Miss Meteor by Tehlor Kay Mejia & Anna-Marie McLemore | Book Review | Book Tour

Miss Meteor by Tehlor Kay Mejia & Anna-Marie McLemore | Book Review | Book Tour

¡Hola, mi gente!

I hope y’all are staying hydrated and safe! I’m so happy that Latinx Heritage Month started. I mean, if Miss Meteor is a forecast of what I’ll be reading this month, I’m in for one of my best reading month this year.

I absolutely adored this book -this review is more of a gush than anything else. I’m also really excited for everyone to see my version of Lita (scroll aaaall the way down to see it). I had so much fun drawing her. I truly I’m getting addicted to Procreate.

Y ya, sin más preámbulo, my Miss Meteor review!

Genres: Young Adult, Magical Realism, Romance

Content Warnings: bullying, xenophobia, homophobic comments, transphobic comments (all challenged in the story)

“There hasn’t been a winner of the Miss Meteor beauty pageant who looks like Lita Perez or Chicky Quintanilla in all its history. But that’s not the only reason Lita wants to enter the contest, or why her ex-best friend Chicky wants to help her. The road to becoming Miss Meteor isn’t about being perfect; it’s about sharing who you are with the world—and loving the parts of yourself no one else understands. So to pull off the unlikeliest underdog story in pageant history, Lita and Chicky are going to have to forget the past and imagine a future where girls like them are more than enough—they are everything.

Witty and heartfelt with characters that leap off the page, Miss Meteoris acclaimed authors Anna-Marie McLemore and Tehlor Kay Mejia’s first book together.”

The story takes place in Meteor, New Mexico, a town that received it’s name thanks to a meteorite that crashed in the desert. In this town, there are two events that give the people a needed boost in tourism: the cornhole tournament and the Miss Meteor pageant. This year, for the 50th Miss Meteor pageant and with the need to keep the cornhole tournament cup in the town, everyone is looking forward, for one thing or another, to the next drew weeks.

I may be made out of the same dust and glow as the lights in the sky, but if you read any of the astronomy books in the library—even our little library—you’ll realize, isn’t everyone?

We follow Lita, a girl made of stardust, and Chicky, her ex-best friend and school’s outcast, as they decide to join the Miss Meteor pageant. Each of them have their reasons: Lita wants to do something she’s always wanted to do before the sky takes her back. Chicky wants to get back at the people who have hurt her, her family and friends.

In a town this small, for girls like us, survival is based mostly on how well you can camouflage, not on dredging up the bloodred and sunshine yellow of your secrets and splattering them across your chest.

I don’t even know how to say how much I loved this book. It touched very important topics while giving us a sweet story about friendship, family, love, and self-confidence.

THINGS I LIKED

  • Is it ok if I just say EVERYTHING? No?
  • There are such great reps in this book I almost cried. The trans rep was casual and respectful and I might want to give Cole the biggest hug ever [I will protect him from anyone that DARES try to hurt him, I swear]. The pansexual rep DID make me cry at some point.
  • I can’t believe I’m saying this, but there are not one but TWO friends to lovers relationships in this book and I loved both. For those of you that don’t know my reading taste, I usually dislike anything with friends to lovers (idk why, it just happens). Leave it to Anna-Marie McLemore and Tehlor Key Mejia to make me rethink my ways. I’ve been changed.
  • I loved both protagonists SO MUCH and I would fight for them. Lita is struggling with her image, her sense of self and where she belongs. I loved going with her through her journey and seeing her blossom into someone stronger, more confident and happy. On the other hand, Chicky is struggling with her sexuality, her place in her family and the town, and being herself. She’s been hurt for a long time and is afraid of showing any part of herself to anyone. Seeing her heal and grow as the story went was beautiful and it made shed a tear or two (ok, a river, but!). I was so happy for both of them at the end of the book. I wanted a little more of them, to see them find more of their happiness, but I’m happy with what we got and, as stated before, I WILL FITE ANYONE FOR THEM.
  • THE WRITING. Sometimes I’m a little wary about books written by two authors because, more often than not, the writing falls into one of two categories: books where you can point out the parts and scenes that each author wrote or books where the writing feels clunky and weird. Alas, I’ve been changed again by McLemore and Mejia. I was glued to the book from beginning to ending. The writing style of both authors are beautifully woven together and made the story even better.
  • THE FOOD. Mira mi gente, necesito mencionar esto. I had to stop reading at some points to get snacks because this book made me so. damn. hungry. It’s part of the celebration of both identity and community: any Latinx person has felt the importance of food in our culture. And yes, my list of dishes-I-need-to-try-without-burning-the-house-down has grown by at least 10 items.

THINGS I DIDN’T LIKE

  • I have nothing, other than I wanted the book to be longer, but that’s really a hidden pro that speaks about how much I liked the story and didn’t want it to end.

Overall, Miss Meteor is a beautifully written story about learning to accept yourself and showing the world who you are, who you love, and what you believe. I need EVERYONE to read this. The story is amazing, the writing is amazing, the characters are amazing… everything is amazing! It’s the first book that has made me feel like this in a while and I’m so glad I got to read it.

5/5 SHINING STARS

FANART

I promised that if I got an iPad and an Apple Pencil I would make fanart for as many Latinx book I read as possible and I’m not going back on my promise. My skills are still a little rusty because it’s been a LONG time since I sat down to actually draw, but I’m really happy with how Lita turned out. She deserves the world and for all Meteor to see that she shines, not because of the start dust that makes her, but because of who she is. I hope you like her as much as I did.

Lita in all her glory being the Miss Meteor she was made to be.

And that’s it for this review, folks! Have you read Miss Meteor? Are you planning to? Miss Meteor comes out on September 22 (just three days away!) and you are still in time to preorder it here today!

Besos,

Linda

Always Human by Ari North | Book Review + Cover Recreation | Book Tour

Always Human by Ari North | Book Review + Cover Recreation | Book Tour

¡Hola, mi gente!

Today I bring you the review of a graphic novel that stole my heart with it’s beautiful artwork and likeable characters.

Add to GoodreadsAmazon | Barnes & Noble  | Bookshop.org | Book Depository | Books-A-Million

Always Human takes place in a world where you can use mods to change your appearance, enhance your health, or help you focus. But those are just a few of the possibilities mods give you. There are mods for curing allergies (I’m kinda needing this one now that September is here), mods for staying energized (again… need) and literally anything you can imagine. That’s the main reason Sunati is interested in Austen: in a world where everyone is constantly changing how they look, Sunati is a constant.

What Sunati doesn’t know is that Austen has an important reason for not using mods: she has a rare condition that makes her body reject mods. After a very awkward first conversation, Sunati asks Austen on a date. From then, we follow both of then as they go to the beginnings of their relationship, family situations and emotional conflicts. Although the focus of the story is the love story between Sunati and Austen, we also see them struggle at work and school, interact with their friends and work to make their dreams happen.

