My Worst Reads of 2022

Hello friends,

Happy New Year! I know, I know, I’m late. But I hope you’re doing okay and that this new year brings you so many good reads. For my part, I’m so ready to tackle the new year. I haven’t reflected back on how my 2022 went yet. I was overwhelmed and exhausted, but my hard work also paid off and I did great things and accomplished my personal goals and my reading goals. I honestly think 2022 was a good year for me. I struggled sometimes, but looking back, I did all that, you know. So yes, I hope 2023 treats you well and good books are in your future. Exactly the opposite of this post. How about some ranting for my first post of 2023?

I read 189 books and I rated 16 books one star. I narrowed down my list to five titles. I disliked more books, but these five have stayed with me since I read them, sadly. Every time I think about them, I’m filled with rage again. Perfect sign these books were my worst reads of 2022.

Let me know what were your worst reads of the year!

The Player by Claire Contreras

The Player by Claire Contreras. Cover link to GR

This is a sports romance that I read for Latinx Heritage Month. The book follows my bestie, Camila, catching the interest of international soccer star, Warren. He’s famous and rich, a well-known player. She’s poor and shy, she doesn’t know she’s beautiful. How can they be together? They live worlds apart. She doesn’t even recognize him, she’s not like the other girls Warren has dated.

I don’t know why I thought reading this book was a good idea. I have never found a sports romance that didn’t have an over-the-top and ridiculous setup, with the most basic conflict. Do you want to know how they meet? It still infuriates me. Camila’s apartment complex is getting demolished to build new real estate and she’s getting kicked out. What role does the noble hero play? Oh yeah, he’s the one kicking her out. Lovely, am I right? He’s the owner of the apartments, planning to make money from gentrification. But what a lovely setup!

Not only that, but he sees her in the meeting and asks her out. The nerve! She says no, you’re literally leaving me without a home. And he’s like, I hear you, what about dinner? There is no amount of redemption with this lack of empathy. I don’t care that he gets her a new place, I don’t care he wants to get to know her. He doesn’t respect her boundaries, he’s being inconsiderate and he’s a gentrifier.

I couldn’t get over the initial setup. I found the story very frustrating, the characters were underwhelming (walking stereotypes) and nothing about this book was enjoyable. Mediocre writing, bland dialogue, and forgettable romance. This book made it to the list because this is one the worst romance setups that I have had the displeasure of reading.

When Life Gives You Vampires by Gloria Duke

When Life Gives You Vampires by Gloria Duke. Cover link to GR

This book was so frustrating. It appears to be a fun rom-com with vampires and a fat heroine, WRONG. Lily is turned into a vampire after a night out, but this is not her love story but her journey to accept herself. She lives a quiet life, very low-risk and she is dealing with a lot of fatphobia, from her mother and herself. As Lily grows more powerful in her vampire power, she grows more confident in herself.

It doesn’t sound so bad, but it’s definitely not what I was hoping for with that cutesy title and cover. Lily’s fatphobia is a substantial aspect of the story and there is no escape. The book starts with her doing concessions to herself about food, and it doesn’t get any better from there. She is constantly restricting her food, constantly telling us how big she’s and about her diet history. What’s her worst concern when she realizes that she’s immortal now? She is never going to be skinny. She goes on and on questioning the hero’s intention but he can’t possibly be attracted to her. It’s not romantic, it’s exhausting.

The thing is, she’s not a sympathetic character. She’s extremely judgmental and looks down on other women, especially the hero’s ex, for no reason. We’re supposed to think she’s resourceful and clever, but every revelation must be fed to her. I would even go on to say that she has no personality. The same thing happens with the rest of the characters of the story, they are all bland. Especially the hero. Dear god, he was such a boring character.

I was told to finish the book before passing judgment like it gets any better. It doesn’t. Sure, Lily doesn’t end up in the book hating herself (spoiler, I guess), but the book is not good. The writing is repetitive, the plot is nonsensical, the characters are underwhelming and the romance is laughable. This is supposed to be a paranormal romance but the couple has no chemistry. The author makes so many little winks to famous vampire media that it was getting annoying. The big evil is a caricature of a villain and the hero has no real depth or character growth.

