“The Lindbergh Nanny” by Mariah Fredericks – Review

By: Angie Haddock


When the most famous toddler in America, Charles Lindbergh, Jr., is kidnapped from his family home in New Jersey in 1932, the case makes international headlines. Suddenly a suspect in the eyes of both the media and the public, Betty Gow must find the truth about what really happened that night, in order to clear her own name—and to find justice for the child she loves.

Goodreads


I felt like we needed a good ol’ fashioned Historical Fiction over here, and this one piqued my interest. Fun fact: my eighth grade honors history class did a mock trial at the end of the year, and we re-enacted the Lindbergh kidnapping court case. So, I’ve been familiar with the basics of this story since I was 14.

Because this one is based on real events, I am not going to hold back on “spoilers.” The basics of the case, for those who are not familiar:

Charles Lindbergh and his wife, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, were super famous. They tried to mostly keep their first-born, Charles Jr., out of the public eye. When Charles Jr. was 20 months old, he was kidnapped from his crib while all the adults of the house were home. A broken ladder was found nearby, which was assumed to be how the kidnapper got into his second floor bedroom. There was a ransom note left. The Lindberghs paid the ransom, but the baby was not returned at that time. His body was later found in the woods near the house. The police kept trying to find out who did it, even after the body was found, by tracking the bills that had been used to pay the ransom. Eventually, they arrested and tried a German immigrant who had no known ties to the family.

In this retelling, the kidnapping takes place around 40% into the book, and the baby’s body is found at around 60%. Which brings me to my only struggle here: there is a lot of backstory presented before the “big event.” But really, while it felt like a lot while getting through the first 4o% – during the investigation, every little detail comes back up to be questioned. So, in reality, that immense background is necessary.

While this story is told from the nanny’s perspective, it really shines a light on the lives of all the “help” that work for both the Lindberghs and the Morrows. (As in, Charles Lindbergh’s in-laws.)

The house where the kidnapping took place was actually still being built, so the family was often staying at the Morrow’s estate instead. The Morrow property had a gate and a guard out front, so it made sense to target the other house. But, who knew when the Lindberghs would be there? This becomes a central question. While the man eventually arrested for the kidnapping had no known connections to the family, the idea is that someone on the inside had to have leaked the whereabouts/schedule of the baby – intentionally or by just being careless.

So everyone inside the house becomes a suspect. As does any romantic partners they have, people they may have been out drinking with that night, etc. And, if a character was drunk that night… what are the odds they’ll remember everything accurately, anyway? This spreads suspicion on so many characters. One, Violet Sharpe, even commits suicide. Was she hiding something, or just overwhelmed by the pressures put on the staff by the police?

We do eventually get all the way through the trial, in which our main character, Betty Gow, is ultimately exonerated. But even she continues to question those around her.

The writer presents the story with the assumption that the man accused really was the kidnapper, but he had an unwitting accomplice on the inside. I don’t think we’ll ever really know the details on that, as most of the real people are now deceased (and some were already deceased by the time of the trial). But it makes for a compelling read, nonetheless – especially for fans of true crime.

This book comes out today, November 15th. I was able to read ahead on NetGalley, thanks to the folks at St. Martin’s Press.


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“Poster Girl” by Veronica Roth – Review

By: Angie Haddock


Sonya, former poster girl for the Delegation, has been imprisoned for ten years when an old enemy comes to her with a deal: find a missing girl who was stolen from her parents by the old regime, and earn her freedom. The path Sonya takes to find the child will lead her through an unfamiliar, crooked post-Delegation world where she finds herself digging deeper into the past–and her family’s dark secrets–than she ever wanted to.

Goodreads


I chose this one because I do read a lot of novels set in a dystopian future, and (like many of you, probably) I remember Veronica Roth from the “Divergent” series. This one is positioned to be a standalone, but could easily spur some sequels. It is also intended for an adult audience, but likewise – a teenager could easily get through it.

This took me a little while to get into, but that is not unusual for a book that involves some “world-building.” Our main character, Sonya, was once literally a poster girl for the Delegation, and her dad worked for the government. After that regime was toppled, many people who worked for them were killed or put into the Aperture.

This space consists of four apartment buildings and two streets that cross each other in the middle. The people there only get deliveries of groceries and donated items monthly, so everything is pretty scarce inside. There is a guard who controls the entrance, but otherwise the inhabitants are left to police themselves.

