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The Everything I Have Lost

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  146 ratings  ·  36 reviews
12-year-old Julia keeps a diary about her life growing up in Juarez, Mexico. Life in Juarez is strange. People say its the murder capital of the world. Dad’s gone a lot. They can’t play outside because it isn’t safe. Drug cartels rule the streets. Cars and people disappear, leaving behind pet cats. Then Dad disappears and Julia and her brother go live with her aunt in El P ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published September 3rd 2019 by Cinco Puntos Press
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Average rating 3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  146 ratings  ·  36 reviews

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Aug 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is phenomenal - on multiple levels. So much so that this is the first time I'm writing one of these reviews for a book.

As a Latina American fighting for the rights of my Latin brothers and sisters on both sides of the boarder, this book gave me a better glimpse into the reality that so many Latinx people face. The Everything I Have Lost is a great book to use as a tool to discuss our situation at the boarder, the reality of living in a dangerous country, and more.

Julia is a great chara
Ms. Yingling
Jul 01, 2019 rated it liked it
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

I liked the premise of the book, but didn't like the voice. It had a sort of Boy in Striped Pajamas feel to it, where it seems like the main character should have a better grasp of what was going on. It would have been more helpful if an older teenager told the story and actually described what was going on more vividly.
ARC - out in September 2019

This would make for a great middle school or early high school discussion for a book club or class.

A Dear Diary young adult novel about a young-for-her-age tween named Julia living between Juárez, México and el Paso, Texas. Her Bis (bisabuela; great-grandmother) is wise and loving even when she's suffering from dementia. Her mamá is obsessed with her papá and deeply codependent. Her papá takes on a new job that she and her brother are vague about, but their tía does no
Jul 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Thank to Edelweiss for the eARC!

I want to begin by saying that I think this story is of vital importance. There is a lot of crucial work being done on these pages -- explorations of borders, crime, family, love, growing up, perceptions of womanhood, danger to females, bilingualism, education. Julia's growth from a tween into a young woman and her time spent in both Juarez and El Paso is a perspective that needs more representation. I'm glad this book exists and I hope more stories like this are
Laura Gardner
Mar 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
What did you like about the book? “ diary is the only place where I get to say what I feel. So, that is it, I will write. I will write everything I feel. Once I figure out what I feel, of course.”
Julia’s experience in Juarez, Mexico and El Paso, Texas is detailed in her diary, which spans her life from ages 12 - 15. She writes about normal coming of age experiences like friendship drama, school, and boys she’s interested in, but these entries are interspersed with signs of trauma. Her fathe
Brandon Pending
Feb 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Great coming of age YA that captures the unique experience of life on the border.
If you’re from El Paso or a border town city, a must read!
May 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is one of the most amazing books I have ever read. It tells the story that I see all around me and gives it shape so that others who don't live on the border can read it and know and feel. Sylvia Aguilar-Zéleny, I thank you. ...more
Apr 30, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2021
Note: I received an ARC of this book via netgalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review of this audio book.

Audio book narration: 5*****

Lori Felipe-Barkin has done a wonderful job narrating this audio book. The narration makes this book easy to listen to.

Novel: 3***

I have so many issues with this book, but most of all, it was hard to listen to because I never got invested in Julia's story. This is not a happy book, and it's a hard read without having something that keeps the reader
I did not care for this book. I found Julia to be rather whiny & not a particularly good friend. As I was reading this book, I struggled to figure out the target audience. The book starts with a twelve-year-old Julia and ends when she is fourteen. This would normally indicate that the novel is for middle schoolers. However, there is a lot of profanity in this book so I'm not sure how many parents would be okay with their middle schoolers reading it. I'm sure some wouldn't mind but I know this bo ...more
Josephine Sorrell
Apr 28, 2021 rated it really liked it
12 year-old Julia keeps a diary about her life growing up in Juarez, Mexico. Life in Juarez is different, almost hard to describe to someone who doesn’t live there. People say it's the murder capital of the world. And why is Dad away from the family so much of the time? Childrens can't play outside because it isn't safe. Drug cartels rule the streets. Cars and people disappear, leaving behind pet cats to fend for themselves. One day their Dad disappears and Julia and her brother must go live wit ...more
May 06, 2021 rated it liked it
This middle grade on the other hand it was kind of a big let down. It had so much potential but I just can't get over the sexist and fat phobic comments. This is a translated book, it was originally published in Spanish.

It follows Julia who is 12 to 13 throughout the book and it's written entirely out of her diary entries. Her family lives and Juarez, Mexico and they travel back and forth between El Paso Texas and Juarez. Her father is into some illegal shit trying to earn money and even though
May 06, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
12-year-old Julia keeps a diary of her life in Juarez, Mexico. In parts of the book, you can see she is just like every other preteen/teenage girl with their everyday worries, but at other times, you are reminded of just how dangerous Juarez is: it's not safe to play outside; shootings are a common occurrence; cars and people disappear. You can really see Julia grow over the course of the book as she becomes less of a sheltered child and more aware to what is really going on in the world and in ...more
Larisa ♡
May 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
Thank you to NetGalley and OrangeSky Audio for providing me with an audio version of this book in exchange for an honest review!

When I was Julia's age, I kept a diary. I like to get back to it every now and then, so I am familiar with the text inside. I was surprised so many times, while listening to this audiobook, by something Julia has written because it felt like something that I have written years ago. However, there was one main difference between my life and her life - I never had to be
May 02, 2021 added it
ARC (or something more like advanced audiobook copy??) provided by NetGalley.

side note: yes i know i abandoned my netgalley account after 2015 but i have made a comeback after reviving my account. Mayhaps I'll post some reviews on here?? I'm so pleasantly surprised to see an audiobook section has been added!!)