When Life Gives You Vampires was one of the blandest romances I have read.

Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan

Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan. Cover link to GR.

This one was a big disappointment. Not only anticipated release of the year, but I also won an ARC in a Goodreads giveaway. I couldn’t be more excited! I was so happy. And then everything came crashing down so fast once I started it.

It follows Xingyin, the daughter of the Moon goddess (duh!), forced to run away to the Celestial Kingdom and hide her identity. She’s trying to rescue her imprisoned mother and ends up working in the palace (of the emperor that imprisoned her mother, keep that in mind). She meets the emperor’s son and falls in love. Her enemy! Now caught between duty and love, things happen, I guess. I say I guess because the plot gets so convoluted for no good reason, with so many side quests and subplots that’s hard to describe much of the plot without spoilers. Yes, she wants to save her mom but she’s also in love and suddenly wrapped in the politics of the Celestial Kingdom.

This book is so long for no reason, the pacing would pick up and then slow down again. The side characters were underwhelming, but the biggest problem of the book is its protagonist. Why? Because Xingyin is perfect. She’s beautiful and clever, and in everything she tries, she succeeds. Everyone falls in love with her, and all women hate her. She can do no wrong. She’s a natural archer and warrior. And it’s frustrating because she is very impulsive, but her decisions have no consequences. So it came to a point where I didn’t believe in the conflict anymore, why worry about her? She would figure it out at the last minute. The stakes were not high and the already messing pace slowed down even more.

But it also means that there is no space for her to grow. She goes from this simple girl to a powerful warrior, but that isn’t growth when she’s a natural. Nothing feels earned with her. Her easiness to move makes every single obstacle she faces a joke. Even when winning powerful enemies nothing comes from it. Ridiculous.

I guess this is more of a fantasy romance but dear god, the romance was so terrible. They have no chemistry, their relationship is so forced. The prince always shows signs of development when it’s convenient to the plot. Only when Xingyin needs him to, he confronts his ideas about the Celestial Kingdom. The other love interest? Fellow warrior? I liked their interactions better but I never understood why she suddenly liked him.

Overall, I just found this book deeply lacking. Read my full review here.

Electric Idol by Katee Roberts

Electric Idol by Katee Roberts. Cover link to GR.

Another romance book that I haven’t stopped thinking about. I don’t think I like Katee Roberts, I’m sorry but it’s time I speak out. This Dark Olympus series has not been it for me. Neon Gods was good enough, but Electric Idol has been the most frustrating book I’ve read.

Even if you enjoyed this book, we all have to admit that it’s the setup of Neon Gods copy-pasted. Evil mother forces the hand of their child to do something reckless and dangerous that would allow them to be freed. Granted, Neon Gods is a Hades and Persephone retelling, but Electric Idol follows the same formula. Here, we have Psyche, a social media influencer, that is making Aphrodite jealous. She sends her son, Eros, to kill Psyche but he can’t do it! So they fake a relationship to avoid Aphrodite’s retaliation.

The plot is so ridiculously convoluted, the politics of this world makes no sense to me. There is an Olympus and they have titles that supposedly are passed down, but some of them are earned (from the third book, Wicked Beauty). There is a very precarious balance between these powerful leaders? rulers? CEOs? I’m not sure I understand what they’re even doing. This is a city and they can’t leave because something bad happens. What, who knows. Exile is always on the table, but it’s a terrible fate.

Imagine being a regular person in this city and having to deal with all these murder plots, power plays, and bullshit of the 13. I would riot.

I get that I’m being nitpicky, but I just don’t understand the world-building of this series. It’s retelling but also modern, there’s technology but maybe also some magical element? When so much of the conflict relies on the politics, not understanding what is going is not great.

Besides the messy plot and underwhelming world-building, the characters are not that great. Their romance is rushed and there is no growth here. I didn’t like Eros at all, that was my biggest problem. I’m sorry, but I draw my line at murder. Can’t excuse murderers, yes. I understand that Eros has been abused by his mother, but he has spent years actually killing people and there are no consequences. Psyche doesn’t want Eros to face any consequences, what kind of justice is that? Girlie can forgive him all she wants, but he doesn’t get to be absolved in my book.

