Bad Bunny X 100PRE Book Tag

[id: banner that has yellow cat eye sunglasses against the purple background, two pictures of bad bunny in an orange ensemble flipped horizontally, and in the center it says “Bad Bunny: x 100pre book tag”]
When Bad Bunny’s X 100PRE dropped, all the Puerto Rican youths paused their lives to be immersed in Benito Martínez’s lyrics. Either when he’s talking about yearning for lost love, spreading self-confidence, praising weed, or just telling we’re all fine after the passage of Hurricane Maria, you’ll bop along and identify with some part of his musical essence. Which is how I ended up deciding to make a book tag based off his debut solo album. You can use books you’ve read or that are on your tbr, so long as you tag me/credit me as the creator of this tag. Also, use any platform you’d like to do this tag: do it as a Twitter thread, BookTube tag, or even bookstagram challenge! (This book tag was largely inspired by Fadwa at Word Wonders’s Manic album book tag so please check hers out as well!!) Este challenge bota fuego fuego (FIYAH FIYAH):

  1. NI BIEN NI MAL – a book with a relationship breakup (ex. From Twinkle with Love, by Sandhya Menon has a friendship breakup)
  2. 200 MPH – a book with the sea/ocean as a setting (ex. Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno is set in a beachside town)
  3. ¿QUIÉN TU ERES? – a book with an intense confrontation scene (ex. Shadowshaper Legacy by Daniel José Older has an epic confrontation scene between Sierra and a big bad while simultaneously there’s a battle happening thousands of miles away between Sierra’s friends and some neo-nazis)
  4. CARO – a book with a confident and/or carefree main character (ex. Song of the Abyss by Makiia Lucier has such a confident and capable MC in Reyna)
  5. TENEMOS QUE HABLAR – an epistolary or mixed media novel (ex. Dear Haiti, Love Alaine by Maika and Maritza Moulite has a combination of journal entries, letters, emails, and more)
  6. OTRA NOCHE EN MIAMI – a book with an economically privileged (RICH) main character (ex. Color Me In by Natasha Diaz has an MC who’s rich thanks to her father’s money)
  7. SER BICHOTE – a book with a character going against their parents’ wishes (ex. I Wanna Be Where You Are by Kristina Forest has an MC who wants to be a dancer and goes on a roadtrip behind her mother’s back to audition)
  8. SI ESTUVIÉSEMOS JUNTOS – a book with the unrequited love trope (ex. The Countess Conspiracy by Courtney Milan revolves around two characters who are best friends and each other believes they don’t have feelings for each other– and in fact, they’re IN LOVE)
  9. SOLO DE MI – a book revolving around bodily autonomy (ex. The Moon Within by Aida Salazar is the story of a girl learning about her body and how she can appreciate it)
  10. CUANDO PERRIABAS – a book where the main character is a dancer (ex. Take the Lead by Alexis Daria is a romance novel set in a Dancing with the Stars-esque reality competition)
  11. LA ROMANA – a book with either fire imagery on the cover and/or the word “FIRE” on the title (ex. With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo, hello)
  12. COMO ANTES – a book with multiple timelines (ex. Dark and Deepest Red by Anna-Marie McLemore is a dual-timeline YA set between 2017(?) California and 1507 Starsbourg)
  13. RLNDT – a book with an unreliable narrator (ex. More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera is a grounded sci-fi about a boy named Aaron who’s figuring out his sexuality and going through a rough patch and notices the people around him acting weirder)
  14. ESTAMOS BIEN – a book by a Puerto Rican writer (ex. The Education of Margot Sánchez by Lilliam Rivera, who’s from Puerto Rico)
  15. MIA – a co-written/co-authored book (ex. Miss Meteor by Anna-Marie McLemore and Tehlor Kay Mejia, coming out in fall 2020)

Tag whomever you want, or take this as my invitation to do it yourself! 

I tag Melanie @thebookfaerie on IG/@ashymareads on Twitter, Cande @iamrainbou on twitter/IG & latinxmagicbk, Caro @santanareads on Twitter/@santana_reads on IG/ Andrea @alifebydreaming on Twitter/bookramble on YouTube, and whoever wishes to do so.

