Publishing Date: September 6, 2016
Pages: 336 pages
Young Adult Fantasy Adventure
The Premise from the Publisher: "Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives. Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation? and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can't trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange marks on his skin. The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland" (Sourcebooks).
My overall thoughts and review: I've always had a fascination with narratives that include Deathday celebrations/Day of the dead. I'm not completely familiar with all the components of it, but something about the Latin American tradition just immediately draws me in. I was quite curious to see how this story would unravel and let me say now that the premise does not do it justice. I went in expecting this book to be about Alex and Nova, but it was so much more than that. Firstly, Alex's relationship with her family plays a big role in the book. How she interacts with her mother and also her siblings is a big part. You get to see the dynamic within the family and I found myself really empathizing with Alex when she was dealing with her mom. This book reminds you that family is such an important part regardless of what tradition you follow. Also, another character (my favorite character tbh) that is quite important is Rishi! Rishi is Alex's bestfriend and you see in the beginning that Alex really struggles with wanting to tell Rishi about her powers. It is also very hard to be bestfriends with someone and keep such an important part of your life hidden from them. I won't spoil anything but I just loved how everything developed. The fact that friendship and family were the center of the book made my heart very happy. Onto the magic component.. I want to say a bit about this. I don't know much about brujas in general, but I really liked the concept of how magic was used. There is recoil for every time magic is used. For example, when Alex's sister Lula "heals" people, bruises form on Lula. But I really liked how the power comes from "who" they are. Lula is a healer by nature and how she wants to simply do good, and it reflects in her power. Overall, I thought this was a wonderful and fun read about traditions, magic, family, friendship and discovering one self. I would highly recommend it! I mention later (in this post) that this is apparently the first book in the series, and according to goodreads, the series will be called "Brooklyn Brujas" - I'm so excited for this. I really hope to see more of the secondary characters in the next book! I want to see more of Lula & Rose :D
My rating of the book: ✮✮✮✮ (4/5 stars)
Now available for purchase at:
Chapters/Indigo, Kobo Books, Amazon and Book Depository (Free Worldwide Shipping)
And now it is time for the Author Q&A! For the blog tour, Zoraida has taken the time to answer a question for each blogger! Check it out:
Author Question and Answer
1. Which character do you relate to most in the book?
I want to say that I relate to Alex Mortiz the most. When I was a kid, I felt just as lost as she does. I wanted to be normal, but didn’t feel that way. I rebelled in different ways than Alex. Instead of sending my family to another dimension, I did it through rock music and dressing in all black and spiked jewelry. Alex does not have an easy life. She has to swallow her emotions. She keeps her truth and fears hidden in a way that isn’t healthy. It gives her anxiety and stress. As her power becomes stronger, and she lets herself be herself, she changes. She becomes more confident. She learns to trust herself. Trusting your own judgement is something that she has to earn. In addition to all of this, I wanted to give Alex a very humble background. I grew up in a single parent home. My mom was a single mother, though I had my uncles and my grandmother to be part of my childhood. I never felt like I was missing anything, but Alex does. Alex and my mother are both hard working people. My mom worked hard. She moved to a country where she didn’t speak the language. She went to night school after working all day so she can provide better for my brother and me. She’s my inspiration for everything I do and achieve. It takes Alex a big lesson and mistake to appreciate her family, but she gets there.
Thank you so much, Zoraida for answering my question. Alex's relationship with her mother was a storyline that I felt drawn to the most. I believe this is the first book in a new series and I honestly can't wait to pick up what Zoraida writes next! This was such an enjoyable book! I want to thank Zoraida again for answering questions for us bloggers. I also want to thank the lovely friends over at Raincoast for organizing this blog tour. Please be sure to check out the other bloggers on the tour!:
Disclaimer: An advanced reader's copy of the book was provided by Raincoast Books for participation in the book tour. All opinions of the book are my own.