Things I liked

  • I really enjoyed the characters in Always Human. I kinda want to make a pun about how the character always feel human finger guns but I’ll keep myself from that. Instead, I’ll point out that the characters are not only gorgeously design, but they carry a realness to them that made the story more enjoyable. I’ll mention a little about this in my dislikes, but even the character I didn’t like as much felt real, and that’s something that really shows how human Ari North made her characters feel with a few lines.
  • RAE. I freaking loved Rae. She’s such a good best friend to Sunati, and every time she appeared on the story I fell a little more in love with her. She’s also incredibly smart and driven: she knows what she wants and is trying her best to achieve it. I want to protect her from the world.
  • The art style is STUNNING. North’s skill with watercolor is fantastic. There are scenes where I stopped myself and stared at the pages for what felt like ages. Scenes where you could see the sky were my favorite: the space looked huge, colorful, and alive. Speaking of colors, the colors in the whole book pop out of the scenes. I can’t stress how GORGEOUS the art style is.
  • The pages flew as I read this book! And when the first volume was over, I had to run to WebToon to read the rest of the story.
  • The queer representation in the book was sweet and respectful. We have aroace, non-binary, sapphic, bisexual, poly and agender rep in this book and in no way does it ever feel thrown out of nowhere or added as a last thought. It’s obvious North tried their best to be as inclusive as they could and I’m really happy about that.

Things I didn’t like

  • The pacing is not for everyone. While it didn’t make me enjoy the story any less, the pacing of the story is very fast. If you don’t like stories that move quickly, you might not enjoy Always Human as much.
  • Austen kinda stressed me out at some parts of the story, not gonna lie. Her character grows as the story progresses, but I was still frustrated by her for a big chunk of the story. I do have to give kudos to North, though, because even when I disliked Austen, the portrayal of her character felt realistic.

3.75/5★

Cover Recreation

The art style of Always Human is so pretty that I wanted to try drawing some part of it. After much thinking, I tried to recreate the cover on my own style. My original plan was to practice using Procreate with the Apple Pencil before doing this, but… the Pencil hasn’t arrived. So… yeah.

This is my first Procreate drawing and I think it came pretty well, considering I had to do it without a stylus (PS drawing with fingers is the most frustrating thing 0/10 would not recommend). I can’t wait to use the app more and be able to recreate other covers of my favorite books.

My lines need a lot of work, but I’m really happy with how Austen turned up.

I’m very happy that I got to be part of this tour and I can’t wait to see what else Ari North comes with! Make sure to grab your copy of Always Human and fall in love with North’s style and characters just as I did.

Do you read WebToons? I’ve really liked Always Human and Orange Marmalade, but it’s been a while since I sat down to read some (other than finishing AH’s story, of course). Which are your favorites?

Besos,

Linda

Each of Us a Desert by Mark Oshiro | Book Review | Book Tour

Each of Us a Desert by Mark Oshiro | Book Review | Book Tour

¡Hola, mi gente!

I hope y’all are staying safe and hydrated during these stressing days. Today I want to talk about a book I read last month that I ABSOLUTELY loved. I’ve been trying to write this review for a while, but could never get the words to describe it. I finally could piece something coherent, so let’s jump to it!

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, LGBTQ+ 

Content Warnings: animal violence, on-page graphic violence, injury, death, abuse (both emotional and domestic)

This cover is unfairly stunning, just look at that.

From award-winning author Mark Oshiro comes a powerful coming-of-age fantasy novel about finding home and falling in love amidst the dangers of a desert where stories come to life. Xochitl is destined to wander the desert alone, speaking her troubled village’s stories into its arid winds. Her only companions are the blessed stars above and enigmatic lines of poetry magically strewn across dusty dunes. Her one desire: to share her heart with a kindred spirit. One night, Xo’s wish is granted—in the form of Emilia, the cold and beautiful daughter of the town’s murderous conqueror. But when the two set out on a magical journey across the desert, they find their hearts could be a match… if only they can survive the nightmare-like terrors that arise when the sun goes down.

Hauntingly poetic and unique, Each of Us a Desert was a book that grabbed me from page one. There were times when I just wanted to mark every single page because the writing style is amazing.

The story follows Xochitl, a young girl that lives in Empalme, one of the small cities that came together after the world was completely burnt. She is a cuentista, a person who is destined to take the stories from people and returning them to Solís, the god of this world. If she doesn’t take their stories, the guilt turns into a monster that can kill them once they get too strong. After years of taking the stories of everyone in the city, Xochitl is exhausted, but feels like there’s no way out of this life.

This all changed when the fire nation attacked when one story she takes shakes her entire being. Xochitl starts to wonder about her destiny, her own story… and decides to make a choice for herself for the first time in a long time.

“I wanted it more than anything. To be free of these responsibilities and rules and expectations. I wanted my own life.”

As she runs from Empalme, she confronts the reality that maybe everything the village has told her, everything the village believes, is a lie. Through her journey, she confronts many of her prejudices and the barriers other had raised for her. The story takes us through a journey with Xochitl, making us see how expectations from others tend to shape our lives and how we can discover ourselves when we break free from those chains.

“I believed in myself despite everything that told me not to. Is that really so bad?”

THINGS I LIKED

  • I truly loved how atmospheric Oshiro’s writing is, the way it touched important themes and topics, and the world building. The descriptions of the desert and the cities made me feel like I was there.
  • The poetry interwoven with the story feels magical on its own; unapolegetically bilingual and full of beautiful images, too.
  • The mythology surrounding Solís and cuentistas was super interesting. Los Pálidos, los sabuesos, los guardianes and cuentistas play a vital part in Solís’ play. The relationship between these actors is as important to the story as the characters and their motives: their existences have been marked by fire and blood. It’s imporant to keep in mind that, like Oshiro has explained many times, this is a fantasy book, not a book based in mythology from our world.
  • From the way we explored the world created in this book, I was left wanting more. I would love to explore more of the cities mentioned through the book without the sense of urgency of this particular story. It would be great if Oshiro could return to this world later, maybe in a short story or a companion novel, and we could take a better look of one of those far away cities we never visited with Xochitl.

THINGS I DIDN’T LIKE

  • I needed 5 more pages to get a better sense of the ending.
  • Although I love the writing style, some times I would feel extremely lost because too many things were happening at the same time.

One important thing I have to mention is that Each of Us a Desert is NOT a romance. It has a very small romantic arc, but the romance is not one of the main themes of the book, contrary to what a lot of the things I’d read at that time stated. I actually appreciate this now that I’ve had time to think about the book as a whole, but when I read it I was under the impression that this would be the story of a sapphic romance in a fantasy world and I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get that. Instead, it is the story of a fantasy world with some (mild) elements of sapphic romance. This is not something I didn’t like, but something to keep in mind when one is going into the story.

When I was commenting this book with Gabi (she has a review of the book too!), we both found it a little ironic that the book is mainly about expectations and our expections for the romance where the only things we felt the story fell a little flat.

Overall, Each of Us a Desert was a book that surprised me in the best way. It has stayed in my mind for a long time after reading it. I’ll probably end up rereading it once my finished copy arrives, because the story and the characters have me enchanted. I’m fairly certain that y’all will see this book among my favorite reads of the year.

4.5/5★

I’m really happy that I got to participate in this tour and I’m excited to see what other people thought about the fantastical world Mark Oshiro has created. If you haven’t done it yet, you can register your preorder here before September 14 to receive a beautiful art print with one of the poems in the book.

