hispanic heritage readathon · readathon

Hispanic Heritage Month Readathon Summary

Hi I absolutely did not mean to fall off the face of the earth for a little while! October is always one of my busiest months, and it hit me with a massive reading slump, which in turn made me not want to blog either. I have a backlog of books that I can’t wait to review, starting with the ones I read for the Hispanic Heritage Month readathon!

There were a few books on my TBR for this readathon that I was unable to get to. The first was Solita by Vivien Rainn. This book was released in April but was impossible for me to find anywhere in any format. I was really bummed about it because it’s a gothic paranormal romance, and I hope eventually I can find a copy of it!

The second was Jawbone by Monica Ojeda, which is a contemporary horror that drew inspiration from Lovecraft and creepypastas. I figured it was right up my alley, but I only made it about 50 pages in before putting it down. I found it really difficult to get into, and the paragraphs were long and never-ending. I might pick this up again at some point, but for now it’s on hold. The third was Bindle Punk Bruja by Desideria Mesa, and honestly time just got away from me on this one and I was unable to read it in time. I will definitely be reading it soon, though!

I was able to read the rest of the books for this readathon, including Ophelia After All, which I already wrote a full review of. I’m in the middle of a full review for Together We Burn, so keep an eye out for that! I wrote mini reviews about the rest of the books below!

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review

Review: Ophelia After All by Racquel Marie

Summary: Ophelia Rojas knows what she likes: her best friends, Cuban food, rose-gardening, and boys – way too many boys. Her friends and parents make fun of her endless stream of crushes, but Ophelia is a romantic at heart. She couldn’t change, even if she wanted to.

So when she finds herself thinking more about cute, quiet Talia Sanchez than the loss of a perfect prom with her ex-boyfriend, seeds of doubt take root in Ophelia’s firm image of herself. Add to that the impending end of high school and the fracturing of her once-solid friend group, and things are spiraling a little out of control. But the course of love–and sexuality–never did run smooth. As her secrets begin to unravel, Ophelia must make a choice between clinging to the fantasy version of herself she’s always imagined or upending everyone’s expectations to rediscover who she really is, after all.

Genre: contemporary, young adult, lgbt, romance
Rating: ★★★★

Young adult contemporary has a ridiculous hold on me, but honestly, considering how wonderful Ophelia After All is, can you really blame me? This book was so warm, cozy, and heart-wrenching, and I couldn’t get enough of it.

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Hispanic Heritage Month Readathon

National Hispanic Heritage Month started on September 15th as a way to celebrate histories, cultures, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and South America. Five Latin American countries (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua) gained independence on the 15th, while Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on the 16th and 18th.

One of my reading goals for the last few years has been to read more books by BIPOC authors or about BIPOC characters, and I have to admit, they’ve been some of the best books I’ve read lately. The Hacienda and Mexican Gothic are definitely in my top 10 for recent years. There’s something so refreshing about learning more about different cultures and histories, and for me personally, there’s something comforting in reading books with the Spanish language in it.

This month, from September 15 to October 15, I’m going to aim to read eight Hispanic novels. Eight seems like a high number considering I’ve been in a reading slump most of the year, but I’ve been highly anticipating a lot of these stories for a long time and can’t wait to finally get to them! As always, I’ll do a wrap-up at the end of the month and review everything I’ve read.

review

Review: If We Were Villains by ML Rio

Summary: Oliver Marks has just served ten years in jail – for a murder he may or may not have committed. On the day he’s released, he’s greeted by the man who put him in prison. Detective Colborne is retiring, but before he does, he wants to know what really happened a decade ago.

As one of seven young actors studying Shakespeare at an elite arts college, Oliver and his friends play the same roles onstage and off: hero, villain, tyrant, temptress, ingenue, extra. But when the casting changes, and the secondary characters usurp the stars, the plays spill dangerously over into life, and one of them is found dead. The rest face their greatest acting challenge yet: convincing the police, and themselves, that they are blameless.

Genre: mystery, thriller, contemporary
Rating: ★★★★★

This is a PSA that dark academia has my heart completely and absolutely no other genre in the entire world can compare to how If We Were Villains makes me feel. I know I’ve been throwing out five-star reviews pretty frequently lately, but I truly have not been this enamored with a book since I read The Maidens by Alex Michaelides last year. I know that this book is going to stay with me for a long time, and even though I’m usually not someone who rereads, I cannot wait to revisit this and fall in love all over again.

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Review: I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy

Summary: Jennette McCurdy was six years old when she had her first acting audition. Her mother’s dream was for her only daughter to become a star, and Jennette would do anything to make her mother happy. So she went along with eating little and weighing herself five times a day. She endured extensive at-home makeovers. She was even showered by Mom until age sixteen while sharing her diaries, email, and all her income.

Jennette recounts her life in unflinching detail—just as she chronicles what happens when the dream finally comes true. Cast in a new Nickelodeon series called iCarly, she is thrust into fame. Though Mom is ecstatic, Jennette is riddled with anxiety, shame, and self-loathing, which manifest into eating disorders, addiction, and a series of unhealthy relationships. These issues only get worse when her mother dies of cancer. Finally, after discovering therapy and quitting acting, Jennette embarks on recovery and decides for the first time in her life what she really wants.

Genre: nonfiction, memoir
Rating: ★★★★★

I was in high school when iCarly came out, so I knew very little about Jennette McCurdy before reading this memoir. I’m certainly not a non-fiction reader, and I generally find memoirs to be too dull for my liking. Admittedly, the shocking, uncomfortable title is what drew me into this book.

Jennette never dreamed of being an actress – it was her mother’s dream that she never got to fulfill, so she forced it upon her daughter. I’ve always been curious about the abuse that child actors endure, and it was horrifying to see how deeply and rapidly Jennette’s life spiraled. This book is not for the faint of heart. Jennette’s story depicts child abuse, disordered eating, terminal illness, hoarding, bulimia, gaslighting, narcissistic parents, alcohol abuse, and more.

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