Top Ten Thursday: Hispanic Edition

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Today marks the first day of Hispanic Heritage Month. Yesterday I posted a preview of what this month will consist of. I will be sharing books that have come out in the past as well as books that have been recently released and future releases. So here is my top ten.

 

  1. A Thunderous Whisper by Christina Diaz Gonzalez

Published October 9th 2012 by Knopf

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Ani believes she is just an insignificant whisper of a 12-year-old girl in a loud world. This is what her mother tells her anyway. Her father made her feel important, but he’s been off fighting in Spain’s Civil War, and his voice in her head is fading. Then she meets Mathias. His family has just moved to Guernica and he’s as far from a whisper as a 14-year-old boy can be. Ani thinks Mathias is more like lightning. A boy of action. Mathias’s father is part of a spy network and soon Ani finds herself helping him deliver messages to other members of the underground. She’s actually making a difference in the world.

And then her world explodes. The sleepy little market town of Guernica is destroyed by Nazi bombers. In one afternoon Ani loses her city, her home, and her mother. But in helping the other survivors, Ani gains a sense of her own strength. And she and Mathias make plans to fight back in their own unique way.

 

  1. Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina

Published March 8th 2016 by Candlewick Press

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Nora Lopez is seventeen during the infamous year 1977 in New York.

After a freezing winter, a boiling hot summer explodes with arson, a blackout, and a serial killer named Son of Sam, who is shooting young people on the streets seemingly at random. Not only is the city a disaster, but Nora has troubles of her own: her brother, Hector, is growing more uncontrollable by the day, her mother is helpless to stop him, and her father is so busy with his new family that he only calls on holidays. And it doesn’t stop there. The super’s after her mother to pay their overdue rent, and her teachers are pushing her to apply for college, but all Nora wants is to turn eighteen and be on her own. There is a cute guy who started working with her at the deli, but is dating even worth the risk when the killer especially likes picking off couples that stay out too late?

Award-winning author Meg Medina transports readers to a time when New York seemed about to explode, with temperatures and tempers running high, to discover how one young woman faces her fears as everything self-destructs around her.

 

  1. Drown by Junot Diaz (one of the best Latin writers I know)

Published July 1st 1997 by Riverhead Books

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With ten stories that move from the barrios of the Dominican Republic to the struggling urban communities of New Jersey, Junot Diaz makes his remarkable debut. Diaz’s work is unflinching and strong, and these stories crackle with an electric sense of discovery. Diaz evokes a world in which fathers are gone, mothers fight with grim determination for their families and themselves, and the next generation inherits the casual cruelty, devastating ambivalence, and knowing humor of lives circumscribed by poverty and uncertainty. In Drown, Diaz has harnessed the rhythms of anger and release, frustration and joy, to indelible effect.

 

 

 

 

  1. The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore

Published September 15th 2015 by Thomas Dunne

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For twenty years, the Palomas and the Corbeaus have been rivals and enemies, locked in an escalating feud for over a generation. Both families make their living as traveling performers in competing shows—the Palomas swimming in mermaid exhibitions, the Corbeaus, former tightrope walkers, performing in the tallest trees they can find.

Lace Paloma may be new to her family’s show, but she knows as well as anyone that the Corbeaus are pure magia negra, black magic from the devil himself. Simply touching one could mean death, and she’s been taught from birth to keep away. But when disaster strikes the small town where both families are performing, it’s a Corbeau boy, Cluck, who saves Lace’s life. And his touch immerses her in the world of the Corbeaus, where falling for him could turn his own family against him, and one misstep can be just as dangerous on the ground as it is in the trees.Beautifully written, and richly imaginative, The Weight of Feathers is an utterly captivating young adult novel by a talented new voice

 

  1. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe #1) by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Published February 21st 2012 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

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Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Shadowshaper (Shadowshaper #1) by Daniel José Older

Published June 30th 2015 by Arthur A. Levine Books

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Cassandra Clare meets Caribbean legend in SHADOWSHAPER, an action-packed urban fantasy from a bold new talent.

