Never Look Back
Pheus is a golden-voiced, bachata-singing charmer, ready to sp ...more
When I realize I’m reading the retelling of one of the most outstanding Greek myths: Orpheus and Eurydice with Afro- Latinx characters, I wholeheartedly enjoyed the idea.
So I dived into the story without reading any reviews for not being biased, went blind and wanted to get lost in the one of the heart wrenching tragedies.
Don’t worry, with her fascinating storytelling skills of Ms. Rivera’s, she presents us pure magical realism, discovery of cultural identit ...more
first thoughts: This is a book I won't be able to stop thinking about. Thoughtful, heartbreaking, and hopeful, a story about trauma and abuse, but also love and resilience. It's truly a love letter to Puerto Rico. What a book.
update (feb/2020): I WAS RIGHT AND LILLIAM GOT THE BEST, MOST GORGEOUS COVER EVER. ok, thanks. let's cry until this book comes out
A Latinx Orpheus and Eurydice retelling??? Yes, please! I know for a fact this book is going to get the best c ...more
This novel is about a girl named Eury who comes to visit the Bronx over the summer with her Mami (which is what sh...more
Lilliam Rivera is an author that I've been meaning to read for years now and I'm so glad I finally took a chance on this book. It was SO GOOD. The writing, the imagery, the characters...everything about this was just so beautiful and I enjoyed it so much.
When I heard that this was a retelling of the Greek myth Orpheus and Eurydice I had to pause and actually look up the myth because the only thing I knew about Greek myths is that they always end tragically. And this myth is no different. But I ...more
Never Look Back is a contemporary YA retelling of the Greek myth Orpheus and Eurydice, which is a cool idea, but this kind of feels like two different books and the cover really doesn't give a sense of what this book is like (aside from the fact that it centers Afro-Latinx characters). You can almost split this book in two and while I like both halves, they didn't work for me as a cohesive whole. This might be a case of t ...more
the first part was lovely? but it’s been over two weeks since i even picked this up and just thinking of getting through that last ninety pages right now doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen anytime soon. which isn’t the books fault at all!
it’s just the mental state of my being currently, and i want to read this book at a different time when i can fully appreciate it. :)
orpheus and euryd ...more
Unfortunately, this book didn’t quite work for me; I suspect it’s more my fault than the book’s. It just wasn’t the right time. I’m trying to write a romance novel, and I’m full up on romance at the moment. Still, this is a cute and well-written story—albeit, as hinted at by the title, a bit bland and forgettable.
This is one of the few times I’ve read a book from Netgalley which I feel maybe I should reread one day ...more
Eury is dealing with a spirit who has been present in her life since she was younger and her parents split up. This spirit followed her from Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria displaced her family to Tampa and now New York. Phe ...more
I had such a hard time rating this because my emotions towards the first and second halves of this book are so drastically different.
First off, Rivera's writing is unarguably beautiful. The imagery was incredible and you get a really good feel for all the characters in the first half. I loved getting to know Pheus & Eury and their friends/family.
My problem was, all the intrigue built at the beginni ...more
TW: mentions of PTSD, suicide, sexual assault
Lilliam Rivera gives the tale of Orpheus and Eurydice an updated and fresh look with her newest novel, Never Look Back. Pheus, an Afro-Dominican teen from Manhattan, is never without his guitar and this summer while visiting his father in the Bronx is no different. There is nothing like the feeling of casting a spell over his audience, leaving them mesmerized and ...more
With a familiar approach to Spanglish and vivid imagery and PAINFUL truths about grief and acceptance, my only critique is for the amount of pop-culture references and modern slang usage- it dates the book and feels too much at times. Popular slang seen all over social media isn't often used in every other sentence but the writing style, beyond that, felt informal in a fresh and comfortable way.
GIVE ME MORE BORICUA X GREEK MYTHOLOGY C ...more
A beautiful read and a wonderful retelling. I loved both Pheus and Eury, they were both such fleshed out characters.
I adored Eury the most, her story was fascinating, especially as someone who loves magical realism. The fact that this story is also about the struggles to overcome the stigma for receiving help for mental health issues, especially among bipoc. It felt very true reading about her struggles to be taken seriously.
It took a little bit for Pheus to grow on me, but knowing t ...more
This book is entrancing. A beautiful blending of a Greek myth with Latinx cultures, particularly Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Lilliam Rivera’s writing pulled me into the story immediately and the voices of Eury and Pheus were unique and well developed.
I’m absolutely looking forward to reading more of Lilliam’s writing in the future!
Initial thoughts: love me a Greek myth retelling, and I really enjoyed the slight twist on the ending. The second half gave me strong Percy Jackson/Gods of Jade and Shadow vibes. It did take me a little bit to get into, but the second half sucked me in.
“What’s the point of singing if you’re not using your voice to move mountains?”
In total, Never Look Back is a perfectly fresh take on a tale centuries old that balances tugging at your heartstrings while instilling hope. Rivera was already one of my favorite authors, and her writing improves with every book. You’ll fall in love with Eury and Pheus as the fall in love with each other, and enjoy each nugget of vulnerable, poetic writing alon ...more
"It wasn't as if we weren't prepared for Hurricane Maria. We were. That day was different. What began as a slow build—some rain, some tossed palm trees— transformed into an unnatural predator."
Lilliam Rivera took the Orpheus and Eurydice myth and gave it an incredible twist in this contemporary YA filled with magical realism, the overcoming of trauma, and the power of love. We meet Pheus, who is a talented Afro-Dominican ...more
Firstly, thanks to @bloomsburyya and @lilliamr for this gifted copy. Never Look Back completely gutted me. I finished it last week but I still can't find the words to express how beautiful this story w ...more
"In the chaos you create, you will find our pattern of hope."
Let me preface this review by saying I had absolutely no expectations when cracking this baby open. None. Now, whether that means I enjoyed it more than anticipated or not is up to debate.
This book wasn't really anything special, but I still found it relatively enjoyable. It's difficult to decide whether the simplicity of the writing and the shortness of the story helped or hindered what the author was aiming for. Si ...more
First– I really enjoyed the story. The characters feel so real and Eury and Pheus are so different that I could always tell whose point-of-view I was reading, even if I just flipped to a random page.
I liked that Eury’s curse was a complex problem with multiple pieces. (I’m being vague because there’s some of this that doesn’t get revealed until later in the s ...more
All 👏🏼 of 👏🏼 this. I didn't personally witness Hurricane María and its devastating aftermath, but my parents did, and they tell me that survivors now suffer from collective PTSD. But what do we do when mental health issues are stigmatized by our own community?
THIS NOVEL HIT ME RIGHT IN THE FEELS. It’s a Greek myth retelling featuring two afro-Latinx teens: Pheus, a smooth bachata singer (le d ...more
"Never Look Back" by Lilliam Rivera is the modern Latinx retelling of the classical Greek myth, Orpheus and Eurydice, focusing on two teenagers set against the backdrop of the Bronx. Pheus, an Afro-Dominican teen, is visiting his father for the summer. With his masterful bachata guitar playing and his skillful voice and talent, he plans to pass the warm months on the beach wooi ...more
This book broke my heart and gave me hope. It’s a beautiful retelling of a Greek myth, but with contemporary Afro-Latinx characters and that magical realism that I love, I fell in love with the way the author made us get into the story and culture. This is a magical love story but for me, the most relevant thing was the fact that one of the characters was trying to overcome trauma, I’m amazed by how s ...more