This is where we find Sonya, the only one left of her family. She was only a teen when the Delegation fell. A new law on the outside is allowing people who were kids when put into the Aperture to be released, as they were (assumed to be) not responsible for the decisions of their parents. Sonya is just past the cut-off birth date, though, and early on in the book she becomes the youngest person inside. She mostly spends her time with older folks – widows and widowers – and considers herself one of them. Everyone inside has lost people.

As the blurb at top indicates, she is offered a chance to earn her freedom by finding a missing girl. She is given 12 hours outside the Aperture every day to conduct her investigation. She is given no budget, but thankfully there is free public transportation. One hindrance she constantly battles is that she is recognized everywhere.

One of the debates raging in the outside world is the use of technology, and whether or not there should be limits on what is used and how. Sonya is led to Emily Knox, an infamous hacker, to see if she has any data that would help find the missing girl. A lot of the back half of the book is spent in this world – with hackers, tech, and anti-tech extremists. There is a lot of action, and a few deaths. During this time, Sonya is also learning more about the inner workings of the Delegation, the roles of her dad and her family friends within the Delegation, and the new government. This section kind of had a “Jason Bourne” vibe to me, with her constantly learning what she didn’t know.

I’m not going to give away the ending, but Sonya does find out what happened to the missing girl. She also grows a little more assertive during this whole ordeal, and uses her newfound knowledge to get what she wants in the end.

This book comes out today, October 18th. I was able to read ahead through Netgalley.


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“The Mountain in the Sea” by Ray Naylor – Review

By: Angie Haddock


Rumors begin to spread of a species of hyperintelligent, dangerous octopus that may have developed its own language and culture. Marine biologist Dr. Ha Nguyen, who has spent her life researching cephalopod intelligence, will do anything for the chance to study them.

Goodreads


This is some heady, classic sci-fi right here! One of the main ideas is that of communicating with another species – but this book tackles it without having to leave Earth or deal with aliens.

There are a few different stories running through the book, but eventually three main ones emerge. The one we probably spend the most time with is that of Ha Nguyen and two others who are sent to the Con Dao archipelago – off the coast of Vietnam – to study the local octopus population. This story takes place at an undetermined time in our future, where AI is more developed than it is now. One of the other characters on the island with Ha is, in fact, a non-gendered, artificially created being called Evrim. The other is in charge of security. There is another character who is often mentioned by these three, but we don’t meet her in person until 60% into the book. She is the world’s leader in developing AI, and is Evrim’s creator.

There is also a story about a hacker, who is tasked with finding a hidden portal into a system that mimics a neurological network. It’s so complicated, he thinks it might actually be a real, living brain. Can one hack those?

The other main story is about an AI-controlled fishing vessel, that utilizes slave labor (kidnapped people) to bring in its catches. One slave on the boat does mention being from Con Dao, but that is initially the only connection we can see to the other stories.

These three stories finally converge, but with only 20% of the book left. One is not exactly in sync – time-wise – with the other two. I was kind of expecting this to happen, as timeline shenanigans are rampant in modern science fiction… but the one that is a little off was not the one I was predicting!

Obviously, communication is a key theme in this one. It kind of reminded me of the movie “Arrival,” in that it really took its time wrestling with the details of how to communicate with a species that you have almost nothing in common with.

The other major theme deals with consciousness, sentience, and what it means to be alive. Are those all the same things, or not? If one is conscious, does that make it sentient? Where does self-awareness come into play? Does a species need to cultivate a culture, or merely communicate, to be taken seriously?

This book comes out today, October 4th. I was able to read an advanced copy through NetGalley, thanks to the publisher (Farrar, Straus and Giroux).


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“How You Grow Wings” by Rimma Onoseta – Review

By: Angie Haddock


Sisters Cheta and Zam couldn’t be more different. Cheta, sharp-tongued and stubborn, never shies away from conflict—either at school or at home, where her mother fires abuse at her. Timid Zam escapes most of her mother’s anger, skating under the radar and avoiding her sister whenever possible. In a turn of good fortune, Zam is invited to live with her aunt’s family in the lap of luxury. Jealous, Cheta also leaves home, but finds a harder existence that will drive her to terrible decisions. When the sisters are reunited, Zam alone will recognize just how far Cheta has fallen—and Cheta’s fate will rest in Zam’s hands.

