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Sia Martinez and the Moonlit Beginning of Everything

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  390 ratings  ·  162 reviews
Aristotle & Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe meets Roswell by way of Laurie Halse Anderson in this astonishing, genre-bending novel about a Mexican American teen who discovers profound connections between immigration, folklore, and alien life.

It’s been three years since ICE raids and phone calls from Mexico and an ill-fated walk across the Sonoran. Three years si
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published August 11th 2020 by Simon Pulse
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Average rating 3.88  · 
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 ·  390 ratings  ·  162 reviews

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sarah xoxo
Sia Martinez and the Moonlit Beginning of Everything is a gorgeous book all the way from the prose to the themes to the beautiful cover.

This book has many layers to it and is incredibly unique. At first glance, it is a coming of age YA contemporary romance. But woven throughout are deeper topics of friendship, sexual assault, grief and immigration. Continue reading and discover sci-fi and magical realism elements. Sia Martinez is genre-bending, not easily categorised and beautifully authentic.
I had never heard of this new release until I saw it as an option for's ALC (advance listening copy) program and thought it sounded so unique, so I went ahead and downloaded it.

First off, trigger warning for death of a parent, grief, and sexual assault. Sia's mother was deported over a year ago and died trying to make her way back to American from Mexico. Sia has to go to school with the son of the officer who deported her mother and is constantly reminded of it. My heart went out to S
I was really intrigued by the premise of this book and I did enjoy it for the most part but it fell short in pulling me into the story completely. It tried to do and take on way too much, it kept jumping around from topic to topic, which sometimes felt like whiplash and it never delved too deep into any of them. I think that's the most disappointing part for me, I expected to be dealt an emotional punch but instead I'm feeling lukewarm. Still a good read though!

thank you to for an ALC o
CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨
This is definitely one of the most interesting books I've read - and the more I think about it, the more I love it.

- Follows Sia, a Mexican-American teen who grieves the death of her mother. When there's a new boy in town, Sia falls in love with him, but she later discovers that he has secrets of his own that are connected to Sia's mother's death. But when a spacecraft crash lands in front of her, and who is inside will upend her life.
- This is indeed a genre-bending book! The first half has e
do yourself a favour and don't read the synopsis. let yourself be surprised. I swear it'll be worth it (4.5)

trigger warnings: sexual assault, ptsd, physical abuse, parental death, racist violence

thank you and Simon Pulse for the audio listening copy
Shannon Doleski
Jan 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Sia Martinez and the Moonlit Beginning of Everything changed my soul. It nourished me. It is one of my favorite YAs I've ever read in the history of the world and young adult literature.

This book, like all beautiful art, contains layers that weave into an unforgettable story.

One layer is a YA contemp, beautifully written and plotted, about a Mexican-American teen grieving the deportation, then death, of her mother who has lived in the US since she was six months old. It is a relevant and timely
The Nerd Daily
Jul 20, 2020 rated it liked it
Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Anuska G

Sia Martinez and the Moonlit Beginning of Everything is going to be one of the most beautiful books you ever read, and not only because of that supremely lovely cover. It tells one of those mesmerising, cosy stories that stick with you for a long time.

Read the FULL REVIEW on The Nerd Daily

Sarah Prendergast (lifeandbookswithme)
Sia is dealing with the fact that her mother went missing after trying to cross the border illegally. She was deported by ICE after she was flagged by the local sheriff. Sia is just trying to get through the struggles of high school with the support of her father and best friend, Rose. Sia’s world is turned upside down when her mother suddenly reappears in the middle of the desert one night from a spaceship that crashes. Her mother is on the run from the government who have been illegally detain ...more
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I stayed up WAY past my bedtime to finish, Sia Martinez and the Moonlit Beginning of Everything, because I just couldn't put it down. It's the genre-bending YA book that I didn't know I needed. Truthfully, I had no idea what I was getting into, and in a way, the zero expectations I had, allowed me to take in the story organically, as if I was walking into an unfamiliar forest—not knowing what was up ahead, but enjoying the journey, tree by tree, flower by flower, leaf by leaf, rock by rock.

Jenny Moke
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Voice is so huge to me when it comes to reading, so please understand when I say SIA HAS ONE OF THE BEST VOICES I'VE READ IN A LONG LONG TIME. Like, she could describe an old shoe to me and I would be moony as hell. Vasquez Gilliland's beautiful, poetic, heartbreaking voice builds the desert world of Arizona into a wonderland of in-between spaces and histories within histories.