*Keep in mind that all quotes used in this reviews are taken from the ARC copy. Once I get my finished copy, I’ll check them, but they might not appear on finished books like this.

What’s your most anticipated release of September? Is Each of Us a Desert on your TBR? Let me know in the comments!

Besos,

Linda

Impostor Syndrome: A Love Letter to Representation

Impostor Syndrome: A Love Letter to Representation

¡Hola, mi gente!

The last few weeks have been chaotic. I’ve been running around the house, getting things ready for not only the first 100% virtual semester I’m going to take, but the my first semester at Law School. And I survived: my first week of Law School is done and gone. In some levels, I’m still amazed that this is real. In others, I’m facing the worst impostor syndrome of my life, which led me to this reflection and this post (which is kinda longish –Sorry! You can skip all my rambling and get to the recommendations).

I honestly do not understand why I was so scared of not getting into Law School (of course, I say this NOW, after the fact. Before getting my acceptance letter, I would cry at least every couple of days because I was sure they would never accept me). I got a 710 out of 800 score in the EXADEP (our version of GRE/GMAT), with perfect or almost perfect scores in Math, English, and Analysis. The average for students accepted in UPR? 486. I had a score of 165 out 180 in the LSAT, which is not the highest ever but did put me in a comfortable distance from the average of people who got accepted at UPR (149). I have a 3.9 GPA, when the average for accepted students is 3.44.

I’m not writing this to throw flowers at myself. I’m stating facts. And even as I talk about my scores I feel like I should be hiding them because “people wouldn’t believe them” or it will “rub people the wrong way”.

But why?

Why wouldn’t people believe I got those scores? Why did I feel like I was stealing a place for someone more fitting, more worthy, when I got my acceptance letter?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot, especially because the imposter syndrome has been hitting me non-stop, and I’ve gotten to a conclusion that feels right to me: I feel like an imposter because I haven’t seen people who looked like me in these places. When I think about lawyers in Puerto Rico, I think about stuffy, white Latinx men because that’s what I’ve always been shown. The small amount of women representation I’ve seen in the news is oftent treated as something rare –and will usually be white-passing. The dean of the UPR Law School was talking about that recently, too, and it got me thinking about a lot of my struggles with identifying as someone who could be part of that world. A big part of why being accepted to law school seemed impossible was the fact that I’ve never seen someone who looked like me in a position of power in PR until the current Law School dean was appointed.

I don’t want to make this an extremely long post, but I do want to say something: representation matters. I shouldn’t feel like an other in an island where at least a third of its population is Afro-Latinx (and this is me being conservative with that number). I shouldn’t feel the need to constantly prove why I deserve to be in a certain place because of how I look or how I am.

Many of us “others” grow up trying to get to an impossibly “perfect” standard in order to get what seems to come so much easily to the norm, but once we get anywhere near that mark it feels like we’re stealing something from someone. It’s ingrained in our brains and, however unfair, it’s our job to break these cages that trap us from the start and catch up with others.

The first step towards that is seeing ourselves in places of power, love and acceptance. That’s the reason I’m so happy this last year has been a time for me to find diverse books, books where I could see myself and not just books in which I could see others. So here are four books that I’ve read in the last year that have opened my eyes and shown me that I can exist in different spaces, imperfectly and flawed and real and deserving to be there:

Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann

Of course I’m starting this list with Let’s Talk About Love. This book found me at a very hard time earlier this year and boy, did it make me cry.

The book follows Alice as she faces college, heartbreak, and understanding her identity, and it definitely found me at the right moment, right when I was struggling to understand all of those things. It was one of the first times I saw the asexual label and felt like it could be me, that it could describe what I felt but didn’t know how to name. I’m pretty sure this was the first book in which I read about an ace protagonist, let alone a black ace protagonist, and I related to Alice so much that I CRIED as I listened to the audiobook. Picture this: you’re driving calmly to your work and you’re glancing around to see the beauty of nature around you when BAM. Your car neighbor is crying as she listens to an audiobook that sounds like gibberish because it’s in 2.6x speed, black tears flowing down her face thanks to her “waterproof” mascara. That was the experience of anyone who saw me while I listened to this book. But don’t worry, those tears were happy tears, not sad ones.

There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon

Reading about fat brown bodies being loved and accepted is something that I have seldom get to read. It’s frustrating, because many of the stories that promise fat protagonists end up being the stories of someone who wants to lose weight in order to be attractive or the story of the ugly ducking who has to change how she looks to find happiness. There are a few other books that, while they don’t make the protagonist lose weight

There’s Something About Sweetie was a breath of fresh air. Sweetie is unapologetically her, and seeing her be sure about who she is and her worth made me feel a little more sure about who I am and what I’m worth. I wish I could go back in time and give this book to 15-years-old me so I could see in Sweetie someone who’s healthy and lovable AND fat and stop being as self-conscious. I can’t, but 22-years-old me will still take the example. The book touches some themes of family hurting you when they think they’re helping and I really appreciated that as well. Honestly, everyone should read it and fall for Sweetie.

Teach Me by Olivia Dade

I won’t lie to you -the romance in Teach Me is one of my favorites this year. BUT! That’s not the reason I put it in this list (although it could be -it’s my list). Teach Me is here because Rose Owens, the protagonist, is someone I wish I’d read of when I was younger, too. She’s strong, capable, hard-working, passionate and absolutely and unapologetically sensual.

Oh, and she’s fat.

Seeing someone with a fat body portrayed not as a lazy person or someone who’s entire happiness depends on losing weight is something that, sadly, continues to be unsual. Reading Rose’s story and inner monologue made me cry a few times, because she wasn’t someone who felt less for her weight, but someone who embraces it. Olivia Dade made me fall in love with every single one of her characters, and I would definitely recommend any of her books to anyone (I might have gotten the rest of her books right after this one and binged the There’s Something About Marysbury and Love Unscripted series in a week). They have just the right amount of love, sexy, and humor to glue you to the page and make you laugh and love -and yes, cry- with all of them.

Blanca & Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore

I find the way to add Blanca & Roja to almost every single list I make and there’s a reason for that: Blanca & Roja was the book with which I began to understand non-binary identities. Before it, I knew what it was, but I didn’t really understand.

And then I met Page. Reading about them was something that changed me, and I’m not saying this lightly. I saw myself somewhere in a light I never had before. Just like Let’s Talk About Love, it gave a name to something that I already knew deep inside me, but I hadn’t realized. I’ll be forever grateful to Anna-Marie McLemore for writing this story full of brown queer people finding magic and love.

(And yes, let us continue the trend: I cried with this book. A lot. Some-pages-are-crinkled a lot.)

Representation matters. I don’t know what else to say. I hadn’t thought as much about representation before because I was used to seeing white cisallohet as the norm. I was taught to feel that way. These books made me realize that I have a place in this planet, and that the normal I was used to seeing was only a lie spoon-fed through the content I consumed as a child. Reading about these stories shattered that glass. So yeah, representation matters. Seeing ourselves matters.

And that’s it, folks! I’m sorry if this post was a bit too long, but I had a lot of things in my mind. Let me know in the comments if you’ve read these books, what you thought of them and what book made you feel represented in some way.

