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Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun

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A poignant, funny, openhearted novel about coming out, first love, and being your one and only best and true self.

Julián Luna has a plan for his life: Graduate. Get into UCLA. And have the chance to move away from Corpus Christi, Texas, and the suffocating expectations of others that have forced Jules into an inauthentic life.

Then in one reckless moment, with one impulsive tweet, his plans for a low-key nine months are thrown—literally—out the closet. The downside: the whole world knows, and Jules has to prepare for rejection. The upside: Jules now has the opportunity to be his real self.

Then Mat, a cute, empathetic Twitter crush from Los Angeles, slides into Jules’s DMs. Jules can tell him anything. Mat makes the world seem conquerable. But when Jules’s fears about coming out come true, the person he needs most is fifteen hundred miles away. Jules has to face them alone.

Jules accidentally propelled himself into the life he’s always dreamed of. And now that he’s in control of it, what he does next is up to him.

354 pages, Kindle Edition

First published June 8, 2021

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Jonny Garza Villa

3 books447 followers

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 986 reviews
Profile Image for Jonny Garza Villa.
Author 3 books447 followers
April 28, 2020
I wrote this.

and honestly I could talk forever about what this book means to me. the amount of pain and happiness and love and all of the feels that went into every chapter and every word.

I won't put y'all through that. I'll just say that this one is dedicated to my QTBIPOC family. my queer Latinx family. my queer Chicanx and Mexican American family. to anyone who feels trapped where they are and holds on to the belief that the best is yet to come.

I cannot wait for y'all to meet Jules and Mat and Xochi and Jordan and Itzel and Rolie and Lou and Piña and all the other characters that make this book what it is. I hope y'all love it.
Profile Image for Aiden Thomas.
Author 8 books7,498 followers
March 28, 2021
FIFTEEN HUNDRED MILES FROM THE SUN by Jonny Garza Villa was the gay Happily Ever After romance I longed for as a teen! With a fun and refreshing voice, the long distance relationship was sweet and incredibly authentic for teens nowadays. This book tackles the intense, nuanced struggles queer Latinx kids face with care and compassion. It’s a story of love, hope and healing that we all need right now.

Jonny Garza Villa has a very long and successful career ahead of them, and I can’t wait to see what they write next!
Profile Image for theresa.
302 reviews4,372 followers
June 24, 2021
Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun is an uplifting story of queer Latinx joy. Jonny Garza Villa sensitively explores the intersection of queer and Chicanx identities and culture in a vibrant coming of age novel packed full of love and hope.

What I loved most about Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun was the love in this book. From platonic to romantic to familial, every page was saturated in such a clear love between the characters that reading this felt like a warm hug. The connection and feelings everyone had for each other came through the page so well and made it so easy to fall in love with them all myself. In particular, I really enjoyed the romance between Jules and Mat. I hadn’t been too sure about this relationship before starting as it’s long distance and begins over Twitter and I thought this could create problems in establishing a real connection between these characters but, thankfully, I had nothing to worry about. Jules and Mat complimented each other so well and their relationship was so tender, full of pining and angsting and honest moments. I truly loved reading all the scenes between them.

Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun is not always a happy book. In fact, Jules goes through a hell of a lot and it’s difficult to read at times. But the beauty of this book is the balance Jonny Garza Villa strikes between exploring this unfortunate, painful reality of many queer teens with the pure joy brought by Jules’ friends and Mat and the support system he has in place. Right from the authors note (which almost had me tearing up), I knew that this book would be a sensitive exploration of coming out and all of the mixed emotions it can bring and never once did I feel that the author strayed from this or sensationalised the experience. This made for a truly touching story and honest exploration of what it means to be both queer and Chicanx.

I also adored the way Jonny Garza Villa presented and explored being Chicanx and what this meant for Jules. There is such a clear love for this culture and his Mexican heritage, while also not shying away from exploring some of the issues in the community, such as the attitude towards Black people and, in particular, machisimo and the prejudices that come with this. What I loved most about the presentation of Chicanx culture and community was the way language is used in this book. The blend of Spanish and English was so naturally integrated in the story that I felt completely immersed in the setting. I’m honestly so impressed at the seamlessness of the language and its authenticity, while being easy to follow for non-Spanish speakers. I personally didn’t know many of the slang words but had no issue understanding everything that was happening and inferring their meanings. Also, I have to mention the food!! I’m not usually all that fussed about descriptions of food in books but damn I loved it here.

Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun is a tender coming of age novel, full of heart and pride. Jonny Garza Villa expertly balances exploring the intersection of being gay and Chicanx and the hardships that can come with this, with joy and love and the very best friends to create an honest and truly uplifting story.

I also talk about books here: youtube | instagram | twitter

*eARC received in exchange for an honest review via Netgalley*
Profile Image for Reading_ Tamishly.
4,452 reviews2,410 followers
January 5, 2023
*Peer pressure, parental pressure, gender stereotypes,
*Parent with "forever full of criticisms"

With a parent literally trying to "heteronormal"ize their child 24x7, alongwith peer pressure to choose everything according to their choices over one's own preferences, life is almost hell for Jules.

The so-called peers seemed to be so supportive when he accidentally came out. But they are passive agressive, somehow shallow and surface level in their demeanor. There are lot of stereotypes and assumptions which are actually quite toxic when directed towards someone who's struggling with their identity and looking for acceptance.

The romance worked for me. They are so cute together.

However, the highlight for me was the book talk between Carlos and Jules in the bookstore where they met each other for the first time. It was so authentic!

The writing is fine yet it drags in between now and then. I do find the character development well planned and the characters quite convincing. However, I do wish the characters had more depth.

Mat is just plain charming. I love him so much!

Multicultural representation done perfect. I love how Jules and Mat trust each other and share things with so much ease. We need someone like that in our lives.

I feel for the main character who felt so misunderstood and being understood in ways they didn't needed.

The story has parts of homophobic acts, abandonment, domestic violence and abuse, PTSD.

I liked the story but there are some parts which I feel were dragged or tended to get a bit repetitive. I liked some chapters more in between. It took me a while to get into the book and I found the second half a bit better. But I still think the book could have been a lot shorter. I wish it tackled more in depth about the main issues Jules was struggling with. I was expecting it more towards the end.

But overall, it's a good young adult contemporary dealing with identity and acceptance.
Profile Image for katie ❀.
120 reviews477 followers
March 7, 2021
[4.5] currently crying over this :') but at least my most anticipated release of the year did not disappoint (and you have no idea how gay this title actually is 😏)


update: manifested an arc and i have gotten an arc 🥺

i’m low-key going to never shut up about this until i get it. but why do i have to wait until next year 😭
Profile Image for Marieke (mariekes_mesmerizing_books).
508 reviews336 followers
March 2, 2022
A beautiful story, a mesmerizing cover, and ... the sweetest trigger warnings I’ve ever read. I got a lump in my throat and almost cried:
I want you to know that it’s okay if you’re not ready for this book yet. It’s okay if you never are. No hard feelings. Te lo prometo y te quiero.

I got the same lump in my throat reading the acknowledgments, by the way...

Jules grapples with coming out, and when he does drunkenly, his friends are wonderful and supportive. And Mat, the guy he met on Twitter, DM’s him and becomes his anchor and his friend. But he’s fifteen hundred miles away.

At first, people are accepting, which gives Jules peace of mind. But then someone calls Jules a fagot:
I’ve felt vulnerable and angry all day because I couldn’t go a week without people making a joke or an insult about my sexuality.

The first part of the story was so sweet and cute and I loved to read how Jules tries to find his place in the world to be who he wants to be, although he has cloudy days, as he calls them, whereas Mat is full of sunshine. And Mat is so sweet about Jules:
Seeing how much you’re still fighting because being who you are is important to you. It’s bold and gutsy, and it’s attractive. Your strength is goddamn sexy.

But dammit ... be prepared for more. The story gets harsh and sad, and I couldn’t push back the tears in my eyes. I was shaking my head saying: NO, NO, NO!!

I loved the long-distant relationship between Jules and Mat. The way they were so certain about each other and the times they met were so cute:
You’re my sunshine Mat Troi Pham. Since the day I met you, when I would wake up feeling scared, anxious, or alone, you’ve been my warmth and clarity.