Goodreads


We dive right into this book with Zam walking home from school – and in short order we meet her whole family, learn about the family dynamics, and learn about some of their local customs. Zam and Cheta live with their parents in a small town in modern day Nigeria.

As mentioned in the description at top, Zam gets out of her anger-filled home by moving in with her rich aunt and uncle. She gets this proposal because of how well she’s doing at school, and Cheta immediately resents that she was never offered this deal.

Their uncle is super rich (in the oil business), and life at his house takes some time to adjust to. There are two other teenage girls in the house – Kaira, Zam’s cousin, and Ginika, a family friend who often stays with them while her parents are traveling abroad. Kaira is initially standoffish, but Ginika is sociable. They both harbor anger at their mothers, and the girls all eventually bond over this common problem.

Cheta comes to visit for one week. She has recently graduated from high school, and comes with the idea that she will ingratiate herself to their aunt and get a job with her. It doesn’t work. She was already so set on leaving home, though, that she does it anyway, without a real plan.

After an incident leaves Zam’s aunt and uncle feeling shaken, they decide to move – with all three girls – to London. Kaira is finally able to start breaking down the wall that had grown up between her and her mom, before the girls leave for boarding school. Another family member who is helping them there also sheds some light on Zam and Cheta’s family, and how the two girls actually got along better when they were younger. Zam feels compelled to reach out, but gets no answer.

On a trip home for Christmas, Zam sees her family again, after months of being away. Cheta also rolls back into town from Benin, where she’s been keeping her distance. Their mother treats Cheta like she is basically disowned already, but Zam still wants to try to help her sister. There is one startling revelation near the end of the book, and Zam has to make a drastic decision. Finally, both girls head back out into their separate worlds.

I don’t want to reveal too much about the ending, but I will say that I’ll be thinking about it for quite some time!

This compelling Young Adult novel comes out today, August 9th. I was able to read an advanced copy through Netgalley, and the publisher, Algonquin Young Readers.


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“Wild is the Witch” by Rachel Griffin – Review

By: Angie Haddock


When eighteen-year-old witch Iris Gray accidentally enacts a curse that could have dire consequences, she must team up with a boy who hates witches to make sure her magic isn’t unleashed on the world.

Goodreads


Iris and her mom are both witches. Iris’ best friend back home, Amy, was a witch, too. But she got into trouble, and the witch council took her magic away. Iris was present, but the council determined that she was not involved. Not everyone trusted her after that incident, though, and eventually she and her mom moved away to start over. Her dad did not come with them, which causes Iris to not want to get close to new people. She is especially guarded about being a witch. If even her own dad ended up not being able to handle it, why would other people?

Their new home is in the Pacific Northwest, where they run a wildlife refuge. It’s perfect for them, as their magic is one that focuses on animals. An old friend of her mom’s is also in the area, and runs a restaurant. They’ve established a good “home” there.

Pike Adler, a college student studying ornithology, is interning at the refuge. Not only is he cocky, but he mentions more than once that he hates witches. This makes Iris feel threatened. She doesn’t want her or her mom’s lives disrupted again, not when they seem to have found the perfect place. So she writes a curse for Pike. Now, she wasn’t really intending on cursing him – the plan was to write it out and not use it. Like some people write angry letters they don’t ever send. She means to bind the curse to a bundle of herbs, and burn it. No one gets hurt, right?

Except that an owl swoops down while she’s doing this ritual, and now the owl carries the curse. And then he flies away.

Obviously, Iris is panicking and wants to go after the owl. She knows how much trouble she could cause with the curse out there in the wild, and she’s already had to witness her best friend lose her sense of magic. Her mom, not knowing about the curse part, agrees to let Iris track the owl and try to bring him back… if she takes Pike along. He is a bird expert in training, after all.

This is a YA book, so of course some romance blossoms during their adventures. And in fact, the ending is a little too happy to be believable, in my opinion. (It’s fine, it’s what the audience probably wants, but it’s not super realistic. But then again, it’s a book about magic, so…) But I enjoyed the adventures they have trying to get to the owl, nonetheless. The book takes place in the spring, but I felt like summer was still a great time to be reading about nature, hiking, and camping (and s’mores).

This book comes out today, August 2nd. I was able to read ahead thanks to the publisher, Sourcebooks, and NetGalley.