Artemisia is trying to mourn the death of her mother, lost in the Sonoran Desert after the local sheriff cruelly has her
Zoë ☆

Somehow I went into this thinking it was a contemporary about growing up (like Aristotle and Dante), but it suddenly included aliens in like the second half of the book 😂 So I was a little bit surprised 🙈 However it also deals with heavy subjects such as death, grief and racism, which definitely made the book interesting enough to keep reading! 🙌🏻 Also - it has super short chapters which I always enjoy!
Aug 21, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3,5 stars

I definitely enjoyed the first half of the book, I liked getting to know Sia and seeing life from her perspective. I even enjoyed the rather complicated romance. But the second half was way too messy and tried to do too many things at once to be truly enjoyable. I also disliked the super short chapters, they mostly felt as if the author hit Enter after a few paragraphs and called it a chapter, it was kind of annoying.
Sophie Elaina
Wow this was so strange and beautiful, I am in awe. I listened to the audiobook and the narrator did such an astounding job at inflicting emotion, it worked so well with the author's prose. Wonderful! If this book isn't on your radar already, I hope you'll give it a chance! I love that it's being called a mix between Ari & Dante meets Roswell, because that is literally the most perfect way of describing this book. ...more
Sep 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Quick story: I fell in love with this title first. Then the cover. And now I am in love with what Raquel Vasquez Gilliland wrote in Sia Martinez and the Moonlit Beginning of Everything. It's quirky, unusual, and UNIQUE.

Another story: Sometimes the book summarizes itself better than I could. And this quote just about sums it up for you:

"Aliens, government conspiracies, secret experiments. That's all unbelievable enough as it is. No need to add meddling dead abuelas to the mix."

When the syn
I'll start out being honest. More than anything else, I was disappointed by SIA MARTINEZ.

SIA MARTINEZ is the story of a teenaged Mexican girl, Artemisia 'Sia' Martinez, who's mother was deported. Her mother attempted to cross the desert between the USA and Mexico, and was believed to have died on the way. Sia, however, still clings to the hope that her mother's still alive—something her grandmother insisted was true while she was alive—and drives into the desert every new moon, lighting candles
True rating 3.5/5

I highly recommend reading reviews from Own Voice reviewers to have a proper understanding of some of the themes in this novel. Please note. there are topics not suitable for some readers: sexual assault, physical abuse and sexual scenes

I don’t often come across novels that merge and twist so many genres into one. YA romance, magical realism, sci-fi and contemporary storylines probe the plot into a jumpy but fast paced read. From the synopsis the reader is aware that Sia’s mothe
Katey Flowers
Aug 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Stars

I listened to the audiobook (thanks to!) and I’m so glad I did because the narrator was fabulous. And what a story! This is heartfelt YA contemporary about a girl named Sia coming to terms with the racism and anti-immigrant sentiment that has resulted in the loss of her mother... with a scifi twist! I didn’t know much about the book before diving right in, so the SF elements took me by surprised, but it was all handled really well. Interwoven beautifully throughout was Sia’s sp
Sep 02, 2020 rated it liked it
1 Sentence Summary: Three years after Sia Martinez’s mom was deported and declared dead, Sia is in the desert when a spaceship crashes in front of her, and in it is her mom.

My Thoughts: I really really really wanted to like this!!! The description sounded amazing! And the cover is gorgeous!!! But ughhh it just didn’t live up to my expectations.

First of all, the romance was so unnecessary. I felt absolutely no chemistry between Sia and Noah. And there was way too much sexual content.

Secondly, th
Thank you to Libro FM and their ALC program for a free audiobook in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

This was freaking amazing. Also for some reason I thought this was middle grade?? Literally no idea why except for the cover design. Which makes zero sense in retrospect. Also can we normalize authors giving content warnings in the beginning of a book, because I seriously loved that.

It has been three years since Sia's mother was deported by ICE thanks to the racist jerks in
Aug 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
This book is a strange and beautiful story about Sia, a girl whose mother was deported after the local sheriff and died on her way back to US.

The racism Sia and Rose’s families are victims of broke my heart and made me super mad. Other hard-hitting subjects like sexual assault, grief and death are approached and we read of Sia’s experience with each of these.

