Illusionary Blog Tour Review

Hi all!

Long time without writing here. Even though I am technically still in hiatus (from all social media and this blog). I had the absolute pleasure of receiving Illusionary before it was released, and I was asked if I wanted to be a part of the Blog Tour. Of course, I couldn’t say no. Illusionary is the sequel to Incendiary (which I reviewed here), and as you can tell I loved it so much, it’s been one of my most anticipated books of 2021 and May of 2021.

There’s so much I want to talk about this book, but as always I will try to keep it spoiler free as much as I can. I should mention though if you haven’t read Incendiary then a lot of things I will discuss from Book 2 will be spoilers.

So make sure you read that one or don’t mind the spoilers.

Illusionary

by Zoraida Cordova

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Historical, Romance
Release Date: 11th May, 2021
Publisher: Hodderscape

Reeling from betrayal at the hands of the Whispers, Renata Convida is a girl on the run. With few options and fewer allies, she’s reluctantly joined forces with none other than Prince Castian, her most infuriating and intriguing enemy. They’re united by lofty goals: find the fabled Knife of Memory, kill the ruthless King Fernando, and bring peace to the nation. Together, Ren and Castian have a chance to save everything, if only they can set aside their complex and intense feelings for each other.

With the king’s forces on their heels at every turn, their quest across Puerto Leones and beyond leaves little room for mistakes. But the greatest danger is within Ren. The Gray, her fortress of stolen memories, has begun to crumble, threatening her grip on reality. She’ll have to control her magics–and her mind–to unlock her power and protect the Moria people once and for all.

For years, she was wielded as weapon. Now it’s her time to fight back.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | INDIEBOUND| BOOKSHOP


Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

6 reasons to read this book
*young adult historical fantasy/duology with a sprinkle of romance and a lot of action packed adventure
*pirates, villains, spies, magical system, magical quest (to save world), HEA, chosen one
*MC, Renata Convida is a fierce, bit jaded anti-hero with probably the worst power you can get
*slow burn, (childhood friends to) enemies to lovers, expect a lot of urst, uses the tropes, one bed!! fake marriage!!
*LI is the ‘you didn’t expect you would actually like him’ kind of jaded, moody,
*deals with political intrigue, uncovering secrets about yourself (and your magics), trauma, revenge, authoritarian regimes, xenophobia, wars, betrayal


cw for violence, sexual moments

Illusionary continues the story from THAT cliffhanger on Incendiary, Renata Convida and Castian are both on a quest to find the Knife of Memory that would restore peace to the nation and save everything. But along the way they won’t have to only try to escape from King Fernando’s guards, spies and untrustworthy people, they have to deal with their own complex, intense feelings for each other. Feelings that for Ren especially she would rather ignore. Not only that but since everything that happened with Justice Mendez, her powers, The Gray, her mind prison where are the stolen memories are stored, has seemingly disappeared. Now Ren has to fight to understand what is reality and what is not. To win this battle, survive and protect the Moria people she will have to find ways to control her magic and maybe finally unlock her power.

In the great iconic words of Luisa “Zoraida can have my soul in a jar, I have no use for it now”.

This book was in many ways a lot more intense than Incendiary, but in so many ways it was perfect, it was all about Ren and Castian’s character development and well their developing and deepening relationship. I should say even though the book does have romance, the romance at no point feels like it is overpowering the story. It is a fantastical quest with sprinkles of romance, that if you’re like me and love enemies who suddenly discover they are connected (because of whatever reasons), have to work together and also are secretly trying to deny how attracted (love love loveee) they are to each other,, then you’re going to love this book. I won’t talk too much about Ren and Castian together even though i’m literally stopping myself from gushing. I will say I loved the delicious tension between them, i loved their banter, i loved when they started to open up and discover how similar they were, and how much they needed each other. Also the moment where it all comes together I almost wanted to shout out loud and like fist bump, but it was almost 2am, so I stopped myself.

One main theme of this book was trauma, particularly, how Ren accepted, found ways to deal with her trauma and basically where she finds herself and her truth. I especially loved how her trauma was portrayed as a journey, and not just well magical solution and here you go bye years of trauma. Even at the end of the book, you could feel Ren was still trying to find ways to be okay with herself. Also, how her self-loathing, self-hate was showed in the book was so impactful, I swear I could feel it deep in my gut.

I also loved how Castian throughout this quest was at many points a source of support and comfort for Ren, now if you’ve just started reading the book or just read the first book you’ll be reading this making a face that you don’t believe me, but you’ll see. And when you get there it’s the best thing ever. Their relationship was

I should mention when I say this book was more intense, while it wasn’t action, action at many times since the book was more introspective, quieter, a bit more personal, it did feel more intense because we were dealing with Ren and her own personal demons. That said, there were many moments of action thrills. At times, this book felt like it was slowly slowly building each of the characters and their journey to reach an explosive end. I’m trying not to spoil too much, but I will say the ending followed kind of the same structure of the book where it felt explosive, but in an emotional way. Like you finally let out that breath you were holding (I had to use the cliche phrase, dont mind me).

