Talk Chisme to Me: Ten Most Anticipated 2021 Debuts by Latinx Authors

Hope your TBR isn’t too full because today I am bringing you a list of my top ten most anticipated debuts by Latinx authors coming out this year. I am always excited that publishing is giving more opportunities to Latinx authors and though we still have a long way to go, it’s always worth celebrating and uplifting new voices. Covers are linked to Goodreads.

 alt=1. Fat Chance, Charlie Vega by Crystal Maldonado

    Coming of age as a Fat brown girl in a white Connecticut suburb is hard.
    Harder when your whole life is on fire, though.
    Charlie Vega is a lot of things. Smart. Funny. Artistic. Ambitious. Fat.
    People sometimes have a problem with that last one. Especially her mom. Charlie wants a good relationship with her body, but it’s hard, and her mom leaving a billion weight loss shakes on her dresser doesn’t help. The world and everyone in it have ideas about what she should look like: thinner, lighter, slimmer-faced, straighter-haired. Be smaller. Be whiter. Be quieter.
    But there’s one person who’s always in Charlie’s corner: her best friend Amelia. Slim. Popular. Athletic. Totally dope. So when Charlie starts a tentative relationship with cute classmate Brian, the first worthwhile guy to notice her, everything is perfect until she learns one thing–he asked Amelia out first. So is she his second choice or what? Does he even really see her? UGHHH. Everything is now officially a MESS.
      A sensitive, funny, and painful coming-of-age story with a wry voice and tons of chisme, Fat Chance, Charlie Vega tackles our relationships to our parents, our bodies, our cultures, and ourselves.

 alt=2. Once Upon a Quinceañera by Monica Gomez-Hira

    Jenny Han meets “Jane the Virgin” in this flashy and fun Own Voices romcom from debut author Monica Gomez-Hira.
    Carmen Aguilar just wants to make her happily ever after come true. Except apparently “happily ever after” for Carmen involves being stuck in an unpaid summer internship! All she has to do is perform! In a ball gown! During the summer. In Miami.
    Fine. Except that Carmen’s company is hired for her spoiled cousin Ariana’s over the top quinceañera.
      And of course, her new dance partner at work is none other than Mauro Reyes, Carmen’s most deeply regrettable ex.
      If Carmen is going to move into the future she wants, she needs to leave the past behind. And if she can manage dancing in the blistering heat, fending off Mauro’s texts, and stopping Ariana from ruining her own quinceañera Carmen might just get that happily ever after after all.

 alt=3. Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet by Laekan Zea Kemp

    As an aspiring pastry chef, Penelope Prado has always dreamed of opening her own pastelería next to her father’s restaurant, Nacho’s Tacos. But her mom and dad have different plans — leaving Pen to choose between disappointing her traditional Mexican-American parents or following her own path. When she confesses a secret she’s been keeping, her world is sent into a tailspin. But then she meets a cute new hire at Nacho’s who sees through her hard exterior and asks the questions she’s been too afraid to ask herself.
    Xander Amaro has been searching for home since he was a little boy. For him, a job at Nacho’s is an opportunity for just that — a chance at a normal life, to settle in at his abuelo’s, and to find the father who left him behind. But when both the restaurant and Xander’s immigrant status are threatened, he will do whatever it takes to protect his new found family and himself.
    Together, Pen and Xander must navigate first love and discovering where they belong — both within their families and their fiercely loyal Chicanx community — in order to save the place they all call home.

 alt=4. Indivisible by Daniel Aleman

    A timely, moving debut novel about a teen’s efforts to keep his family together while his parents face deportation from the United States.
    There is a word Mateo Garcia and his younger sister Sophie have been taught to fear for as long as they can remember: deportation. Over the past few years, however, the fear that their undocumented immigrant parents could be sent back to Mexico has started to fade to the back of their minds. And why wouldn’t it, when their Ma and Pa have been in the United States for so long, they have American-born children, and they’re hard workers and good neighbors?
    When two ICE agents come asking for Pa, the Garcia family realizes that the lives they’ve built are about to come crumbling down. And when Mateo returns from school one day to find that his parents have been taken, he must come to terms with the fact that his family’s worst nightmare has become a reality. With his parents’ fate and his own future hanging in the balance, Mateo must figure out who he is and what he is capable of, even as he’s forced to question what it means to be an American teenager in a country that rejects his own mom and dad.
      Daniel Aleman’s Indivisible is a remarkable story — both powerful in its explorations of immigration in America and deeply intimate in its portrait of a teen boy driven by his fierce, protective love for his parents and his sister.

