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yawednesdays

If it's Wednesday, we're reviewing.

Month

November 2016

One To Watch Books: Your Guide to December YA Releases

‘Twas the end of year

And all through the house

Our TBR list is growing 

‘Cause December books are out! 

We’ve got the run-down of all the best YA coming in out just in time for the holidays.

Continue reading “One To Watch Books: Your Guide to December YA Releases”

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Holiday Gifts for Your Bookish Friends vol. 2

Shopping for your bookish friends can be tough, especially if you don’t get their level of commitment to their books.  We here at YAWednesdays are here to demystify bookish trends and provide you with a thorough guide of bookish gifts.  Happy shopping!

Continue reading “Holiday Gifts for Your Bookish Friends vol. 2”

The DiabolicThe Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Image a friend created to your specification who will love you unconditionally. Now image that friend is also a genetically designed bodyguard and assassin with superhuman strength. This is the world of S.J. Kincaid’s The Diabolic. This book has elements of Blade Runner and Westworld with all the politics and intrigue of a royal court in space. The Diabolic is dark, brutal, fast-paced, complex, otherworldly storytelling and I LOVED it!

Continue reading

First Reads Friday: Alterations by Stephanie Scott

I’ve been eyeing this lovely book since it was revealed it would be a YA version of Sabrina that takes place in my home state and in the city of Miami, specifically.  When the cover was revealed, I knew I was most definitely going to read this novel.

Continue reading “First Reads Friday: Alterations by Stephanie Scott”

Book Review: Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova

Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas, #1)Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4.5 rounded down to 4.

“The second time I saw my dead aunt Rosario, she was dancing.”

Labyrinth Lost is unequivocally a book about what it’s like to be a Latinx girl who identifies with yet struggles against her family’s identity, history and expectations of her. It’s about how you define yourself by your family and despite it. Sure, there is magic and brujas. Yes, our main characters are dropped into an alternate magical dimension (possibly heaven/hell?) to rescue the family she’s banished after a spell gone wrong. But this book takes the disparate themes and melds them into one fantastic story.

“Calling or no calling, a bruja’s got to pay the bills.”

Off the bat, this book appealed to me because of the Latinx MC and family. I am the daughter of Cuban immigrants and I’m always intrigued to see other takes on Latin culture in YA. Alex’s relationship with her family, a family of brujas, is so reminiscent of my childhood experiences. Surrounded by a family that is constantly questioning and pushing her to be what they expect of her, wanting more from her, challenging her. There is one line that I felt so authentically captured what it’s like to grow up Latin: “There’s chattering from the audience and the dead.” Your sense of self is drawn from your family, for better or worse and Zoraida Cordova did a beautiful job capturing this reality and capturing it authentically.

“It’s my turn to shape the galaxies.”

I loved how head strong Alex is. For good or bad, she makes her own decisions and follows through, even if it’s to right her wrongs. She’s fiercely loyal to her family and friends and tries to give her all for them. She’s a character that I really like, flaws and all.

Both the magic and the magical world and world/rule-building element really appealed to me and was expertly handled. The magical world of Brooklyn/Los Lagos was explained without too much exposition, but enough for your to feel vested in the worlds and buy into the everyday magic of a world full of Brujas and Brujos living amongst the rest of us. I particularly loved the parallels between Alex’s adventures in Los Lagos and Alice in Wonderland. The Wonderland experience was diversified and beautifully steeped in Latin folklore adding a very interesting spin on the very popular tale.

“We’re chain links of desperation attached to one another.”

The diversity in this book did not just belong to the world and characters in it, but to Alex’s love life. She was unabashedly, without any explanation required bi-sexual. It’s the first time I can remember reading a character so comfortable with herself and her feelings and I found that revelation so refreshing. This is a book that normalizes those feelings for teens who may be questioning or unsure.

Overall, this book was a magical, diverse, Latinx journey that reads quickly and beautifully. I have recommended it to my young cousins and my adult friends. It’s a book that everyone can take something from.

View all my reviews

~Carmen

First Reads Friday: This Is Our Story by Ashley Elston

Five handsome, privileged best friends go on a hunting trip. Four return. Was it an accident? Was it murder? And who pulled the trigger? Be sure you have the day clear because once you start THIS IS OUR STORY, you won’t be able to put it down. Continue reading “First Reads Friday: This Is Our Story by Ashley Elston”

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