Bindle Punk Bruja by Desideria Mesa

Bindle Punk Bruja by Desideria Mesa. Cover link to GR.

Not only the worst book I read in 2022, but probably one of the worst books that I have read. It has been months and I’m still thinking about it. It’s not only an underwhelming, bland, and boring story, but I found it incredibly insulting, too.

It follows Rose, Luna to her family, a white-passing Mexican-American bruja, hiding her identity in the 1920s bootlegging scene. She lives in Kansas City and runs a club at night and works as a reporter during the day. In a period of prejudice and violence against Black and brown people, Rose must hide her Mexican ancestry to rise to the top. She’s also hiding her magic as an Earth bruja.

Rose was an insufferable character, everyone is after her, from mobsters to white supremacists. Her growth is at the expense of her brown family. Honestly, the amount of violence the brown and queer characters of this book suffer was sickening. She’s careless in her pursuit. Of what, I’m not completely sure. She goes on and on about how she had to sacrifice herself to get here, but where she wants to go, I don’t know. Does she want to offer security to her family? When her mom and grandmother lose their house, she doesn’t want to let them stay in her apartment. What a charmer!

And I get it, we have a very romantic view of this time period, but I’m not sure Bindle Punk Bruja is the nuance and thoughtful conversation we need to have. Rose considers herself the victim of the victims. When she is challenged, she complains about misogyny. We’re supposed to feel sorry that she’s white-passing and feels disconnected from her identity, while she won’t even listen to her own brother about the dangers and injustices he deals as a queer, brown man. Girlie, shut up.

It’s not only her being insufferable, the story doesn’t know where to go. It’s violence after violence, with Rose learning to feel confident in her Mexican identity. But she doesn’t really learn about her family and ancestors, or even truly reconnect with her family.

I’ve been so convinced that fantasy books set in the 1920s are my thing, but I found the whole world-building underwhelming. Am I having the wrong expectations here? Why do I go to these books hoping to love the world and always end up disappointed? Am I wrong for thinking historical fantasy in the 1920s can have an urban fantasy vibe? I truly don’t understand. Bindle Punk Bruja was the fourth book I read in this genre, but not a single one of these books I have liked.

There is no fantasy aspect, that’s the thing with these books. They live a regular life and here and there you hear about some magical aspects. Rose is from a family of Earth brujas but who they are or how the magic works in the world is never a concern for her. The limits of this magic are never fully explained. It’s so underwhelming that I find it personally insulting. But like I said, this is something that found in many other of my 2022 reads.

I honestly I don’t think I would anything else by this author. Once was more than enough, thank you very much.


Life and Reading Update: Coming Back to Blogging

Hello friends,

It has been a while. You can’t understand how happy I am to be back here again. I have missed you! I have missed blogging and the community. And yes, I have missed Cande Reads.

So much has happened this year and my posts have been so sporadic that it feels like I should start from the beginning. So let me update you about my life, blogging thoughts, and my reading lately.

Life Update

I have mentioned this before, but I’m majoring in Astronomy and Physics. This past year has been very busy for me in school. I spend a lot of time complaining about my physics classes, mostly because they take me a great deal of effort and time. You probably can guess from my messy blogging, but I’m not an organized person. I do try, but I’m always left feeling like I’m running out of time. So studying and keeping up with classes have been taking most of my time this past year.

I am always unsure what to share in life updates because I don’t feel super comfortable sharing my personal life on the internet. I’m sorry this is a short update. Talking about school feels safe. I can also share that I got a job, starting next year in January, which it’s exciting and a little bit stressful.

Blogging Update

This year has been super busy with school, but I’ll admit that I have also been in a blogging slump. If I’m being honest, the slump started in the summer of 2020 and it never went away completely. It was the reason that I decided that Latinx Magic had to come to an end in the first place.

Coming back to blogging as Cande Reads was so exciting and I’m still so proud of that decision, but things never were the same. I didn’t feel the love of that first year of blogging. But I kept trying, coming back again and again. I don’t want to let blogging go, this is not a goodbye. I don’t want to abandon Cande Reads. So I needed a break and 2022 was that.