I haven’t said much about the side characters which honestly had so much personality that they didn’t at all feel like filler characters, Leo who we previously knew from Book 1 joins Castian and Ren again. He was the perfect contrast to the broody main couple (:]). Lady Nuria who was already such an intriguing character, also from Book 1), and the cast of pirates and Whispers. I should mention Dez probably but honestly there were times I really disliked him, but by the end you’ll probably love him (or at least understand him).

There’s so much about this book that was perfect. I think I’m not exagerating when I say this book just has it all, and it does everything so well. It is the perfect conclusion to any series, and is now considered one of my comfort reads. I kinda feel like re-reading the whole series to capture those moments in my excitement I missed.

In summary, Illusionary, the Hollow Crown series is a perfect fantastical thrilling read that does not disappoint from Book 1 to the ending of Book 2.


Zoraida Córdova is the acclaimed author of more than a dozen novels and short stories, including the Brooklyn Brujas series, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge: A Crash of Fate, and The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina. In addition to writing novels, she serves on the Board of We Need Diverse Books, and is the co-editor of the bestselling anthology Vampires Never Get Old, as well as the cohost of the writing podcast, Deadline City. She writes romance novels as Zoey Castile. Zoraida was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, and calls New York City home. When she’s not working, she’s roaming the world in search of magical stories.

WEBSITE | GOODREADS | TWITTER


I had so much fun reading this book, and I can’t thank Kate Keehan and everyone at Hodderscape for sending me the final copy of the book before it was released. Thank you to Zoraida also for making sure I would receive it.

That said, I am not yet sure if I’ll be back to review regularly, I have been in a bit of a reading slump lately, and even though this book was amazing in getting ready of it, I am still trying to slowly dip my toes into getting back to regularly reading and reviewing.

So I can’t make any promises this blog will come back from hiatus now or anytime soon, but thank you to those still reading and writing comments. I appreciate all of you!

A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow Review

Hi all,
I hope you’re all having a, as much as it can be, good week. I’ve been checking twitter every so often for updates on the election, I’m sure I’m not the only one, but reading has been such a good distraction for me.
I had the pleasure to take part of the following book’s Blog Tour which had some of my favourite things combined.


A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow

by Laura Taylor Namey

Genre: YA Fiction
Release Date: Nov. 10th, 2020
Publisher: Simon and Schuster

For Lila Reyes, a summer in England was never part of the plan. The plan was 1) take over her abuela’s role as head baker at their panadería, 2) move in with her best friend after graduation, and 3) live happily ever after with her boyfriend. But then the Trifecta happened, and everything—including Lila herself—fell apart.

Worried about Lila’s mental health, her parents make a new plan for her: Spend three months with family friends in Winchester, England, to relax and reset. But with the lack of sun, a grumpy inn cook, and a small town lacking Miami flavor (both in food and otherwise), what would be a dream trip for some feels more like a nightmare to Lila…until she meets Orion Maxwell.

A teashop clerk with troubles of his own, Orion is determined to help Lila out of her funk, and appoints himself as her personal tour guide. From Winchester’s drama-filled music scene to the sweeping English countryside, it isn’t long before Lila is not only charmed by Orion, but England itself. Soon a new future is beginning to form in Lila’s mind—one that would mean leaving everything she ever planned behind.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | BOOKS-A-MILLION| BOOKSHOP


For more information about the Blog Tour and the schedule click the image

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐.5

6 reasons to read this book
*MC is Cuban-American girl, LI is a white English boy, slowburn romance
*Cuban representation! cuban food, culture, families, traditions
*so much food! perfect for foodie! and latinx/cuban foodies especially
*England setting, but a village in the South East
* explores themes of overcoming grief, accepting change, forgiveness, lots of explaration of family dynamics especially tight-knit family, friendship dynamics,
*light and fluffy read, some sad moments but overall light-hearted with a splash of romance


cw: death of a family member, dementia, grief, loss

Lila Reyes just went through what she calles the Trifecta, her grandmother died suddenly, her best friend without telling her decided not to move in with her and leave the country and her boyfriend of three years decided he needed to ‘find himself’. Things are not going her way and most of all Lila is not dealing well with the grief. Her family scared for her decide the best thing for her to do is some time off and what more is perfect than spending the summer in a quaint nice small village in South East, England with her aunts. But Lila isn’t very happy about this plan or her family making all these decisions over her.
When the book starts Lila is stubborn, she’s stuck in her ways and sees very little nice about England, but as time goes on, as she opens up not only to her aunt and her life in Winchester, but to Orion, his friendship, his group of friends and little by little we can see how she starts overcoming loss.
Orion is an interesting character because we meet him, he seems put together with his nice little tea shop. But he also has been dealing with grief in his own ways.
It was nice to read these two characters meeting, kind of a reluctant to friends dynamic at first, and from there a sweet slow friends to romance happens.
I especially loved the food and culture infusion within the book, the recipes were mouth-watering, some of them made me miss home.