Sierra Santiago was looking forward to a fun summer of making art, hanging out with her friends, and skating around Brooklyn. But then a weird zombie guy crashes the first party of the season. Sierra’s near-comatose abuelo begins to say “No importa” over and over. And when the graffiti murals in Bed-Stuy start to weep…. Well, something stranger than the usual New York mayhem is going on. Sierra soon discovers a supernatural order called the Shadowshapers, who connect with spirits via paintings, music, and stories. Her grandfather once shared the order’s secrets with an anthropologist, Dr. Jonathan Wick, who turned the Caribbean magic to his own foul ends. Now Wick wants to become the ultimate Shadowshaper by killing all the others, one by one. With the help of her friends and the hot graffiti artist Robbie, Sierra must dodge Wick’s supernatural creations, harness her own Shadowshaping abilities, and save her family’s past, present, and future.

 

  1. Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina

Published March 26th 2013 by Candlewick

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In Meg Medina’s compelling new novel, a Latina teen is targeted by a bully at her new school — and must discover resources she never knew she had.

One morning before school, some girl tells Piddy Sanchez that Yaqui Delgado hates her and wants to kick her ass. Piddy doesn’t even know who Yaqui is, never mind what she’s done to piss her off. Word is that Yaqui thinks Piddy is stuck-up, shakes her stuff when she walks, and isn’t Latin enough with her white skin, good grades, and no accent. And Yaqui isn’t kidding around, so Piddy better watch her back. At first Piddy is more concerned with trying to find out more about the father she’s never met and how to balance honors courses with her weekend job at the neighborhood hair salon. But as the harassment escalates, avoiding Yaqui and her gang starts to take over Piddy’s life. Is there any way for Piddy to survive without closing herself off or running away? In an all-too-realistic novel, Meg Medina portrays a sympathetic heroine who is forced to decide who she really is.

 

  1. Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas #1) by Zoraida Córdova

Published September 6th 2016 by Sourcebooks Fire

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Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives.

I fall to my knees. Shattered glass, melted candles and the outline of scorched feathers are all that surround me. Every single person who was in my house – my entire family — is gone.

Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation…and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can’t trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange markings on his skin. The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland…

Beautiful Creatures meets Daughter of Smoke and Bone with an infusion of Latin American tradition in this highly original fantasy adventure.

 

  1. Death, Dickinson, and the Demented Life of Frenchie Garcia by Jenny Torres Sanchez

Published May 28th 2013 by Running Press Kids

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of Andy Cooper. Her friends didn’t know she had a crush him. And they don’t know she was the last person with him before he committed suicide. But Frenchie’s biggest concern is how she blindly helped him die that night. Frenchie’s already insane obsession with death and Emily Dickinson won’t help her understand the role she played during Andy’s “one night of adventure.” But when she meets Colin, she may have found the perfect opportunity to recreate that night. While exploring the emotional depth of loss and transition to adulthood, Sanchez’s sharp humor and clever observations bring forth a richly developed voice.

 

 

 

  1. Marina by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Published July 22nd 2014 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (first published  1999)

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“We all have a secret buried under lock and key in the attic of our soul. This is mine.”

In May 1980, fifteen-year-old Oscar Drai suddenly vanishes from his barding school in Barcelona. For seven days and seven nights no one knows his whereabouts…His story begins in an old quarter of the city, where he meets the strange Marina and her father, Germán Blau, a portrait painter. Marina takes Oscar to a cemetery to watch a macabre ritual that occurs on the last Sunday of each month. At exactly ten o’clock in the morning, a coach pulled by black horses appears. From it descends a woman, her face shrouded be a black velvet cloak. Holding a single rose, she walks to a gravestone that bears no name, only a mysterious emblem of a black butterfly with open wings. When Oscar and Marina decide to follow her, they begin a journey that transports them to a forgotten, postwar Barcelona–a world of aristocrats and actresses, inventors and tycoons–and reveals a dark secret that lies waiting in the mysterious labyrinth beneath the city streets.