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“Getting to Good Riddance” by Jodie Eckleberry-Hunt – Review

By: Angie Haddock


Psychologist Jodie Eckleberry-Hunt, author of Move on Motherf*cker: Live, Laugh, and Let Sh*t Go, provides the tools to survive and thrive after a breakup in this empowering, BS-free guide… This seriously motivational guide utilizes salty straight talk, humor, cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness, and positivity to get you to growth and recovery. Overcome self-defeat, smash the sh*t out of heartbreak, and get ready to move on, motherf*cker!

Goodreads


The full title of this one is “Getting to Good Riddance: A No-Bullsh*t Breakup Survival Guide.” I’m coming up on my seventh wedding anniversary, so having this one laying around caused a few looks! The first Advanced Reader Copy I reviewed for this blog was by Jodie Eckleberry-Hunt, though, and she graciously kept me on her email list for future releases. I love cultivating relationships with authors through my work here, so how could I resist reading her latest release?

Like in her previous release, the author explains the science behind her methodology in the first few chapters. These include using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), mindfulness, positive psychology, humor, and profanity to recognize negative self-talk and pivot away from it when it is not serving you.

I did find some of the content of these chapters repetitive, especially when it came to explaining her “MOMF” theory. Maybe that’s because I read the book on that one already? But, the idea is to use profanity as a source of both humor and venting. In this one, she repeatedly mentions that it’s not meant to be derogatory toward yourself. I feel like, if someone is uncomfortable with swearing, they probably won’t pick up a book with the word “bullshit” on the cover. Just my two cents.

The rest of the chapters tackle various issues that could come up in/after a breakup. We start in the immediate aftermath, when you’re in survival mode. Then, we’re introduced to the steps of the grief process, which are likely to come into play here. Next, she introduces us to different theories on what love actually is and isn’t. Next are chapters on specific cases: infidelity, and dealing with “bad actors” (narcissists, sociopaths, dependents, abusers). Then come the chapters on moving forward: creating boundaries, preparing/planning to leave a bad situation, finding peace, learning to live within our own happiness, and realizing our messed up core beliefs that got us into the situation (so we don’t repeat the same mistakes).

If you are looking for a tangible way to help a friend who is reeling from a breakup or divorce – and that friend has a good tolerance for swearing and humor – this would be a nice little gift. I’d think of it as a way to support growth without inserting yourself directly in the friend’s personal business.

This book comes out today, July 26th, 2022. Thanks to Jodie Eckleberry-Hunt for the opportunity to read it ahead of time.

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“Upgrade” by Blake Crouch – Review

By: Angie Haddock


At first, Logan Ramsay isn’t sure if anything’s different.

The truth is, Logan’s genome has been hacked. And there’s a reason he’s been targeted for this upgrade. A reason that goes back decades to the darkest part of his past, and a horrific family legacy.

Goodreads


Ready for some sci-fi action?

I know nothing about DNA and genetic hacking beyond the basics we all learned watching the first “Jurassic Park” movie (shout out to Jeff Goldblum, just because). But this one was still a fun ride, and I think the author explains it just enough to keep you following the story.

The story takes place in the mid twenty-first century, so only a few decades from now. Logan’s mother used to be a leading geneticist, and she used her knowledge to try to stop a crop failure in China… but it all went awry, and billions died. Since then, genetic modifications have been outlawed. Logan Ramsay, our main character, works for the GPA – Gene Protection Agency – which watches out for any potential genetic work being done “under the radar.”

Needless to say, there are definitely still scientists working on genetic modifications. And there are still consumers interested in buying their work for various reasons.

What Logan doesn’t anticipate is that his own mother, who supposedly died years ago, is still alive and still working on an intense set of modifications… to humans. After he is unwittingly modified, he finds out that his older sister was also given this same “upgrade.” They find their mother’s suicide note (video, in this case), and learn that she wants to enhance humanity’s intelligence so that humans have a shot at stopping climate change before it’s too late.

His sister, Kara, sides with their mother. Logan does not. Seeing as they are both enhanced – both mentally and physically – this sets the scene for some hard-fought battles.

In addition to all the action, there are various ethical questions at play. There is the obvious one of free will, and people being modified who didn’t necessarily want to. But also, the modifications don’t work on some people, and instead they become ill. So, how many people’s deaths are an acceptable amount of “collateral damage?” And do humans really need more intelligence, or do they need more empathy?

