Hello hello and welcome or welcome back to my little bookish corner of the internet. Today is my spot on the blog tour for How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe, the schedule for which you can find here, and I’ll be sharing with you my review and Top Five Reasons To Read.
The Hating Game meets I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter in this irresistible romance starring a Mexican American teen who discovers love and profound truths about the universe when she spends her summer on a road trip across the country.
When her twin sister reaches social media stardom, Moon Fuentez accepts her fate as the ugly, unwanted sister hidden in the background, destined to be nothing more than her sister’s camerawoman. But this summer, Moon also takes a job as the “merch girl” on a tour bus full of beautiful influencers and her fate begins to shift in the best way possible.
Most notable is her bunkmate and new nemesis, Santiago Phillips, who is grumpy, combative, and also the hottest guy Moon has ever seen.
Moon is certain she hates Santiago and that he hates her back. But as chance and destiny (and maybe, probably, close proximity) bring the two of them in each other’s perpetual paths, Moon starts to wonder if that’s really true. She even starts to question her destiny as the unnoticed, unloved wallflower she always thought she was.
Could this summer change Moon’s life as she knows it?
Trigger warnings: Domestic violence, abuse by a parent, knife violence, talk of suicide, talk of car crash
Rating: 3.5 stars
A combination of feel good and hard hitting, this book has a lot to say – and that’s a really good thing. It manages to make you laugh while addressing some really serious issues, yet finds the balance perfectly.
Moon is essentially ordered onto the road trip that Star has been given a place on by Star’s manager: their mother. Given no control over how she can spend her summer, Moon is resigned to the situation, and quickly finds herself in close quarters with someone she is sure she hates, and hates her in return. While part of the story focuses on that dynamic and its shifting sands, the other part looks at how Moon has become the person she is now; the good, the bad, and the very very ugly.
I found the ending a bit abrupt and thought an extra couple of chapters could have made all the difference, but I did really enjoy the book. It’s written beautifully, and is hugely character driven, which works perfectly in these circumstances. It’s the kind of book that makes you want to snuggle down, and hope for a happy ending.
Top 5 Reasons To Read
- Food, food, food
Santiago is an amazing cook, and the way it’s put in to words makes the food leap off the page. It’s a book that will make you absolutely drool.
- Reclaiming your sexual self
Moon and Star’s mother is incredibly toxic, and just one of the many things she does to damage Moon is to slut shame her into feeling horrible about herself – including physically assaulting her – for having had sex. Through the process of her relationship with Santiago, he shows her that she’s wonderful just as she is, and that sex can be a positive thing.
- Fat positivity
As a fat woman, I always relate more to curvy protagonists, and again through the journey of the book, Moon starts loving her body after being shamed for it. Part of this is, again, Satiago’s support, but part of it is the physical distance from her toxic mother.
- Lyrical writing
Gilliland writes in such a beautiful manner. At times it was almost like listening to a song, especially in the way she writes about Moon’s feelings regarding nature and the magic of it.
- The power of love
When Moon is faced with the full awful reality of what her family is composed of, she calls her Tia, who swings to the rescue. The only family member who has ever fully understood and supported Moon, she steps into the role of supporting her without a second thought.
About The Author
Raquel Vasquez Gilliland is a Mexican American poet, novelist and painter. She received her MFA in poetry from the University of Alaska, Anchorage in 2017. She’s most inspired by fog and seeds and the lineages of all things. When not writing, Raquel tells stories to her plants and they tell her stories back. She lives in Tennessee with her beloved family and mountains.
I think Moon would appreciate my little floral divider, so I used it again! Thanks for joining me on this stop, and to TBR and Beyond for all their hard work as always.