The Last 8: a review

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Description:

A high-stakes survival story about eight teenagers who outlive an alien attack—perfect for fans of The 5th Wave 

Clover Martinez has always been a survivor, which is the only reason she isn’t among the dead when aliens invade and destroy Earth as she knows it. 

When Clover hears an inexplicable radio message, she’s shocked to learn there are other survivors—and that they’re all at the former Area 51. When she arrives, she’s greeted by a band of misfits who call themselves The Last Teenagers on Earth.

Only they aren’t the ragtag group of heroes Clover was expecting. The group seems more interested in hiding than fighting back, and Clover starts to wonder if she was better off alone. But then she finds a hidden spaceship, and she doesn’t know what to believe…or who to trust.

Continue reading “The Last 8: a review”

Crazy on You: a review

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Description:

Worse than a one-hit wonder, Tassia Hogan is a one-line wonder. Infamous for a memorable, extremely provocative verse, her music career is going nowhere. Finding a decent man to date has also proven fruitless . . . they all think she’s as wanton as those lyrics. But now her label is offering Tassia the chance to shine–with a catch. The album is duets. Her partner is a Country Western singer. And he’s just as reluctant to agree as she is.
Hyde Love has been in the music business since he was eleven, and he’s becoming more and more disenchanted with it. Collaborating on an album seems great in theory, but Tassia is an R&B singer. Melding their sounds and personalities will be difficult–though not as tough as keeping things strictly business. Getting involved with his partner could prove career-wrecking, yet discovering the real Tassia could be earth-shattering.

Continue reading “Crazy on You: a review”

The Moon Within: a review

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Description:

Celi Rivera’s life swirls with questions. About her changing body. Her first attraction to a boy. And her best friend’s exploration of what it means to be genderfluid.

But most of all, her mother’s insistence she have a moon ceremony when her first period arrives. It’s an ancestral Mexica ritual that Mima and her community have reclaimed, but Celi promises she will NOT be participating. Can she find the power within herself to take a stand for who she wants to be?

A dazzling story told with the sensitivity, humor, and brilliant verse of debut talent Aida Salazar.


Rating: 5/5 Stars

Review: 

(cw for post: menstruation talk, mention of misgendering and transphobia) Continue reading “The Moon Within: a review”

Hired: a review

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Description:

For a man who makes his living pleasuring women, what happens when the only pay-out worth having is love?

Faith Abigail Charles has always done the right thing. So when her mother runs for mayor of New Orleans, Faith puts her law career on hold to help her win. But when tensions run high, Faith trades one kind of heat for another—in the arms of a hard-bodied stranger. He’s everything a woman dreams of in a lover. So much so that her one-night stand turns into two, then three, then four . . .

For Aiden Rios, meeting smart, sexy Faith feels like fate. After being ditched by his client in the Big Easy, the high-paid male escort needs a little company himself. Aiden knows he’ll have to come clean about his line of work, and he plans to—right after another taste of Faith’s sweetness—and another and another. . . . Until a chance meeting with his client leaves Aiden exposed—and Faith shocked and hurt. Now the hired hottie must show Faith that the love they share is bigger than the scandal threatening to destroy them . . .


Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

Review:

When Zoey Castile said that the hero in Hired was largely inspired by Maluma, I didn’t know what to expect. But Castile delivered on the missive and surpassed all expectations. Continue reading “Hired: a review”

Third Time’s The Charm: Three Reviews, One Post

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[image description: yellow and orange gradient background, title “Third Time’s The Charm: Three Reviews, One Post” centered on top, covers for I’m Baked Potato, Where Are You From?, and My Papi Has a Motorcycle]
Hello! There are times when you feel down in the dumps and you need something to lift your spirits. I was in the middle of reading a book but it bummed me out so I decided to delve into Edelweiss in search of ~something~ and I ended up striking (book) gold. In my search, I found three amazing picture books, all with either a Latinx author and/or illustrator.

In this post, I’ve united the reviews I’ve done for three upcoming picture book releases I loved, since they’re short and I thought it would be best to have them all together and give them all a collective shout-out.


My Papi Has a Motorcycle by Isabel Quintero, ill. by Zeke Peña

Description:

A celebration of the love between a father and daughter, and of a vibrant immigrant neighborhood, by an award-winning author and illustrator duo.

When Daisy Ramona zooms around her neighborhood with her papi on his motorcycle, she sees the people and places she’s always known. She also sees a community that is rapidly changing around her.