I think these past months of not blogging have helped me figure out how to come back. I think I am ready. I won’t promise constant content or even specific content. This is one of the things I need: space to come and go. So much of my real life is sticking to a schedule and working on ten things at the same time, I don’t want blogging to be that. I want this place to be where I feel happy and comfortable, where I come to ramble and rant and not worry about deadlines.

So here is what the future of Cande Reads looks like: chaotic blogging, random content and a lot of rambling reviews. Setting the right expectations is always important, right?

Reading update

As I am writing this post I have read over 150 books this year. That was my goal for the year so in terms of numbers, I’m all good. It feels very weird that my reading this past two years has reduced to half of what I used to read, but I know it’s fine. Even when I had the time during summer, my brain couldn’t handle reading more than 20 books like I used.

I haven’t looked at my goals for this year, but I feel like I have accomplished them. I have read more non-fiction than ever and I have finally moved on from YA fantasy. I have tried new authors, reread favorites, meet known faces again and finish some book series.

One thing I have found interesting is how I haven’t been enjoying contemporary romance this year. Not necessarily contemporary romance coming out in 2022, but in general. But we can talk more about my disappointments and the stats of the year later on.

Let me share with you the three books that I’m hoping to finish before the year ends:

Lightlark by Alex Aster. Listen, I know what I’m doing, I promise. I think one last hate read before the year ends is good for the soul. This is going to be terrible and awful and I can’t wait. But just in case you have missed everything going on with this book; Lightlark is a TikTok sensation and best-seller with weird marketing. And by weird I mean, the book didn’t deliver what the author was selling in her videos. Everything about it has me convinced that Lightlark is a publishing experiment.

The Daughter of Doctor Moreau by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. This is Silvia’s 2022 release, a science-fiction loose retelling of The Island of Doctor Moreau. SMG has a place as a favorite author, so here I am, planning to read everything she writes. Thanks to her I have ventured into genres that I wasn’t willing to try, like noir with her Velvet Was the Night or thriller with Untamed Shore. I have enjoyed every single one of her books, and reading her is always a pressure. But I’ll admit this one has been a struggle. The hints of a romance between the protagonist and this older man, who meets her when she was a teenager, make the reading hard. To clarify, there is no relationship between them until she’s older, but SMG always likes to make these weird age gaps. And this is one that has been the hardest one to read about. But I’m aiming to finish it before the year ends. I will get over my feelings.

Into the Windwracked Wilds by A. Deborah Baker. Earlier this year I read the first two books (well, reread the first one) of this series, Up and Under by Seanan McGuire. God, I love these kinds of books by her so much. Short books that feel like a fairy tale, following children in an adventure who only want to be loved and cared for. Their adventure is dangerous and they make all sorts of friends along the way. They are smart children and quickly figure out the rules of the game. This series reminds me a lot of Wayward Children, with a similar tone and vibe. And I’m absolutely in love with it. Into the Windwracked Wilds is the third book and I’m excited to see the expansion of world-building and meet my dear Avery and Zib again.

Review: Bindle Punk Bruja by Desideria Mesa

Title: Bindle Punk Bruja
Author: Desideria Mesa
Series: The Celestial Kingdom Duology #1
Genre:  Fantasy, Historical fantasy, Mystery
Add to Goodreads || Get your own copy *

*this is an affiliate link, I get a small commission for no extra charge to you


A part-time reporter and club owner takes on crooked city councilmen, mysterious and deadly mobsters, and society’s deeply rooted sexism and racism, all while keeping her true identity and magical abilities hidden –inspired by an ancient Mexican folktale.

Yo soy quien soy. I am who I am.

Luna–or depending on who’s asking, Rose–is the white-passing daughter of an immigrant mother who has seen what happens to people from her culture. This world is prejudicial, and she must hide her identity in pursuit of owning an illegal jazz club. Using her cunning powers, Rose negotiates with dangerous criminals as she climbs up Kansas City’s bootlegging ladder. Luna, however, runs the risk of losing everything if the crooked city councilmen and ruthless mobsters discover her ties to an immigrant boxcar community that secretly houses witches. Last thing she wants is to put her entire family in danger.

