Mareno-Garcia presents a lush and atmospheric excursion into the gothic genre. Noemí Taboada is a wealthy strong-willed Mexican socialite who finds herself playing the uncanny hero after receiving a bewildering letter from her cousin, Catalina. The letter propels Noemí to travel to her cousin’s new home, High Place – an isolated English-style mansion – to check on Catalina’s mysterious behavior. Noemi is greeted by moldy wallpaper and in-laws bent on eugenics. Her stay at High Place only feels more and more menacing with each passing night as the unimaginable horrors become more and more richly detailed. Recommended for avid horror or suspense readers who just finished and loved “The Death of Jane Larence” by Caitlin Startling or “Tripping Arcadia” by Kit Mayquist for the creepy underpinnings and culturally diverse characters.
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...this piece will stay with me forever.
Me (Moth) is a beautiful sweeping novel inverse. Its richness in both Hoodoo and Navajo (Diné) tradition and creation story give a depth like no other. There are so many lines that spark beauty in the mind,
"Honey, you can keep me forever, like a phantom limb."
The tender connection between the main characters, Moth and Sani, will make you realize what you've been missing in your reads all this time. You'll find yourself tumbling with them as they whirl through myth, music, dance, and emotion, bringing you to a conclusion completely unseen.
This is such a slow burn & I felt it all over! I could not put this down - until, suddenly, I just dropped it...because the madness of it all got to me.
Highly recommend for those who want something a little raunchy - I will have to revisit! Such a captivating blend of realism and downright horror. There is so much to learn through this text, but also, it's simply an enthralling storytelling experience like no other.
This graphic novel is a beautiful blend of folklore and contemporary storytelling. Features LGBTQIA+ themes and an immigration experience. This work carries you away like the gentle notes of a songbird.
A dark and engrossing account of the horrors of slavery and one enslaved woman's determination to find love. This piece is rich and beautifully crafted by an enthralling Jamaican voice which will stay with you even after you've closed the covers.
What initially feels like the typical "scandalous" YA love story quickly unfolds into a dialogue about cultural identity and patriarchy. Rajurkar shows us how cultural microaggressions look and feel like through the eyes of Rani, an Indian-American experiencing first love. Emotionally messy and definitively fierce!
Asha Lemmie gives us a breathtaking illustration of sibling love crossing racial divides. We follow Nori, a Black/Japanese "bastard" child tucked away in the attic of her aristocratic grandmother's house. We watch her break free from the expectations of the world around her upon meeting her "legitimate" half-brother, Akira. This novel carries a lot of emotional weight - family ties are continuously broken and ultimately rebound. The novelty in perspective of this fiction had me turning pages quickly, but I couldn't help but feel emotionally defeated by Nori's unrelenting perils and painful choices. (3.5/5)
A fun & warming tale about friendship & community. This read gave us so much more than a simple coming-of-age story: Nelo grapples with gentrification in her hometown, she stumbles to solve a mystery, navigates messy friendship dynamics, gets swooped up in heavy media, and more. The narrative is written with a casual and engaging appeal but the underlying message is powerful - I loved how warm and fuzzy this book made me feel even as it unpacked hard topics such as police brutality and gentrification.
Sanchez gifts us with a riveting account of the Mexican-American experience while tackling uncomfortable topics such as trauma and grief with beautiful candor. The main character, Julia, navigates what it means to come into her own against her family's wishes while unraveling the truth about her dead "perfect" Mexican sister. Simply put: a MUST read.
This novel flickers from magical to harrowing as it illustrates the lives of real mermaids, haenyeo, and the perils of occupation around the 1950's. This was a refreshing glimpse on the Korean perspective of America and Japan infiltration, the strength of women, and the courage to love.
There is SO much to absolutely love about this book. The characters are rich and their growth and experiences as members of the BIPOC and LGBTQ+ community progress alongside all the whymsical magic you might imagine taking place by befriending a witch. The storyline's main focus, Snapdragon's journey into witchery, is enriched by her surrounding experiences; living frugally with her mother, supporting her transitioning friend, befriending an elderly women, and confronting her own ideas on identity.
The reader finds themself taking part in the perplexing day-to-day lives of the remaining Blackwood family through the puzzling eyes of Miss "Merricat" Blackwood. This world has you always feeling that something is not quite right; from the villagers, to the Blackwood family, and the settings themselves, the lurking unease never leaves. This work is beautifully crafted but, upon finishing, I was left wondering why I had ever picked it up to begin with. (3.5/5)
...Torrey Peters provides an emotionally charged whirlwind to her readers through flawed yet ceaselessly lovable characters. This groundbreaking piece on the transgender experience follows Reese - a transgender woman who longs to be a mother - and Ames – who detransitioned from a women and abruptly learns that he is an expecting father. This storyline unfolds hard, over three hundred pages that make you grimace, laugh, cry, and ponder over the conflicts of gender identity.