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The Mixtape to My Life

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3.28  ·  Rating details ·  36 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Justin Ortega might as well be starring in his very own coming-of-age 80s movie. If only he could find his dream boy to pull up in front of his house in a red convertible and sweep him off his feet, already! At seventeen years young, he isnt quite Mexican enough for his South Texas town; isnt manly enough for his father; can sometimes be too much of a smart mouth for his ...more
Kindle Edition, 190 pages
Published March 27th 2020 by Deep Hearts YA
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Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
I really wish that I enjoyed The Mixtape to My Life more, especially since it's Jake Martinez's first book, but I found it to be a rough read to get through.

I've read numerous books with a similar feel and setting (Something Like Summer, Pictures of You), and though I enjoyed having a Mexican-American MC in this story, it wasn't enough to make this story stand out. The other books, frankly, were just better written, and that's including Something Like Summer, which I didn't even like.

I thought
...more
Rach
Mar 18, 2020 rated it liked it
This book is YA coming of age book set in the 90s. Our main character is Justin Ortega, who lives in South Texas. Justin loves his music especially music from the 80s and is in the band in school. Justin is gay and at the start of the book only one other person knows this.

Justin as person in the book doesnt feel like he fits in anywhere. He feels he isnt quite Mexican enough for some people in the place he lives . He feels he only really has one friend and anyone in school doesnt like him. He
...more
anna (½ of readsrainbow)
i got thru 21% of this and so far:

- mc compared eyes of his crush to eyes of his mom
- mc's friend pulled his pants and underwear down in public, specifically in front of mc's crush's house
- mc admitted to his friend and friend's gf that he never kissed anyone, so the girl kissed him without saying a word about it
- and then made the friend kiss him too, which the mc also didn't see coming
- it wasn't just a peck, they friench kissed

on top of that, the writing is dry and repetitive, and uninviting
...more
Susan
Mar 23, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
I had two big issues with this book: 1) too much gushy romance and not enough music, and 2) the timeline of the story was incredibly unrealistic. The entire story takes place over two weeks during summer vacation. To get from point A to point B during that timeframe was ridiculous. I won't tell you what point B is so as to not spoil the book, but I will tell you that my eyes rolled. Add to this the excess teeny bop romance and I cringed through most of the book. I didn't care that it was two ...more
Jamie
Mar 30, 2020 rated it liked it
eARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This was a wild ride. I have very mixed feelings about this book. I definitely liked it but there were some parts that just left me weirded out or I just felt mweh about.

The mixtape to my life is a YA coming-of-age story that follows Justin Ortega, a 17-year-old southern Texan gay boy, who loves music. Justin is in the band at school which isn't exactly making his dad happy because it isn't manly enough. Justin feels like his dad is
...more
Tessa
Mar 17, 2020 rated it liked it
*My thanks to the publisher for providing me with an ARC on Netgalley in exchange for a fair review*

The Mixtape to My Life is a YA coming-of-age story about Justin Ortega, a gay 17-year-old boy who, like many people his age, is desperately trying to find his place in the world. He is coming into his sexuality, finally learning to accept himself, even if others are not quite ready to do so yet. Fearful of his family finding out, Justin hides this aspect of his life and escapes into his favorite
...more
Booksiren
Mar 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An introvert, shy teenager struggles to navigate the demands of an ordinary world as he tries to come to terms with his sexual identity in Martinezs poignant coming-of-age story set in the early 90s.