Heartwarming topics like first-love, friendship, acceptance are also depicted. Noah and Sia’s romance was so wholesome despite their family
Anjali (bookstersisters)
The reason I picked up this book was the blurb comparing it to Aristotle and Dante. So I went in with certain expectations.
The first half did meet up with most of my expectations.
It was slice of life, contemporary, about Sia, whose mother was deported and now she’s grappling with the fact that her mother is missing and could possibly be dead. It touches on a lot of serious issues like grief, abuse, racism etc
But the second half of the book suddenly takes a 180 degree turn which wasn’t really u
Forever Young Adult
Graded By: Mandy C.
Cover Story: That's No Moon
BFF Charm: Big Sister
Swoonworthy Scale: 7
Talky Talk: Record Scratch
Bonus Factors: Culture, Aliens
Anti-Bonus Factor: Racism
Relationship Status: Conflicted

Read the full book report here.
Morelia (Strandedinbooks)
Sep 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.5 to 5 stars!


*T/CW: sexual assault, PTSD, physical abuse, death of a parent, racist violence, racial slurs, deportation

I do actually have *a few* questions, as the ending did wrap up pretty quickly, but this is me just being optimistic and hoping there will be more?? But also, these characters fucking rocked?? As did this storyline and all of these relationships? READ THIS
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Sia Martinez is a seventeen-year-old girl in racist Arizona, still unaccepting of the death of her mother, who attempted to return to the US from Mexico after being deported by crossing the Sonoran Desert alone three years ago. Sia is tormented by the son of the sheriff who sent Sia's mother back to Mexico, her best friend is suddenly preoccupied with someone else, there is this new fellow in town, and her dead grandmother is always whispering in her ear.

We learn that plot elements involve sigh
Sep 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A YA novel with Roswell vibes about a girl grieving the loss of her mother to ICE, dealing with the fallout of racist and anti-immigrant sentiment in her small town, and falling for the last guy she should be falling for. Sia believes her mother died trying to get home after being deported by ICE--but a part of her has always held out hope. Especially since the ghost of her grandmother insists her mother is still out there.

My only minor complaint with this book is that it takes a long time to g
Celia McMahon
Jul 06, 2020 rated it liked it
Thank you Edelweiss and the publisher for the chance to review this title ahead of its release date.

Reeling from the loss of her mother after ICE deported her, Sia takes solace in a boy named Noah and the discovery of extraterrestrial life in this emotional, action-packed young adult novel that takes you places like no other genre-bending YA novel.

Sia's mother was caught by ICE and taken back to Mexico two years ago. After several attempts to legally return to her family, Sia's mother tries cros
Kylie Martinez
Aug 14, 2020 rated it liked it
Okay, firstly, I don’t read descriptions of books most of the time and so I had NO idea what to expect. And honestly, I can’t decide how I feel about this book.

When there was beautiful Mexican folklore and magic woven into the story I was hooked. (Abuela’s presence was my absolute favorite.) But then, all of the sudden there were UFOs and Aliens.

Why did it surprise me? This book addresses illegal immigration in Roswell. If that isn’t a play on a situation, then I don’t know what is. But, the a
johely (bookrokosmos)

I don’t know what just happened but i’m not mad about it.

i’m going to do a review on my channel soon but until then i’ll leave you with this....

Luis Martinez. that’s it that’s the comment.
Aug 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lesbian-rep
Thank you to LibroFM, the publisher, and the author for the ALC of this audiobook.

This book is magical! What starts firmly in the real of YA Contemporary brilliantly transforms into a SciFi story with themes of family, friendship, immigration, government conspiracies, and aliens!

Sia Martinez is such a vibrant and beautiful character. Every aspect of her is entrenched in magic and mysticism, and it makes my heart soar that such a beautiful teenage character exists. The imagery surrounding her of
Erin || erins_library
Aug 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
(Thanks to Libro.FM for the free audiobook)

I listened to this on audiobook and think that was the right choice. The narrator was really great at character voices, and kept me engaged. The first half was very much YA romance vibes and I’m not 100% sure I would have enjoyed the experience as much on paper. However! Halfway through the book is when the action really picked up and what I came for was aliens. So that aspect was really great. I also felt there was a metaphor between the aliens and the
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Raquel Vasquez Gilliland is a Mexican American poet, novelist, and painter. She received an 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. Raquel has published two boo ...more

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