Latinx Spring Releases 2020, or, #TheReadoftheLatinx

latinx spring reads banner 2020

Happy Valentine’s Day, y’all! As a sign of my love for all of you, I’m giving you a box full of candies, except the box is this post and the candies are new books by Latinx authors and illustrators coming out this Spring. My little valentine’s day card to the Latinx creative community. 

Let’s spread the #ReadLatinx love with this list, or, #TheReadoftheLatinx (yes, this is based on the 8th Fast and Furious movie). 

The Spring 2020 Reads list is comprised of over 100 books written and/or illustrated by Latinx that are releasing between February 15th, 2020 and May 31st, 2020. As always, it will be divided by age category (Picture Books, MG, YA, Adult) as well as genre (fiction, non-fiction, poetry). There are also subgenres such as SFF, Contemporary, etc. Each book has a link to its Goodreads page, the names of the author, illustrator, editor, or contributors, the release date, and a short description of the book in my own words. The only section without handmade descriptions is the poetry one, as it’s kind of hard to come up with my own description when I haven’t read it, so I used descriptions from the jacket copy. Each part is sorted by release date.

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! I also add books at my own discretion, as I have no intention of boosting sexual harassers, racists, homophobes or transphobes, but if you noticed I slipped and added a book by someone who’s been accused of harassment of any kind, let me know so I can take them out of the list. This list is in no way an endorsement of the contents of each book, as I don’t have the knowledge of what is in each and every book. I’m not being paid by any publisher or publication for promoting any of these titles.

Board/Picture Books


  • A Way with Wild Things by Larissa Theule, ill. by Sara Palacios (03/03/2020) – Some kids are horse kids, others are dino kids, but Poppy Ann Fields is a bug girl.
  • At the Pond by Geraldo Valério (03/03/2020) – A wordless picture book exploring the friendship between a boy and a swan he finds at a pond.
  • ¡Vamos! Let’s Go Eat! by Raúl the Third (03/24/2020) – Let’s learn about food intrinsic to Mexican/Mexican-American communities through Raúl the Third’s colorful and dreamy landscapes and anthropomorphic characters.
  • Water Rolls, Water Rises/El agua rueda, el agua sube by Pat Mora, ill. by Meilo So (04/07/2020) – Pat Mora takes us on a lovely stroll through nature in a story in verse.
  • Our Friend Hedgehog: The Story of Us by Lauren Castillo – In the vein of Winnie the Pooh or Frog and Toad, read all about Hedgehog and her adventures.
  • Here Comes Ocean by Meg Fleming, ill. by Paola Zakimi (05/19/2020) – *nicki minaj voice* Let’s go to the beach, beach.


Fairy Tales


  • I Love Us: A Book About Family ill. by Luisa Uribe (03/17/2020) – Families come in all shapes and sizes, especially in this book.
  • The Homesick Club by Libby Martinez, ill. by Rebecca Gibbon (04/07/2020) – Exploring themes of homesickness and creating bonds with those who’ve moved to a different home.
  • A New Kind of Wild by Zara Gonzalez Hoang (04/21/2020) – Ren and his family have moved from Puerto Rico to New York City. Follow him as he learns to appreciate his surroundings with a little help.
  • Mi amiga by Elisa Amado, ill. by Alfonso Ruano (05/05/2020) – Spanish translation of the 2019 picture book, My Friend, following a girl from a Latinx family who invites a white friend over to her home.
  • Swashby and the Sea by Beth Ferry, ill. by Juana Martínez-Neal (05/05/2020) – Captain Swashby is a grumpy old man who enjoys his quiet piece of ocean. That is, until a young girl disrupts his peace.


  • Extraordinary Ordinary Ella by Amber Hendricks, ill. by Luciana Navarro Powell (02/25/2020) – Ella wants to showcase a new talent at school, but keeps failing at everything. Will she be able to find what makes her stand out, or risk finding she’s ordinary? (review)
  • Rita and Ralph’s Rotten Day by Carmen Agra Deedy, ill. by Pete Oswald (03/03/2020) – A friendship is tested when someone gets hurt and Rita and Ralph don’t know how to apologize.
  • Kaia and the Bees by Maribeth Boelts, ill. by Angela Dominguez (03/10/2020) – Kaia is afraid of bees (which, same), but learning how to be brave in order to help them.
  • My Body Belongs to Me / Mi cuerpo me pertenece by Jill Starishevsky, ill. by Angela Padrón (03/17/2020) – In this bilingual rerelease, children and parents learn about the importance of bodily autonomy and boundaries.
  • The Magical Yet by Angela DiTerlizzi, ill. by Lorena Alvarez (04/14/2020) – This magical book teaches children about the importance of knowing that one can’t know everything at once. 
  • Kindergarten Hat by Janet Lawler, ill. by Geraldine Rodríguez (05/26/2020) – An insecure new kindergartner gains confidence with the help of his new teacher.