Happy reading!

Books as Animal Crossing Villagers – 5 Latinx Books

Books as Animal Crossing Villagers – 5 Latinx Books

¡Hola, mi gente!

Animal Crossing: New Horizons has been pretty much my lifesaver during the last few months. After three months of playing, I’ve moved every single thing on my island a thousand times and I’m still not completely in love with how it looks and this game continues being relaxing and cute and I have the best time playing it.

However, the strangest thing happened to me recently. I woke up to Isabelle telling me there was someone visiting the island. And yes, when I visited the campsite, five new faces smiled at me. Only these villagers were… curious. One was talking about someone called Lady Death, others about family curses and others about… werewolves? It was a little confusing at first. However, now that I’ve gotten to know them, I think that more people should meet them. So… Here they are!

Daniel – Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

Daniel is the sweetest octupus in this island and they MUST BE PROTECTED. Some of the other villagers call them smug, but they prefer to be called confident. They know what they’re worth and they won’t let anyone tell them otherwise.

Daniel can’t stop telling me how lucky they are because they know what happens in Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas. You know, MY MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE OF THE YEAR? The one with a trans brujo main protagonist that’s gay for a ghost? The one that promises Latinx goodness and queer af characters? Yeah. That one. They won’t stop talking to me about it (and I can’t stop thinking about it either but that is NOT the point here).

Cisne – Blanca & Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore

Cisne is our local penguin. He’s a jock that loves flowers and you can constantly find him near the pond watering the roses. He’s constantly giving the other villagers gifts and posts cute anonymous messages for each one on the bulleting board (spoiler alert: everyone knows it’s him, but they don’t say anything to make him happy). Cisne is constantly talking about the Del Cisne girls, which lived in his previous island. For some reason, I think I’ve also heard about them.

Blanca & Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore was one of my favorite books from last year. It was thanks to this book that I began to understand what it means to be non-binary and question your gender. If you follow me on Twitter you KNOW I scream tell people to read books by Anna-Marie McLemore a lot. This post won’t be the exception: PLEASE READ ANNA-MARIE MCLEMORE. Their stories are the perfect mix of Latinx magic, diverse characters, and beautiful, lyrical prose. Have I cried with every single one of their books? Yes. Does that mean I will continue recommending their books until I die? Also yes.

Shakira – Lobizona by Romina Garber

Here is the big sister villager we’re all going to love. Shakira is a sassy wolf that has absolutely no filter, but she’s not mean. She is the type of wolf that fights for those she care about and will defend the island at all costs. She’s also a fashionista that decides to work closely with the Able Sisters to bring the best design to the island. Her motto? As sparkly and starry as it can be. Her past, however, is hidden in shadows.

Lobizona by Romina Garber is another book releasing later this year. I’ve tried my best to NOT read anything about this book. I’d really like to go into it knowing almost nothing, but what I’ve heard from reviewers I trust is that this is a fantastic story that intertwines current events and social issues with magic, brujas, werewolves, and a great Argentinian rep. I preordered this book as soon as I found out about it and I can’t wait to get lost in it.

[Ps. If you’re asking yourself if the name of this wolf comes exclusively from jumping from werewolves to Shakira’s Loba… you wouldn’t be wrong. THAT SONG WAS A CULTURAL RESET, I said what I said.]

Fuego – Incendiary by Zoraida Córdova

I haven’t been able to learn much about Fuego. She’s a normal anteater that can be found constantly reading in the beach. Shakira and her have become really good friends, probably because they both respect the secrecy surrounding their pasts, and you can see them window-shopping at Nook’s Cranny or trying on new outfits with the Able Sisters. However, whenever the topic of her past comes up, she tries her best to change topics. The only information I’ve gotten is that she comes from Puerto Leones, so I looked for more information about that place and found a book that seemed to explain why Fuego doesn’t talk much about it.

Incendiary by Zoraida Córdova is one of those books that grabs you and makes you read it from start to finish. It’s so amazing that I’m sure I let out a breath I didn’t know I was holding when I finished reading. The story takes place in Inquisition-era Spain, where the Moria (magic users) are persecuted and killed by the royals. Renata, our protagonist, is part of the Whispers, a rebel group that’s trying to protect the remaining Moria from the royal guards. When Dez, the leader of Renata’s group, is captured, they decide to go to the palace and save him. I had a great time following Renata and the gang on their way to infiltrate the royal court. Zoraida made me fall in love with this world and her characters. I’m looking forward to reading the next books in this series. Hopefully I’ll be able to give Fuego good news about her previous island when I do.

Coral – Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno

Coral is a cute, peppy frog that spends many of their days in the museum. They love talking with Blathers about the colorful fishes that you can find in the island and the beautiful art exhibit that opened recently. When they are not getting lost in the museum, Coral is looking for better ways to decorate the island or cleaning their house (how is it that a villager that moved a few days ago spring cleans their closet everyday?). They also love talking about their heroic acts, particularly the ones they did in their previous island.

Apparently, Coral left Port Coral after they single-handedly saved the community from being eaten by capitalism -or so they say. I read something a little different in Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno. In that book, Rosa Santos is a Cuban American girl that’s trying to figure out where she fits in the world, both in terms of her Cuban heritage and her plans for college. She wants to go to Cuba and explore her roots, but knows that telling her abuela that she’s going back to the country she fled is going to be difficult. At the same time, she’s trying to help the community raise enough money to keep her Port Coral of being sold to developers.

But hey, who knows? Maybe Coral is right and they were the ones saving the day. I guess you’ll have to read the book to see what’s the truth… *awkward wink*

And those are the great new villagers that came to my island. Have you read any of the books they came from? Are they in your TBR? What’s your most anticipated release of this second half of 2020? Let me know in the comments!

Mucho amor, Linda

A Letter to Everyone Feeling Lonely

A Letter to Everyone Feeling Lonely

I’ve given this post a lot of thought during the last few days. I’m scared of putting too much of me out there for anyone to find and destroy, but at the same time I feel like there’s got to be at least one place where I can speak freely and comfortably about stuff. I feel kinda weird, too, because sometimes it feels as if not having happiness is the wrong thing to do in my life, be it in person or in writing.

And here we are.

Before starting, I’d like to make a content warning. I’ll be talking about suicide, depression, rape culture, sexual assault and fat-shaming. While I appreciate anyone taking their time to read such a personal post, I wouldn’t want to trigger any bad thought or bring back memories someone can find hard to visit. So please, if any of these topics might trigger you, don’t read this post. Go drink a glass of water, stretch your legs or watch funny tiktoks. This post will still be here when you feel like you can read it (if you ever do) and I still appreciate you the same.

This week has been very emotionally exhausting. I’ve been dissociating even more than normal, not concentrating on classes, books, series, ANYTHING.vI’m not exaggerating when I say Animal Crossing: New Horizons has been the one thing keeping me grounded. April 17 marked the fifth anniversary of something too bittersweet to celebrate yet too important to forget: it marks the day I tried to kill myself for the last time. For some very weird, messed up reason, April 17 is also the day I was sexually assalted in 2018. It sounds a little melodramatic, but when Isabelle gave her morning announcements and mentioned that it was April 17, it felt as if I’d been slapped in the face a million times at once. It was the first time since 2015 that April had started and I didn’t live glued to the calendar, counting the days until the “new life” began.

