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yawednesdays

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Own Voices

Picture Us In The Light Blog Tour + Giveaway

At its core, Picture U In The Light by Kelly Loy Gilbert is Danny’s story. From the story of his parent’s immigration to the US, to their sacrifices to live the American Dream, secrets, school, friendship, love, we see the quiet evolution of Danny’s life and everything that lead to it. Because Danny’s story is so heartfelt, we made Danny, and specifically his gift of art, the centerpiece of today’s Blog Tour stop. Let’s find out a little more about this must-read book and we’ll show you what we created for Danny.

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White Rabbit Blog Tour

Imagine combining the slasher qualities of 90’s movies like Scream seamlessly with the warm haziness of unrequited love from an 80’s John Hughes flick and a road trip so surreal it would give Hunter S. Thompson a run for his money.  This is the magic of White Rabbit. Caleb Roehrig’s second YA book is another foray into mystery, but that’s where the comparisons ends with this sophomore book. Mischievous, sarcastic and a totally wild ride, find out all the reasons you should be picking up White Rabbit when it releases next month.

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THE REREAD CAMPAIGN

The Speaker publication date less than three weeks away and I am SO excited for the second installment of The Sea of Ink and Gold trilogy!  I read this book last year for one of our First Reads Friday installments and absolutely enjoyed this fantasy novel about literacy.  Sefia’s quest to find her aunt Nin, who is kidnapped, is filled with adventure, mysterious strangers and narrators and A BOOK. The story is a finely woven tapestry, where many different POV’s converge in unexpected ways.

Not only is The Reader a feast of words, but Traci has also included an Easter Egg hunt in the book–you search for clues within the pages of the story (from blacked-out words and paragraphs, to footnotes and thumbprints on certain pages). It’s very fun to search out clues and attempt to piece them together–an adventure within an adventure.  I’m pretty sure I didn’t find all the clues within The Reader, which is why this Reread is in order!

The Reader stuck with me long after I finished it.  After sharing with you Traci’s playlist for The Reader earlier this year, today, I am here to give you some moodboard aesthetics related to The Reader.  In a few weeks, we’ll be on The Speaker tour so hurry up and get caught up on the Reader before then!

The Reader Map Photo.jpg

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Akata Warrior Blog Tour & Giveaway

Last month, I gave you a glimpse at Akata Witch along with some fashion inspirations from the first book of this Nigerian fantasy series.  Today, I am thrilled to return to this world with a review of the newly released Akata Warrior as part of the BLOG TOUR.  If I wasn’t already thrilled to share this book with the world, last week, Nnedi announced there will be a THIRD book in the series, so WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR??

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Wild Beauty Blog Tour

 

From The Weight of Feathers to When the Moon Was Ours, Anna-Marie McLemore has blessed us with gorgeous, mystical writing and magical realism time and time again.  In one of this year’s most anticipated books, Wild Beauty, she once again proves herself a masterful story teller of tales steeped in family, feminism and flowers.

Nomeolvides.

Forget-Me-Not (Flower).

Don’t forget about me.

As the last name of the main characters implies Wild Beauty simply an unforgettable and rare book that will stay with you long after you finish the last page of the novel.  I am thrilled to be part of the blog tour today and bring you music inspired by this work of art.

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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

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