Weekend Pick for September 9, 2022
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I am so grateful that my mom is working in a writing group with some talented young adult authors (among others) and insisted that I read this new novel!
Although this book deals with heavy topics including, “issues of racism, homophobia, immigrations, and the suicidal ideation and hospitalization of a character,” Sonora does in fact deal with the issues with sensitivity and care. I found myself wiping tears from my eyes one moment and then laughing with relief in the next with this book.
Do know that her book does not hold back any punches, evidenced by the first line of her novel? As she tells it, “Seven years of bad luck can slurp my ass” (p.1). I couldn’t agree more.
Sonora Reyes’ debut novel takes an in-depth look at Yamilet Flores’ experiences as she takes on the daunting task of transferring to Slayton Catholic-as a closeted lesbian. Yami made the mistake of coming out to her best friend who immediately rejected her, but as far as Yami’s mom and family know, she is attending Slayton to keep an eye on her brother Cesar, who was in one too many fights at his previous public school.
Part of Yami’s cover is to continually ask herself What Would a Straight Girl Do? Although Yami does not believe that the world can accept her for who she is, seeing her struggle through trying to fold herself into different versions of who she thinks she ought to be shows her strength and perseverance.
This story dives deep into what it truly means to love yourself and how hard the world can make that some times. The lessons learned by Yami, her brother Cesar, her best friends and even her Mami are powerful. I found myself rooting for all of them to love themselves enough to be able to honor their hearts and found eyes prickling with tears of joy when the characters overcame significant hurdles.
This book is definitely one that will make you want to keep your tissues handy, but also make your heart soar.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!