 alt=5. Meet Cute Diary by Emery Lee

      Noah Ramirez thinks he’s an expert on romance. He has to be for his popular blog, the Meet Cute Diary, a collection of trans happily ever afters. There’s just one problem—all the stories are fake. What started as the fantasies of a trans boy afraid to step out of the closet has grown into a beacon of hope for trans readers across the globe.
      When a troll exposes the blog as fiction, Noah’s world unravels. The only way to save the Diary is to convince everyone that the stories are true, but he doesn’t have any proof. Then Drew walks into Noah’s life, and the pieces fall into place: Drew is willing to fake-date Noah to save the Diary. But when Noah’s feelings grow beyond their staged romance, he realizes that dating in real life isn’t quite the same as finding love on the page.
      In this charming novel by Emery Lee, Noah will have to choose between following his own rules for love or discovering that the most romantic endings are the ones that go off script.

 alt=6. Perfectly Parvin by Olivia Abtahi

    Fourteen-year-old Iranian-American Parvin Mohammadi sets out to win the ultimate date to homecoming in this heartfelt and outright hilarious debut.
    Parvin has just had her heart broken when she meets the cutest boy at her new high school, Matty Fumero–with an emphasis on fumero, because he might be the smoking hot cure to all of her boy troubles. If Parvin can get Matty to ask her to homecoming, she’s positive it will erase all the awful and embarrassing feelings He Who Will Not Be Named left her with after the summer. The only problem is Matty is definitely too cool for bassoon-playing, frizzy-haired, Cheeto-eating Parvin. Since being herself has not worked for her in the past (see aforementioned relationship), she decides that to be the girl who finally gets the guy, she should start acting like the women in her favorite rom-coms. Those girls aren’t loud, they certainly don’t cackle when they laugh, and they smile much more than they talk. Easy enough, right?
      But as Parvin struggles through her parent-mandated Farsi lessons on the weekends, a budding friendship with a boy she can’t help but be her unfiltered self with, and dealing with the ramifications of the Muslim Ban on her family in Iran, she realizes that being herself might just be the perfect thing after all.

 alt=7. Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun by Jonny Garza Villa 

    A poignant, funny, openhearted novel about coming out, first love, and being your one and only best and true self.
    Julián Luna has a plan for his life: Graduate. Get into UCLA. And have the chance to move away from Corpus Christi, Texas, and the suffocating expectations of others that have forced Jules into an inauthentic life.
      Then in one reckless moment, with one impulsive tweet, his plans for a low-key nine months are thrown—literally—out the closet. The downside: the whole world knows, and Jules has to prepare for rejection. The upside: Jules now has the opportunity to be his real self.
      Then Mat, a cute, empathetic Twitter crush from Los Angeles, slides into Jules’s DMs. Jules can tell him anything. Mat makes the world seem conquerable. But when Jules’s fears about coming out come true, the person he needs most is fifteen hundred miles away. Jules has to face them alone.
      Jules accidentally propelled himself into the life he’s always dreamed of. And now that he’s in control of it, what he does next is up to him.

 alt=8. Like a Love Song by Gabriela Martins 

    This debut paperback original romance follows a Latina teen pop star whose image takes a dive after a messy public breakup, until she’s set up with a swoon-worthy fake boyfriend.
      Fake boyfriend. Real heartbreak?
      Natalie is living her dream: topping the charts and setting records as a Brazilian pop star…until she’s dumped spectacularly on live television. Not only is it humiliating—it could end her career.
      Her PR team’s desperate plan? A gorgeous yet oh-so-fake boyfriend. Nati reluctantly agrees, but William is not what she expected. She was hoping for a fierce bad boy—not a soft-hearted British indie film star. While she fights her way back to the top with a sweet and surprisingly swoon-worthy boy on her arm, she starts to fall for William—and realizes that maybe she’s the biggest fake of them all. Can she reclaim her voice and her heart?

 alt=9. Dreaming of You by Melissa Lozada-Oliva

    Dreaming of You, a genre-bending verse novel in which a young Latinx poet, grappling with loneliness and heartache, brings Tejana pop star Selena Quintanilla back to life through a seance, kicking off an absurd, uncanny trip narrated by a Greek chorus of Chismosas that involves a shadow self, a dead celebrity prom, and karaoke in hell; a macabre, moving love story and interrogation of Latinx identity, womanhood, obsession and disillusion, and what it truly means to be seen.

 alt=10. An Island Without You by Malulani Moreno

    A heartfelt and thrilling YA novel about two boys struggling to find their place amidst a tragedy that rocks their community in Hawai’i
      When Keoni’;s longtime bully Spencer disappears, he’s ecstatic: Life as a sixteen-year-old gay outcast in Wahiawā, Hawai’i just got a lot easier. But Keoni can’t seem to escape Spencer’s memory—there are missing posters everywhere, his best friend is spearheading a fundraiser, and some people think that Spencer didn’t actually run away.
      Aaron didn’t know what to expect when his dad uprooted them after his mom’s death, but it wasn’t that the first person he’d connect with in their new town would go missing. Still reeling from the loss, Aaron tries to make friends, but that’s hard with his selective mutism and the visions he’s having about Spencer.
      When their lives collide, Keoni and Aaron try to find the truth of what happened to Spencer. And as they draw closer to the truth, they also grow closer to each other. 

