Don’t know what to read for #readathon2016? Check out 5 Latinx YA Novels I’ve binged read! The books aren’t listed in any particular order. I’ve included them because of their binge-worthy factor—that is, I read these Latinx novels in like a day because they are super fabulous. These novels have intriguing storylines, relatable characters, and flawless writing. These Latinx YA novels address contemporary issues like suicide, gay identity, working-class struggles, bullying, and family troubles. The MCs find ways to process the multiple oppressions they experience and develop at stronger sense of self. All in all, these amazing YA novels will have you disregarding all your other responsibilities and I guarantee that it will be worth it!
- When Reason Breaks by Cindy L. Rodriguez (Bloombury, 2015)
Publisher description: Meet Elizabeth Davis: a goth girl with an attitude problem, she must leant to control her anger before it destroys her. Meet Emily Delgado: a smart, sweet girl, with a seemingly happy life, she feels her depression closing in around her. Both girls are in Ms. Diaz’s English class, where the words of Emily Dickinson are a temporary salve to the constant turmoil they feel inside. Both girls are hovering on the edge of an emotional precipice. Before the school year is over, one of them will attempt suicide…Powerful and heartbreakingly honest, When Reason Breaks tells the story of two girls fighting for their lives.
- More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera (Soho Teen, 2015)
Publisher description: The Leteo Institute’s revolutionary memory-relief procedure seems too good to be true to Aaron Soto—miracle cure-alls don’t tend to pop up in the Bronx projects. Aaron could never forget how he’s grown up poor, how his friends aren’t there for him, or how his father committed suicide in their one-bedroom apartment. Aaron has the support of his patient girlfriend, if not necessarily his distant brother and overworked mother, but it’s not enough. Then Thomas shows up. He has a sweet movie-watching setup on his roof, and he doesn’t mind Aaron’s obsession with a popular fantasy series. There are nickames, inside jokes. Most importantly, Thomas doesn’t mind talking about Aaron’s past. But Aaron’s newfound happiness isn’t welcoming on his block. Since he can’t stay away from Thomas or suddenly stop being gay, Aaron must turn to Leteo to straighten himself out, even if it means forgetting who he is.
- Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina (Candlewick Press, 2013)
Publisher description: “Yaqui Delgado wants to kick your ass.” That’s what some girl tells Piddy Sanchez one morning. Piddy doesn’t even know who Yaqui Delgado is or what she’s done to piss her off. But Yaqui isn’t kidding around. Piddy tries to focus on finding out more about the father she’s never met and balancing honors courses with her job at the neighborhood hair salon, but avoiding Yaqui and her gang starts to take over Piddy’s life. She is forced to decide exactly who she is versus who others are trying t make her become—and ultimately discovers a rhythm that is all her own.
- Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz (Simon & Schuster, 2012)
Publisher description: Dante can swim. Ari can’t. Dante is articulate and self-assured. Ari has a hard time with words and suffers from self-doubt. Dante gets lost in poetry and art. Ari gets lost in thoughts of his older brother who is in prison. Dante is fair skinned. Ari’s features are much darker. It seems that a boy like Dante, with his open and unique perspective on life, would be the last person to break down the walls that Ari has built around himself. But against all odd, when Ari and Dante meet, they develop a special bond that will teach them the most important truths of their lives, and help define the people they want to be. But there are big hurdles in their way, and only by believing in each other—and the power of their friendship—can Ari and Dante emerge strong on the other side.
- Gabi: A Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero (Cinco Punto Press, 2014)
Publisher description: Gabi wants a lot of things. She wishes she wasn’t fat. She wishes her father wasn’t addicted to meth. She wants to solve her best friends’ problems. And, of course, she wants love. But in the middle of her whirling twirling word, the thing she unexpectedly finds is…poetry.