But this bruja with ever-growing magical abilities can never resist a good fight. With her new identity, Rose, an unabashed flapper, defies societal expectations all the while struggling to keep her true self and witchcraft in check. However, the harder she tries to avoid scrutiny, the more her efforts eventually capture unwanted attention. Soon, she finds herself surrounded by greed and every brand of bigotry–from local gangsters who want a piece of the action and businessmen who hate her diverse staff to the Ku Klux Klan and Al Capone. Will her earth magic be enough to save her friends and family? As much as she hates to admit it, she may need to learn to have faith in others–and learning to trust may prove to be her biggest ambition yet.


Here I am again with another disappointing 2022 read. Another case of a pretty cover that delivered nothing. Last time it was Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan and it broke my heart.

So what happened with Bindle Punk Bruja?

The novel follows this white-passing Mexican-American woman, Rose (or Luna for her family), as she tries to keep her business afloat while navigating a life of lies. It’s the 1920s in Kansas City, alcohol is banned and racism is rampant. Life is hard for minorities, Mesa reminds us. Rose’s mother decides that her daughter should take full advantage of her white father and pass as a regular, plain white woman. Rose moves away, changes her name, pretends to not understand Spanish, and hides her secret identity.

Because not only she’s hiding her Mexican roots, but she is also hiding her magic. She comes from a family of Earth brujas and they do stuff? It’s never quite clear, I’m sorry.

So here is Rose, in the bootlegging scene, running her own club by night, being a reporter by day, hiding her identity and she gets involved in all sorts of stuff. Everyone is out to get her, apparently, from mobsters to white supremacists. To keep her family safe, Rose must learn more about her powers and learn to trust her community.

But what happened?

This is a pretty solid setup; a historical fantasy novel that features magic and secrets in the roaring twenties. It must have such a cunning protagonist! It must be a thrilling book! Yeah, no.

Bindle Bundle Bruja is an underwhelming and convoluted mess. Dear god, this girl has such a ridiculous list of enemies. Everyone is out to get her! The why I get, she is not only stunning but also amazing at everything. But how they can’t defeat her, considering how she lacks of any sense of self-preservation is the real mystery. She is extremely impulsive. Oh, maybe it’s just a character flaw? No really because she always finds a way to keep going. And not in an admirable way, showing her strength and perseverance in the face of hardships. Mesa doesn’t want her to suffer any serious consequences for her very poor actions, that’s the thing. She is saved every single time by a flimsy twist. It becomes quite clear when the side characters suffer more than her for her decisions. Her big growth moment is “maybe I should think stuff so the people I love don’t have to suffer“. What a fucking charmer!

Can you tell I have no patience for her?

Rose is such an insufferable protagonist. No, she is insufferable. So much of her internal monologue is about how hard being a white-passing Mexican American woman is… after we have seen brown and queer characters insulted, threatened, abused, and tortured. Girl, shut the hell up. Discussions about identity are always important, but if you’re centering the privileged side with no nuance in the conversation is not one I want to have. She sees her own brother being treated as garbage and does nothing to keep her cover, but then dares to whine about how she doesn’t feel connected to her culture. Girl, seriously, read the room.

Again, I do believe that discussions about identity and culture are very important. But there is nuance to have here; as much as Rose’s feelings are valid, so there are her brother’s feelings. His brother doesn’t have her privilege and as a brown, queer man faces threats, insults, and abuse. Not only that, the amount of violence he is subjected to alarmingly increases as Rose’s schemes get more complicated. And yeah, they do fight about this and he calls her out for her lack of understanding about how frustrating life for Latine people is at this moment. But it is kind of brushed off, because do you have any idea how hard to be a woman in the 1920s is? How is deflecting the conversation to Rose’s comfort having any nuance? No, I’m seriously asking. How am I supposed to sympathize with her hardships if she doesn’t truly comprehend what her own family is living through?

I’m not that interested in a story that will teach its protagonist that having ambitions is great, but maybe look after your family too because of that growth? That growth comes at the expense of violence against the brown characters of the book.