Because that’s what people usually call it: new life, new beginnings, new opportunities. No one calls it what it feels like in the beginning: a new struggle. It’s the anniversary of the day I thought meant I wasn’t even good enough to die.

Sometimes I feel like people don’t understand that someone can have the “perfect” life yet feel so alone and trapped. I love my family, I love my friends, I know I’m priviledged and I’m grateful for those things. But at the same time it feels like I’m being drowned with good things from every single side and angle and I don’t do anything with those things nor deserve them. I have too much and I am too little. I feel stretched by the seams, just waiting to explode. It’s exhausting.

That’s how it feels to look in the mirror most of the time: who I see doesn’t see like me, but it’s the only me I’ve ever known. How could it not be me? It’s like I’m living a borrowed life inside a borrowed body and I can’t quite grasp reality. After all, dissociating was the thing that’s been with me for the longest time. Like, when I was sexually assalted, I didn’t understand that it had happened to me for two months. When I finally understood (for lack of a better word) what had happened, I laughed it off. It wasn’t that much, they didn’t really hurt me. Those are the things I repeated in my head all the time. Then I started to feel guilty. First, I was guilty because I didn’t understand what I’d done to make those guys feel like they had authority over me. Was it the clothes I wore? Did I make an expression that made them believe I would like whatever they were thinking? Had I been walking too provocatively? But then that guilt evolved and I started thinking and even believing for a while that was the only amount of “love” I could ever expect to receive. I wasn’t worthy of more than being used, I was ugly, stupid, fat, and I’d let things happen to me. The guilt of being a coward was eating me alive. Then I was angry. You would think I was angry at them, right? Nope. I was angry at me. For being such a coward. For not raising my voice, calling out to someone, ANYTHING.

Now that some time has passed and I’ve been able to put things in perspective, I know it wasn’t my fault. I’m angry at them, of course. Angry at people for seeing what was happening and not doing anything. But I’m angry the most at the society that raised me making me feel as if anything that happened to a woman or female passing person was their fault. Angry at the system that gave them the sense of entitlement and power they think they have over any body that they see.

Why am I sharing this? Why here, why now? Honestly, I don’t know. I felt like I needed to actually let someone know about these things at some point and I felt tired of trying to be the perfect happy person everywhere and didn’t want to do that here, in a space I want to make into an oasis in the middle of chaos. And, in an attempt to make this even slightly book-related, I’d like to say thank you to all the authors out there creating content for people like me, fat queer POC that have never felt enought because that was never an option. It’s thanks to many of these books that I’ve begun to understand myself better and start seeing the good in me.

It would be great to end this telling you how much I love life now, how my life has completely changed and how I’ve learned to enjoy and appreciate completely who I am, but I don’t think I have that yet. It seems impossible to get there.

I do have a kind of positive note, though: I’m getting there. And, right now, that’s enough.

To anyone that read this ’till the end: thank you. Thanks for giving my voice a chance to exist. It’s only because of the personal growth that I’ve experienced during the last year that I’m able to talk about this and express my feelings in any way.

Love, love, and more love,

Linda

April TBR

April TBR

¡Hola, mi gente!

I think I’ve written and rewritten this TBR post a million times. I’ll be honest: I’ve never been one to stick with a TBR ’till the end of the month. Making a TBR early in the month is always a gamble with me. BUT I’m trying to change that. I need to make my unread physical books piles MUCH smaller, so for the first six months of 2020 I decided that at least 60% of my reads are going to be from my shelves. It’s much easier to do that with a TBR, so here we are.

I read 44 books in March, so I made my TBR half of that. Without further ado, since this post is already long enough, here are the books I’m planning on reading during the next weeks.

Bookopoly Reads

BOOK CARD – A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

I swear this is the last chance I give ACOTAR. This book has been on my bookshelf for more than three years now. I’ve tried reading it four times. And the weird thing is I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY I NEVER FINISH IT. I don’t hate the story and I’m kinda interested in the characters, but for some reason I have three bookmarks marking the different places where I dnf-ed it. So when Lady Luck made me pick the ACOTAR Book Card and it got 64% of the votes on last week’s TBR Poll, I knew I had to Taylor Swift this, sing “The Last Time” to it and try for once and for all to read it.

Enemies to Lovers – An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Yet another book that’s been on my bookshelf FOREVER. And, again, this is a book I started at some point, but didn’t continue. I do remember loving those first chapters I read, and this was one of the first books I started annotating. This is a story that has every opportunity of becoming a new favorite and I’ve been neglecting it for too long. An Ember in the Ashes got the most votes for POC fantasy in the TBR Poll and I’ve been seeing a LOT of positive reviews of the series lately, so my expectations are high for this book.

Black Rep – A Prince on Paper by Alyssa Cole

I read three of the Reluctant Royals last month and I fell in love with Alyssa Cole’s writing. I’m soooo excited to read more about Nya and Johan! I loved Nya when we met her in A Princess in Theory and I can’t wait to read her story on her terms. This book also has bisexual representation and a fake romance aspect. WHAT’S NOT TO LIKE? To say my expectations are through the roof is an understatement.

Trope Card: Fake Dating – The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

I’ve been tempted by this book for SO long. I love numbers and my minor is in merchandising and Stella seems to be just my type of protagonist. Plus, the fake-dating-because-she-wants-to-learn-how-to-romance is one of my favorite manga tropes. When I saw this book for 99¢ in iBooks, I just had to get it, and when I picked the Fake Dating Trop Card, it was destiny. The Kiss Quotient is also the last book that I’m reading from the TBR Polls. I’m really excited about this one!

Historical Fiction – Through Each Other’s Eyes by Aleena Ashe

Through Each Other’s Eyes grabbed my attention because it’s a short retelling in which Elizabeth and Darcy wake up after the Netherfield Ball to discover they’ve switched bodies. This seems like a quick read I’ll enjoy and I can’t wait to see how Elizabeth and Darcy act in this Freaky Friday alternative universe.

Last Purchase – Pan’s Labyrinth by Guillermo del Toro and Cornelia Funke

I actually got this book for my Cinema and Literature class and y’all have no idea how happy I was to finally have an excuse to buy it. The book itself is beautiful, from the cover to the illustrations under the book jacket to the illustrations through the book. I’m curious about how The Pan’s Labyrinth movie translates to the written word and if any of its magic is lost, but a lot of readers whose opinion I trust have told me the story is as dark and captivating as in the movie. This is probably going to be one of my first reads of the month since I have a few things to write about it for class, but it seems like a great way to start April.

Reading Rush TBR (April 16th-19th)

Read a book with a house on the cover – Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James

I struggled so much deciding what book to choose for this challenge… But then I remembered I have an obscenely huge amount of Pride and Prejudice variations and retellings on my shelves and surely one had Pemberley on its cover, right? Death Comes to Pemberley was the only unread book I found on my shelves with a house on its cover. I really liked the miniseries adaptation of the book and I moved DCTP to my yearly TBR in January, so I’m going to be killing two birds with one book.