Early Reader/Middle Grade


  • Goldie Vance: The Hotel Whodunit by Lilliam Rivera (03/17/2020) – In this comic series-turned-novel, follow Goldie Vance as she figures out who stole a missing swimming cap.
  • Efrén Divided by Ernesto Cisneros (03/31/2020) – Efrén must find a way to survive without his mom as she’s taken away by ICE.
  • Merci Suárez Changes Gears by Meg Medina (04/07/2020) – In this paperback release of the critically acclaimed Merci Suárez Changes gears, you’ll find a story of friendship, belonging, and family secrets.
  • Project Animal Rescue by Alyssa Milano and Debbie Rigaud (04/07/2020) – In this installment, Hope decides to help an animal rescue shelter from closing.
  • What Lane? by Torrey Maldonado (04/14/2020) – Stephen is learning about his identity as a mixed kid and how his life won’t be equal to that of his white peers.
  • On These Magic Shores by Yamile Saied Méndez (04/21/2020) – Based on Peter Pan, follow Minerva as she suddenly has to care for her siblings when her mom disappears.
  • The Water Bears by Kim Baker (04/21/2020) – Newt is still recovering from a bear attack when his parents have him decide whether to continue his studies far from his friends or stay in the same school where he’s the only Latinx kid.
  • Julieta and the Diamond Enigma by Luciana Duarte Armendáriz (05/05/2020) – Julieta is helping her dad in Paris when the diamond they’re delivering goes missing! Follow Julieta in this wacky adventure.
  • La luna dentro de mi by Aida Salazar (05/05/2020) – The Spanish translation of The Moon Within, a new audience to Celi’s feelings around menstruation is unlocked. 
  • Santiago’s Road Home by Alexandra Diaz (05/05/2020) – When Santiago decides to run away from his abusive home, he doesn’t know the journey he’s embarking on as he makes his way to the Mexico-U.S. border.
  • The Dream Weaver by Reina Luz Alegre (05/26/2020) – Zoey takes on the task of saving her grandpa’s bowling alley, without realizing how herculean the effort would be.


  • Mañanaland by Pam Muñoz Ryan (03/03/2020) – A story that mixes both fantasy and reality, follow Max as he seeks refuge in a legendary kingdom.
  • Warren the 13th and the 13-Year Curse by Tania del Rio (03/24/2020) – In the third installment of Warren, a cursed bellhop searching for a missing friend takes center-stage.
  • Ghost Squad by Claribel Ortega (04/07/2020) – Lucely’s accidentally released some malicious spirits and it’s up to her and her family to save the town.
  • Into the Tall, Tall Grass by Loriel Ryon (04/07/2020) – When Yolanda’s long-asleep grandma awakens and begs her help to find a mysterious box, she doesn’t think she’ll be finding out more about her family’s secret curse.
  • Sal and Gabi Fix the Universe by Carlos Hernandez (05/05/2020) – The thrilling sequel to Sal and Gabi’s universe-bending adventures!
  • The Unicorn Rescue Society: The Madre de Aguas of Cuba by Adam Gidwitz and Emma Otheguy, ill. by Hatem Aly (05/12/2020) – The creature that provides water to Cubans has gone missing and it’s up to the Unicorn Rescue Society to help the island from a drought.
  • The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopez by Adrianna Cuevas (05/12/2020) – Eliza Thornberry meets Central American folklore in Nestor’s quest to find his new town’s missing animals.