The amount of violence in this book was a lot (domestic violence, sexual assault, homophobia, xenophobia, racism, white supremacy). I’m not saying is portrayed in a “problematic” way or whatever, just saying that is a book that deals with a lot of the hardships of the 1920s and it wasn’t something that I was expecting. I’m used to historicals (historical romances) where marginalized people get to carve their happiness. And we barely see that here; hardship after hardship. I’m sure there’s something smart to say about this very romanticized period and the way folks, especially marginalized people, experienced the era but was it done in a successful way? I’m not sure. Like I said, to me, it felt that Rose’s journey comes at the expense of her own family.

If I haven’t talked about the magic aspect is because it was lacking. There is not much to go on here. To me, this was going to be sort of an urban fantasy novel. I adore urban fantasy and how it incorporates magical or supernatural elements in everyday settings. Magic blends with the city and the setting becomes one more character of the story. That doesn’t happen here. Kansa City is pretty much a backdrop to all the ridiculous action. There are not that many explanations about the magic in the world, Rose doesn’t care that much to learn about anything. Besides her, the only other character with magic we meet is her grandmother. It feels so disconnected, it’s so underwhelming and disappointing.

What a waste.

+40 2023 Latine Releases to Add to Your TBR

Hello friends,

Today I’m bringing you a list of more than 40 books by Latine authors coming out in 2023 to be on your radar. This is not a complete list by any means, I decided to include only books that have titles announced, for example. Do let me know if there is a book I am missing!

Lists is divided by eight categories; Magic in the air (fantasy/speculative), Unforgettable romance (romance), Hiding in the dark (horror), Soul-crushing and heartwarming (YA contemporary/romance), Historical, Mischief and big hearts (Middle grade contemporary), Graphic novels and Poetry. To best of my knowledge, these are the release dates of the books but they may change. All titles are linked to Goodreads page. All pre-order links are my affiliate Bookshop code, for not extra charge to you, I get a small commission.

2023 Latine books is going to be spectacular, be sure to keep your eyes on these authors!


Breakup from Hell by Ann Davila Cardinal. Described as “horror rom-com”. Pub Date: January, 3rd. Pre-order.

Unseelie by Ivelisse Housman. “Twin sisters, both on the run, but different as day and night. One, a professional rogue, searches for a fabled treasure; the other, a changeling, searches for the truth behind her origins, trying to find a place to fit in with the realm of fae who made her and the humans who shun her.” Pub date: January, 3rd. Pre-order.

The Enchanted Life of Valentina Mejia by Alexandra Alessandri. “Encanto meets The Chronicles of Narnia by way of Colombian folklore in this middle grade fantasy adventure.” Pub date: February, 21st. Pre-order.

The Wicked Bargain by Gabe Cole Novoa. “El Diablo is in the details in this Latinx pirate fantasy starring a transmasculine nonbinary teen with a mission of revenge, redemption, and revolution.” Pub date: February, 28th. Pre-order.

Pilar Ramirez and the Curse of San Zenon by Julian Randall. Sequel to Pilar Ramirez and the Escape from Zafa.“The Land of Stories meets Dominican culture and mythology” Pub date: February, 28th. Pre-order.

Lucha of the Night Forest by Tehlor Kay Mejia. “An edge-of-your-seat fantasy about a girl who will do anything to protect her sister–even if it means striking a dangerous bargain. Dark forces, forgotten magic, and a heart-stopping queer romance make this young adult novel a must-read.” Pub date: March, 21st. Pre-order.

The Witch and the Vampire by Francesca Flores. “a queer Rapunzel retelling where a witch and a vampire who trust no one but themselves must journey together through a cursed forest with danger at every turn.” Pub date: March, 21st. Pre-order.

Last Sunrise in Eterna by Amparo Ortiz. “A goth girl, an elf prince, a missing mother, and a magical island where elves lend their magic to humans for seven days.” Recipe for a perfect disaster. Pub date: March, 28th.

Venom & Low by Anna-Marie McLemore and Elliott McLemore.A lush and powerful YA novel about owning your power and becoming who you really are – no matter the cost.” Pub date: May, 16th. Pre-order.

The Golden Frog Games by Claribel A. Ortega. Sequel to Witchlings, a competition, a mystery and more adventurous. Pub date: May, 2nd. Pre-order.