I do have to admit it took me a while to get into the book especially because Orion seemed to good to be true all throughout the book, and I guess the slow pace plus the formatting errors of the E-ARC had me at times pushing myself to finish it.
But this book did remind me of all the things I love about England, it’s not an amazing place sometimes, but some other times, the people I’ve met here, like Lila, made this a place I’m so fond of.

The moments were she grieved over her grandmother were also bits I could relate to, I’m still grieving my grandmother and reading Lila going through that was probably one of my favourite aspects of the book, that overcoming her grief.
I have to comment on the last bit of the book, since it has such a romcom ending, but honestly as it was very light-hearted throughout, it also made sense for the book to end as it did.

Overall, if you’re looking for a light-hearted read of journey to overcoming loss, moving on and accepting change in a village in England with some tint of romance, a sprinkle of family and new (and old) friendships and a big big splash of food, this is the perfect book for you.


Laura Taylor Namey is a Cuban-American Californian who can be found haunting her favorite coffee shops, drooling over leather jackets, and wishing she was in London or Paris. She lives in San Diego with her husband and two superstar children.
This former teacher writes young adult novels about quirky teens learning to navigate life and love. Her debut, The Library of Lost Things, published 10/08/19 from Inkyard Press/HarperCollins. Her #ownvoices sophomore project, A CUBAN GIRL’S GUIDE TO TEA AND TOMORROW is coming November 10, 2020 from Atheneum Simon and Schuster, with a third title to follow fall 2021.

WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER


October Wrap up

Hi all,
I hope this October has treated you well.
I still need to decide my November reads so while I decide on that, here is my wrap up.


This October I participated in the #AceRace Readathon. It was a Readathon for all of October focusing on books with asexual protagonists. My picks were:

The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow
Can a girl who risks her life for books and an alien who loves forbidden pop music work together to save humanity?
Longer review upcoming but I loved this book so much, the setting, the character, the adventure, everything was just beautifully written

That Kind of Guy by Talia Hibbert
She wants a fake relationship. He needs something real.
Talia Hibbert is always an insta-read, insta-love for me. And this book in so many ways made me feel so seen.

Beneath the Citadel by Destiny Soria
Cassa, the orphaned daughter of rebels, is determined to fight back against the high council, which governs Eldra from behind the walls of the citadel. With her allies, no-nonsense Alys, easygoing Evander, and perpetually underestimated Newt, she uncovers the mystery of the final infallible prophecy, is it too late to save the city — or themselves.

This is another book that has been on my radar, I am using it both for LHM and the Ace Race, because why not

Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee
Natasha “Tash” Zelenka has gone viral, her modern adaptation of Anna Karenina is now on everyone’s mouth and even nominated for a Golden Tuba award, Tash’s cyber-flirtation with Thom Causer, a fellow award nominee, suddenly has the potential to become something IRL—if she can figure out how to tell said crush that she’s romantic asexual.

Such a fun book, I need to review it asap, there’s so much about it I loved it.


Not including those in AceRace, I read books for that were leftover from Latinx Heritage Month, spooky reads and some other mood reads.

Books read: 27
Books DNF’d: 0
Slowburn Books (that I didn’t immediately get caught up in): Leave the World Behind
Fave read out of the 7: It’s hard to pick because I had so many different reads this month, probably between Here the Whole Time, Cemetery Boys and Kingdom of the Wicked
Fave cover out of the 7: Beneath the Citadel
Genre most represented: 11/27 are fantasy but 14/27 are romance, so probably romance 🙂
Overall rating: There’s many I haven’t reviewed here but I think this month was pretty good in terms of whether I liked the books or not, o probably somewhere between 3.5 and 4.5


The UK will be on a lockdown from this Thursday until the first week of December, so I will probably have some more books to read. Tomorrow I will probably finalise my initial November Reads so I can have something to look forward to in this month lockdown.

Spotlight: Holiday Home Run by Priscilla Oliveras

Hi all!

Back with a new feature, Spotlight from now on will feature newly released or soon to be released books that I think deserve some shout out and I’m super happy to take the time to give them more promotion. Of course this will be followed by a review, once they’re released.

Today’s just released book had me from the moment I read ex-MLB pitcher/event planner and a holiday setting! This is the perfect read for those getting cold days where I know I have to replace my fall coat with the winter and take out those winter hats too.