Lori Felipe-Barkin does an amazing job at narrating the story. The story was narrated in a way that was easy to listen to (though, the format of having the story be told via diary entry
May 07, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: 10-and-11
Thanks to the publisher for providing an early copy of the audiobook for The Everything I Have Lost in exchange for an honest review.

First off, the narrator here does a really good job. It's especially difficult to narrate less traditional styles like diaries but Lori Felipe-Barkin really brings Julia to life. While Julia herself reads as a younger-than-her-age protagonist, it matches the sheltered way she was raised enough that it never really becomes distracting enough to take away from the st
May 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Young adult to adults
Shelves: giveaways
Thanks to #Netgalley for the ARC of this title.

I really liked this audiobook. I know there are people living these experiences and I am happy to seek out their story to help me understand and spark conversations on what is happening on our borders. I see this as a great Young adult book club selection.

The story is introduced in a Dear Diary format, We are taken in a journey that includes family disfunction, violence and growing up from the protagonist's point of view. It is sometimes funny, some
Rachel Beto
Nov 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is such an important book to read in this day and age. I felt immersed in the struggles and tough choices of this Latinx family. Zeleny balances sad, heavy plot points with humor and a resilient main character. Julia's voice is unique and authentic sounding, and all of the supporting cast are well rounded, with their own struggles and complexities. The book balances so many things. Julia is both a girl coming of age, figuring out friendships and boyfriends, and also a girl whose home city i ...more
May 07, 2021 rated it liked it
First, I wanna thank Netgalley for giving me an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

The everything I have lost is about a 12 year old girl called Julia, and everything you will see is everything she writes in her diary, so here she is giving us the story of her life in Mexico with her family and all the struggles she was going through at the time.

It wasn’t that bad, but I was a little confused sometimes and that makes me feel that this could be better in Spanish,and somet
Amber Brooks Bowie
May 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this story of Julia who writes (yes, writes) and journals her life in Mexico and in Texas. She goes through the emotions of many teenage girls, but her perspective is a little different. I think that this was uniquely (and wonderfully) written, and it will definitely make its way into my classroom. Do I feel like this book is going to be enjoyable to a lot of adults? No. There were many times when I wanted to stop reading and DNF it, but I was committed to finish until the end. I am so ...more
Audrey Kammerer
Jun 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Written in diary form, the author deals frankly and graphically with the stresses in this young girl’s life. I wondered as I read whether it is appropriate for the age group it is marked for in my library. Then I realized, more disturbing than reading about these stresses, some young people, too many young people, are living these stresses. She’s got all the healthy teenage drive to be independent and strong, in a world situation that is more than most adults could handle. The characters develop ...more
Cristal Jatip
Sep 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Julia, a 12 yr old, but almost 13 and don’t forget it, keeps a diary of her life in Juarez, Mexico. People say it’s the murder capital of the world.

It was hard to get into this at first because Julia is young so her thoughts are a little juvenile and choppy. But as the story goes on you notice her grow and try to navigate all the weird things she doesn’t understand. I could not put this book down a and was captured by the world through Julia’s eyes.

Mina A
Apr 17, 2021 rated it liked it
I was drawn to this book because I am a Mexican American girl who has lived my whole life in the U.S. I was expecting to learn more about life in Mexico, but all I got were vague topics that never went into depth. Some parts did made me feel uncomfortable. The main character is naive & closed minded. It was merely a glimpse of things are over there. For anyone who is going to read this keep in mind the book is as if it were a diary. It's written as entry per page. ...more
Apr 24, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Plot line: Julia is a teenager living in Mexico with her family. She writes her every day activities in her diary. Despite the dangerous area she is living, everything in her live is okay, But she starts noticing something wrong with her dad's behaviour towards the family.

Review: Julia's diary entries helps the reader to see through a teenage girl's perspective. A girl trying to become a woman or someone responsible as she slowly loses everything. The story is touching. A quick read.
Apr 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
I feel like I learned a lot from this book and gained a valuable perspective. There were some moments of such beautiful language. On the other hand, the character's naivety and childish voice felt a little forced/fake to me at moments, as though she referred to herself as a child or fought for her maturity the way adults think 12-14 year olds /should/ more so than the way they actually /do/. ...more
Rebecca Ann
Mar 29, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I am from the borderland and I think this book is not just wonderful but important for my community to understand from the point of view of a kid what usually happens here. It is full of sensibility, dreams, wonder and with Julia I also was trying to adapt to a whole new world while growing. Highly recommend.
Mar 11, 2020 rated it liked it
For a book in journal format, this took me longer to read than I expected. I'm fairly certain the fault is on my end, but I didn't find the characters and plot gelling in the way I prefer. Which may have been the point? ...more
Jan 21, 2021 rated it really liked it
I was really impressed with the gradual transition of this book from the diary of a kid to the diary of a young woman, straddling two cultures and lives. It got surprisingly poignant by the end, making it an effective way to explore the effects of growing up in difficult circumstances.
Feb 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
YA story abut a young girl coming of age on the American/Mexican border. Very well written
Apr 26, 2020 rated it liked it
I am conflicted about this book & how I felt while I was reading it but I do think that it is a good portrayal of what it's like to live on the border. Thank you, Sylvia Aguilar-Zéleny! ...more
Ann Dickinson
May 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Excellent. Well written heart wrenching story of a young Hispanic girl living back & forth in El Paso and Juarez.
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Writes fiction, non fiction, book reviews, and shopping lists.

MFAer. Mexican. Virgo. Director of Casa Octavia (ask me about it).

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