But as the sun sets purple-blue-gold behind Daisy Ramona and her papi, she knows that the love she feels will always be there.

With vivid illustrations and text bursting with heart, My Papi Has a Motorcycle is a young girl’s love letter to her hardworking dad and to memories of home that we hold close in the midst of change.

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Review:

In this singular book, Isabel Quintero narrates an afternoon between Daisy and her Papi. They zoom around the city of Corona, California, pointing out the places they know and love. It’s a vibrant tour of tortillerías, churches, and markets, of la casa de abuelita, the construction site where Papi works. Succinctly, it’s home.

An ode to the author’s father and family, with its lyrical style that keeps your eyes glued to the page to the details she talks about. Add to that the colorful nod to the illustrator’s heritage in the way the art style’s full of love and appreciation. The book kept a smile on my face, even in the face of the book’s commentary on how communities of color adapt to a changing socio-economic landscape; it felt like a warm hug from your parents and a loving tribute to a hometown.

Thank you to Edelweiss and the team at Kokila for providing an advance copy!

Release date: May 14th, 2019. You can pre-order both the English AND Spanish versions now: Spanish / English – Kokila


Where Are You From? by Yamile Saied Méndez, ill. by Jaime Kim

Description:

A powerful, lyrical debut picture book celebrating diversity for children from all backgrounds and of all colors, especially for kids who have ever felt like they don’t belong.

Where am I from?

You’re from hurricanes and dark storms, and a tiny singing frog that calls the island people home when the sun goes to sleep….

When a little girl is asked where she’s from—where she’s really from—she’s no longer as sure as she was about her answer. She turns to her abuelo for help. However, he doesn’t quite give her the response she expects. She gets an even better one.

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Review:

“Where are you from?” A loaded question, usually targeted toward People of Color under the guise of curiosity, but not understanding its effect and casual microaggression. “But where are you really from?” It’s the insistence and entitlement wrapped in the accusation, because you are indeed being pointed out as Other. The fact that we’re Othered from childhood and that it never actually stops is a trauma in and of itself, without even adding the generational trauma we’re carrying depending on what culture we’re from.

The author pokes at the question from the point of view of a young girl asking her abuelo after being hounded by many people with the same interrogative: Where are we from? Abuelo then proceeds to describe where she’s from, all the cultures and all the people that have helped make our protagonist who she is. It’s at once beautiful and real, in the way its lyricism can at once make you fall in love with el coquí puertorriqueño and make your heart break over the Argentinian Madres de Plaza de Mayo. Where Are You From? is a universal story for those who’ve been displaced due to many factors and find themselves in the US, but it favors the Latinx population.

Yamile Saied Méndez pens a heartfelt tribute to those whose identities are questioned every day, and paired with the beautiful earthy tones that South Korean artist Jaime Kim brings to the text, the words come to life in a sunrise of discovery and sunset of self-acceptance.

Thank you to Edelweiss and the folks at HarperCollins for providing a copy for review.

Release date: May 15th, 2019. You can pre-order a copy now in Spanish and English!


I’m A Baked Potato! by Elise Primavera, ill. by Juana Medina

Description:

When a baked potato–loving lady adopts a dog, she adores him unconditionally—and given the pup’s small, round frame and warm, brown coat she can’t help but call him “Baked Potato”! But what happens when a dog who thinks he’s a baked potato gets lost? Will he find his lady? And more importantly, will he find himself? I’m a Baked Potato! is a fun, bighearted story about the names we’re given, the names we choose, and how both can help us find our way home. Full of heart and laugh-out-loud moments, this story will leave readers giggling—and looking at pets in a whole new way.

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Review:

A sweet and fun story that brings back memories of ARE YOU MY MOTHER?, in I’M A BAKED POTATO! we see a dog try to find its way home and figure out who he is. When Baked Potato gets lost in the city whilst looking for his owner, he suffers a bit of an identity crisis upon realizing he’s not a baked potato. It’s a whirlwind of discovery and hilarity as Baked Potato jumps from one scene to the next, from one emotion to another. The illustrations by Juana Medina transport us visually, as the lines and swirls make them look like they’re in motion and compliment the writing from Primavera.  

Thank you to Edelweiss and Chronicle Books for the review copy!

Release date: May 7th, 2019. You can pre-order this book now!


That’s all for this post! See you next time!