Holiday Home Run

by Priscilla Oliveras

Genre: Adult Romance, Holiday Romance
Release DateOct. 27, 2020
Publisher: Kensington, Zebra Books

Event planner Julia Fernández is in Chicago for an internship that she hopes to turn into a full-time job. She’s ready to live on her own, out from under her familia’s expectations that she take over their catering business in Puerto Rico and away from their year-round baseball fever thanks to her three ball-playing brothers. Ex-MLB pitcher Ben Thomas knows what it’s like to have different dreams than your family intends for you, but since his injury-caused early retirement, he’s been struggling to find the sense of family baseball once brought him. When he volunteers as the emcee for Julia’s big holiday fundraiser for a local youth center, he finally begins to find a sense of purpose working with the kids and alongside Julia.
She’s focused on organizing the best holiday event the youth center has ever seen, not on romance. But Ben…he’s got a game plan for them that includes both.
Holiday Home Run was previously released as part of the holiday anthology A SEASON TO CELEBRATE.

AMAZON | B&N | IBOOKS | GOOGLE PLAY | KOBO


Priscilla Oliveras is a USA Today Best-Selling author & 2018 RWA® RITA® double finalist who writes contemporary romance with a Latinx flavor. Her books have earned Starred Reviews from Publishers Weekly & Booklist, hit the top 5 on Barnes & Noble’s Top 100 Book Bestseller list, & notched Amazon #1 Bestseller status. Her latest release, Island Affair, made it onto O, The Oprah Magazine’s “28 of the Best Beach Reads of Summer 2020” list. Priscilla earned her MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University and currently serves as adjunct faculty in the program while also teaching the online class “Romance Writing” for ed2go. She’s a self-professed romance genre junkie, who’s also a sports fan, beach lover, Zumba aficionado, and hammock nap connoisseur. Follow her at prisoliveras.com and on social media via @prisoliveras and https://www.facebook.com/prisoliveras.

WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER | FACEBOOK


Thank you to the Publisher, Priscilla and RABT Book Tours & PR.

My review of Holiday Home Run will be posted tomorrow 🙂 I had so much fun reading the novella, and I can’t wait to share my thoughts.

LHM Wrap-up

Hi all

It is now officially not-Latinx Heritage Month, I hope you’ve all had a good one. And more importantly, I hope this month gave you an idea of how many amazing stories and fantastic stories are out there waiting for you to start them and support them.


Books read: 9
Books DNF’d: 0
Slowburn Books (that I didn’t immediately get caught up in): Never Look Back
Fave read out of the 7: You Had Me At Hola
Fave cover out of the 7: I would say You Had Me At Hola again, but to pick another one I would say Muse Squad
Genre most represented: I think it’s pretty evenly divided, there’s three contemporary, three fantasy and three romance, i guess if you count some of those contemporary and fantasy have some romance in it I guess romance
Overall rating: 4 stars, there’s still two books of those (Happy Hour At Casa Dracula & Island Affair) that I haven’t reviewed, but I think overall it’s a 4.


There’s still more to come this month, especially spooky reads.

First tomorrow I have Sil’s #spookycreaturebookchallenge post which will basically recommend you a book with one spooky creature, I’m really excited to share my list with all of you and see how many you know or have read. Or even how many I can convince you to read 🙂

Apart from that I have planned reviews for:

  • Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
  • Island Affair by Priscilla Oliveras
  • Here the Whole Time by Vitor Martins
  • The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow*
  • Make a Scene by Mimi Grace
  • That Kind of Guy by Talia Hibbert*
  • Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco
  • Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee*
  • Beneath the Citadel by Destiny Soria*

*Are all books part of the #AceRaceReadathon.

And of course there’s more recommendation lists on the works. I might be working on some trope-y ones and romance of course.


What is your TBR looking for the rest of the month? Any spooky reads?

Upcoming 2020 YA Latinx Books and Beyond

On the last day of Latinx Heritage Month I thought why not promote upcoming YA books. While I would love to do an exhaustive list of ALL Latinx (YA, Adult, MG and picture books) that’s going to be released in the coming months and next year.
This was more of a last minute putting together this list in a whim because even though LHM is over after today, there’s still amazing and magical and funny and sweet and heartwrenching books upcoming to support and read.


💭=historical
💘=romance
🔮=fantasy
🌈=lgbtqia
☀️=contemporary

🪐=science fiction
🍽 =foodie
🥇=sports
🔍=mystery

  • 🌈💘MEET CUTE DIARY ​by Emery Lee (Quill Tree Books, 04/05/21)
  • ☀️INDIVISIBLE by Daniel Aleman (Little, Brown BFYR, 04/05/21)
  • 💭🔮ILLUSIONARY Hollow Crown #2 by Zoraida Córdova (Little, Brown BFYR, 11/05/21)
  • 🪐ALL THESE WARRIORS Monsters #2 by Amy Tintera (HMH, 13/07/21)
  • 🌈🔮A BEAUTIFUL DOOM (Grimrose Girls #1) by Laura Pohl (Sourcebooks Fire, 07/2021) – cover upcoming
  • 🔮CAZADORA Wolves of No World #2 by Romina Garber (Wednesday Books, 17/08/21)

I had a lot of fun this LHM, and I can’t wait to continue promoting, reading and reviewing more Latinx stories.