Seventeen-year-old Justin Ortega is at the brink of adulthood, but barely knows his own place in the world. Tired of trying to be someone else for the sake of his family, Justins only comfort is the mixtapes of 80s hair metal bands and his friendship with adorable Benny. But when an old friend moves
...more
Kim
Mar 26, 2020 rated it liked it
To be honest I had a hard time with this book.
At first it was hard for me to like Justin. It got better during the book because his passion for music and his overall believes but he still stayed way to childish for me. Maybe it is because YA novels these days often have very mature protagonists, but the characters in this book felt really childish and thoughtless at times.
The book per se felt way too rushed and extreme. The actions didn't fit with each other smoothly, more like walking down
...more
Georgia Fradico Teixeira
Okay, it was a good book to pass the time, and the romance was sweet. It deals with homophobia and machismo and bullying. But the friendships here bothered me SO MUCH. There's something that the alleged "best friend" does that was very hurtful to read, especially as a queer person. The way the situation was handled was even worse. The two MC's friends were written in a very strange way, it seemed like the author gave them a new personality every time they were in a scene. The write is not ...more
Simone
Apr 02, 2020 rated it it was ok
Thank to you Netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Listen. I really wish that I would have loved this book because it has a lot of potential. Stories like Justin's are important. Not just because of his sexuality, but because of his race, his looks (I LOVE that he is described as chubby) and his personality, which does not match with the toxic masculinity that's all around him. All of this is made especially important because the story takes place in the nineties,
...more
H. Taylor
Mar 21, 2020 rated it liked it
I read the mixtape to my life by Jake Martinez a little under a week ago at this point and I have to say, while I enjoyed it while reading, ultimately, its prettyforgettable. Im not sure I can even recount exactly what its about at this stage. From what I do remember, its a YA coming of age book, set in the 90s.
Our MC Justine lives in south Texas and is in the band. He loves music and is going for a captains position in the band that has only ever been a girls role. His band mates bully him (I
...more
Kristel
*ARC given by Netgalley*

This was a cute story about getting to be comfortable into your own skin, fighting all the obstacles life throws at you, while also navigating being a teenager in love.
The writing was easy to get into, but I had some issues with the story, though. For 60% more or less, we get a boy trying to be captain of his school band, meeting again an old crush (a bit of instalove here), having parents telling him to "be a man", and getting bullied by really awful human beings. Then
...more
Alexandra Nae
I received an e-arc of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Man. I'm starting to feel like I have bad luck with the YA contemporary novels I read this year.

This book had the potential to be such a wonderful and cute book, but unfortunately it didn't wow me enough. I wasn't invested in the characters, nor the plot, nor the romance. It pains me to say this, but all I have for this book is plain indifference. I really had hopes for this one! The two stars are for the
...more
Veronica of V's Reads
3.5 Stars.

Justin Ortega is a high school junior growing up in South Texas in the mid-1990s. He's sure he's gay, and has come out to his best friend Benny, who is an ally. Justin's father is a high school football coach, and his hard-line stances clash with Justin who is the definition of non-confrontational. There's a culture clash with Justin's Mexican-American parents, who are religious and highly suspicious of his friendship with Benny. They also don't make light-skinned Justin, or his
...more
delph ✨
Mar 23, 2020 rated it liked it
Full review on my blog.

An e-ARC was provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange of an honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way.

I think The Mixtape to my Life had everything to be one of my favorite book : it is a queer story and it tackles hard hitting subjects. But for some reasons, somewhere along the way, it misses the mark. I mean, I still liked the book at least enought for me to rate it three stars but Im not even sure I would recommend it. Strange, isnt it?

...more
Charlotte
Justin Ortega might as well be starring in his very own coming-of-age 80s movie. If only he could find his dream boy to pull up in front of his house in a red convertible and sweep him off his feet, already! At seventeen years young, he isnt quite Mexican enough for his South Texas town; isnt manly enough for his father; can sometimes be too much of a smart mouth for his mother; and as for the other kids at schoollets just say hed be cast as the quiet nerd with a heart of goldand an ear for ...more
Eric
Mar 20, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs
THE MIXTAPE TO MY LIFE by Jake Martinez | Grade: B | No spoilers ahead.

