-warming, exhilarating… All of the things I love and it just made me sign my life away to the Chokshiheads (that’s not a real word, I just made it up).
  12. Antología Poética by Julia de Burgos: In college I discovered Julia’s works, all thanks to a short story by Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro, and I haven’t been the same. The fact that a Puerto Rican woman was known for her words, especially as a Nationalist, feminist figure who dealt with mental illness and poverty and many other obstacles, and made the most important words in my life… I’ll never give up her writing. I’m gonna share the poem that I love the most from her. I loved it so much I had it on my college graduation cap: It’s titled “Yo misma fui mi ruta”:

Yo quise ser como los hombres quisieron que yo fuese:

un intento de vida;

un juego al escondite con mi ser.

Pero yo estaba hecha de presentes,

y mis pies planos sobre la tierra promisora

no resistían caminar hacia atrás,

y seguían adelante, adelante,

burlando las cenizas para alcanzar el beso

de los senderos nuevos.

 

A cada paso adelantado en mi ruta hacia el frente

rasgaba mis espaldas el aleteo desesperado

de los troncos viejos.

 

Pero la rama estaba desprendida para siempre,

y a cada nuevo azote la mirada mía

se separaba más y más y más de los lejanos

horizontes aprendidos:

y mi rostro iba tomando la expresión que le venía de adentro,

la expresión definida que asomaba un sentimiento

de liberación íntima;

un sentimiento que surgía

del equilibrio sostenido entre mi vida

y la verdad del beso de los senderos nuevos.

 

Ya definido mi rumbo en el presente,

me sentí brote de todos los suelos de la tierra,

de los suelos sin historia,

de los suelos sin porvenir,

del suelo siempre suelo sin orillas

de todos los hombres y de todas las épocas.

 

Y fui toda en mí como fue en mí la vida…

 

Yo quise ser como los hombres quisieron que yo fuese:

un intento de vida;

un juego al escondite con mi ser.

Pero yo estaba hecha de presentes;

cuando ya los heraldos me anunciaban

en el regio desfile de los troncos viejos,

se me torció el deseo de seguir a los hombres,

y el homenaje se quedó esperándome.

Hope this was fun to read, and if you decide to do this exercise please let me know! I’d love to read your experiences with books and those you absolutely want others to read.

I also wanna announce that I won’t be near a computer for almost an entire month for the holidays. I have another post that will be automatically posted, and I’ll have some scheduled tweets for #ReadLatinx on my account. I’m gonna try to be disconnected for this time, spending time with my family as I travel! If you’d like to contact me, feel free to send me an email.

Happy holidays!

Upcoming Winter ’18-’19 Book Releases by Latinx Authors and Illustrators

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It’s That Time of the Year!

That’s right, it’s time to put on a Especial de Navidad de  Banco Popular CD (I’m particularly partial to the 2005 one, Queridos Reyes Magos), start making some coquito, pasteles, lechón, and arroz con gandules, and dig into the Winter celebrations. You may have some snow, or you may not (like me); you might put up a Christmas tree, or light up a Menorah, or celebrate Candlenights with the McElroy Brothers.

One thing’s for sure, it’s a time to celebrate with your loved ones, wrap yourself up with warm blankets, and maybe enjoy a nice Winter read.

And thus continues the tradition to post a list of books by Latinx authors and/or illustrators being released during a new season. This time, the Winter reads will encompass books that will be coming out between November 23rd, 2018, and February 14th, 2019. Yes, in my mind Winter starts the day after Thanksgiving and ends on Valentine’s Day.

This list is shorter than past ones, with only 14 titles at the moment of writing this. However, this is by no means comprehensive, and if I see a book that isn’t on this list on time, I’ll be promoting it on Twitter. If it escapes my grasp, don’t worry; I’m working on a separate list of books that I didn’t get a chance to shine a light on during the year.

