I am so excited to bring you today’s Talk Chisme to Me post. This blog series is dedicated to uplifting books by Latine/e authors during Latinx Heritage Month. Whether you are looking for a recommendation for this month or looking to add some more books by Latinx authors to your TBR, you can’t go wrong with any of these. These are the books I’ve read over the past year that have really stood out to me and which I would recommend in a heartbeat. Covers are linked to Goodreads.
Check out my previous posts in this series for LHM:
1. How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland – I read this one way back last October and it has really stuck with me nearly a year later. It has some of the most beautiful prose I’ve come across. I loved its discussion on religion, fatphobia, and abuse. It’s not a light read, but it’s done in such a beautiful and heartfelt way, it’s hard not to feel moved. Read my review here.
2. Fat Chance, Charlie Vega by Crystal Maldonado – I literally fell in love with this one the moment I started it. Charlie’s voice is so distinct. I can’t praise Maldonado enough for capturing it so well. I loved that Charlie is a really flawed character, that she struggles with things like jealousy. This one forces its MC to take a hard look at various relationships in her life while also giving her room to grow as an individual. Read my review here.
3. The Last Cuentista by Donna Barba Higuera – I read both of Higuera’s middle grade novels last year and she immediately became one of my favorite middle grade authors as a result. The Last Cuentista is the middle grade dystopian novel I wish I had as a kid. I was so moved by how powerful this story was and particularly loved the MC’s resilient spirit. It also made me cry like a big baby. Read my review here.
4. We Are Not From Here by Jenny Torres Sanchez – If there is one book from my list that I wish I could make everyone read, it would probably be this one. Powerful and heartbreaking, this story about three Guatemalan teens trying desperately to make their way to the U.S. feels all too real. Read my review here.
5. The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School by Sonora Reyes – My favorite read from 2022 is The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School. Reyes explores homophobia in both Catholic and Latinx communities, and its effect on mental health. I especially enjoyed the MC’s relationship with her brother which is full of ups and downs, but their love for each other comes through so fiercely. Review coming soon.
6. Ophelia After All by Racquel Marie – Quiet books don’t often get the attention they deserve. Ophelia After All does so many things well. It depicts a friend group that is undergoing internal conflict and an MC exploring her queer identity for the first time. It’s a really great portrayal of how hard friendship is, but in the end felt like a hug you need at the end of a really long day. Read my review here.
7. The Daughter of Doctor Moreau by Silvia Moreno-Garcia – I say this all the time, but Silvia Moreno-Garcia can literally write everything. I love that her writing portfolio is so varied that I can recommend one of her books based on an individual’s genre preference. And SMG is so darn good at writing everything. The Daughter of Doctor Moreau will appeal to sci-fi readers who enjoy fresh looks at classic stories. There are so many interesting themes to explore in this one from colonization to ethics in science. Read my review here.
8. Lakelore by Anna-Marie McLemore – The year I don’t list an Anna-Marie McLemore book as one of my favorites is probably the year that they didn’t release one. I am consistently in awe of McLemore ability to move me to tears with beautiful prose, honest storytelling, and a gentle message of hope. Review coming soon.
9. What’s Coming to Me by Francesca Padilla – One Latinx debut author who really stood out to me this year was Francesca Padilla. What’s Coming to Me felt like a really unique story as I don’t see a lot of YA books tackle poverty and anticipatory grief. I appreciated seeing a messy MC who doesn’t always make great decisions because at the end of the day, she is just trying to survive. Read my review here.
10. Witchlings by Claribel A. Ortega – I just finished this one a few weeks ago and am just completely in love with it. I love how magical this world is, appreciated that Ortega didn’t shy away from exploring the darker side of this world, and enjoyed seeing friendship bloom between three young Witchlings. Review coming soon.
What’s your favorite book by a Latinx author that you’ve read over the past year? Did you enjoy any of these or are you planning to pick any of them up? Let’s discuss in the comments!