Written just before The Shadow of the Wind, Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s Marina has long been a cult classic in Spain and is now an international bestseller.

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Book Review: Other Broken Things by Christa Desir

other-broken-thingsBook Review: Other Broken Things by Christa Desir

Other Broken Things by Christa Desir
Published by Simon Pulse on January 12th, 2016
Genres: contemporary
Pages: 256
Format: Bought

From the author of Bleed Like Me, which Booklist called edgy, dark, and turbulent with passion comes another compelling and gritty novel about addiction and forbidden romance, starring a fearless, unforgettable heroine.

Natalie’s not an alcoholic. She doesn’t have a problem. Everybody parties, everybody does stupid things, like getting in their car when they can barely see. Still, with six months of court-ordered AA meetings required, her days of vodka-filled water bottles are over.

Unfortunately, her old friends want the party girl or nothing. Even her up-for-anything ex seems more interested in rehashing the past than actually helping Nat.

But then a recovering alcoholic named Joe inserts himself into Nat’s life, and things start looking up. Joe is funny, he’s smart, and he calls her out in a way no one ever has.

He’s also older. A lot older.

Nat’s connection to Joe is overwhelming, but so are her attempts to fit back into her old world, all while battling the constant urge to crack a bottle and blur that one thing she’s been desperate to forget.

Now, in order to make a different kind of life, Nat must pull together her broken parts and learn to fight for herself

MY THOUGHTS:

Nat is dealing with adult issues, the pressure of bad decisions breathing down her neck, and in court ordered AA meetings. She is trying to turn her life around but it does not get any easier because her old group of friends aren’t supportive, and only wants party girl wild Nat back. then there is also the forbidden romance aspect when she meets a much older guy, but one who seems to get her.

I don’t know how Desir does it. She manages to keep readers hooked from beginning to end. She weaves complex characters into a raw & gritty story that takes you on a roller coaster of emotions. I thought for sure I’d be creeped out by Joe, given his age. But I wasn’t. I really thought that he was a good balance of reality for her since he has been in the position that she is in and what it takes to get better. I was okay with him & Natalie. Yes Joe was considerably older than her. Yes, he was in recovery, and had been for several years. But I was rooting for them as a couple. Yet, by the end I knew that he had made the right decision for the both of them. I understood the possibility that Natalie was just switching one addiction for another. She was switching addiction to alcohol to an addiction to love, to sex. There was something about Joe that made him seem younger than he really was even though he has been  through a lot.

I really love the character development in this one. Natalie begins to realize a lot about her life and limits on the how to let her mom in and when to Start becoming the young adults and she is and taking responsibility for what she needs to. I like that she keeps her personality that she doesn’t become a rule follower or someone who just goes along with what someone else. But she keeps her strong woman quality, but realizes she has to put in hard work to be the kind of person deep down she has always wanted to be. I liked where it left her. She had accepted she had problems, She formed relationships and she knows that she has a long road ahead of her. the overall story was amazing and this is a definite “to read”. I would love to see a sequel to this book to see where Nat lands. Definitely go pick up your copy, this was a good decision for me and a great read.

I look forward in reading more from C. Desir. HAPPY READING 🙂

UNDER THE NEVER SKY

REVIEW: UNDER THE NEVER SKY

Review: Under the Never SkyTitle: Under the Never Sky
Author: Veronica Rossi
Genres: Dystopia, Fantasy, Romance, Science Fiction, YA
Source: Purchased

WORLDS KEPT THEM APART.

DESTINY BROUGHT THEM TOGETHER.

Aria has lived her whole life in the protected dome of Reverie. Her entire world confined to its spaces, she’s never thought to dream of what lies beyond its doors. So when her mother goes missing, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland long enough to find her are slim.

Then Aria meets an outsider named Perry. He’s searching for someone too. He’s also wild – a savage – but might be her best hope at staying alive.

If they can survive, they are each other’s best hope for finding answers.

MY THOUGHTS

This dystopian novel is filled with action and adventure. Aria lives in one the domes where she can be apart of different “Realms” with the use of her Smarteye. These Realms are created with the use of computer programs and the users can go to different created worlds, all while staying in their rooms. The Smarteye makes their brain think they are actually in these other Realms. What they feel in the Realms is just slightly muted than what they would actually feel if they did it in real life. However, trouble is brewing in the domes. Aria has been banished to the outer wasteland where she meets Perry.

Both Perry and Aria are on a search for someone they care about and they must now work together in order to find them. They definitely don’t get along when they begin their journey. Perry will only refer to her as a Mole and she continually calls him a Savage. They’re very different in their viewpoints and character. Luckily (or perhaps not so lucky), their journey is long and difficult so they learn to trust and rely on each other. Aria shows surprising strength for a Dweller. She doesn’t give up or complain about her circumstances and wants to learn about how to survive in this new world. She’s always curious, asking questions about everything and even picking up rocks because she is noticing the differences between the real world and the world in the Realms. All the while, Perry is like:

talk too much

This book is dual POV, so we get to not only know what Aria is thinking but Perry as well. Perry is strong, protective, and caring. He wants so badly to be Blood Lord of the Tides, but holds back because of the love he has for his nephew. He doesn’t like Aria, because she is a Dweller, like the Dwellers that took his nephew. Even so, he continually finds himself drawn to her. Caring and thinking about her, when he knows he shouldn’t.

The building up of the romance in this book was great. They have the time to get to know each other and learn to trust. They comfort each other and learn from each other. I love when two characters can help each other grow as individuals when they are falling in love. Perry doesn’t know how to express his feelings, and I thought it was very cute when he talked and spent time with Aria in Marron’s village. Both Perry and Aria are experiencing their first real romance together, and  I thin that makes it so much sweeter. Perry and Aria also meet Roar, a friend of Perry’s, on their way to the village. He was a very funny and charming character. Definitely hoping to see more of him in the future books!

By the end of this first book they do reach their destination, but the results are not what they expected. The author created an original and interesting world in this book, leaving more journeys for the characters to embark on in the coming books. Their story is far from over. I’m excited for the next adventure that Perry and Aria will take. I’ve added the next two books in the series to my to-read shelf and will hopefully be picking up the second book soon!

Coming Soon to Young Adult Readers

Of Fire and Stars

Betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile lands. But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift for the future queen of a kingdom where magic is forbidden.

Now, Denna must learn the ways of her new home while trying to hide her growing magic. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynaria’s formidable warhorses before her coronation—and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine (called Mare), sister of her betrothed.

When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit. As the two work together, each discovers there’s more to the other than she thought. Mare is surprised by Denna’s intelligence and bravery, while Denna is drawn to Mare’s independent streak. Soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more.

But with dangerous conflict brewing that makes the alliance more important than ever, acting on their feelings could be deadly. Forced to choose between their duty and their hearts, Mare and Denna must find a way to save their kingdoms—and each other. 

Expected publication: November 22nd 2016 by Balzer + Bray

I’ll See You in Paris

After losing her fiancé in the Vietnam War, nineteen-year-old Laurel Haley takes a job in England, hoping the distance will mend her shattered heart. Laurel expects the pain might lessen but does not foresee the beguiling man she meets or that they’ll go to Paris, where the city’s magic will take over and alter everything Laurel believes about love.

Thirty years later, Laurel’s daughter Annie is newly engaged and an old question resurfaces: who is Annie’s father and what happened to him? Laurel has always been vague about the details and Annie’s told herself it doesn’t matter. But with her impending marriage, Annie has to know everything. Why won’t Laurel tell her the truth?

The key to unlocking Laurel’s secrets starts with a mysterious book about an infamous woman known as the Duchess of Marlborough. Annie’s quest to understand the Duchess, and therefore her own history, takes her from a charming hamlet in the English countryside, to a decaying estate kept behind barbed wire, and ultimately to Paris where answers will be found at last. 

