Author: Lilliam Rivera


Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Matriarchal Society Gone Corrupt: Dealing in Dreams by Lilliam Rivera

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Matriarchal Society Gone Corrupt: Dealing in Dreams by Lilliam Rivera
Dealing in Dreams
Lilliam Rivera
Genre: Dystopia, YA
Publication date: March 5th, 2019
by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

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At night, Las Mal Criadas own these streets.

Nalah leads the fiercest all-girl crew in Mega City. That roles brings with it violent throw downs and access to the hottest boydega clubs, but the sixteen-year-old grows weary of the life. Her dream is to get off the streets and make a home in the exclusive Mega Towers, in which only a chosen few get to live. To make it to the Mega towers, Nalah must prove her loyalty to the city's benevolent founder and cross the border in a search for a mysterious gang the Ashé Ryders. Led by a reluctant guide, Nalah battles other crews and her own doubts, but the closer she gets to her goal, the more she loses sight of everything—and everyone— she cares about.

Nalah must do the unspeakable to get what she wants—a place to call home. But is a home just where you live? Or who you choose to protect? 
-A copy was provided by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers for review-

I honestly didn’t know that Lilliam Rivera had a new book coming out until earlier this year which just shows you where publishing’s priorities are in terms of marketing. In my eagerness to read anything Rivera writes, I actually forgot to read the summary and it wasn’t until a while later that I realized Dealing in Dreams was a proper dystopian novel. If you read my review for We Set the Dark on Fire, you will know I don’t do dystopia anymore but given that I’ve technically now read two dystopian novels for the first time in literal years, I THINK IT’S SAFE TO SAY I am doing dystopia again. BUT, to be clear, I am only doing dystopia written by POC.

Dealing in Dreams starts off super slow. I actually read 11% first and put the book down. I considered DNFing because it just wasn’t grabbing at me but my friend Shannon told me she had the same problem at first so I decided to push through instead of DNFing. I am so glad I did because otherwise, I would have missed being immersed in the vibrant, matriarchal world of Mega City.

First things first, even though Dealing in Dreams was much harder for me to get into than Rivera’s debut The Education of Margot Sanchez, I can still see how far she has come since writing Margot Sanchez. I love how complex many of the characters are, I love how how imperfect Nalah is and I really just love this world.

Dealing in Dreams is set in a matriarchal society gone corrupt, and not everyone is quite aware of how deep that corruption runs (including Nalah.) I genuinely loved this take, especially when it was later contrasted with another matriarchal society. I also adored the time and care Rivera puts into slowly unfolding all the systematic discrimination in this society. Not only did it provide a great lens with which we could look at our own society, but it felt a lot more realistic as Nalah slowly came to realize how much the system works against them.

Backtracking a bit, while Nalah’s crew is super complex, I found that some other major secondary characters weren’t? For example, Déesse, the villain, seems pretty flat. We don’t really know her motivation or what forced her to deviate off the track set by the other founders of Mega City. 

Overall though, this book is both a remarkable adventure and a compelling dystopian novel. You’re sure to fall in love (or at least in like) with Nalah’s badass crew and sure to be taken in by the brewing revolution. If you’re a fan of dystopian novels or ready to give one a chance, Dealing in Dreams is not a book to be missed.

3.5 Stars
3.5 Hot Espressos

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

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

Posted by on 02/16/2017 • 1 Comment

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…

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…