Lobizona by Romina Garber
Publication Date: May 5th, 2020
Publisher: Wednesday Books/St. Martin’s Press
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Rating: 5 Stars
Audio Rating: N/A
Some people ARE illegal.
Lobizonas do NOT exist.
Both of these statements are false.
Manuela Azul has been crammed into an existence that feels too small for her. As an undocumented immigrant who’s on the run from her father’s Argentine crime-family, Manu is confined to a small apartment and a small life in Miami, Florida.
Until Manu’s protective bubble is shattered.
Her surrogate grandmother is attacked, lifelong lies are exposed, and her mother is arrested by ICE. Without a home, without answers, and finally without shackles, Manu investigates the only clue she has about her past–a mysterious “Z” emblem—which leads her to a secret world buried within our own. A world connected to her dead father and his criminal past. A world straight out of Argentine folklore, where the seventh consecutive daughter is born a bruja and the seventh consecutive son is a lobizón, a werewolf. A world where her unusual eyes allow her to belong.
As Manu uncovers her own story and traces her real heritage all the way back to a cursed city in Argentina, she learns it’s not just her U.S. residency that’s illegal. . . .it’s her entire existence.
This e-book was sent to me for free by St. Martin’s Press and Wednesday Books in exchange for an honest review. This in now way impacts my rating, all thoughts are my own.
NON SPOILERY REVIEW
Wow. This book was heartbreaking, raw, and powerful. I am so impressed with Romina Garber and her writing style. This YA Urban Fantasy was gripping right until the end. I am 100% here for the Argentinean folklore and the female empowered heroes journey.
Lobizona begins with Manu, an undocumented immigrant from Argentina who is in hiding due to her immigrant status and due to the unusual look to her eyes. She is a very thoughtful, caring, and intelligent young woman who is put in impossible situations due to her mother’s choices. This book explores the very much real immigrant experience. My heart was pounding during the very first section of the book. I appreciated how heavily the Spanish was used, as it made Manu’s life feel real to me.
Finding a hidden school and the secrets about her father (whom she has been on the run from her entire life) also intrigued me, considering that those two things were tied together. I also appreciated the queer representation within this novel. I think that it’s so important to represent all types of people and this book really took it to the next level without making it seem forced. Manu’s life is a strange yet powerful one and I cannot wait to see what Romina does next.
Thank you so much for allowing me to read an advanced copy. I loved everything about it. This book goes on Sale 5/5/20 and is up for preorder now!
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