  1. The Sacred Roots of Ofelia Rosas by Christina Montoya (11/24/2018): A grandmother’s legacy to her grandchildren creates intrigue and an interweaving story about family.
  2. Their Perfect Melody by Priscilla Oliveras (11/27/2018): A woman previously known as the life of the party and has had to become a caretaker. A man determined to bring back her passion for music. Love is in the air! (My review will be out next week)
  3. Reindeer Games: A Holiday Romance Anthology; story by Andie J. Christopher (12/01/2018): A group of people are snowed-in… and they’ll probably be warming each other up **wink wink** In Christopher’s story, Frankie’s stuck with her ex and his new boyfriend… Interesting…
  4. Dance All Night by Alexis Daria (12/11/2018): A novella within the DCLU (Dance Off Literary Universe), Daria’s focusing her matchmaking powers on Nik Kovalenko (you know, Dimitri Kovalenko’s younger brother) who’s been pining after a professional ballroom dancer and certified Scrooge.
  5. Dear Heartbreak: YA Authors and Teens on the Dark Side of Love
    anthology, feat. pieces by Adi Alsaid, Cristina Moracho, and Ibi Zoboi (12/18/2018): YA Authors pen letters to teens about what love songs don’t usually talk about: what happens when love isn’t enough. Talking about heartbreak, betrayal, cheating, and intimate partner violence, this should heal your heart-shaped wounds.
  6. Sarai Saves the Music by Sarai Gonzalez and Monica Brown (12/26/2018): Sarai’s school’s music program is getting its funding cut, and she decides to unite with her friends to organize a fundraising concert. (Spanish version will be available 02/26/2019)
  7. Blizzard Besties by Yamile Saied Méndez (12/26/2018): Vanesa Campos is determined to not ruin her family’s Christmas vacation at a ski resort. However, her little brother might be determined to do otherwise… (My review will be out at the end of November/beginning of December)
  8. One Night More: A Hotel Arroyo Novella by Sabrina Sol (12/29/2018): Not much is known about what the novella will be about, but if it’s penned by Sol, it’s guaranteed to be steamy.
  9. Exile by Lisa M. Bradley (01/01/2019): What better way to bring in the new year than by reading about toxic spills and a community affected by the state of isolation the government has put them in?
  10. Bicycle in a Ransacked City: An Elegy by Andrés Cerpa (01/08/2019): A collection full of love, loss, and pain, Cerpa’s poetry is a grieving text bursting with life.
  11. Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré by Anika Aldamuy Denise; illustrated by Paola Escobar (01/15/2019): A children’s book illustrating the life and work of Pura Belpré, the first Puerto Rican librarian in New York City whose legacy still resonates within the book publishing industry.
  12. Throw by Rubén Degollado (02/01/2019): An upcoming YA novel about warring boys in a South Texas town and the girl in the middle of this battle, who’s taken the moniker of La Llorona.
  13. Love, Sugar, Magic: A Sprinkle of Spirits by Anna Meriano (02/05/2019): Following the much acclaimed A Dash of Trouble, Leo must find out what’s bringing spirits back to the material world, all while trying to find a balance between being a good friend and a good bruja.
  14. A People’s Future of the United States: Speculative Fiction from 25 Extraordinary Writers feat. stories by Lizz Huerta, Malka Older, Daniel José Older, and Gabby Rivera (02/05/2019): A collection of SFF short stories by some of the best writers in the US at the moment. In a publishing industry that says there’s a dearth of SFF authors from different marginalized communities, this collection is a welcome addition to the literary canon.

That’s it for right now! I hope you enjoyed this list of books. As a part of my #ReadLatinx campaign, it’s important to celebrate the upcoming books being written by Latinx. Wanna read more of these lists? Check out my Summer and Fall 2018 lists. If you’re interested in supporting me, please make sure you follow me here for more posts like this, rec listsreviewsedits, and more! You can also follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

My Amazon Wishlists with some of these books on it so I can continue supporting these wonderful creators. I do this for free but if you so wish you can also donate to my PayPal or buy me a cup of coffee on Ko-Fi.

Until next time!