Any books from this list that you are looking forward to? I really can’t pick one I want to read more, oh wait Illusionary, I need that book in my life ASAP.
Did I miss any?

You Had Me At Hola Review

Hi all!
As mentioned before I planned on doing another recommendation lists, but I thought why not take the time to gush about this amazing rom-com I had the chance to read on LHM.
I will continue doing Latinx recommendations lists even when LHM is over.
For now, let me gush about this lovely book.


You Had Me At Hola

by Alexis Daria

Genre: Adult Romance Contemporary
Release Date:
Publisher: Avon Romance

Leading Ladies do not end up on tabloid covers.
After a messy public breakup, soap opera darling Jasmine Lin Rodriguez finds her face splashed across the tabloids. When she returns to her hometown of New York City to film the starring role in a bilingual romantic comedy for the number one streaming service in the country, Jasmine figures her new “Leading Lady Plan” should be easy enough to follow—until a casting shake-up pairs her with telenovela hunk Ashton Suárez. 

Leading Ladies don’t need a man to be happy
After his last telenovela character was killed off, Ashton is worried his career is dead as well. Joining this new cast as a last-minute addition will give him the chance to show off his acting chops to American audiences and ping the radar of Hollywood casting agents. To make it work, he’ll need to generate smoking-hot on-screen chemistry with Jasmine. Easier said than done, especially when a disastrous first impression smothers the embers of whatever sexual heat they might have had. 

Leading Ladies do not rebound with their new costars.
With their careers on the line, Jasmine and Ashton agree to rehearse in private. But rehearsal leads to kissing, and kissing leads to a behind-the-scenes romance worthy of a soap opera. While their on-screen performance improves, the media spotlight on Jasmine soon threatens to destroy her new image and expose Ashton’s most closely guarded secret.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | WORDERY | INDIEBOUND


Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

6 reasons to read this book
*mc is puerto rican-american, LI is puerto rican
*includes tropes like misunderstandings, pining, coworkers to lovers, broody hero, celebrity romance
*cast is majorly latinx with a lot of diversity, latinx identity with all the messiness of family dynamics
*discusses anxiety, mental health, representation in hollywood, telenovelas, paparazzi, famous life, consent, stalkers
* funny romcom that’ll remind you jane the virgin and ugly betty
*HEA


cw: anxiety, mental health, past instances of stalking

You Had Me At Hola tells the story of Jasmine Lin Rodriguez who finds her face splashed across tabloids thanks to her boyfriend deciding to have a very messy public breakup without telling her beforehand they were over. But thanks okay because Jasmine will star in a new bilingual romcom tv show. And leading ladies are badass queens making jefa moves who don’t involve her new cast mate telenovela hunk Ashton Suarez.
Ashton was just killed off in his last telenovela, he’s worried his career is dead too. But this new American show he’s been casted in could give him the chance to break into the radar of Hollywood casting agents. This of course doesn’t involve having a disastrous first meeting with his costar or that sexual tension between them.
With his career on the line and her wanting to not be in the media spotlight, their moments together rehearsing and kissing and that romance brewing between them might prove challenging, especially as Ashton is trying not to expose his most guarded secret.

There’s so much about this book that I loved, Jasmine was a wonderful main character, she was determined, straightfoward, genuine and funny, I loved her strength of character, I loved her family even with all the craziness but that’s what family is about sometimes. I loved Ashton, his fears, his anxieties, how hard he tried to protect himself and his family.

The overall cast of this story was so latinx, so so latinx, the cast and crew of their tv show is all latinx, apart from maybe one, if I remember correctly, Jasmine’s family in NY was all puerto rican of course, and Ashton’s family who was in Puerto Rico too. This book is infused with latinx references from telenovelas to those romcom tv shows that come from telenovelas. But more than that, it had some very interesting themes of latinx identity and representation in Hollywood. Two themes I am very very passionate about.
So you can see how this book is already touching on things I’m fond of.

But have I mentioned their chemistry? because one interesting aspect of this book was the two stories that ran at the same time, Jasmine and Ashton’s romance at the same time that we read the tv show they’re both starring in and the second-chance romance from their characters. I looked forward to reading both their outside of the cameras romance as well as the telenovela’s plot. I think for me one of the highlights was this and the behind-the-scenes bits of their acting, their rehearsals especially were parts of the novel that I most enjoyed. This is mainly to do with their chemistry and more than that, I love reading about characters who don’t have a great first meet but then have to learn how to deal with each other.