The Sun and the Void by Gabriela Romero Lacruz. “Set in a lush world inspired by the history and folklore of South America, discover this sweeping epic fantasy of colonialism and country, ancient magic, and a young woman’s quest for belonging.” Pub date: July, 25th.

The Greatest Living Warrior in Nefaria by Adi Alsaid. Debut middle grade fantasy. “The novel follows possibly invisible, decidedly friendless Bobert, whose bid to impress his classmates by using a cursed gumball machine leads him into the center of a highly incompetent (but very ambitious!) evil wizard’s wicked scheme to take control of the kingdom.”

A Warning About Swans by R.M. Romero. “A YA fairy tale in verse, set at the court of King Ludwig II, in which swan maiden Hilde, feeling imprisoned by the responsibility her father Odin created her for, gives up her magical wings to forge her own fate in the human world.”

Sinner’s Isle by Angela Montoya. “A dual POV Latinx fantasy romance, pitched as Pirates of the Caribbean meets Serpent & Dove.

Lucero by Maya Motayne. Book 3 of A Forgery of Magic series.

Sun of Blood and Ruin by Mariely Lares. “A Zorro reimagining weaving Mexican history and Mesoamerican mythology into a thrilling historical fantasy with magic, intrigue, treachery, romance, and adventure.”

Rostam and the Red Dwarf by Olivia Abtahi. “MG sci-fi/fantasy based on The Persian Book of Kings

Thief Liar Lady by D.L. Soria. “A Cinderella reimagining in which she and her “evil” stepfamily are grifters conning their way into high society, and must now navigate a high-pressure world of political intrigue, dysfunctional family dynamics, and unexpected romance.”

The Summer I Ate the Rich by Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite. YA fantasy inspired b Haitian zombie lore.


Take the Lead: A Dance Off Novel by Alexis Daria. Reprint. “A fun, sexy romance set against a reality dance show.” Pub date: February, 14th. Pre-order.

Ana Maria and the Fox by Liana De la Rosa. “A marriage of convenience between a Mexican heiress and a shrewd London politician makes for a scandalous Victorian bargain.” Pub date: April, 4th. Pre-order.

The Fall of Rebel Angels by Zoraida Cordova. “Love story between a woman suspected of murdering her former lover and a fallen angel who is cursed to search for his wings on Earth every one hundred years.”


The Haunting of Alejandra by V. Castro. “A woman is haunted by the Mexican folk demon La Llorona as she unravels the dark secrets of her family history in this ravishing and provocative horror novel.” Pub date: April, 18th. Pre-order.

Saint Juniper’s Folly by Alex Crespo. “A queer YA gothic mystery, pitched as Cemetery Boys meets The Devouring Gray, in which a straight-laced golden boy and a novice witch team up to rescue Jaime, a Mexican-American teen with a cryptic past, who’s become trapped inside a haunted mansion in Vermont.”


Saints of the Household by Ari Tison. “A haunting contemporary YA about an act of violence in a small-town–beautifully told by a debut Indigenous Costa Rican-American writer–that will take your breath away.” Pub date: January, 17th. Pre-order.

Brighter Than the Sun by Daniel Aleman. “An affecting, timely, and thought-provoking story about going after your dreams, making tough choices, and learning that change gives as much as it takes.” Pub date: March, 21st.

Into the Light by Mark Oshiro. “a new contemporary coming-of-age novel laced with a twisty, dark mystery you’ll have to read to believe.” Pub date: March, 28th.

An Appetite for Miracles by Laekan Zea Kemp. A story about love, healing and family. Pub date: April, 4th. Pre-order.

Ander & Santi Were Here by Jonny Garza Villa. “Aristotle and Dante meets The Hate U Give meets The Sun Is Also A Star: A stunning YA contemporary love story about a Mexican-American teen who falls in love with an undocumented Mexican boy.” Pub date: April, 4th. Pre-order.

Wings in the Wild by Margarita Engle. “This gorgeously romantic contemporary novel-in-verse from award-winning author Margarita Engle tells the inspiring love story of two teens fighting for climate action and human rights.” Pub date: April, 18th. Pre-order.