Read a book in the same room – Through Each Other’s Eyes by Aleena Ashe

Like I said earlier, this is a very short book, so I’m hoping to not only read this book in the same room, but finish it in one sitting.

Read a book set somewhere you wish you could go – Caramelos de Café by Paula Dalli

Caramelos de Café is a book that makes me incredibly emotional. It’s the story of Valentina, a girl that moves to Madrid from a beach town. She’s a girl full of dreams and hopes and starts discovering herself as she navigates the streets of the capital. I read this book on my second week living in Madrid as an exchange student. I went to the places Valentina visited and cried when I finished the book. Paula Dalli was the first author I met in person and she was the sweetest as I told her about my love for Valentina. I actually bumped into her three months later in a café in Barcelona and she remembered me and asked how my journey was going. This book has so many good memories attached to it, but mostly it reminds me of the time I spent in Spain, feeling free and growing more than I ever thought I could.

Ok, I got a little carried away, but I’m super excited about going back to Madrid with Valentina and rediscovering its streets through her eyes.

Read a book that will make you smile – I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo

I know I’ll like this book. I can feel it in my bones. This is the story of a girl that decides to act like the protagonists of k-dramas in order to find love. Considering I’m already doing the clumsy things that characterize drama protagonists, I need to see what I’m missing in order to find this love that Desi Lee is set to finds. I Believe in a Thing Called Love seems like a book middle grade Linda would have loved and I can’t wait to laugh over Desi’s occurences.

Latinx Reads

We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia

Latinx Squad has been screaming about this book since it came out and I think it’s about damn time I listen to them. I’ve tried to read as little as I can about We Set the Dark on Fire. It seems like the type of story that’s enjoyed more if you go into it not knowing much. I do know I’m going to suffer (the squad has made that PRETTY clear) but I don’t know why. And that makes it even more exciting.

Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno

Yet another book that will make me suffer. Do I see a trend here?

I already started reading Don’t Date Rosa Santos and I am having feEliNgS. This is the story of Rosa as she grows, learns and finds herself in the middle of chaos in Port Coral. This is another book I haven’t read much about. Thanks to that, I can almost guarantee that I’ll end up crying and fangirling about this. You have been warned.

Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore

This is the only book by Anna-Marie I own that I haven’t read yet. I’m going to try to buddy read Wild Beauty with Caro and Cande, who never stops telling us how great this book is and has made me even more excited about finally reading it. I’ve given every other book by Anna-Marie between 4 and 5 stars and one of their books always ends up in my favorites of the year. I know Wild Beauty will make me feel all the feels and force itself into my favorites, too.

ARCS

The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon

Every review I’ve seen about this book talks about the great female friendship that blooms in this book and, honestly? That’s what I need to read right now. One of my first reads of April left a bitter aftertaste in my mouth after being the most male-centered attempt of a deep, moving story I have EVER read and the girl-hate in that was nasty. The Boyfriend Project is the story of Samiah Brooks and how she bonds with London and Taylor after they discover their boyfriend has been three-timing all of them. The three of them decide to write off men for six months, but life likes to play games sometimes and Samiah meets Daniel Collins, who seems to be the perfect man… and that’s dangerous.

My heart, y’all. My heart. I know this is going to be sweet and sexy and just everything I need right now.

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

Cemetery Boys is one of my most anticipated releases of the year. I can’t believe I was lucky enough to get an ARC for this amazing story. It’s got gays, brujería, trans MC, Día de los Muertos, Lady Death, a ghost LI… There’s no way I wouldn’t be excited about reading this. I can’t wait to read about Yadriel and Julian and officially adopt them as my children.

P.S. Let’s talk about that COVER.

The Duke and the Damsel by C.T. Worth

Another Regency romance for my helpless romantic heart. The Duke and the Damsel is a fake dating story about a duke that doesn’t want to marry and a woman who only wants to marry for love. Due to some misunderstandings, the reputation of both her and her family are threatened and both of them are forced to either get married to each or find another husband (we all know how that’s going to end, though *happy squeel*). The author was kind enough to send me a review copy of the audiobook.

Other books I’d like to read

I already read the first two stories of this series of novellas during the first week of the month and they were pretty good. The Scions of the Black Lotus series is the story of Jie, a half-elf half-human member of the Black Lotus Clan, a group of assassins that serve the emperor. This fantasy is inspired by Chinese mythology and, while we haven’t been able to explore the world, I’m interested enough to continue reading. These are incredibly easy to read, so I’m sure I’ll get to them before the month ends.

And that’s it! We’ve reached the end of my April TBR! I’m hoping to read 21 books this year (of which I already finished 2). I’m feeling incredibly excited about all the books in this list.

Have you read any of these books? Should I get tissues before I start any of them or is my heart safe(ish)? Let me know in the comments!

We’re Doing THIS

We’re Doing THIS

¡Hola, mi gente!

I haven’t uploaded anything here for almost two years. After a time, I lost the passion behind my reviews and couldn’t get myself to do it. I think that had a lot to do with depression, questioning identity and questioning how much I could say before feeling too exposed.

I’ve gone through a very long journey during this time and I finally feel confident to come back to book blogging and talking about the things I love: books, Austen, and Latinx magic.

A couple of things are changing.

I’m going to start blogging in English (more likely to be Spanglish porque lo boricua a veces se me sale). For some reason, it’s the language that feels more comfortable when I talk about books even when I’m scared of not doing it right, and I’d like to embrace that and have fun with everything.

I’m also moving toward creating more content centered around Latinx books, Puerto Rican culture and diverse representation. I’ll probably start sharing more things in my reviews. I’m already planning to add some recipes for Puerto Rican food and desserts every once in a while, along with makeup looks inspired by the book I’m reviewing. Sharing these things with everyone is what really fills me with joy, so I’d love it if you stick with me through this changes!

I haven’t decided if I’m going to delete all my earlier posts, but I’ve hidden a lot of it because I feel they don’t represent me anymore. For now, a couple of reviews and Austen talks stay here, but that might change later.

So. WE’RE DOING THIS! I’d like to take a moment to introduce myself again:

Linda 05

¡Hola! My name is Linda Raquel. You can call me Linda or Raquel. If you don’t like any of those names, Your Majesty will be accepted. My pronouns are THEY/THEM/SHE/HER. I’m an Ace Afro-Latinx that likes reading about messy, angsty teenagers, enemies-to-lovers, Regency ladies, and anything Latinx.

I don’t want to finish this post without saying thank you to a group of amazing folx that revived the passion I had for reviewing and talking about books, the Latinx Squad. I can’t imagine anyone being here and not following them, but make sure to give Cande, Caro, Astrid and Natalia, Paola, Josie, Luisa, Sara, Racquel, Nini, Gabi, Nat, Carmen, Alicia, Dani, Scarllet & Ben some MUCH deserved love.

Thank you for staying with me through all this mess.

Y a todes los demás, BIENVENIDOS.

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Orgullo y Prejuicio: Personajes – La casa de los Bennet

Orgullo y Prejuicio: Personajes – La casa de los Bennet

¡Hola, lectores!