This was a very sweet slightly angsty at times, romcom story with a few hijinks, miscommunication, a broody hero who has a lot of fears and doesn’t know how to deal with them so he acts all mysterious and detached, and a heroine determined to stop making mistakes but also finds herself too attracted by her co-star when rehearsing together. This joined up with their cute moments together, the cast of Carmen, their families and the overall plot of their tv show proves a perfect mix of everything you need in a romance book.

Overall, You Had Me At Hola was the perfect combination of pining, cute sweet moments between the couple, telenovela/latinx shows references, a cast of great secondary characters and sexy tension filled moments.


Alexis Daria is a native New Yorker and award-winning author writing stories about successful Latinx characters and their (occasionally messy) familias. Her debut TAKE THE LEAD won the 2018 RITA® Award for “Best First Book” and was one of the “Best Romance Novels of 2017” in The Washington Post and Entertainment Weekly. Her super powers include spotting celebrities in NYC, winning Broadway ticket lotteries, and live-tweeting.

WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER


Tomorrow is the last day of LHM, so expect two (yes two!) posts tomorrow, one closing and another talking about upcoming latinx books to check out 🙂

See you tomorrow

8 Latinx Fantasy Series List

Hi all!
I hope you had a good weekend 🙂

Today’s post is dedicated to recommending Fantasy Series by Latinx authors. When I started making this list I noticed I had at least 25 books I could include, and the more I thought about it, the more I added. So instead of making a 20+ recommendations list, I ended up making sure they were more fantasy than sci-fi and more fantasy than dystopia.
There will be another version of this with Latinx authored fantasy books that are not part of a series, duology or trilogy.


Charlie Hernández Series by Ryan Calejo

Book 1 and 2 follow Charlie Hernandez who even though he likes to think of himself as a normal kid. He’s a demon-slaying preteen with an encyclopedic knowledge of Hispanic and Latino mythology who can partially manifest nearly any animal trait found in nature. Join him in his adventures helping La Liga, a secret society of legendary mythological beings sworn to protect the Land of the Living, and La Mano Negra (a.k.a. the Black Hand), a cabal of evil spirits determined to rule mankind. 

GOODREADS | AMAZON | WORDERY | BOOKDEPOSITORY


Muse Squad Series by Chantel Acevedo

The first in an action-packed debut middle grade fantasy duology about a Cuban American girl who discovers that she’s one of the nine Muses of Greek mythology. Along with her “Muse Squad”, she will have to learn how to use their magic to inspire and empower–not an easy feat when you’re eleven and still figuring out the goddess within. Join Callie and her junior muses fighting against the vicious Sirens who only want to create chaos and disaster.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | WORDERY | INDIEBOUND


Shadowshaper Cypher by Daniel Jose Older

Sierra Santiago discovers one summer that she’s a shadowshaper, a thrilling magic that infuses ancestral spirits into paintings, music, and stories. And with the help of a mysterious fellow artist named Robbie, she will have to unravel her family’s past, take down that someone who is killing the shadowshapers one by one in the present, and save the future of shadowshaping for herself and generations to come.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | INDIEBOUND | BOOKDEPOSITORY


Brooklyn Brujas by Zoraida Cordova

This series follows the three Mortiz sisters, Alex, Lula and Rose, three teen witches from a family of witches, as they develop their powers and battle magic through epic questing in the realms beyond. Alex’s story (first book) is set in the mythical fantasy world of Los Lagos, Lula’s stories (second book) is set on the streets of Brooklyn and the third book, Rose’s story is set in the magical lost realm of Adas.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | INDIEBOUND | BOOKDEPOSITORY


The City of Diamond and Steel Series by Francesca Flores

This series follows Aina Solis, trained to be one of the most powerful and dangerous assassins in Sumerand, a kingdom funded by immigrants, built by magic, and still reeling from an industrial revolution that’s led to all-out civil war. Aina will have to act against her boss Kohl and join forces with an unexpected allie to unravel a conspiracy that could rewrite Sumerand’s history and her own future.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | WORDERY | BOOKDEPOSITORY


A Forgery of Magic Series by Maya Motayne

In this Dominican-inspired fantasy, Finnian Voy, a face-changing thief meets Prince Alfehr, a risk-taking prince when Finn is trying to steal a legendary treasure from Castallan’s royal palace. But when their fates collide, they accidentally unlock an ancient, terrible power into the world. Now they must team up to defeat this powerful evil they accidentally unleashed and save Castallan.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | WORDERY | BOOKDEPOSITORY