Thanks, Jonny Garza Villa, for writing this wonderful story.

I received an ARC from NetGalley and Scyscape in exchange for an honest review.

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Profile Image for anna (½ of readsrainbow).
596 reviews1,842 followers
June 8, 2021
rep: Mexican American gay mc, Vietnamese American gay li, gay, lesbian, bi & pan scs, Black sc
tw: past & present parental abuse, physical abuse (chapter 14 & 28), homophobia, outing, mc gets kicked out

Review also on Reads Rainbow. ARC provided by the publisher.

You know those gay books, young adult ones especially, that make it very clear with every single plot-point, that they’re written for the LGBT audience? Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun is like that.

This is not to say that nothing bad ever happens to the gay characters in the book, quite the opposite, but there’s balance: for every painful, hurtful thing there are three beautiful ones. I’m sure it was a deliberate choice, this structuring of the book around gay happiness, without shying away from describing the hardships a lot of the community still struggles with.

Julián has an abusive, homophobic father. That’s a major part of the story; it shapes the way he thinks of himself, the way he navigates the world, it shapes the literal course of his life. And that unfortunately rings true for so many of us. But still, Julián is never once shamed for keeping secrets when he’s keeping them to stay safe, he’s never questioned on whether that’s reasonable. The people around him understand, and that makes the reader’s heart grow with hope despite the abuse. 

But keep in mind the aforementioned balance: Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun isn’t a book about gay pain, it’s not a tragedy porn. It’s actually a super sappy & fun book, about two boys who fell in love over the inter webs. It truly does have the meet-cute of our age, and that one situation (with the hilarity of it but also the friends’ reactions) should tell you all you need to know about the tone of this novel.

Garza Villa nails the voice of teenagers, and it makes the whole book just flow, makes it so very smooth. That realness of teen emotions is just one among all the ways in which this book is fundamentally true. (Also, being able to write dialogues between your characters in a young adult book in a believable way is arguably the most important part of writing any YA story. So, kudos.)

Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun is a joyful, love-ful book about & for gay teens. It will break your heart, but it will also tenderly put it back together & leave you with an overwhelming feeling of hope. It’s like a poet has said, “Cut me open and the light streams out. / Stitch me up and the light keeps streaming out between the stitches.”
Profile Image for booksandzoe.
307 reviews1,806 followers
December 1, 2021
This book...whew. Immediately became a favorite of mine. The characters are charming, the writing style is uber-realistic, and the story will make you feel literally everything.

My favorite aspect of this story is that this is the first young adult book I've read where the characters are entrenched in stan culture that /actually gets it right./ The main character is on gay wwitter and literally everything about how it was written was just... so accurate? As a gay twit alum.. I felt obscenely seen.

The main couple in this story is also... just my favorite couple ever??? They meet over twitter, and get to talking more and more frequently over text and FaceTime. They have amazing chemistry, and their relationship was *such* a joy to watch play out throughout the book.

A HUGE aspect of this book is the main character's Latinx identity, and how that intersects with his queerness. I strongly recommend looking at ownvoices reviews for how this was handled; there are a ton already, and I don't feel comfortable going into depth about my thoughts because this book was very clearly written for those readers. All I will say in this review on the subject is that it is an ownvoices novel, and there's a note in the beginning of the book where the author writes about how there's a lot of them in this story; that authenticity definitely came across throughout the book for me.

Overall.. this was just the best book. Like, I'm not going to stop thinking about this book for a long time. I stayed up until 4am to finish it, and I absolutely loved it. I can't wait to see people reading this book when it comes out next week!
Profile Image for CW ✨.
669 reviews1,713 followers
March 24, 2021
Read my full review on my book blog, The Quiet Pond.

Whenever I think about this book and how brilliant it is, my heart just melts and I just can't help but smile to myself.
I think this may be my new favourite YA romance book of all time.