Graphic Novel

  • Marvel Action: Black Panther: Rise Together (Book Two) by Vita Ayala, illustrated by Arianna Florean (04/14/2020) – Collecting issues 4-6 of the Marvel Action: Black Panther comic series, follow T’Challa and co. as they uncover seedy dealings in Wakanda, and more.
  • When You Look Up by Guillermo “Decur” Decurgez, translated by Chloe Garcia Roberts (05/05/2020) – Translation of Decur’s graphic novel, wherein a kid moves to a new house and finds a book and magical things happen.

Historical Fiction


Young Adult



  • Salty, Bitter, Sweet by Mayra Cuevas (03/03/2020) – Isabella’s life is in shambles, but will she be able to pick up the pieces in France while she apprentices with a renowned chef?
  • We Didn’t Ask For This by Adi Alsaid (04/07/2020) – An ensemble cast locked in a school while some take part in an eco-protest is forced to take a look at their lives and their relationships.
  • A Breath Too Late by Rocky Callen (04/28/2020) – A look at mental health from the perspective of a girl who’s just died by suicide is now forced to evaluate the life she had.
  • Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo (05/05/2020) – Elizabeth Acavedo returns to writing a novel-in-verse, this time from the perspectives of two girls who learn they’re estranged sisters after learning of their father’s untimely death.
  • Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From by Jennifer De León (05/05/2020) – In De León’s debut YA, Liliana is forced to assimilate into white society as racism in her community and school ramps up.
  • Running by Natalia Sylvester (05/05/2020) – Cuban-American Mariana has to evaluate her father’s political ideologies when he decides to run for president and she comes under scrutiny by the public eye.
  • We Are Not From Here by Jenny Torres Sanchez (05/19/2020) – A group of Guatemalan teens undergo a dangerous journey through Mexico in order to reach the U.S.-Mexico border, hoping for freedom.


Historical Fiction

  • Holly Hernandez and the Death of Disco by Richie Narváez (05/31/2020) – Set in 1979-80, Holly Hernandez finds herself embroiled in a whodunit when one of her classmates is the prime suspect in the murder of their social studies teacher.


  • Write Yourself a Lantern by Elizabeth Acevedo (04/07/2020) – A journal based on Elizabeth Acevedo’s award-winning novel The Poet X.


  • We Unleash the Merciless Storm by Tehlor Kay Mejia (02/25/2020) – In the thrilling sequel to Mejia’s We Set the Dark on Fire, we follow Carmen and her involvement with a radical group set on destroying Medio’s elite.
  • Nocturna by Maya Motayne (03/03/2020) – Paperback release of Maya Motayne’s acclaimed Dominican-inspired fantasy novel.
  • The First 7 by Laura Pohl (03/05/2020) – The Last Teenagers on Earth are back and they’ve been exploring the galaxy and its alien civilizations, until they receive a distress signal from Earth.
  • Tigers, Not Daughters by Samantha Mabry (03/24/2020) – In this Latinx gothic/magical realism novel, three sisters are being haunted by their deceased sister… or are they?
  • Incendiary (The Hollow Crown #1) by Zoraida Córdova (04/28/2020) – Renata Convida was used against her own people, making them forget their lives and turning them into husks, or Hollows. Now, she has to return to the people who killed her family in order to destroy them from inside.
  • Lobizona (Wolves of No World #1) by Romina Garber (05/05/2020) – Manu’s life is upended when ICE takes her mother, but now she also has to contend with the fact that she might have powers that her mother had pressured her into keeping secret.
  • The Betrothed by Kiera Cass (05/05/2020) – Lady Hollis Brite is stuck in limbo between a King who adores her and a commoner who can worm their way into her heart.