Hoy les traigo un nuevo un nuevo post para el Rincón Austen. Ya que hemos hablado un poco de Jane Austen y de su vida, decidí llevarlos poco a poco al mundo de Orgullo y Prejuicio, y qué mejor forma de hacerlo que hablando un poco de los personajes. Decidí dividir los personajes en tres entradas diferentes porque no quiero hacer de estas demasiado largas, así que en el día de hoy acompáñenme a la casa de Longbourn para conocer a sus habitantes.

La casa de los Bennet

tumblr_naz5ejcdlf1qlbn34o1_r8_500

Los Bennets son los protagonistas de esta historia. La familia Bennet vive en Longbourn, una casa lo suficiente grande para dos padres, cinco hijas y varias criadas, pero no lo suficiente como para tener un ingreso anual elevado (hablaré un poco más de lo que representaba el ingreso anual durante la Regencia en la entrada en la que hablo sobre la época). Para delicia de las hijas menores y para la paz mental del padre, la casa está a un par de milla del pueblo de Meryton, a donde no dudan en ir cuando necesitan algo sustancial en sus vidas, como chisme o conocer las nuevas modas. Son las vidas de las personas de esta familia las que ocupan el lente principal del libro y son sus acciones (o la falta de ellas) las que avanzan la trama. Comencemos este paseo por su casa con las hijas:

Jane Bennet

pride-and-predjudice-648316“Ser cándido sin ostentación ni premeditación, quedarse con lo bueno de cada uno, incluso mejorarlo, y no decir nada de lo malo, es solo lo hace [Jane].

La tierna, cálida Jane. Jane Bennet, la mayor de las hermanas Bennet, es un pan de Dios en este mundo. Es una chica de unos 23 años, soltera, que es descrita por todos como la más bella y amable de las hermanas. Su madre la tiene en muy alta estima debido a eso, pero no puede soportar que una chica tan perfecta y buena como ella no haya encontrado un buen marido con buen sueldo.

Cuando la casa de Netherfield es rentada, Jane se vuelve muy cercana a uno de los nuevos habitantes de la misma, y es este acercamiento una de los sucesos que moldea la historia del libro.

Algunas personas encuentran un poco orgulloso que Jane le haya puesto su nombre a la mujer que representa los ideales de la sociedad en la que vive, pero vamos, que por algo se llama Orgullo y Prejuicio.

“[Jane] tiene cierta tendencia a que [le] guste toda la gente. Nunca ve un defecto en nadie. Todo el mundo es bueno y agradable a [sus] ojos.”

 

Elizabeth Bennet

tumblr_okpnu2xjgf1tf6696o1_500“[Elizabeth] era graciosa y muy alegre, y tenía cierta disposición a hacer divertidas las cosas ridículas.”

Elizabeth es la protagonista de Orgullo y Prejuicio y uno de mis personajes favoritos de todos los tiempos. Es divertida, sarcástica e inteligente. Sin embargo, al inicio de la novela es un poco prejuiciosa y, pese a que piensa que es una excelente evaluadora de carácter y que no se deja influenciar por las apariencias, vemos que es propensa a dejarse guiar por la opinión popular en algunas ocasiones. Elizabeth tiene 20 años y es la segunda hermana Bennet. Es la preferida de su padre, cosa que molesta un poco a su madre.

“Mejor observadora que su hermana, con un temperamento menos flexible y un juicio menos propenso a dejarse influir por los halagos.”

Lizzy, como es llamada por su familia, es una chica que no se somete completamente a los estándares de la sociedad en la que vive. Es rara, porque busca su felicidad y estabilidad no solo económica, sino emocional, y en alguna ocasión tiene discusiones por exponer su forma de pensar. Su sarcasmo y su personalidad conquistan a uno tan pronto comienza a leer la historia y no pasa mucho tiempo antes de que estemos leyendo sin parar para saber qué sucede con ella.

“[Elizabeth] demuestra una abominable independencia y presunción, y una indiferencia por el decoro propio de la gente de campo.”

 

Mary Bennet

mary-pride-and-prejudice-1995-6151820-640-480“Mary no tenía ni talento ni gusto, y aunque la vanidad la había hecho aplicada, también le había dado un aire pedante y modales afectados.”

Mary es la chica del medio del matrimonio Bennet. Como tercera hija, siempre se ve comparada con la belleza e inteligencia de sus hermanas mayores y el coqueteo y carisma de las hermanas menores. Contra ellas, Mary es un poco sosa. Es callada y usualmente guarda para sí sus palabras, excepto cuando cree que hablar pueda hacerla brillar. No es increíble cantando o tocando el piano, pero al buscar una forma de brillar, encuentra todas las oportunidades para hacerlo.

Mary es vista muchas veces como un personaje escondido y poco importante, pero Austen, experta observadora de las personalidades, no la puso en la familia para llenar un espacio. En Mary muestra a las personas que no cuadraban con lo que una chica debía ser (bonita, delicada, carismática, sociable) y como al intentar llegar a los estándares que la sociedad cruelmente les había puesto, llegaban a ser motivos de burla o ignoradas.

Catherine “Kitty” Bennet

lydia and kitty“Su carácter no era tan indomable como el de Lydia, y lejos de su influjo, llegó a ser menos irritable, menos ignorante y menos insípida.”

Kitty se ve muy pocas veces sin Lydia a su lado. Es la penúltima de las hijas Bennet y realmente no tiene mucha presencia en la historia. Es descrita como un poco tonta y fácil de manipular, pero cuando se encuentra alejada de Lydia y recibe mejor control (y educación), se convierte en una joven sensible.

 

 

Lydia Bennet

d7df067e4e2a2dbf7e9986f0f7d295e8“Lydia era fuerte, muy crecida para tener quince años, tenía buena figura y un carácter muy alegre. Era la favorita de su madre, que por el amor que le tenía la había presentado en sociedad a una edad muy temprana. Era muy impulsiva y se daba mucha importancia, lo que había aumentado con las atenciones que recibía de los oficiales, a los que las cenas de su tía y sus modales contribuían.”

Lydia… Lydia es todo un caso. Es la más joven de las Bennet y también la más imprudente. Esta chica me hace sufrir cada vez que leo el libro o veo una adaptación. En ocasiones quiero golpearla, pero en otras quiero gritarle AMIGA DATE CUENTA antes de abrazarla.

 

Mr. Bennet

cawf“El señor Bennet era una mezcla tan rara entre ocurrente, sarcástico, reservado y caprichoso, que la experiencia de veintitrés años no había sido suficiente para que su esposa entendiese su carácter.”

Este hombre es un pésimo padre, la verdad. Y como esposo es incluso peor.

PERO

No puedo evitar amarlo. El sarcasmo de Mr. Bennet DESBORDA y hace que a veces incluso llegue a reír en voz alta. Mi relación con él es muy difícil, porque quisiera conversar con él y escuchar sus comentarios sarcásticos, pero también quiero decirle que se ajuste y controle más a sus hijas, que darle tanta libertad a Lydia solo está trayendo problemas. Pero bueno, si no escucha a su hija favorita, menos a mí.

Mrs. Bennet

winking“[La señora Bennet] era una mujer de poca inteligencia, más bien inculta y de temperamento cambiante. Su meta en la vida era casar a sus hijas; su consuelo, las visitas y el chismorreo.”