- Follows Julián, a Chicano teen who accidentally outs himself after a drunken night of fun with his friends. While grappling with his friendships, unaccepting parent, and getting into college, he starts to fall for his Twitter crush Mat, a Vietnamese teen living on the other side of the country.
- The romance in this is just... so sweet, so tender, so wonderful, and so full of joy. I adore Mat and Jules; their chemistry was absolutely AMAZING and how their relationship and romance develops over time was so satisfying and wonderful to read.
- The friendships in this book were incredible; you will come away feeling like they are your friends too. Maybe some of my favourite friendships in YA.
- As well as being soft and lovely, the book also deals with bigotry and machismo and heteronormativity coming from a parent. Parts of this book are challenging to read, but are handled with so much care and sensitivity. The parts of the book that depict this were just so vulnerable and honest and unflinching. Please see the warnings below.
- This book is also just so funny??? The humour and comedy is just perfect and I found myself laughing out loud so many times.
- It also portrays safe sex! I really appreciated that the discussions about safe sex were endearingly awkward but also explicit.
- I don't know. I'm calling it: this is my new YA contemporary romance and I'll scream about this book until I die.

Content warning: physical parental abuse, anti-gay prejudice, anti-gay slurs, bullying, depiction of sex (not explicit), parental abandonment, death of parent (mentioned, in the past)
Profile Image for Anniek.
1,869 reviews693 followers
August 10, 2021
I was expecting to enjoy this, but I didn't expect to have this many feelings about it. I cried, I laughed out loud, it was such a good read.

At first, I was a little afraid this would be a heavy read, because it does deal with parental abuse. And there were definitely heavy parts. But I felt like they were handled so well, and they were really balanced out by the happy and fluffy parts.

My favourite part about this was the romance, because it's an internet romance and it's long distance. For me personally, most of my friends are online friends. And I feel like that's the case for many people nowadays. But I don't think I've ever seen something like this in YA before, and I loved it.

There's some great healthy discussions about sex as well that I think are so important to have in YA, and they were told in a funny way too, which was just so well done. It was mostly about gay sex education and it included aspects I've barely ever seen YA books touch on but that will be so important for queer teens to read.
Profile Image for c.
262 reviews72 followers
July 16, 2021
I want to preface by stating that I am an undocumented Mexican immigrant living in California. I feel like I need to provide context for some of the things I am about to say.

First, let me start off by saying that I REALLY wanted to love this book. I was expecting it to be one of my favorite books of 2021, but while I did have fun reading, I wouldn't say I necessarily loved this book. Assuming that the target audience is today's (queer) teens, I understand why the writing took on a stream of consciousness approach. That's just how teens are. However, I think the book spent a lot of time telling rather than showing. Overall, I did think the premise was... cute. A bit cheesy, but queer people have never been given the chance to be cheesy and corny the way heterosexual people have. I just wish it was executed in a way that made me root for the main couple.

*The next part of my review will include a few spoilers.*

If you are reading for representation and diversity, this book is full of it. From food to dialect to regional differences, this book explains how even within different cultures, we have things that tie us together. Jordan, Jules' friend who is Black, seems to adopt some of the Mexican culture in his surroundings, specifically the dialect and slang that they use. Jules and Mat's mother, both different races, bond over their cultures' food. Jules and Mat's father acknowledge the well known struggle some people of color face when other people don't understand or mispronounce their names without any effort to correct themselves.

In terms of coming out stories, I like that this acknowledges the harsh realities queer Chicanxs/Latinxs face without damning or vilifying the entire culture. Jules' relationship with this dad felt very real and personal. My dad is almost exactly the same and I also have the complicated relationship with the way I feel about him. I wish the author would've gone more into depth with the feelings that come with loving someone while also fearing their hatred of you.

Again, there was a lot of telling and not enough showing. I feel like the author used dialogue as a scapegoat in which characters spent more time giving speeches about how much they care for each other instead of simply showing us where that love comes from. Maybe it's because they're just teenagers on stan twitter, but I did not feel the chemistry between Jules and Mat at all. It all felt so rushed and sudden which might be realistic but it also straight up bored me at times. I spent more time looking forward to his interactions with his family/friends and the nostalgia his senior year brought me than caring about their relationship.

