Don’t Date Rosa Santos is a book about a Cuban-American girl who is cursed by the sea. She lives in Port Coral which is a Gilmore Girls like town in Florida, where she lives with her grandmother who is the healer of the town. Rosa is cursed by the sea. She longs to study abroad in her families homeland of Cuba even though her Abuela refuses to talk about the island. Rosa is a girl who is trying to find her own identity and get to know her own culture and where she came from. She is a girl who is caught between two different worlds and is figuring out her own place in the world. When she meets a boy named Alex Aquino whose family owns a marina, she must figure out if he is worth risking the curse and if there is a way to break the spell.
Nina Moreno’s book has everything I live for in a book! Not only is the book written by an own voices Cuban-American author, but the book is described as Gilmore Girls meets Practical Magic. My heart cannot contain my excitement for this book and I will be enjoying it with a guava pastelito in hand!
With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo
Emoni Santiago has a lot of responsibilities and she is only in high school. She has a daughter to care for and she also supports her Abuela. Emoni has a passion for cooking and it is the one place where she can escape all her worries. She is passionate about the food she cooks and is always adding a dash of magic to her dishes. Even though, she loves to cook she knows that she cannot devote her time for her school’s culinary arts class and she doesn’t have the money for the class’s trip to Spain. Emoni is someone who feel a tremendous amount of pressure to play by the rules and she must decide whether she is going to embrace her talent for the kitchen and let it shine once and for all.
The synopsis of Acevedo’s book completely won me over because I haven’t read any YA books with a high school mom as the main character! The plot sounds so original for YA and I love the fact that this seems to have a strong Latinx character who is hustling to take care of her Abuela and give her daughter the best life possible. Since Acevedo is a killer poet, I have a feeling it is going to give me the lyrical feels of Like Water for Chocolate and it is going to be the kind of book that is going to get me seriously hungry!
Dealing in Dreams by Lilliam Rivera
Dealing in Dreams by Lilliam Rivera has been frequently compared to The Outsiders and it is a young adult dystopian in which the women are governing the world. The main Latinx character Nalah lives in Mega City and she is the leader of one of the most powerful female fighter groups. Although, Nalah’s ultimate goal is to be able to live in the Mega Towers where only a select few get to live. Nalah is ready to get off the streets and has lost the thrill of being able to access the hottest bodega clubs. She has the opportunity to go on a mission to leave Mega City and she is given a chance to prove to others that she can achieve her dream of living in the Mega Towers.
Lilliam Rivera’s novel sounds like something I have never read before. I have never been a huge fan of dystopian books, but this is the kind of book that I would read because I couldn’t resist a world where women govern! This book seems to be more than just a dystopian but a novel about finding your place in society.