Wolves of No World Series by Romina Garber

This series follows Manuela Azul, that as an undocumented immigrant who’s on the run from her father’s Argentine crime-family, she has always been confined to her small apartment and a small life in Miami, Florida. But when, things change and now she’s forced to understand her past. She will uncover her own story, trace her real heritage all the way back to a cursed city in Argentina. Now she’ll realise it’s not just her US residency that’s illegal, it’s her entire existence

GOODREADS | AMAZON | INDIEBOUND | BOOKDEPOSITORY


Infinity Cycle Series by Adam Silvera

This series follows the Emil and Brighton, two brothers growing up in New York, who have always idolized the Spell Walkers—a vigilante group sworn to rid the world of specters. Then, in a brawl after a protest, Emil manifests a power of his own-one that puts him right at the heart of the conflict and sets him up to be the heroic Spell Walker Brighton always wanted to be. Now they found themselves caught up in a magical war generations in the making, but also brotherhood, love, and loyalty will be put to the test.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | WORDERY | BOOKDEPOSITORY


Now today was supposed to be a Cemetery Boys Review, unfortunately my Illumicrate box has not arrived yet, and since I kept wanting to make this list post, I thought why not swap it for this.
There is still another Latinx fantasy books recommendations list on the works, since there’s so many books here I left out and want to recommend. That will either be posted tomorrow (if I find the time) or on the 13th.

Muse Squad Review

Hi all!
Still a few days to go and Latinx Heritage Month is over. I’ve had a lot of fun reading these amazing Latinx books. But like I always like to remember, this isn’t the end 🙂
Latinx books come out every year and I will continue to read, review and promote them!
On this post I get to gush about this amazing middle grade book.


Muse Squad: The Cassandra Curse

by Chantel Acevedo

Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Release Date: July 7th, 2020
Publisher: Balzer+Bray

Callie Martinez-Silva didn’t mean to turn her best friend into a pop star. But when a simple pep talk leads to miraculous results, Callie learns she’s the newest muse of epic poetry, one of the nine Muses of Greek mythology tasked with protecting humanity’s fate in secret.

Whisked away to Muse Headquarters, she joins three recruits her age, who call themselves the Muse Squad. Together, the junior muses are tasked with using their magic to inspire and empower—not an easy feat when you’re eleven and still figuring out the goddess within.

When their first assignment turns out to be Callie’s exceptionally nerdy classmate, Maya Rivero, the squad comes to Miami to stay with Callie and her Cuban family. There, they discover that Maya doesn’t just need inspiration, she needs saving from vicious Sirens out to unleash a curse that will corrupt her destiny.

As chaos erupts, will the Muse Squad be able to master their newfound powers in time to thwart the Cassandra Curse . . . or will it undo them all?

GOODREADS | AMAZON | WORDERY | INDIEBOUND


Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

6 reasons to read this book
*mc is cuban-america, best-friend is venezuelan
*muse squad is made from a variety of different cultural backgrounds, a lot of different nationalities,  Cuban, Ecuadorian, Venezuelan, Haitian, Indian, Black, British representation
*action packed story with inspiration from greek mythology and using greek myths
*discusses global warming and climate change
*very good lessons on friendship, being humble, how to deal with middle school, grief, being honest, jealousy
*wholesome, full of hope and fun story


cw: fatphobic comment, mention of relative death, bullying, body shaming

Muse Squad: The Cassandra Curse tells the story of Calliope Martinez-Silva who is not only grieving the death of her aunt but is also trying to figure out middle school. When returning from a concert with her best-friend Raquel, she has near death experience, she starts noticing a weird feeling and weird things happening around her. She soon finds herself in the Victoria and Albert Museum, discovering she’s the muse of poetry and she can inspire people to be the best they can be. This comes with a whole big set of complications, she’s made her best-friend into a pop sensation, she needs to inspire humanity and protect it from the Sirens who only want chaos and destruction, all while trying to hide her new identity and powers.

Can I just say I absolutely loved this book? It’s a quick, fun read. But it’s one that almost makes me wish I had these kind of books when I was younger. There are many valuable lessons to take from this book. And honestly, by the end I just feel warm, fuzzy and hopeful for the future. What more could you want about a fantasy story filled with real world problems and some greek myths weaved together.
There’s a lot going on this book and while I didn’t appreciate some of the chubby comments about Callie, I still loved her as the main character, I’m always a fan of the average main character who has an average life who ends up recognising how amazing and brave she is, and at the same time what I loved about Callie was how she inspired others to be the same. Throughout the book, she grew and confronted not only her fears but also feelings like jealousy and desires that could make her use her powers for not so good things.
I loved the overall cast of this book, Callie’s relationship with her mom and her brothers, the cast of Muses and even her classmates. I have to say I didn’t expect the villain, I thought it would be someone else, so I was pleasantly surprised about that.

Overall, Muse Squad was a fantastic adventure that gave a fresh new take on greek mythology with the current world, and the main character, Callie is the perfect heroine that is so easy to relate to.