You Don’t Have A Shot by Racquel Marie. “A queer “Bend It Like Beckham”, set at a soccer camp where two arch rivals must come together to redeem their reputations and lead their team to victory.” Pub date: May, 9th. Pre-order.

Caught in a Bad Fauxmance by Elle Gonzalez Rose. Queer, Latinx YA rom-com. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before meets Schitt’s Creek.

I Like Me Better by Leah Benavides Rodriguez. “Pitched as a YA Latinx Roman Holiday, the book tells the story of Camila Torres, a Mexican-American teen movie star, who takes time off in Puerto Rico after a devastating and very public breakup, and falls for a charming local who works at an old-school cinema.”

The Making of Yolanda La Bruja by Lorraine Avila. Coming-of-age YA novel about a girl initiated into her family’s religion and having a vision about a school shooting at her school.


The Cuban Heiress by Chanel Cleeton. New historical novel by the author of Next Year in Havana. Pub date: May, 23rd. Pre-order.

Where There Was Fire by John Manuel Arias. “In John Manuel Arias’s lush and lyrical debut, the Cepeda-Mora women wrestle with the aftermath of colonialism, a deadly secret, and an all-consuming fire.” Pub date: September, 19th. Pre-order.


Sincerely Sicily by Tamika Burgess. “comes the captivating and empowering story of Sicily Jordan—a Black Panamanian fashionista who rocks her braids with pride—who learns to use her voice and take pride in who she is while confronting prejudice in the most unexpected of places.” Pub date: January, 3rd. Pre-order.

Barely Floating by Lilliam Rivera. “A dazzling story full of heart about how one twelve-year-old channels her rage into synchronized swimming dreams” Pub date: May, 9th. Pre-order.


Saving Chupie by Amparo Ortiz and illustrated by Ronnie Garcia. “A middle grade graphic novel about Violeta Rubio and her friends’ mission to protect their local Chupacabra, set in a recovering town in Puerto Rico.

Morivivi by Vanessa Flores. Follows a 12-year old as he navigates the aftermath of a hurricane.


Promises of Gold by Jose Olivarez. “A groundbreaking collection of poems addressing how every kind of love—self, brotherly, romantic, familial, cultural—is birthed, shaped, and complicated by the invisible forces of gender, capitalism, religion, and so on. But even though the path to love is not easy, it is a path worth treading.” Pub date: February, 7th. Pre-order.

Latinx Book Bingo 2022 Announcement

Hello friends,

I have a very exciting announcement today, Latinx Book Bingo is back! There will be a bingo board, reading sprints, a liveshow, and Instagram challenges. This Latinx Heritage Month is going to be epic.

I have posted about Latinx Book Bingo a couple of times, you know I love the readathon. So it was a dream come true when Paola and Sofia invited me to co-host it this year. We all met at the very first bingo back in 2018, so it holds a special place in my heart ❤


The goal of Latinx Book Bingo is to read Latinx books from September 15 to October 15. This is the 5th round, co-hosted by Sofia, Paola, and me! Any format counts, we want to highlight Latinx authors across genres and identities. This is not a rule but I encourage you to read different voices and stories.

We have a super fun bingo board, but you can use these prompts only as a guide if you wish to. Complete a row or line, complete all prompts, or read outside the board, fantastic!

Our group book is Burn Down, Rise Up by Vicent Tirado. This is a YA sapphic horror described as “Stranger Things meets Get Out“. Perfect for the spooky season! We will have a liveshow on October 16th at 8pm ET for the book. We will also have reading sprints every Tuesday, starting September 20th, at 8pm ET on Paola’s channel (click here to follow Paola yay)

Be sure to follow LatinxBookBingo on Twitter and LatinxBookBingo on Instagram. Use the #LatinxBookBingo hashtag for all your tweets and posts, we will love to see what you’re reading!

I will be posting a TBR and recommendation lists on IG in the following days, so be sure to follow me there (@iamrainbou).

Below you can find the bingo board:

First row: Set in Latam, Translated, Co-Authored, Romance

Second row: Poetry or novel in verse, Foodie, Indie, Non-fiction

Third row: Afro-Latinx author, Group book, Horror, Banned

Fourth row: Middle grade, Joyful, Part of a series, Disabled MC