The premise of an LGBT teen from conservative South Texas was one I had not seen done before, so I was eager to read it. Another compelling aspect, after reading about the author, is that it seems to be at least partially autobiographical. Both of these things got me excited for this quick read. However, this read let me down in several ways. The least of which was the plot. I actually genuinely liked the plot. My only
...more
Z Aung
Mar 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
NOTE: I read this as an ARC via NetGalley

This was more of a 3.5 that I rounded up to a 4.

I am usually not a big fan of YA contemp, but I picked this up based on the cover and I do not regret it at all. For the record, I'm an SEA diasporan, so while I can't say that I know exactly what Justin Ortega feels like I was wholly sympathetic with how much of an outcast he felt among his own community.

Like Justin, I cannot speak my mother language and anything I say comes out wrong, and boy have I been
...more
Arina✨
Apr 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
A reserved Latinx boy confronts all the joys, messiness, and uncertainty of life as a gay teenager in South Texas.

Justin Ortega is a seventeen-year-old boy who uses music as an escapism from the struggles of his everyday life. As a character he is extremely compelling, managing the expectations his parents have of him, as well as his own expectations of himself. His label of humor is just my type: part honesty, part sass, entirely funny and relatable.

This is one of those books where the
...more
Jelke Lenaerts
This book has content warnings for homophobia and parental violence.

I received a galley of this book through Netgalley.

For some reason I wasn't expecting much from this book but it actually ended up hitting me hard in the feels. This book just felt very honest with the topics it was discussing, which made everything hit even harder. I really liked the main character and his friends. It was an interesting friendship dynamic. This book also had a great/interesting family dynamic. The romance
...more
Justine
Mar 22, 2020 rated it liked it
First off, I would like to thank author Jake Martinez, Deep Hearts YA, and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this book.⠀


Ugh, this book! How badly I wanted to love it.. But I just couldnt get myself to fully give in to it. I do want to say this may be because I am in my early 20s. The characters and storyline just seemed so baseline to me. Very childish and dramatic, and the story didnt seem to progress at all. The main character, Justin, was cringeworthy at times with the tantrums he
...more
Courtney
Apr 02, 2020 rated it liked it
I received this book as an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review thank you for this opportunity!

I have somewhat mixed feelings about this. I did enjoy the book, giving it three stars. It was a very quick read and was a lot of fun. It focused on a character in a marching band which is something I hadn't read before, and took me back to my strings days. I thought this aspect was very realistic. However, I feel like the book should have been longer to make more of an impact on the
...more
Ashleigh
Mar 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-reads, ebook, arcs, mm-bl
4 stars

What a cute and wholesome coming of age story! It shows how 17 year old Justin Ortega goes about discovering how hes different than what his parents want him to be and how to accept himself for this difference. From loving 80s hair metal bands, playing cymbals in his high school band to loving guys as more than friends, Justin learns to love himself and realizes its okay to open up to others. He goes from having one single friend to gaining multiple by the end of the story, even gaining
...more
Brandon Keesecker
Mar 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tathy
Mar 30, 2020 rated it liked it
ARC provided through Netgalley for honest review.

This book was cute. Kind of a basic love story, trying to figure yourself out and find you place in the world.
I did enjoy reading it, it was fun and quirky. I flew through it

There was nice character growth for our main character. However, the other characters felt a little flat to me and the relationship felt kind of too insta-love, even with their history.
Kaitlin Davidson
Mar 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Such a cute and wholesome coming of age story! I loved it and was engrossed from the beginning! It is so easy to get attached to these characters and love them! I laughed and I cried right along with them! I throughly enjoyed this one and cant wait to see what else this author writes! I am here for it ...more
Caitlyn Warren
Mar 25, 2020 rated it liked it
I was really looking forward to this one and it was a decent read. I think my issue is that it just felt a little underwhelming. I don't think this story was 100% fleshed out. I wanted to connect more with the book but I just didn't.
Grayson
rated it it was ok
Mar 25, 2020
Jazmyn Vasquez
rated it it was amazing
Apr 05, 2020
Stacey
rated it it was amazing
Mar 19, 2020
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