Are you looking forward to any of these? Which 2021 debut by a Latinx author are you most excited about? Let talk you in the comments!

Monthly Wrap-Up: January ’21

January was a month where I wanted to read so much, but I just could not find the time to get through a lot of books. I read four books this month, but it did include a near-600 page novel, so I feel like that kind of counts as two books. Let’s have a moment of silence as I got rejected for an eARC of The Mirror Season by Anna-Marie McLemore on NetGalley and will be crying about this until the book comes out, but on the plus side I did get offered an ARC of Once Upon a Quinceañera by Monica Gomez-Hira by the publisher after being denied on NetGalley. We are a month into the year and I haven’t signed up for any reading challenges and I think I will keep it this way. I could use a less stressful reading year.

(Book covers below are linked to my reviews, unless otherwise specified.) 

Favorite Book This Month:

My favorite read this month was Hafsah Faizal’s We Free the Stars, the conclusion to her We Hunt the Flame duology. I loved, loved, loved it. Wish me luck as I will be spending the next few days writing a review for this one. I have not written a full review in like two months, maybe more. Cover linked to Goodreads.

Least Favorite Book This Month:

No book received lower than three stars from me.

Reviews Posted This Month:

(Covers linked to reviews)

Notable Blog Posts:

2020 Reading Stats: Who and What Did I Read This Year – This is my second year going over my reading stats, which is always nice to reflect on and see where I can improve.

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Releases for the First Half of 2021 – An overview of some of my most anticipated reads. I can’t wait!

Talk Chisme to Me: Ten Most Anticipated 2021 Titles By Latinx Authors – Take a look at my most anticipated releases by Latinx authors out this year!

What I Watched/Am Watching:

Mr. Sunshine – I haven’t started any new shows, but I am almost done with Mr. Sunshine which I just adore so very much. If you’ve seen it, let me know, so I have someone to discuss it with once I am done.

February Releases I’m Excited For:

What was your first 2021 read? What February releases are you most excited for? Let’s discuss in the comments and feel free to leave me a link to your own wrap-up post and I’ll be sure to visit!

Talk Chisme to Me: Ten Most Anticipated 2021 Titles By Latinx Authors

I am so excited to bring you this list. I am looking forward to so many books by Latinx authors that are being released this year, but I wanted to highlight the ten books that I am most eager to get my hands on. Not going to lie, it was difficult making this list only ten books long, especially when one of these authors has several books coming out this year and I had to pick only one for this list (It’s SMG, btw). I also have an upcoming post about Latinx debuts you need to have on your TBR, so I feel less guilty about not putting a bunch of debuts on this list. Be on the lookout for this post in the next couple of weeks. Covers/titles are linked to Goodreads.

 alt=1. One of the Good Ones by Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite

      The Hate U Give meets Get Out in this honest and powerful exploration of prejudice in the stunning novel from sister-writer duo Maika and Maritza Moulite, authors of Dear Haiti, Love Alaine.
      ISN’T BEING HUMAN ENOUGH?
      When teen social activist and history buff Kezi Smith is killed under mysterious circumstances after attending a social justice rally, her devastated sister Happi and their family are left reeling in the aftermath. As Kezi becomes another immortalized victim in the fight against police brutality, Happi begins to question the idealized way her sister is remembered. Perfect. Angelic.
      One of the good ones.
      Even as the phrase rings wrong in her mind—why are only certain people deemed worthy to be missed?—Happi and her sister Genny embark on a journey to honor Kezi in their own way, using an heirloom copy of The Negro Motorist Green Book as their guide. But there’s a twist to Kezi’s story that no one could’ve ever expected—one that will change everything all over again.

 alt=2. The Mirror Season by Anna-Marie McLemore

      When two teens discover that they were both sexually assaulted at the same party, they develop a cautious friendship through her family’s possibly-magical pastelería, his secret forest of otherworldly trees, and the swallows returning to their hometown, in Anna-Marie McLemore’s The Mirror Season…
      Graciela Cristales’ whole world changes after she and a boy she barely knows are assaulted at the same party. She loses her gift for making enchanted pan dulce. Neighborhood trees vanish overnight, while mirrored glass appears, bringing reckless magic with it. And Ciela is haunted by what happened to her, and what happened to the boy whose name she never learned.
      But when the boy, Lock, shows up at Ciela’s school, he has no memory of that night, and no clue that a single piece of mirrored glass is taking his life apart. Ciela decides to help him, which means hiding the truth about that night. Because Ciela knows who assaulted her, and him. And she knows that her survival, and his, depend on no one finding out what really happened.