Find the answers for yourself, as “Upgrade” hits shelves today, July 12th. I was able to read an advanced copy through NetGalley.


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“George Michael: A Life” by James Gavin – Review

By: Angie Haddock


The definitive biography of George Michael, offering an expansive look at the troubled life of the legendary singer, songwriter, and pop superstar.

Goodreads


If you’ve been following us for a while, you’re probably aware that I love biographies. And a juicy celebrity biography is always welcome! But I have to be honest – this one is a bit of a slog. The finished hardcover is expected to be over 500 pages!

I grew up in the 80s, and don’t remember a time when George Michael wasn’t famous. So it did surprise me to learn that he was only 19 when Wham! signed their first record contract. But I do feel like that explains some of his later woes – the drug use, the hiding his sexuality (while singing songs like “I Want Your Sex”). He was in the public eye before he had really figured out who he was.

George Michael is his stage name; he was born in England as Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, to a working class Greek immigrant father and a British mother. His dad was always kind of a tough guy, which is one reason Michael hid his sexuality – he didn’t think his family would approve. He eventually did come out to one of his sisters, and his mom, before his public outing in the late 90s.

This sets up the ongoing dichotomy about him, which plays out many times over throughout this book: he wants public adoration and praise, but wants to keep everything about his own life “private.”

Michael had risen to the highest levels of fame and fortune very quickly and very early. Wham! had some big hits in the mid to late 80s, right at the time when music videos were becoming a mandatory part of getting a song up the pop charts. This meant that the band members’ images, clothes, hair, etc. were every bit as important as the songs themselves.

By all accounts (in this book, at least), George Michael could write and sing well, though. When he was young, at least, he had quite a wide vocal range. Some of his bandmates lament that he was so hung up on image, from the start. They also talk of him being a perfectionist and a control freak, however, who would tweak every aspect of a recording until he was totally happy with it. His work habits made him, at times, difficult to work with.

His solo career took off right after Wham! ended, but that star burned out quickly. This was another surprise to me… I guess I hadn’t realized that he was barely making new music past the mid 90s.

The biggest public scandal, which occurred in L.A. in 1998, is discussed around half way through this tome. The entire rest of his life was riddled with arrests and scandals, drugs and rehab, having his drivers license and US visa taken away, and so on. He did some recording, mostly at home. He did a few more tours, but eventually couldn’t leave Europe. He would often contribute songs to soundtracks or charity albums. He was largely considered a “has-been” by his forties.

On the other hand, he gave a lot away. He was constantly giving his “inner circle” lavish gifts, but he also gave a lot to charity. Some of his favorite causes were anti-war ones, LGBT ones, and ones that helped children. He also gave music away, often for use in albums or concerts helping these causes, and sometimes for soundtracks. He also liked to reach out and encourage up-and-coming young singers who were gay. He envied that they could be “out” from the beginning of their careers.*

Another fun tidbit: his appearance in a sketch in the 2011 Red Nose Day special was the inspiration for James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke!

This story was long, and its hero wasn’t always easy to empathize with. But that’s no fault of the author, James Gavin, who obviously amassed a ton of material and research here.

This book comes out today, June 28th. I was able to read an advance copy through NetGalley and the publisher, Abrams Books.

*According to The Trevor Project, LGBTQ youth are more than four times as likely to attempt suicide than their peers. If you are struggling and need to talk to someone, their site has resources for you. If you are in Nashville, please see the Oasis Center for local support.


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“The Final Strife” by Saara El-Arifi – Review

By: Angie Haddock


Sylah dreams of days growing up in the resistance, being told she would spark a revolution that would free the empire from the red-blooded ruling classes’ tyranny. That spark was extinguished the day she watched her family murdered before her eyes.

Goodreads


This is a thick fantasy book, and only the first in an intended trilogy. It reminds me a lot of N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy, with a little bit of The Hunger Games thrown in. When the book has a map in the front, you know you’ll be doing some work!

In this land, everyone looks mostly the same on the outside – they are brown people, but their tattoos, clothes, etc. might differentiate them as one of three classes. But the real difference is underneath the skin, as these three classes are determined by blood color. Red for Embers, the ruling class; Blue for Dusters, the working class; and Clear for Ghostings, the servant class.

The Embers rule through four Wardens – Strength, Knowledge, Duty, and Truth. Every ten years, the Disciples of these four Wardens are promoted to be the new Wardens. Then new Disciples are chosen to train under them for the next ten years. They are chosen by holding a competition, which lasts over the course of several months.

