Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Infinite Variants of YA: Interview with Lilliam Rivera (The Education of Margot Sanchez)

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Hello and welcome to our first official post of THE INFINITE VARIANTS OF YA series! Today we have the absolutely lovely Lilliam Rivera on the blog answering a series of Would You Rather questions (which if you know me, I tend to ask really stupid qs sometimes so she was an absolute champ for putting up with me.)

SO, lets give it up for Lilliam Rivera!!!

A Game of Would You Rather with Lilliam Rivera!

Would you rather have a ginormous family or be an only child?

As much as I used to complain about growing up in a big, loud Puerto Rican family (three brothers, one older sister), I wouldn’t have it any other way. I loved it. You can always find someone to talk to and there are more laughs to be had. I’m comfortable in that kind of joyful chaos.

Would you rather not shower for a week or be forced to not read any books for a month?

This is really hard! I can’t go without showering everyday. It’s the only way I can truly wake up. Although I will miss not being able to read any books for a month at least I can always recall the ones I’ve read.

Would you rather be forced to work for an entire summer or have nothing to do at all?

I would rather work for the summer. I like to keep busy and I’m always working on multiple projects. I have a full time job and I write everyday. I don’t think I’ve ever been without some sort of job every since I was of age to get my first job in High School.

Would you rather have a pet raccoon or a pet squirrel?

I’m a hardcore city girl from New York so both of these animals kind of freak me out. But, I do have more experience seeing squirrels so I would have to pick a squirrel. I want to believe that they might be a cool pet. Maybe I can train them to detect bad eggs like the squirrels in the Roald Dahl’s book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Would you rather live in a utopian society or in a dystopian society and head the revolution?

What makes you think we are not currently living in a dystopian society right now? Writers, teachers, young people are usually the ones leading the way when it comes to the revolution so I intend to be in the forefront.

Would you rather have cake or no cake?

I want all the cake, all the time. One of my favorite bakeries when I was growing up in the Bronx, New York was Valencia Bakery. I used to live for a slice of their ridiculously rich cake.

Would you rather have to watch Pretty in Pink or Clueless everyday?

Hands down, Pretty in Pink. I grew up watching John Hughes films. My novel The Education of Margot Sanchez is described as “Pretty in Pink comes to the South Bronx” so I obviously have a sweet spot for that film.

About the Book

The Infinite Variants of YA: Interview with Lilliam Rivera (The Education of Margot Sanchez)
The Education of Margot Sanchez
Lilliam Rivera
Genre: Contemporary, YA
Publication date: February 21st, 2017
by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

GoodreadsPurchase
Pretty in Pink comes to the South Bronx in this bold and romantic coming-of-age novel about dysfunctional families, good and bad choices, and finding the courage to question everything you ever thought you wanted—from debut author Lilliam Rivera.

THINGS/PEOPLE MARGOT HATES:

Mami, for destroying my social life
Papi, for allowing Junior to become a Neanderthal
Junior, for becoming a Neanderthal
This supermarket
Everyone else

After “borrowing” her father's credit card to finance a more stylish wardrobe, Margot
Sanchez suddenly finds herself grounded. And by grounded, she means working as an indentured servant in her family’s struggling grocery store to pay off her debts.

With each order of deli meat she slices, Margot can feel her carefully cultivated prep school reputation slipping through her fingers, and she’s willing to do anything to get out of this punishment. Lie, cheat, and maybe even steal…

Margot’s invitation to the ultimate beach party is within reach and she has no intention of letting her family’s drama or Moises—the admittedly good looking but outspoken boy from the neighborhood—keep her from her goal.

The Education of Margot Sanchez in emojis (à la author)

👸🏽🙅🏽🏖🛒😡👨🏽🎆🇵🇷💔

 

Thanks so much to Lilliam Rivera for joining us today!

You can also check my review for The Education of Margot Sanchez out here.

Don’t forget to check out Nick and Nereyda’s Infinite Booklist later this month for another author-thing and come back again at the end of the month for a round up of diverse releases in the month of February!

The Holiday Novel I Didn’t Know I Needed: We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

The Holiday Novel I Didn’t Know I Needed: We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

Posted by on 02/15/2017 • 2 Comments

I have no idea how to start this review because I just want to throw We Are Okay in everyone’s faces and get them to read it. What drew me to the book was Nina LaCour and the pretty cover. While I haven’t read anything solely written by her, I had read You Know Me Well by her last year which she co-authored with David Levithan and fell in love with her writing.

