I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez

Inside cover blurb:

Perfect Mexican daughters do not go away to college. And they do not move out of their parents’ house after high school graduation. Perfect Mexican daughters never abandon their family.

But Julia is not your perfect Mexican daughter. That was Olga’s role.

Then a tragic accident on the busiest street in Chicago leaves Olga dead and Julia left behind to reassemble the shattered pieces of her family. And no one seems to acknowledge that Julia is broken, too. Instead, her mother seems to channel her grief into pointing out every possible way Julia has failed.

But it’s not long before Julia discovers that Olga might not have been as perfect as everyone thought. With the help of her best friend Lorena, and her first kiss, first love, first everything boyfriend Connor, Julia is determined to find out. Was Olga really what she seemed? Or was there more to her sister’s story? And either way, how can Julia even attempt to live up to a seemingly impossible ideal? ”

-from publisher


Related image

I have gone back and forth on this one, trying to sort my thoughts on what exactly to say.

Overall, I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would. I had heard a lot of great things about this book so I think that hype is a big part of my disappointment.

The story about Olga, Julia’s sister, is highly intriguing. And I thought that’s what the majority of the book was going to be about. But it’s really about Julia and her complicated relationship with her family and her Mexican heritage.

There are probably like five different storylines in the book. And I think it takes place over the course of almost an entire year, if not more. But it doesn’t come across well at all. It seems like the narration just kind of skips around in some places.

I think this book had a lot of potential and it does have a lot of great content, but it just wasn’t for me.

Plus: Diverse reads! I am always all for it. It really does feel like you’re reading the inner most thoughts of a teen, which is pretty rare for authors achieve.

Minus: The story structure could use some work, in my opinion.

If you like this book, try:


You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins- Examines the inner workings of an Indian family and the struggles they face among themselves and with their culture in America.

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

Inside cover blurb:

“Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized among them. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes – a weakness that could cost him his life.

Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love, violating the fair folks’ ruthless Good Law. There’s only one way to save both their lives, Isobel must drink from the Green Well, whose water will transform her into a fair one—at the cost of her Craft, for immortality is as stagnant as it is timeless.

Isobel has a choice: she can sacrifice her art for a future, or arm herself with paint and canvas against the ancient power of the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.”

-from publisher


Image result for fight the fairies supernatural gif

^ SUPER excited to finally be able to use this gif….

I really didn’t expect to love this as much as I did!

I’ve read a lot of fairy books in my day and I’m kind of an expert (in my own mind) at this point. I figured this would be kind of a throwaway, probably because it’s based so much on the idea of painting which didn’t sound appealing at the time.

But Isobel was a pretty great main character, strong-willed and principled. She hardly whined throughout the book, which is a thumbs up. And the fact that her sisters used to be goats is inspired.

I like that these are twisted fairies too. I don’t love the “do-gooder, squeaky clean fairy tale” types- I like the “spooky, trying to trick you into real bad stuff” fairies. The descriptions of the fairy courts are the best part, how all the fairies are obsessed with the idea of mortality and human frailty, how they use glamors to cover how horrible their lives really are. Pretty relevant when you stop to think about it.

There is a slow period toward the last ¾ of the book, where they go on and on about Isobel and her painting. But other than that, this is a great read.

And Rook…now that is a fairy prince. Just the right amount of dangerous/ brooding. 10/10 immortal heartthrob status.

Not sure if there’s a sequel in the works but I’d totally read it.

Plus: Immortal heartthrob, the creepy kind of fairies, and lots of rich details.

Minus: Could have done with a little less painting maybe, but it did work well as a theme.

If you like this book, try:


The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black- Holly Black is basically the queen of the fairies in my book. This was her last venture into the land of the fairies…all the way back in 2015! But no worries, her next, The Cruel Prince, is slated for January 2018!!!

Far from the Tree by Robin Benway

Inside cover blurb:

“Being the middle child has its ups and downs.

But for Grace, an only child who was adopted at birth, discovering that she is a middle child is a different ride altogether. After putting her own baby up for adoption, she goes looking for her biological family, including—

Maya, her loudmouthed younger bio sister, who has a lot to say about their newfound family ties. Having grown up the snarky brunette in a house full of chipper redheads, she’s quick to search for traces of herself among these not-quite-strangers. And when her adopted family’s long-buried problems begin to explode to the surface, Maya can’t help but wonder where exactly it is that she belongs.

And Joaquin, their stoic older bio brother, who has no interest in bonding over their shared biological mother. After seventeen years in the foster care system, he’s learned that there are no heroes, and secrets and fears are best kept close to the vest, where they can’t hurt anyone but him.”

-from publisher


Image result for sobbing gif

Dead. I’m dead.

This book killed me.

Far from the Tree just won the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature and now I know why. This is one of the most heart-wrenching and beautiful stories I’ve ever read.

Usually in a book with multiple narrators, one stands out as my favorite and the others fall to the wayside. But there’s no way I could ever pick between Maya, Grace, and Joaquin. Their stories are all so unique and compelling. But sadly you know that they maybe aren’t so unique- there are kids out there with these stories and my heart breaks for them.

As sad as the book is, it’s also so uplifting. These three kids find out they’re siblings and meet for the first time….and end up becoming the family they were always meant to be.

I have to stop writing about this book now because I’m gonna cry.

But go read this right now, I promise you will love it.

Plus: You will laugh, you will cry, you will love every single character so hard. I dare someone to not like this book.

Minus: Obviously this book has no flaws. Refer to review above for evidence of its absolute perfection.

If you like this book, try:


Emmy and Oliver by Robin Benway- Idk about you, but I’m heading straight for Benway’s other heart breaker, Emmy and Oliver, the story of a brother reunited with his sister after being kidnapped by his father….oh boy, good thing I still have those tissues handy.


Warcross by Marie Lu

Inside cover blurb:

“For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire. “

-from publisher



Lerrrrved it.

This is actually the first book by Marie Lu that I’ve read, if we’re not counting my failed attempt to read The Young Elites (I liked it, I just never got around to finishing it).

It was a little slow for me in the beginning. I wasn’t so invested in Emika as a character and I guess I that didn’t really change throughout the book now that I think about it.

I was much more interested when she got called to Tokyo to work for Hideo. Oh Hideo…

Warcross, the virtual reality game, sounds great and terrifying all at once, especially all the illicit goings-on. That might make an interesting companion story actually.

Hideo though. I feel like he was the real star of the book. I kind of wish he were more complex/creepy (maybe that’s just me), but I’m interested to see his character progression in the next book..books? Not sure how many installments Lu is planning for the series.

The ending was totally predictable to me which was unfortunate but also very satisfying because now I just want to know why.

I’ll definitely hang in for the sequel…sequels?

Plus: The game is such a fun concept and so is the entire book really.

Minus: Bit predictable, wasn’t so interested in the main character.

If you like this book, try:


Renegades by Marissa Meyer- I haven’t got my hands on a copy of this bad boy yet, but I’m thinking they’re going to be kind of on the same high octane level. This one is about superheroes though!