Chantel Acevedo was born in Miami to Cuban parents. She is the acclaimed author of adult novels, including The Distant Marvels, which was a finalist for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, and she is also a professor of English at the University of Miami, where she directs the MFA program. Muse Squad: The Cassandra Curse is her debut middle grade novel. Chantel lives with her personal Muse Squad, aka her family, in Florida.

WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER


Tomorrow I will finally post my recommendations list for Latinx Fantasy Series followed by another recommendations list of Latinx Fantasy Books to read, watch out for that!

A Taste of Sage Review

Hi all,

Late post today. Last week was a bit hectic as I have started working (teaching) again, this involves commuting, wearing a face visor or a mask 24/7 and then commuting back home. I’m a bit rusty on that kind of routine so things piled up.
Good thing about commuting though, getting to read (audiobooks most of the time) books 🙂 so I’ve been doing great in terms of TBR! But we’ll talk about that later!
Today I bring you the review of one of my most anticipated books of this year.


A Taste of Sage

by Yaffa S. Santos

Genre: Adult Romance
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks
Release Date: May 19th, 2020

Lumi Santana is a chef with a gift: she can perceive a person’s emotions by tasting their cooking. Despite being raised by a mother who taught her that dreams and true love were silly fairy tales, she puts her heart and savings into opening her own fusion restaurant in Upper Manhattan. The restaurant offers a mix of the Dominican cuisine she grew up with and other world cuisines she is inspired by.
When her eclectic venture fails, she is forced to take a position as sous chef at a staid, traditional French restaurant owned by Julien Dax, a celebrated chef known for his acid tongue as well as his brilliant smile. After he goes out of his way to bake a tart to prove her wrong in a dispute, she is so irritated by his smug attitude that she vows to herself never to taste his cooking.
But after she succumbs to the temptation and takes a bite one day and is overcome with shocking emotion, she finds herself beginning to crave his cooking and struggling to stay on task with her plan to save up and move on as soon as possible. Meanwhile, Julien’s obsessed secretary watches with gnashed teeth as they grow closer and becomes determined to get Lumi out of her way permanently.

GOODREADS | AMAZON | BOOKDEPOSITORY | INDIEBOUND | HIVE


Rating: ⭐⭐⭐.5

6 reasons to read this book
*mc is dominican-american, LI is french-canadian
*feel good rom-com about two chefs, food and love in the kitchen
*perfect for foodies! recipes included within the book
*MC has a form of synesthesia wherein emotions are attached to food
*some tropes include dislike to like, coworkers to lovers, HEA, smitten hero, miscommunication
*Dominican representation, food, culture


cw: serious injury, depictions of being shocked, scars, sex scenes

A Taste of Sage tells the story of Lumi Santana who senses people’s emotions through cooking, she’s been told never to eat someone elses cooking as they could hurt her. All her savings were put into her Dominican/Other cuisine fusion restaurant on Upper Manhattan. But when it starts struggling, she’s forced to quit the restaurant of her dreams and become a sous chef at the traditional French restaurant owned by the arrogant Julien Dax. She’s determined to save up and move on as soon as possible, but when she tries his food and spends more time with him outside of the kitchen, she starts to rethink her opinion of him.

I have to admit this was a very quick read, the book isn’t too long but also the pace of the book helps to make this a quick and fun read. One of the things I most loved about this book was the Dominican representation, not only through food but little mentions here and there that felt real. Lumi, with all her issues and insecurities was a great heroine, one that was flawed but also determined to make it through.
There were some very dramatic issues that happened in the book and even Lumi had some dramatic reactions to a lot of things – no spoilers here – which at times took me out of the story or felt too fantastical.
I loved the magical way food was presented here, Lumi’s connection to food and how she could feel emotions, this was one of my favourite aspects of the book as well as all the recipes included.
Julien was hard to like, it took me a while to get to know him, as when he’s first introduced you immediately think of him as the typical arrogant French rich boy. But it’s nice to see how what we know of him changes as the book goes on.
The pacing of the book was, sometimes, too fast and sometimes not fast enough, and by this I basically mean that I wish there were more moments of their relationship growth. I didn’t get to see enough of their chemistry to fully get 200% (as I usually do) invested in their relationship. But even then, I like seeing the main characters be happy and together by the end of the book.

Overall, this was a good, quick read with amazing food included. I would say don’t read this if you’re hungry.


Yaffa S. Santos was born and raised in New Jersey. A solo trip to Dominican Republic in her teenage years changed her relationship to her Dominican heritage and sparked a passion for cooking and its singular ability to bring people together. Yaffa is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, where she studied writing and visual art. She is a member of RWA. She has lived in New York, Philadelphia, Santo Domingo, and now lives in Florida with her family.

HARPERCOLLINS | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER