Michelle Ruiz Keil’s YA fantasy debut about love, found family, and healing is an ode to post-punk San Francisco through the eyes of a Mexican-American girl.
Seventeen-year-old Xochi is alone in San Francisco, running from her painful past: the mother who abandoned her, the man who betrayed her. Then one day, she meets Pallas, a precocious twelve-year-old who lives with her rock-star family in one of the city’s storybook Victorians. Xochi accepts a position as Pallas’s live-in governess and quickly finds her place in their household, which is relaxed and happy despite the band's larger-than-life fame.
But on the night of the Vernal Equinox, as a concert afterparty rages in the house below, Xochi and Pallas accidentally summon a pair of ancient creatures devoted to avenging the wrongs of Xochi’s adolescence. She would do anything to preserve her new life, but with the creatures determined to exact vengeance on those who’ve hurt her, no one is safe—not the family she’s chosen, nor the one she left behind.
Michelle Ruiz Keil is a writer and tarot reader with an eye for the enchanted and a way with animals. Her critically acclaimed debut novel, All of Us With Wings, called "...a transcendent journey" by the New York Times and "...a fantastical ode the Golden City's post-punk era" by Entertainment Weekly, was released from Soho Teen in 2019. She is a 2020 Literary Lions honoree and the recipient of a 2020 Hedgebrook residency. Her short fiction can be found on Cosmonauts Avenue and the anthologies Color Outside The Lines and Dispatches From Anarres. A San Francisco Bay Area native, Michelle has lived in Portland Oregon for many years. She curates the fairytale reading series All Kinds of Fur and lives with her family in a cottage where the forest meets the city.
How does a book that romanticizes pedophilia get through so many stages of writing and rewriting only to continue to be published?
- The "love interest" in this book is a 28 year old man. The main character is 17. Do not try to tell me there's nothing wrong with that. There's a lot wrong with it. - Pedophilia is used as a plot device to make the "relationship" seem forbidden. It's not forbidden. It's predatory and not to mention very illegal. - the main character is called "jailbait" at one point (again, how did this make it to the final copy?), it's disputed in one sentence of dialogue, and then the main character is called "jailbait" AGAIN about 75 pages later, which entirely erases the argument against using it. - the "love interest" at one point makes a list of pros and cons as to why he should or shouldn't be with the mc. His most important con (as he states) is that he doesn't want to hurt his daughter. NOT that the girl he wants to have sex with is UNDERAGE. That's his second and less important con. - not only does the main character voluntarily get into a predatory relationship, but she does it after she acknowledges that she was raped by a man her mom dated, who was, get this, in his late 20s. - the only argument made for the relationship is that it's okay because "she's mature for her age". I don' think I have to spell this out, but that is NOT a good argument for dating a minor. - The entire premise of this book is a subplot. It's not the main plot. The "relationship" is the main plot point. That being said, the events in the synopsis don't happen until 2/3 of the way into the book and don't happen to the degree that they're described on the flap of the book.
Overall, it's not a good look for an author to put a character into a predatory relationship, especially after said character has past trauma because of a predator. It's an even worse look to make it seem okay because "she's mature", which is often used to describe girls who have been raped by older men while they were young. This book should not be going into the hands of young, impressionable readers. At all. I won't be talking about any other likes or dislikes with this book, because if you've gotten to the end of this review and choose to read it anyway, then that's on you.
This review is based on an ARC I received from the publishers in exchange for an honest review.
EDIT: This book is not pedophilia. Pedophilia is about pre-puberty children, usually to the age of 13. As a survivor of pedophilia myself, and knowing other survivors, calling these sorts of relationships pedophilia can be very harmful to us as survivors. However, it is statutory rape, creepy and predatory, and completely excused and romanticised, and I would recommend people not read this book because of it. Just please do not call things pedophilia when they are not.
So... Okay. I was very interested by the premise of this book and got super excited when I was accepted for an ARC copy. Unfortunately, I was disappointed (and confused???).
The prose? Was beautiful. Stunning. It had this dreamlike quality to it that made it really feel like a modern fairy tale. There were witches and monsters conjured by revenge-seeking girls, and a cat had a point of view in this which was so random and fun. The prose was my favourite thing about this book, and I probably would have rated this lower (because of reasons I'll mention) if it didn't have the dreamy haze-like quality of San Fran summers and magic. I also liked the narrative of a girl with trauma unknowingly summoning demons/monsters who then take revenge on the man who hurt her. That... Is my Shit as a concept and the execution was pretty great.
However (and unfortunately there is a however...) that romance made me SO close to giving up and DNF'ing this. It centres around the mc (who is 17) and the father of a girl she is the governess for (he is 29). Iffy doesn't begin to cover it, and it made me extremely uncomfortable. For a book that discusses sexual abuse & the grooming of underage girls by men in her life so openly, it is astonishing how tone-deaf it then continued to be with romanticizing & justifying this relationship between a minor and a her employer - a man 11 years her senior. I don't understand how it can be so adept in showing the main character's trauma from being sexually abused as a minor, and then justifying statutory rape as being okay because she's "mature for her age and been through a lot." It just... is not okay and the ending completely just brushed it off? I kept reading hoping there would be some sort of conclusion to it but it was left very open ended & vague and implies they'd be together. I just.... Did not like it at all.
Because of this iffy relationship which I just could not get past I can't give this a higher rating than 2 stars, despite what I did like about it (mostly the prose & magical realism elements). There was also a lot of drug usage (cocaine, heroin) and sexual themes in this that I'd personally classify it as more in the new adult age range.
Trigger warning: rape & sexual grooming of a minor, statutory rape (non-addressed) & underage/adult relationship, drug usage
I started reading All of Us with Wings on 4/23/2019 and finished it on 4/26/2019. This book is an okay read for me. I picked this book up purely on the cover because it’s cute but the story is more weird than I can handle. There are drugs and mentioned of sex, rape, and tattoos going on in this story with older men and underage girls. There are family abandonment and teenage parenting. The parents of Pallas sleeps with other people while together under one roof. Their daughter experiencing puberty and little green monsters showing up in different places, including dreams. Adults dressing up an underage girl slutty to bring her unwanted attention and giving her access to boozes and drugs. It’s just not my kind of read to be honest. It’s definitely sad that a young girl have to experience this kind of life.
This book is told in the third person point of view following Pallas, 12 as she watches her rockstar dad’s band members arriving at her home for an after party from the concert. The alternative view is Xochi, 17 as she says goodbye from hanging out with (babysitting) Pallas to go join the party in the basement. She tried to smoke weed and then feel suffocated so she went out for a walk and ended with a tongue pierce. The third view is of a neighbor’s cat named Peablossom. He witnessed other worldly beings come to life after Xochi and Pallas’ witch rituals. There are other views introduced later into the story to tell their experiences with Xochi.
All of Us with Wings is well written. The story started out slow but strong with drugs use and soon got better when readers learn more about Xochi. It’s a hit and miss with me on the magical realism in this story because I don’t find the green monsters interesting nor the cat’s view. I like that Pallas is smart and loves to read. The diversity in this book is vast with Anna having two dads and how people treat her. Levi sounds like a cool guy with his rules. I like the ending with the humor and what the green monsters did.
Pro: book cover, a glimpse into the life of rockstars, a glimpse into the life of a child being abandoned, diversity
Con: just not my kind of read
I rate it 3.5 stars!
***Disclaimer: Many thanks to Soho Press for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.
Once in a while, a book comes along that completely blows my mind. This is one of those books.
Thank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for allowing me to review this book ahead of its release date.
What is it about, you ask?
Our 17-year old protagonist is named Xochi. She's a governess to a 12-year old girl named Pallas. Pallas is our second POV, and she lives in a grand old house in San Fran with her rock star parents and their colorful array of friends. Xochi has a troubled past that she's running away from, but the further she goes the more she realizes she must do something more than running. One night, on the Equinox, Xochi and Pallas cast what they think is a silly spell that ultimately summons a pair of fey children from their slumber to protect Xochi at all costs. Between Pallas' growing pains and Xochi's painful past, they find themselves in more trouble than they planned. The third POV is from the perspective of a cat named Peasblossom
So, from page one I got serious anime vibes so throughout the entire book I imagined this one of Miyazaki's magical, emotional films. Or better yet, A Letter to Momo which is one of the few movies that seriously made me cry my eyes out. Michelle, Ruiz Keil took me through the lives of these people, and I felt as though I was there with them, feeling their joy and their pain and their confusion. It was well paced and excellently written.
Some things were a bit cringe-worthy, such as Xochi's attraction to Pallas' dad as well as the drug use, BUT I could see how they played into the story intricately. This book is about finding yourself. To do that you must make a ton of mistakes along the way. The environment Xochi found herself in and the life Pallas grew up in, was not the most stable and by the end, I think everyone knew it and strived to make changes.
At times, I was a bit confused about what these weird fey kids were, and maybe I still am. That and the quick ending knocked it down a star for me. But overall this was a beautiful and engaging coming of age story.
I seek out magical realism because they are the most intriguing for me. This book falls into books like Summer of Salt and The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender so if you liked those; this book is for you.
First and foremost, this book is for readers that had traumatic childhoods and want to find a book that's relatable. Not everyone wants to read about happy endings; some readers want a book that's dark but relatable because not everyone had a happy childhood full of flowers and unicorns.
I’m finally going to say it because this has been bothering me for nearly a year:
For everyone saying this supports pedophilia—learn the definition before you use words so flippantly because y’all are embarrassing yourselves. It’s as simple as a google search.
There was a lot to like about this novel, and I imagine it will appeal to its target audience, especially as it is written under the #ownvoices rubric, and features diverse characters. It is a well-written and at times suspenseful urban fantasy with many interesting and sympathetic characters. It portrays 70s-80s San Francisco very vividly, including reference to the AIDS epidemic. It deals sensitively with a teen-age girl dealing with neglect and trauma and finding an oasis in a "found family."
My only reservation, for its age-group, was a lot of sex and drugs. Don't get me wrong - I know these things are part of life, and particularly part of the rock music world. But heroin use? In a YA novel? Even though it was in the context of a mistake - the main character is drunk out of her skull and some not-very-nice people give it to her and try to involve her in a threesome - there is a suggestion that one of the other positive and more adult characters had been a user, and it was all presented very casually. I have read reviewers of other books complaining about the sex or drug use and thought they were being unrealistic or prudish, but in this case I myself was quite shocked, which doesn't happen often.
However, I would not let that stop me from recommending the book to students or to anyone who likes urban fantasy. As I said, there's a lot to like.
I was provided with an ARC of this book by NetGalley and the publishers in exchange for an honest review.
Premise: A 17-year old girl name Xochi (pronounced So-Chee) is a governess/babysitter to a 12-year old girl named Pallas. Pallas lives in a beautiful Victorian house in San Francisco with her rocker parents and blended family/friends. Xochi is running away from a dark past and secrets she would rather forget. On the night of the Equinox, Xochi and Pallas cast a spell that summons a fey children from their slumber to avenge all the wrongs from Xochi's past. No one is safe and least of all Xochi, who has a huge crush on Pallas' dad, despite all the reasons why she shouldn't.
What I loved: the book was pretty much 5 stars for the majority of the book - all the way to the end for me. All the characters were penned out so well - good or bad, they were real people from page 1. With their loves and hopes and dreams and insecurities and worries. I loved Xochi most of the time - she reminded me a lot of me when I was that age - wise beyond her years (the "old soul"), hanging out with older people, getting into trouble, being raised by my grandma...it all checks out. Now, I never took drugs, unlike Xochi, which is was where it turned a bit sour for me.
Also different POVs were definitely great to really get the feel from many points of views and perspectives. One of my most favorite ones was the POV from the perspective of a cat - Peasblossoms. Absolutely brilliant.
What I didn't like: The swear words were fine, the one thing I didn't like was the use of heavy drugs. Now I know why it was used here, but it still bugged me a bit. She is a 17 year old girl, under the watchful eye of many adults, who not only encourage her to party and drink and smoke, but also lend her clothes and make up to make her look more "mature" and to be honest kinda "slutty". I know, they are rockers and "free spirits", but still...not cool.
The ending: The ending bugged me probably the most. It was an ambiguous, open ending, kinda leaving it "out there"....at least write an epilogue where you tell where people ended up or what is up with them. The writer made me care about all these characters and then she just leaves them to live their lives without letting us know what has happened to them....not cool at all.
Magic/Fantasy: This part was written so well...the magical/supernatural elements did blend beautifully with the story and made for a thrilling read.
Writing: The writing was very engaging and I had a hard time pulling away from the story. For a debut novel, this is a very strong and very well thought out and executed book.
Recommend for anyone, who likes YA, fantasy, magical and supernatural elements
Thank you to publisher and Edelweiss + for providing me with the ARC.
2.5? Ha sido un libro raro, eso desde luego. Muy raro. Aunque no sé si es porque el realismo mágico me sigue chirriando (porque no suelo encontrármelo muy a menudo): hay pasajes que resultan complicados de seguir, una magia un tanto extraña, y unos saltos temporales que desconciertan bastante al principio. Ojo, también hay algunas escenas que pueden resultar muy duras, aunque de eso ya avisa el libro en la "nota de la autora"; abusos, drogas... Por no hablar del tema de que el romance es entre un hombre de 28 y una chica de 17, y aunque creo que, al final, se deja claro el punto de vista, no me parece correcto que se romantice. Todo aporta a la historia, que no deja de ser ficción, pero eso no quita que sea más fácil de leer. Sin embargo, he de decir que a partir de la mitad, el libro ha mejorado bastante, tiene unos giros bastante interesantes y que resultan muy emocionantes.
OVERALL: 2.75 I like how there were parts of the story that were crafted around music and gave the readers a bit of an inside experience to what that was like.
The characters bordered on what I would say is whimsical because of the magical realism of the story and their dialogue… like a whimsical personality, if that makes sense. Like that was the vibe I was getting from them. They were interesting enough to keep me going through the whole. Though, there were not a lot of things happening in the plot that interested me,… there were still a lot that seemed to be going on… and it did not sit well with me.
It was a more adult read than I expected going in (especially for a YA) and it was not a plot I was a fan of at first. It was a slow start and even though it was not the worst writing, I couldn’t get myself invested.
The book is very much diverse and if you don’t mind treading about the use of drugs and child abandonment then you may want to try this book.
This is not a book for children or faint-hearted adults for that matter because of mature content. It contains a few scenes that could be triggering for some people. I would recommend reading a few of the other reviews for more information on that. Only proceed with reading this book if you are prepared for that.
This is the book that got me out of my reading slump. I picked it off the shelf at my local book store because of the beautiful cover. Kell blends words together so beautifully that I often felt as if I were reading a poem, not a novel. He/she takes readers inside Xochi's (and a few other characters') worlds. Letting them live out the adventure alongside everyone. I appreciate the inclusiveness of this novel as well. It is still alarmingly rare to find a novel that treats characters of all races, genders, lifestyles, and sexualities equally. This book doesn't flinch at describing the seemingly un-discussable things of society. From strip clubs and teen parents to catcalling and body piercing.
This adventure is daring, dazzling, and impossible to put down.
I want to thank Edelweiss+ and Soho Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review
TW: Drug Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Underage/Adult Relationship & Violence
I was very excited to read this book, it has many factors that I find fascinating, especially when I just knew what it said in the blurb, but it turns out that the book isn't what I expected and I guess that's why I ended up surprising, although unfortunately, it wasn't a pleasant way, I must say. I find that the writing style is very beautiful and without doubt, I would read something more from the author in the future, just the plot contains quite problematic and uncomfortable situations for me, so that's why my rating is low.
I have so many mixed feelings about this book, and I feel that it has been one of the most difficult to give a rating to.
In All of Us with Wings we follow a 17-year-old Mexican-American girl named Xochi, she has been fleeing from a very hard/dark past that she wants to leave behind and in the process her path intersects with Pallas', an 11-year-old girl that lives in a Victorian house with her rockstar family and they establish an unique relationship, of understanding and friendship, so Xochi accepts the position of being Pallas governess and soon finds her place in the house. Until one night, during the Vernal Equinox, the girls are playing what seems like a meaningless and innocent game, and end up invoking creatures that will aim to take revenge on those people who have made Xochi suffer during his life and will depend only on her and Pallas stop the situation.
I want to start talking about what I liked and a lot, and that was the writing style, this book is told with a very beautiful and lyrical style, it's different to what I'm used to and I must say that I love it, that's why I would love to read more by the author, I think that she has a unique talent to write.
Then I also think that it has VERY well created scenes, especially when there's magic and magical-realism happening. The way in which it's explored and described is very beautiful to read and I wanted those scenes to have lasted a little longer. I also adore Mexican-American representation, I always support Latinx writers and Latinx characters as well.
Well, now we'll talk about what I didn't like. This book is much impactful and more explicit in content than I thought it would be, and maybe it was my mistake for misinterpreting the idea of the book, but having known the amount of inappropriate scenes that involve a minor with an adult man, maybe I wouldn't chosen this book to read in the first place. I can't talk about this "romance" as such because if someone wants to read the book would be spoilers, but I can tell you that it's about "romanticize" or "normalize" a situation that's out of place, not only by the underage involved but by the fact that it's a power abuse of a man who's employing the other person, you know?. It's very complicated and twisty in many ways. What worried me the most and bothered me about this situation, besides the sexual scenes, was the look that everyone else had on what was happening, they literally made jokes about it or said that it was something like "normal" because rockstars, and cause she's so mature for her age and that shit. I was like "REALLY?!" I couldn't control my temperament and in general guys, I am very open mind with romance, and age differences don't scare me, but this was very uncomfortable for me and I didn't manage to feel that this was the right thing at any time. Maybe it works for you, though, but definitely not for me.
The main characters of this book live in a house where there are continually parties since it's a rock star family, so, for example, Pallas is involved in a excesses life from a very young age, she sees people get high all the time and I was in shock when just, in the beginning, there's a scene when Xochi finds Pallas smoking, and she's only 11 years old, maybe this is something cultural?, but I doubt it. Things like that, though, are thousands in the book, and this is why, among other things, I think the book shouldn't be cataloged as YA, I think the book feels a lot like an Adult book that follows young characters, you know?
I didn't feel particularly close to any of the characters, maybe because I was more focused on other things that were happening
It's very difficult to talk about a book that can be so solid in certain aspects, but so weak in others. This will be the kind of books that you love or hate, I feel there will not be many who share a middle term. It's difficult for me to recommend it, in fact, I prefer not to do it, but if you feel curious and want to read it remember the trigger warnings, and also that it's a book for those who maybe like YA, but they want to try something more daring and dark, or for those who enjoy Adult genre and Magical-Realism/Coming of Age stories. Not my cup of tea, but maybe it's yours
I loved this! So, so delightful and dark. It's perfect for fans of TEN THOUSAND SAINTS or Francesca Lia Block with a big splash of Miyazaki animal magic. It is a strong "New Adult" or crossover read, containing graphic descriptions of drug use, sexual abuse, and body modification.
Is it fate that intertwines 17-yr-old Xochi and 12 yr-old Pallas, or are they kindred spirits? On the night of Autumn Equinox, they cast a playful spell and summon two eerie, green forest children - "water babies" according to Native American lore - but these creatures do more than cause vivid dreams. While the water babies seek revenge, Xochi revisits the trauma that pushed her out of the Redwoods and into a San Francisco Victorian full of musicians and artists. To move forward she must face her past and deal with consequences of new, alluring temptations.
Pallas, on the other hand, struggles to come into womanhood without ethereal mom Io and rocker dad Leviticus providing structure. She wants her new governess to fill that role, but instead Xochi disturbs the careful balance of the band's free-love lifestyle. Pallas is precocious and kind and, much in the way of children raised outside heteronormative structures, is unperturbed by her parents' nonmonogamous marriage. I loved the mix of class, race, and romantic love represented by the characters as well as the normalized presentation of their predilection for the supernatural.
Told from multiple POV's (including a bookstore cat named Peasblossom!) with interludes of verse and oral storytelling , ALL OF US WITH WINGS is a lush, magical tale of first loves and found family.
I’m pretty sure this book found me in the same way the kindred spirits in the story found each other, through some level of magic and match making beyond our control. Or maybe it was the Jane’s Addiction quote in the first pages that brought us together.
If you’re not into fantasy or magic realism, don’t let the inclusion of a few ancient creatures scare you away. Surprisingly, they fit right into the underground California music scene and don’t feel like a stretch to the story or the setting.
I do, however, caution younger readers who might not be ready for vivid descriptions of drug use and sex, some non consensual. But if you’re up for these hard subjects they’re handled with a nuance and depth that’s surprising for a magical YA novel.
Representation: diverse cast of characters sexuality and ethnicity wise, polyamory, cat’s pov.
The beginning of this story was rather slow paced and very confusing. You get dropped in a household with quite some people and all the names are rather confusing because no one really got an introduction, so you only get the know these side characters and their background later on in the book. Even though that was confusing at the start, I really liked that you got to know the characters slowly and they weren’t all just ‘forced’ on you at once.
Once I knew who all the characters were and once I got passed the 20% mark the story really started picking up. The magical realism/fantasy part of the story felt quite underdeveloped the first 50-60% of the story, because it was hardly ever mentioned. Towards the end of the book it did get well developed and had a bigger part of the story. But I feel like the premise of the book promised more of that part than there actually was. So I wouldn’t go in to this book hoping/thinking you’ll get an actual fantasy, because it’s not, I’d rather call it magical realism, but still only a small part of the story.
But that were actually the only critiques I had for this story, I loved everything else! What I loved the most was definitely the diversity of the characters. Our main character Xochi is Latinx and bisexual. There are other characters from different ethnicities and sexualities as well. This was also the first book I ever read which was focused around a sort of polyamory household, so Pallas’s parents have an open relationship.
I also loved the interaction between the characters, it all felt really real to me. The big household of friends had a really cool vibe as well. It was really cute to read how they all cared about Pallas and were a parent to her in some sort of way. I also really liked that one of the points of view was Peasblossom, a cat. Such a unique twist. The book switched between different points of view so you got the whole story the author wanted to tell and it was also well written.
My favourite part of the book was probably this one paragraph where Xochi was describing her body and checking her own body out, but in an objective way. She wasn’t describing her body in a positive or negative way, just the way it looked. The way she described her body was just really relatable to me, she wasn’t super skinny and petite, but also not plus size, which I feel is some sort of an ‘in-between size’ and you hardly get those type of main characters, and I loved finally reading about a character with my body type.
So overall I would definitely recommend this book, I was so pleasantly surprised by it. This one will definitely stick with me for a while.
I got an e-arc of this book through Netgalley, but that doesn’t affect my opinion in any way.
Xochi is running from her old life. After her step-grandmother’s death, she had nothing to stay for. In her travels, she finds herself in San Francisco, made governess to a young girl named Pallas, the daughter of two rock stars. Living with this strange family of musicians, Xochi is finally starting to feel some sense of belonging, although her past keeps haunting her. One night, she and Pallas manage to summon some strange fairy-like creatures who swear to take revenge on those who wronged Xochi, those who ruined her childhood. But what exactly happened in her past to bring them back? And how does Xochi really fit in with Pallas and her rockstar family? Will she ever find a place where she really belongs?
At times it was difficult to remember how old any of these characters were, with the "elders" being under 30 and the youngest merely 12 yet wise beyond her years. Taking place in San Fransisco, near the Haight, and featuring a rock band, there are drugs and complicated sexual relationships and body modification and a general sense that there's something different going on here. That something different is two waterbabies, drawn to Xochi by her ritual spell at the Equinox party held in the mansion she's staying in while being the governess to Pallas (the 12-year-old). I wish there'd been something more about Levi's family, perhaps a meeting with a sibling. On the other hand, there's Peaseblossom and while I usually am not a huge fan of animal stories Peas is such a plus that there's an entire star just for him.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Edelweiss. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
When I read reading All of Us With Wings I read the problematic content and I wasn't sure how to formalize my thoughts. It's something that's been weighing on me for a while as I sought other readers to talk to so I could talk it through. And so now I've decided to edit my review as follows.
The entire story I felt uncomfortable - at the very least - with the relationship the MC has with a much older man and how they navigate their desires. One thing I enjoyed was the fantasy elements and the way that is woven into the story.
You truly have to read this book in order to experience the unique world-building, beautiful rockstar-fairytale vibes, diverse characters, and fun dialogue. I really enjoyed the main character Xochi’s adventures and the way her story was written.
Michelle Ruiz Keil's debut is a breath of fresh air compared to other young adult books because of how complicated and deep the characters are. If you are looking for a cute young adult book with a simple plotline, this is not it. ALL OF US WITH WINGS contains a heavy narrative that can sweep you away with emotions, especially when Xochi revisits her past in Redwoods. Two aspects of the book I liked were chapters from the POV of Peasblossom (the book store cat) and exploration of free love among characters with a kindred spirit.
There are some trigger warnings with Xochi's past and mentions of sensitive topics such as abuse and drugs throughout the story. These aspects lowered my rating a little in the end.
But I definitely recommend this whimsical book to fans of magical realism!
A sincere thanks to Soho Press for providing an advanced reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy from the publisher. This is exquisite--one of my absolute favorites this year. Gorgeous, lyrical prose that doesn't get in the way of a story that will delight your imagination and nourish your soul.
If you like magical realism, you will absolutely adore this.
"Fates! Fates and Furies!" "Trouble!" "Bubble!" "Fates!" "Furies!" "Open up!" "Open up!" "Open up the door!"
I loved how the point of view of Peasblossom was written! I totally fell head over heels for Xochi. This debut novel was an absolute delight to read. We need more books like this in Young Adult. Cudos to Michelle for writing such a phenomenal novel!