Published February 9th 2016 by Thomas Dunne Books 

In Another Life

Historian Lia Carrer has finally returned to southern France, determined to rebuild her life after the death of her husband. But instead of finding solace in the region’s quiet hills and medieval ruins, she falls in love with Raoul, a man whose very existence challenges everything she knows about life–and about her husband’s death. As Raoul reveals the story of his past to Lia, she becomes entangled in the echoes of an ancient murder, resulting in a haunting and suspenseful journey that reminds Lia that the dead may not be as far from us as we think. 

Steeped in the rich history and romantic landscape of rural France, In Another Life is a story of love that conquers time and the lost loves that haunt us all.
 
Published February 2nd 2016 by Sourcebooks Landmark

I Wish You Were Mine (Oxford #2)

Perfect for fans of Alice Clayton and Emma Chase, Lauren Layne’s Oxford series heats up in this story of forbidden desire as a brooding jock hoping for a comeback falls for a woman who’s strictly off-limits.

A year ago, Jackson Burke was married to the love of his life and playing quarterback for the Texas Redhawks. Now he’s retired, courtesy of the car accident that ruined his career—and single, after a nasty scandal torpedoed his marriage. Just as he’s starting to get used to his new life as a health and fitness columnist for Oxford magazine, his unpredictable ex shows up on his doorstep in Manhattan. Jackson should be thrilled. But he can’t stop thinking about the one person who’s always been there for him, the one girl he could never have: her younger sister.

Mollie Carrington can’t say no to Madison. After all, her older sister practically raised her. So when Madison begs for help in winning her ex-husband back, Mollie’s just glad she got over her own crush on Jackson ages ago—or so she thought. Because as Mollie reconnects with Jackson, she quickly forgets all her reasons to stay loyal to her sister. Tempted by Jackson’s mellow drawl and cowboy good looks, Mollie is sick and tired of coming in second place. But she can’t win if she doesn’t play the game.

Published February 2nd 2016 by Loveswept

Blackhearts


Blackbeard the pirate was known for striking fear in the hearts of the bravest of sailors. But once he was just a young man who dreamed of leaving his rigid life behind to chase adventure in faraway lands. Nothing could stop him—until he met the one girl who would change everything.

Edward “Teach” Drummond, son of one of Bristol’s richest merchants, has just returned from a year-long journey on the high seas to find his life in shambles. Betrothed to a girl he doesn’t love and sick of the high society he was born into, Teach dreams only of returning to the vast ocean he’d begun to call home. There’s just one problem: convincing his father to let him leave and never come back.

Following her parents’ deaths, Anne Barrett is left penniless and soon to be homeless. Though she’s barely worked a day in her life, Anne is forced to take a job as a maid in the home of Master Drummond. Lonely days stretch into weeks, and Anne longs for escape. How will she ever realize her dream of sailing to Curaçao—where her mother was born—when she’s stuck in England?

From the moment Teach and Anne meet, they set the world ablaze. Drawn to each other, they’re trapped by society and their own circumstances. Faced with an impossible choice, they must decide to chase their dreams and go, or follow their hearts and stay. 

Expected publication: February 9th 2016 by Simon Pulse

RYDER (Slater Brothers #4)

Branna Murphy is broken. For months now she has been a part of a one-sided relationship to a man she loves more than life itself. She prayed for a miracle, and hoped something would change, but found that was wishful thinking.

Talking didn’t work. Shouting didn’t work. Crying didn’t work. Nothing bloody worked.

Ryder Slater is furious. For months now he has been lying to a woman he would take a bullet for in order to protect her. He is involved in something that goes deeper than his old past, and if he strays off target, people will start to die. People he loves.

He couldn’t talk. He couldn’t slip up. He couldn’t lose focus. He couldn’t do a damn thing.

Things between Ryder and Branna are at rock bottom, and Ryder knows it. Not only will he be taking on a force that could destroy his whole family, but he will be battling tooth and nail to save his relationship and keep the love of his life by his side.

Ryder targeted Branna from the first moment he saw her, and what Ryder targets, Ryder dominates. 

Expected publication: February 23rd 2016