Literary Fiction

  • Fiebre Tropical by Juliana Delgado Lopera (03/04/2020) – A spanglish tale of 15-year-old Francisca and her struggle against evangelism while finding her own identity.
  • Grieving for Guava: Stories by Cecilia M. Fernandez (03/23/2020) – Short story collection centered around the experiences of Cuban immigrants and the grief that comes with uprooting your life.
  • Hurricane Season by Fernanda Melchor (03/31/2020) – An English translation about a villager’s death and a cast of unreliable narrators searching for the culprit.
  • Afterlife by Julia Alvarez (04/07/2020) – Antonia Vega’s life is upended when her husband dies, her sister disappears, and an undocumented pregnant teen appears on her doorstep.
  • Both Sides: Stories from the Border edited by Gabino Iglesias (04/07/2020) – 15 writers take a noir-centered spin on border narratives.
  • Sabrina & Corina by Kali Fajardo-Anstine (04/07/2020) – Paperback release of the National Book Award finalist short story collection on women in Denver, Colorado.
  • Cars on Fire by Mónica Ramón Ríos, trans. Robin Myers (04/14/2020) – A short story collection with characters in NYC, New Jersey, and Chile, examining life as subversive art.
  • Subduction by Kristen Millares Young (04/14/2020) – A Latina anthropologist ends up in Neah Bay after her marriage and family are shattered, and is taken in by the Makah Indian community. 
  • Cockfight by María Fernanda Ampuero (05/01/2020) – Ecuadorian writer María Fernanda Ampuero takes a closer look at the violence and tragedy a home can hide.



  • American Sweethearts by Adriana Herrera (03/30/2020) – The conclusion of the Dreamer series, we follow Priscilla and Juan Pablo in a will-they-won’t-they adventure in Dominican Republic, as their sixteen-year relationship comes to head.
  • Not That Kind of Guy by Andie J. Christopher (04/14/2020) – Have you ever gone to Vegas and accidentally married your boss? No? Well, Matt Kido has.
  • The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez (04/14/2020) – Sometimes you adopt a dog??? To Cope??? But the dog you care for is actually a musician’s dog and he wants the dog back??? So you fall for the musician as well???
  • Island Affair by Priscilla Oliveras (04/28/2020) – Sara is dumped by her boyfriend on the day she’s supposed to leave for vacation, which is how she ends up recruiting Luis Navarro to go with her to Key West as her fake-boyfriend.
  • A Taste of Sage by Yaffa S. Santos (05/19/2020) – Reminiscent of The Sadness of Lemon Cake and Like Water for Chocolate, follow a disgraced Dominican chef as she has to take a position as sous chef at a stuffy French restaurant and vows never to eat her boss’ cooking.


  • Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (02/18/2020) – Paperback release of Moreno-Garcia’s 1920’s road trip with the God of Death.
  • Hairspray and Switchblades by V. Castro (02/20/2020) – Magdalena turns to sex work in order to keep her sister in school, all while there’s a killer on the loose murdering strippers and the sisters deal with their lineage as Jaguar shifters.
  • The Road of Ice and Salt by José Luis Zárate and translated by David Bowles (03/20/2020) – English translation of a Mexican cult vampire novella. 
  • Little Eyes by Samanta Schweblin (05/05/2020) – A dystopian, near-future story about privacy and the voyeurism of state-sanctioned technological vigilance. 
  • Serpiente emplumada, corazón del cielo by David Bowles (05/12/2020) – Spanish edition of Feathered Serpent, Dark Heart of the Sky, a collection of Indigenous Aztec folktales .


  • The Fire Eater by José Hernández Díaz (02/14/2020) – The poet’s “debut chapbook introduces us to a mime, a skeleton, and the man in the Pink Floyd t-shirt, all of whom explore their inner selves in Hernández Díaz’s startling and spare style.”
  • Intergalactic Travels: poems from a fugitive alien by Alán Pelaez Lopez (02/22/2020) – “An experimental poetry collection that renders an intimate portrait of growing up undocumented in the United States.”
  • Postcolonial Love Poem by Natalie G. Diaz (03/03/2020) – “In this new lyrical landscape, the bodies of indigenous, Latinx, black, and brown women are simultaneously the body politic and the body ecstatic.”
  • Borderland Apocrypha by Anthony Cody (03/15/2020) – “an avant-garde examination of how borderlands have remained occupied spaces, and of the necessity of liberation to usher the earth and its people toward healing.”
  • Itinerario del Olvido/Itinerary of Forgetting by Nelson Simón (March 2020) – “A sixteen-part series from Nelson Simón’s award-winning collection A la sombra de los muchachos en flor.”
  • The BreakBeat Poets Vol 4: LatiNext edited by Felicia Rose Chavez, Willie Perdomo, and José Olivarez (04/07/2020) – This poetic anthology collects some of the best Latinx poets as they voice their relationship to Hip Hop.
  • Not Go Away is My Name by Alberto Ríos (04/14/2020) – “The borderline between Mexico and the U.S. looms large, and Ríos sheds light on and challenges our sensory experiences of everyday objects.”
  • Body of Render by Felicia Zamora (04/21/2020) – “This collection carves at the physical, the political, the intimate, and the structural with poems that simultaneously create and encourage voice to seek a path toward collective mending.”
  • After Rubén: Poems and Prose by Francisco Aragón (05/05/2020) – “After Rubén unfolds as a decades-long journey in poems and prose, braiding the personal, the political & the historical, interspersing along the way English-language versions & riffs of a Spanish-language master: Rubén Darío.”
  • Catrachos by Roy Guzmán (05/05/2020) – “In these unflinching, riveting poems, Roy G. Guzmán reaches across borders—between life and death and between countries—invoking the voices of the lost.”
  • Thresholes by Lara Mimosa Montes (05/12/2020) – “In this almanac of place and memory, Lara Mimosa Montes writes of her family’s past, returning to the Bronx of the 70s and 80s and the artistry that flourished there.”
  • Self-Portraits as Yurico by Bailey Cohen (May 2020) – Poetry chapbook upcoming from Glass Poetry.

Thus concludes this list! 

If you enjoyed this list or think it’s a good resource as I believe it is, please think about sharing and maybe donating some money. I don’t get compensated for any of this, this is just what I do in my free time because I love boosting Latinx voices, but it takes a lot of time and effort to compile these lists. My Paypal is, Ko-Fi is, and Venmo is @adrianammf. Check out my official website for information on my services and more.

Thank you for reading!! Follow the blog if you’d like to see more posts like this. Make sure you spread the word, share the list with friends, pre-order and buy these books! Are there books here that you hadn’t heard of? Books here that you’ve already pre-ordered? Books that you hadn’t heard of and now are interested in? Are there books you think I might have missed? Let me know in the comments or reach out to me on social media (@boricuareads on IGTwitter, and Tumblr), and I’ll add it! 

You can also get a #ReadLatinx sticker on my shop!

Past #ReadLatinx lists:

2019 and 2020 in Reading: A Look Back and What’s Next

background credit: Nico Mksmc from Unsplash [id: yellow and orange background with a grey box in the center that says “2019 and 2020 in Reading” followed by a line and “a look back and what’s next” underneath, all writing in black and capital letters.]
I was supposed to have this up earlier this month, but I managed to write up my 2019 wrap-up. Better late than never, am I right?!

I’ll begin by taking a look back at what I read in 2020, what goals I accomplished and failed at, and then write about some of my goals for 2020. Continue reading “2019 and 2020 in Reading: A Look Back and What’s Next”

Latinx Winter Reads ’19-’20 (Or, #Latinx7)

latinx winter reads header 2019.png¡BOMBAZO NAVIDEÑO! 

‘Tis the season! It’s #Latinx7, the seventh iteration of the Latinx Reads and second Winter Reads list. It’s been a whirlwind year, 2019, for the #ReadLatinx project. I’m glad I’ve been able to shine a light on Latinx writers and illustrators, even if through this blog. Being able to connect with creatives and readers through this project fills me with happiness, and I’m excited for what 2020 brings. 

The Winter Reads list is comprised of 34 books written and/or illustrated by Latinx that are releasing between November 27th, 2019 and February 14th, 2020. As always, it will be divided by age category (Picture Books, MG, YA, Adult) as well as genre (fiction, non-fiction, poetry). I didn’t divide this list by subgenre, choosing instead to describe them in my little blurb, as there aren’t that many books. Each book has a link to its Goodreads page, the author, illustrator, editor, or contributors, the release date, and a short description of the book in my own words. The YA section is described in AO3 sort of tags and so are a handful of other books (thanks once again Gabi @gabi_morataya on Twitter for suggesting this for the last post). Each section is sorted by release date.

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! I also add books at my own discretion, as I have no intention of boosting sexual harassers, racists, homophobes or transphobes, but if you noticed I slipped and added a book by someone who’s been accused of harassment of any kind, let me know so I can take them out of the list. This list is in no way an endorsement of the contents of each book, as I don’t have the knowledge of what is in each and every book. 

Continue reading “Latinx Winter Reads ’19-’20 (Or, #Latinx7)”

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


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’]

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