Por más que me quiera reír de Mrs. Bennet, nadie me puede decir que no ha hecho exactamente esa cara cuando alguna amistad se encuentra con su crush y estás tratando de comunicarte telepáticamente con tus otros amigos para dejarlos solos.

Mrs. Bennet es descrita en el primer libro como una persona poco inteligente y fastidiosa. Sin embargo, al igual que no puedo evitar amar a Mr. Bennet, no puedo evitar entender a Mrs. Bennet. Sí, es fácil reírse de sus comentarios o pensar que exagera, pero pónganse en su posición: tiene cinco hijas, ninguna está casada, vive en la época de la Regencia, cuando la expectativa de vida era de cuarenta años a lo mucho y Mr. Bennet probablemente está rondando esa edad. La mujer tiene todo el derecho de estar desesperada aunque no excuso su comportamiento.

Visto desde otra perspectiva, el personaje de Mrs. Bennet me llama bastante la atención.

Hill

Hill casi no se menciona en la novela, pero decidí añadirla a esta lista. Hill es la jefa de sirvientes de la casa de Longbourn, y la criada personal de Mrs. Bennet. Está ahí, tanto cuando tiene que cuidarla después de uno de sus ataques de ansiedad como cuando está supervisando la preparación de la cena en caso de visitas. Es tan fundamental en el funcionamiento de los Bennet que es la única sirvienta que sabe todas las cosas después del suceso Lydia (lo llamo así para no hacer spoiler de lo que sucede). Además, está presente en muchas de las adaptaciones.

 

Y nada, hasta aquí esta visita. Espero que hayan disfrutado del té mientras conocían un poco mejor a las hermanas Bennet, que muy pronto verán su rutina transformada con la llegada de dos jóvenes hombres a la vecindad.

Orgullo y Prejuicio – Reseña

Orgullo y Prejuicio – Reseña

Vale.

Ha llegado el momento.

¡Hola, lectores!

Hoy les traigo la reseña de uno de mis libros favoritos (y una de las razones que me inspiraron a abrir el blog en primer lugar), Orgullo y Prejuicio. Hace unos días les hablaba sobre Jane Austen y su vida. Quiero traerles reseñas de sus libros poco a poco, para que vayan conociéndola más a través de sus palabras, no las mías. Además, actualicé mi formulario de reseñas, así que esta será la primera entrada en la que al final podrán ver de forma más detallada las cosas que me gustan y no de un libro.

Así que, sin más dilación, la reseña.

Orgullo y Prejuicio

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Autora: Jane Austen

Año de publicación: 1813

Clásicos, Romance, Ficción

Puntuación: 9.7/10

Sinopsis:

La familia Bennet tiene cinco hijas, así que la llegada al vecindario de Mr. Bingley, un joven rico y soltero, es todo un acontecimiento.
Mientras Mr. Bingley se embelesa con Jane, la mayor de las hermanas, el altivo Mr. Darcy y la alegre Elizabeth pronto se enzarzan en una serie de desdenes y malentendidos que deberán reconocer y afrontar para poder alcanzar la felicidad.

Reseña:

Orgullo y Prejuicio. ¿Qué puedo decir de este libro que me ha conquistado el alma y el corazón?

Orgullo y Prejuicio nos lleva a la vida del gentry inglés de la época de Regencia Inglesa (periodo entre 1811 y 1820, aunque en la literatura este periodo se extiende desde 1790-1830 aproximadamente). En medio de esta época de modales estrictos y costumbres sociales fuertes, nos movemos más allá de Londres, el enfoque de muchos de los escritores de la época, y caminamos un poco más hacia el campo, cerca de la ciudad de Meryton.

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La historia comienza justo cuando sucede algo que cambiará la rutina de muchas personas del pueblo: un hombre soltero y rico se ha mudado a una casa cercana a la ciudad. Y no solo eso: ha traido un amigo el doble de rico.

La matriarca de los Bennet, la familia que ocupa el protagonismo de este libro, está encantada y no pasa mucho tiempo antes de que las madres de las demás chicas solteras también lo estén. Después de todo, es una verdad universalmente reconocida que un hombre soltero y poseedor de gran riqueza necesita una esposa.

Elizabeth, la segunda hija de la familia Bennet, es la protagonista de la novela. Es una chica lista que no quiere casarse por beneficios, sino por amor. Intenta ser lo más imparcial posible a la hora de formar sus opiniones, pero de todas formas podemos ver como sus prejuicios y orgullo herido pueden llevarla a creer lo mismo que la multitud. Por otro lado, Mr. Darcy, el amigo de Mr. Bingley que lo acompaña al campo, lleva consigo en la maleta los prejuicios de que las personas con menos alcance de la educación y oportunidades de la ciudad son inferiores. Su posición social y su fortuna lo han vuelto orgulloso, y esto provoca grandes choques con Elizabeth cuando se muda a Netherfield.

Lo que conquista de Orgullo y Prejuicio son sus personajes, de los que le estaré hablando más a fondo en las próximas entradas del Rincón Austen. Jane Austen observaba a las personas a su alrededor y las analizaba antes de crear a sus personajes. La evolución y el desarrollo de cada uno a través de las páginas te atrapa por completo. Esto, junto a la historia de amor (the original bad-boy-turned-good story) hacen imposible parar la lectura y no enamorarte de la pluma de Austen.

Los libros de Jane Austen están plagados de crítica social. La posición de la mujer en esta época era terriblemente suprimida y estaban encerrada en las paredes de la casa y sus labores ahí. No habían muchos trabajos que estas pudieran hacer y dependían mayormente de las oportunidades de casarse para tener una buena vida. Casarse sin amor era algo de todos los días y Jane Austen lo detestaba, si nos dejamos guiar por las múltiples muestras de estos matrimonios que vemos en sus historias y el trato que reciben. En Orgullo y Prejuicio, Austen muestra que un matrimonio por amor no tiene que ser necesariamente un matrimonio sacrificado, sino uno en el que ambos puedan respetarse mutuamente y ayudarse a vivir de la mejor manera posible y no solo eso, sino que una mujer no debería tener que casarse para ser considerada una mujer realizada.

Aunque las circunstancias específicas de la sociedad que Austen señala pueden haber cambiado, este y los demás temas tocados en la historia son temas universales. Sus personajes y sus situaciones pueden ser situados en nuestros tiempos sin mucho trabajo. Quizás por eso existen cientos de adaptaciones de las historias de Jane Austen y seguimos leyendo sus novelas, porque muy en el fondo, todos conocemos a una Mrs. Bennet que cree que casarse arregla todos los problemas, un Mr. Darcy que no se ha dado cuenta de que su privilegio lo ha vuelto orgulloso, una Catherine de Bourgh que quiere controlar todo y evitar el cambio y una Elizabeth Bennet que no se quiere acatar a las normas de la sociedad y busca hacer su espacio en el mundo.

Orgullo y Prejuicio es un clásico que puedo leer mil veces y cada una de ellas saco algo distinto. Crezco con sus personajes y me enfrento a preguntas sociales que me chocan contra la pared. Lo recomiendo a todo el mundo, ya que es un libro al que se le puede sacar un mensaje sin importar la situación.

 

¡Felices lecturas!

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