Latinx Month (AKA Hispanic Heritage Month) is making my Cubanita heart burst with joy especially since this is the ultimate year for the Latinx book community! Now with the prevalence of Latinx authors popping up all over the place especially in the YA genre and amazing readathons like Latinx-a-thon that encourages readers to read more inclusively I literally have no shelf-control!
This year is such an exciting time to read Latinx books because it used to be that the only books that were getting published were issue books and now Latinx books are featuring Latinx characters doing some really cool things such as opening up portals to another universe, a Wiccan bringing her bff back from the dead, and baking magical Mexican treats! Here are my TBR recs that will take you through September and all the way through October 15th!
Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
Like Water for Chocolate catalogs the history of the De La Garza family and tells the story of Tita. Tita is gifted with the ability to cook food in a magical way where it makes others feel what she feels. When Tita meets Pedro she falls hopelessly in love with him but Mexican tradition requires her to be unmarried and to watch after her mother till she dies. Pedro’s feelings for her is very requited and he marries her sister Rosaura so that he can still be close to Tita. The pining begins in this delectable tale of love, the transformative power of food, and how love can conquer all.
Laura Esquivel’s Mexican tale is a classic in magical realism literature. My recommendations always begin with Like Water for Chocolate for anyone that wants to get into the genre of magical realism. This novel is unique and immersive in that Tita’s broken heart is translated through the mouth-watering Mexican food that she creates. The profound connection between Tita and Pedro will give you heartache and it perfectly articulates the heart-wrenching feeling of not being able to be with the one your in love with.
Dreaming in Cuban by Cristina Garcia
Dreaming in Cuban represents a story about a family that is ultimately divided by the Cuban revolution and the complicated feelings that it ensues. This character-driven novel tells the story about each character and their unique perspectives about their bittersweet island. Christina Garcia recounts Cuba in such a lyrical fashion and perfectly captures the beloved beauty of the island and its disintegration.
This is one of the best books that I have ever read that details the honest feelings about the Cuban revolution. When I read this story I felt that each character represented someone in my family and it made me appreciate the struggles that my family went through during the Cuban revolution. Christina Garcia’s story is an ultimate Cuban gem that is supremely underrated and needs more recognition. The writing is beautifully poetic and captures the beauty and ruin of Cuba.
The Grief Keeper by Alexandra Villasante
Marisol has always wanted to have the opportunity to live the American dream. Although her dreams come crashing down when she falls for a girl named Liliana. Marisol is forced to leave her home in El Salvador after her brother is murdered and her sister’s Gabi’s life is threatened. When they are caught crossing the border, Marisol is presented the opportunity to stay in the United States when she is asked to become a grief keeper. In this experimental study, Marisol is taking away the grief of someone suffering to be transferred over to her. Essentially the main subjects of the study are white teen girls from wealthy families and Marisol is assigned to take away their grief.
This is the group book for this year’s Latinx-a-thon and although this book is still on my TBR, I can already see that this will be a stunning read. Villansate’s book explores many heavy and controversial subjects about immigration, the society we live in today, and I have a feeling this book is going to completely shatter me.
Sal & Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez
Sal Vidon is a gifted magician who is capable of getting a raw chicken into his bullies locker and even bringing back his mom from the dead! Being the new kid in Miami, he meets the ambitious Gabi Real who has Sal all figured out and soon Sal brings Gaby into his universe of magic. Until they realize that they could potentially put their universe in danger they go on an adventure to save the universe and it is filled with ropa vieja, atomic wedgies, and many laughs along the way.
Sal & Gabi is like a rollercoaster that I don’t want to get off of. The characters are very dynamic, relatable, and it almost feels like they are going to grab you from the page and take you through their crazy teleportals! This is the kind of novel that you can gobble up in one sitting and not even realize it!
Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson
Mila Flores is a kickass teenage Wiccan who lives life on her terms and doesn’t care what anyone thinks about her as long as she has her BFF Riley by her side. Until Riley is involved in a suicide pact with two other resident mean girls. Mila is on a mission to find out how her best friend Riley died and she refuses to listen to anyone’s explanation. Mila puts her Wiccan skills to use and brings her best friend Riley and the other girls back to life. Together they have to unearth the truth about their death and uncover their murderer before the spell wears off in seven days.
I was completely sold by Lily Anderson’s book when I heard that it is a clever mix of Mean Girls, Hocus Pocus, and The Craft! This is everything I want in a novel and it is the ultimate read to gear up for Halloween!