LaCour’s writing just makes me wish I was buried under a ton of blankets with a book and a nice, warm cup of hot cocoa. We Are Okay is everything I didn’t even know I wanted from a holiday-themed book. It is complex, cozy and gut wrenching. It uses the tropes from common holiday novels but…

10 Non-Het Romance Books to Read on Valentine’s Day (or any other day of the year)

10 Non-Het Romance Books to Read on Valentine’s Day (or any other day of the year)

Posted by on 02/14/2017 • 9 Comments

Tired of all the het romances in the spotlight come Valentine’s day? Here is a list of 10 non-het romances to read instead + a bonus movie to watch! This list is by no means cumulative but the books have strong romance elements and HEAs (unless I seriously screwed up while researching.)

1. Tell Me Again How A Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan

Interracial romance, QPOC, #ownvoices.

2. Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst

A fantasy world where society isn’t homophobic. #ownvoices.

3. When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore

Interracial romance, QPOC, #ownvoices.

4. Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

oreos.

5. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Latinx main characters. #ownvoices.

6. Ash by Malinda Lo

Cinderella…

Q&A With S. Jae Jones

Q&A With S. Jae Jones

Posted by on 02/13/2017 • 2 Comments

Hello and welcome to Xpresso Reads’ tour stop for Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones. Today we have a Q&A with the author and hopefully they’ll make you feel even more excited about reading the book!

Please give a round of applause for S. Jae-Jones!

Q&A With S. Jae-Jones

What was your favorite part about writing this book? What was your favorite scene to write?

I loved that I was able to draw on so many things that inspired or influenced me aesthetically as I wrote this book. I love goth stories, Death and the Maiden tropes, Jacques Cocteau movies, Phantom of the Opera, glitter, David Bowie, Mozart, and all of that made it into my book in some form or another. I don’t have a favorite scene,…

Fresh Batch (February 12th-18th)

Fresh Batch (February 12th-18th)

Posted by on 02/11/2017 • 3 Comments

Fresh Batch, posted weekly, keeps you up to date on the hottest releases of the upcoming week.

Flavor of the week:

The Valiant Lesley Livingston Series: The Valiant #1 Publication date: February 14th 2017by Razorbill

Goodreads Purchase

Lost to history, the story of the female gladiator has never been told. Until now.

Fallon is the daughter of a proud Celtic king and the younger sister of the legendary warrior Sorcha. When Fallon was just a child, Sorcha was killed while defending their home from the armies of Julius Caesar.

On the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Fallon is excited to follow in her sister’s footsteps and earn her place in her father’s war band. She never gets the chance.

Fallon is captured by ruthless…

The Last Harvest by Kim Liggett

The Last Harvest by Kim Liggett

Posted by on 02/10/2017 • 1 Comment

I have no idea how I am supposed to feel about this book. I love how the author builds tension throughout the book and I love the general creepiness of it but I struggled with a lot of other aspects of the book. The characters, the romance, and even some of the horror elements of the book.

I think my biggest qualm in terms of the actual horror parts of the book is how much they are based on Christian myth. This is obviously a very personal qualm and not all readers will have that same experience but as someone who exists outside of that narrative, it can be a little unsettling to have all this info forced down ones throat. It isn’t even just the satanic elements but rather the…

Just Another Teen Novel (IN A GOOD WAY!!): The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera

Just Another Teen Novel (IN A GOOD WAY!!): The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera

Posted by on 02/09/2017 • 2 Comments

2k17, the year where my eyes tear up because of everything. Currently tearing up because I wish I was a teen and I wish I could have had all these wonderful #ownvoices books in my life as a teen. I am not Latinx but goddamnit, it is so so SO good to read so many #ownvoices novels with non-white main characters. It is so good to see a POC main character and its so incredibly good to see a POC character in familiar tropes. Don’t ever let anyone tell you tropes are bad. TROPES ARE AMAZING (if done right) and people who think books need to not be trope-y are just reading books where tropes aren’t done well.

The Education of Margot Sanchez has been described as being ‘Pretty In…

10 Books About Immigrant/1st Gen Experiences

10 Books About Immigrant/1st Gen Experiences

Posted by on 02/08/2017 • 8 Comments

TBH, I don’t even know how to start this post off. I wish the world was a better place and I wish everyone could just agree that we all deserve to be treated as humans and equals instead of shitting on the existence of entire groups of people. I am trying to use this space to promote books that we should all be reading right now and to get people to support more diverse (& #ownvoices) content. So here is a list of 10 Books about Immigrant/1st Gen Experiences.

1. Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed

MC is a first gen Pakistani-American and the book is #ownvoices. Also deals with arranged marriage and has a jaw-dropping gorgeous cover.

2. American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

I think people who…