 alt=3. Oculta (A Forgery of Magic, #2) by Maya Motayne

      After joining forces to save Castallan from an ancient magical evil, Alfie and Finn haven’t seen each other in months. Alfie is finally stepping up to his role as heir and preparing for an International Peace Summit, while Finn is travelling and revelling in her newfound freedom from Ignacio.
      That is, until she’s unexpectedly installed as the new leader of one of Castallan’s powerful crime families. Now one of the four Thief Lords of Castallan, she’s forced to preside over the illegal underground Oculta competition, which coincides with the summit and boasts a legendary prize.
      Just when Finn finds herself back in San Cristobal, Alfie’s plans are also derailed. Los Toros, the mysterious syndicate responsible for his brother’s murder, has resurfaced—and their newest target is the summit. And when these events all unexpectedly converge, Finn and Alfie are once again forced to work together to follow the assassins’ trail and preserve Castallan’s hopes for peace with Englass.
      But will they be able to stop these sinister foes before a new war threatens their kingdom?

 alt=4. Illusionary (Hollow Crown, #2) by Zoraida Córdova

      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.

 alt=5. Meet Cute Diary by Emery Lee

      Noah Ramirez thinks he’s an expert on romance. He has to be for his popular blog, the Meet Cute Diary, a collection of trans happily ever afters. There’s just one problem—all the stories are fake. What started as the fantasies of a trans boy afraid to step out of the closet has grown into a beacon of hope for trans readers across the globe.
      When a troll exposes the blog as fiction, Noah’s world unravels. The only way to save the Diary is to convince everyone that the stories are true, but he doesn’t have any proof. Then Drew walks into Noah’s life, and the pieces fall into place: Drew is willing to fake-date Noah to save the Diary. But when Noah’s feelings grow beyond their staged romance, he realizes that dating in real life isn’t quite the same as finding love on the page.
      In this charming novel by Emery Lee, Noah will have to choose between following his own rules for love or discovering that the most romantic endings are the ones that go off script.

 alt=6. Fire with Fire by Destiny Soria

      Dani and Eden Rivera were both born to kill dragons, but the sisters couldn’t be more different. For Dani, dragon slaying takes a back seat to normal high school life, while Eden prioritizes training above everything else. Yet they both agree on one thing: it’s kill or be killed where dragons are concerned.
      Until Dani comes face-to-face with one and forges a rare and magical bond with him. As she gets to know Nox, she realizes that everything she thought she knew about dragons is wrong. With Dani lost to the dragons, Eden turns to the mysterious and alluring sorcerers to help save her sister. Now on opposite sides of the conflict, the sisters will do whatever it takes to save the other. But the two are playing with magic that is more dangerous than they know, and there is another, more powerful enemy waiting for them both in the shadows.

 alt=7. Return of the Sorceress by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

      Yalxi, the deposed Supreme Mistress of the Guild of Sorcerers, is on a desperate mission. Her lover and confidant seized her throne and stole the precious diamond heart, the jewel that is the engine of her power. Yalxi sets out to regain her magic and find a weapon capable of destroying the usurper. But this will mean turning to unlikely allies and opening herself up to unpleasant memories that have been suppressed for many years. For Yalxi is no great hero, but a cunning sorceress who once forged her path in blood – and must reckon with the consequences.
      Set in a fantastical land where jewels and blood provide symbiotic magical powers to their wearers, The Return of the Sorceress evokes the energy of classic sword and sorcery, while building a thoroughly fresh and exciting adventure ripe for our era.

8. Our Way Back to Always by Nina Moreno

      Pitched as When Harry Met Sally by way of Sarah Dessen, the contemporary YA romance follows two next-door neighbors and ex-best friends—gamer, fanfic-writer Luisa and drummer, golden boy Sam—whose paths collide during senior year of high school when they rediscover their childhood bucket list and set out to complete it before graduation.

9. Untitled (Blazewrath Games, #2) by Amparo Ortiz

      Sequel to Blazewrath Games, no synopsis currently available.

10. The Way Back List by Lily Anderson

      Lily Anderson’s THE WAY BACK LIST, in which a 20-something over-achiever loses her Silicon Valley job, moves home with her parents, and decides to complete her high school bucket list in an effort to find herself, connecting with her small town and former friends along the way.

Are you looking forward to any of these? Which 2021 book by a Latinx author are you most excited about? Let talk you in the comments!

2020 Reading Stats: Who and What Did I Read This Year

Last year was the first year I did a rundown of reading stats. I really enjoyed crunching the numbers and taking a closer look at who I was reading and what I was reading. I thought I would do the same for 202 and hopefully make this an annual thing. This post comes a little late, but it’s still January, so posting 2020 stats is still acceptable, right? If you are interested in taking a look at last year’s post, you can find it here.