“Home and Away” by Candice Montgomery

This is not the sort of book I usually go for. YA contemporary is not my jam. Usually, if I decide to read a contemporary novel, it would be an adult novel. But I’m glad that Page Street Publishing reached out and sent an advanced copy of Home and Away for me to review. (Thanks y’all!) I was surprised I enjoyed it.

Genre:

YA contemporary

Pubbed:

October 16, 2018

Goodreads summary:

Tasia Quirk is young, Black, and fabulous. She’s a senior, she’s got great friends, and a supportive and wealthy family. She even plays football as the only girl on her private high school’s team.

But when she catches her mamma trying to stuff a mysterious box in the closet, her identity is suddenly called into question. Now Tasia’s determined to unravel the lies that have overtaken her life. Along the way, she discovers what family and forgiveness really mean, and that her answers don’t come without a fee. An artsy bisexual boy from the Valley could help her find them—but only if she stops fighting who she is, beyond the color of her skin. (Goodreads)

My thoughts:

As I said, I didn’t expect to enjoy this book as much as I did partly because of its genre and partly because of what the story is about. I immediately assumed it would focus a lot on football, which sort of turned me off, but I’m glad the mention of the mysterious box caught and held me and made me give the story a chance.

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“Soledad” by Angie Cruz

Soledad

This story hooked me from the first sentence.

Quick summary:

I’m going with the synopsis on the back cover because it sums up the story well.

At eighteen, Soledad couldn’t get away fast enough from her contentious family with their endless tragedies and petty fights. Two years later, she’s an art student at Cooper Union with a gallery job and a hip East Village walk-up. But when Tía Gorda calls with the news that Soledad’s mother has lapsed into an emotional coma, she insists that Soledad’s return is the only cure. Fighting the memories of open hydrants, leering men, and slick-skinned teen girls with raunchy mouths and snapping gum, Soledad moves home to West 164th Street. As she tries to tame her cousin Flaca’s raucous behavior and to resist falling for Richie — a soulful, intense man from the neighborhood — she also faces the greatest challenge of her life: confronting the ghosts from her mother’s past and salvaging their damaged relationship.

Evocative and wise, Soledad is a wondrous story of culture and chaos, family and integrity, myth and mysticism, from a Latina literary light.

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