We open with a storyteller, telling the story of The Sandstorm. About 20 years ago, twelve Ember babies were stolen overnight, and replaced with Duster babies. Most had been found and killed, but some wonder if any remain.

And then we meet Sylah. She is one of the Stolen, raised by Dusters to one day compete in the trials to become the Warden of Strength. But the training grounds of the Sandstorm were found and raided six years ago, when she was fifteen, and the people she was raised with were mostly killed. Since then, Sylah gets through her days by keeping herself drugged. She makes quick cash by fighting in an underground ring.

One night, her adoptive mother tells her that her real baby is being raised as the Warden of Strength’s daughter. In a drunken haze, Sylah decides to break into her quarters and see this other girl for herself. Thanks to some booby traps, though, the daughter of the Warden, Anoor, captures Sylah. Recognizing that she is on drugs, Anoor keeps her locked in her closet while she goes through withdrawals. Anoor has decided she wants to compete for the Disciple of Strength position, and, thinking Sylah is a trained assassin, she wants her to train her for the competition.

And y’all, this is just the first quarter or so of the book. Obviously, there are trainings, more withdrawal symptoms, competitions, and revelations on both sides as these two slowly begin to trust each other. We learn that there may be a new Sandstorm out there, reviving the old dream of overthrowing the Wardens. But whose win would be more effective in that pursuit: an Ember raised by Dusters, or a Duster raised by Embers?

There’s a lot to sink your teeth into here. If you’re in the mood to visit a juicy, in-depth, and sometimes violent fantasy world based on African lore – this one’s for you. “The Final Strife” comes out today, June 21st. I was able to read an advanced copy through NetGalley.


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“The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School” by Sonora Reyes – Review

By: Angie Haddock


Seventeen-year-old Yamilet Flores prefers drawing attention for her killer eyeliner, not for being the new kid at a mostly white, very rich, Catholic school. But at least here no one knows she’s gay, and Yami intends to keep it that way. After being outed by her crush and ex-best friend, she could use the fresh start.

Goodreads


This book has a lot going on, and it starts going in ways I didn’t expect at only about a third of the way into it! Per the author’s own note, though, there are trigger warnings for racism, homophobia, and suicidal ideation.

Our main character is Yamilet, who lives with her mom and her younger brother, Cesar. Her dad, who she was very close to, was deported to Mexico when she was ten years old.

When we meet them, Yami and Cesar are about to start a new school year at a new school. Obviously, this always comes with some nervousness… but moreso for Yami, who is gay but not out. In addition to that, she feels like she is poorer than most kids at the private school, and she’s one of very few non-white kids there. Her initial goal is to just stay out of trouble, but that doesn’t last long.

On her first day, she has a class with Bo, an Asian girl who is out and pretty bold about it. This confuses Yamilet, because on one hand she wants to befriend Bo and learn more about her… but on the other, can she do that without outing herself?

So, this brings up an interesting aspect of the book. In so many ways, it’s easier for people of all ages to be “out” now than in previous decades, but that doesn’t mean it’s equally easy for everyone. Of course, the religious nature of her new school is a deterrent, as is the fact that her mom is religious and makes gay jokes. With their dad already deported, Yami and Cesar also have a healthy fear of police or authorities of an “official” variety. There are a lot of reasons these kids want to protect the various identities that they see as being different from their classmates.

I don’t want to give away too much, but a lot happens during the course of the school year. Yamilet definitely gets closer to Bo, and learns that, even though she is more confident about her sexuality, she has her own struggles with her ethnic heritage. She also, unexpectedly, makes a friend of a popular jock who starts the year with a crush on her. She learns some unexpected things about her brother, clashes with a parent, and of course ends up becoming more confident in who she is.

This was such a good book. While I don’t share all of the heroine’s identities, I did switch from public to Catholic school – and that alone was intimidating! Yami and Cesar have so many other issues on their plates, and I really sympathized with them.

This YA novel comes out today, May 17th, from Harper Collins. I was able to read an advanced copy through Books Forward, and through Netgalley.

According to The Trevor Project, LGBTQ youth are more than four times as likely to attempt suicide than their peers. If you are struggling and need to talk to someone, their site has resources for you. If you are in Nashville, please see the Oasis Center for local support.


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