Recent Reads, February 2021

I’m sharing this month’s reading a little early because I have another post planned for the end of the month. This was, yet again, not my best month for reading. But honestly, I was in a rut a lot of the month – not just reading wise, but life wise! So I’m going to choose to focus on the books that I did read rather than the (many) times that I put on the TV instead. It happens!

Lulu and Milagro’s Search for Clarity by Angela Velez

This book popped up on Instagram as a new release by a local author, so I decided to read it. I really enjoyed it! Lulu and Milagro are high-school aged sisters (and the book takes turns letting them narrate, alternating their POV each chapter) who are seemingly very different from each other. Lulu is much more academically focused, and Milagro is more into boys. But when they both end up on the same trip touring colleges, they spend time together and realize that maybe they’re more similar than they think. It’s a really sweet book! I also loved the Pittsburgh references, too – they visit a fictional “Mon U” that bears a striking resemblance to Pitt!

Out of Love by Hazel Hayes

(CW: Abuse, suicide) The way that this story is told is really interesting – it’s a love story, but told completely in reverse. So it starts at a breakup between a woman and her boyfriend, Theo, and then each chapter takes us further and further into the past, and closer and closer to the beginning of their relationship. It gets really dark at times, and I think because you start at the end, I had a hard time really feeling connected to the main character or her relationship. It’s a really unique way to read a story, but ultimately, I just didn’t love it.

Velvet Was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

I loved Mexican Gothic by the same author, so I was really looking forward to reading this book. It’s very different than Mexican Gothic – while that book was magical realism, this was noir, and I’ll admit that I didn’t really know what that meant! It means that the stakes are small, basically, and it’s not a super action-filled plot. Maite is a secretary who dreams about an exciting life and a love affair like those in her romance comic books she’s obsessed with. Her neighbor Leonora asks Maite to watch her cat, and then never comes home, so Maite teams up with some of Leonora’s friends to find her. The whole story is set in the 1970s in Mexico amidst political unrest. It’s a beautiful story, but I think noir just isn’t my favorite genre.

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