There were a few particular things that bothered me too much for me to give this a higher rating. First, what the heck is a "Latinx aesthetic"? I've noticed that a few authors of color seem to write stories with a white audience in mind and I don't think it's always intentional. Maybe it's because the author is a second gen, but I don't know a single normal latinx person alive that does normal, everyday things, and thinks to themselves "this is such a Latinx aesthetic." It felt like the author was telling a nonLatinx audience "this is what Latinxs do and like!!" which becomes borderline dangerous when we start being perceived and identified by these self imposed stereotypes. Also, the author is Mexican, writing Mexican characters. I promise it is okay to call things MEXICAN and not Latinx. To say something is a Latinx aesthetic is dangerous because there is no such thing as a single Latinx culture. If they want to call it a Mexican aesthetic, then fine, go for it.

Another thing that bothered me, and I'm sure the author meant well, was this second gen savior B.S: "I'd rather do something that helps remind these kids that they are human." What is it about second gens and thinking undocumented people don't consider themselves human? The line bordered on white savior-ism and as an undocumented immigrant, if you're only going to talk about us to make your main character seem like a good, charitable, woke guy, just don't about us at all.

Overall, I did think the book was funny and cute at times. I think these relationships and stories need to be told and explored. I guess I just expected more.
Profile Image for Lau ♡.
416 reviews345 followers
November 2, 2022
“Julián, what Heaven can you ever hope to reach?”
“If that’s what I’d have to do, I don’t need Heaven, Dad. It’s not worth this. I wouldn’t survive the life you want for me.”

Julián Luna is counting down the days until he can say goodbye to Corpus Christy and his homophobic dad, to making sure his talking like a ‘real man’ and his hands aren’t moving in flowery ways.

He’s tired of acting, tired of lying about why he’s smiling at the phone, of having two social profiles: an anonymous to search what he really wants and a personal one for everyone else’s to think he’s not queer.

At least he has his friends, with whom he can finally breathe a little, move a bit more, show a couple of his hidden layers, although he’s still not out to even them. Until a very drunk move threatens to shatter everything he’s worked for… Or maybe it’s just the first step into his new life.

After reading Aristotles and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, this book had big shoes to fill. Maybe too big for a debut. Don’t get me wrong, there were good parts: I loved the characters, they felt round and realistic, even if their friendship was so amazing that sometimes it felt too good to be true. I wish all straight men were like Luna’s best friends, because I have a huge crush on Piña, Jordan and even Roe. It’s a weird thing to say, but I even loved the names. And I definitely adored all the Mexican Spanish slang present in the book.

“Everyone needs somebody, and I want to be your somebody. I want to be your person. And I want you to be mine.”

My main problem with the book was the rigid writing style and overall execution. The pace was slow because the author kept giving you all the scenes, necessary or not, so it felt like there was barely enough time to really delve into more meaningful thoughts.The characters were too busy going from one place to another, taking you along to everywhere they went, keeping the same pace in scenes where they should have slowed down and wasting space with small details that didn’t bring anything to the story. It made me detach from the story because parts I had been looking for since the beginning weren’t given the attention they deserved and ended up boring me instead of bringing a smile to my face.

“You’re my moonlight, Julián Luna. a brightness in the dark. I knew if I kept trying, one day I’d reach out and you’d be there.

However, I feel like the most important part about a book are the characters and I enjoyed how strong and determined Luna was almost as much as I loved Mat, always bringing laughter and happiness to Luna’s more difficult life. I’d probably try more of Jonny Garza in the future because, with more experience, I think there is talent enough to make something great.

“Then you’re my sunshine, Mat Troi Pham. Since the day I met you, when I would wake up feeling scared, anxious, or alone, you’ve been my warmth and clarity. I’m lucky you found me.”
“I’m lucky you finally allowed yourself to be seen.”

*Trigger warnings for homophobia, physical and emotional abuse of a queer character.

Profile Image for Larry H.
2,514 reviews29.5k followers
February 20, 2022
4.5 stars

Get ready for an emotional, powerful story about coming out, finding your way, and finding love!

I’ve been meaning to read Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun for a while. And how can you not love an author who writes this in their author’s note? “So, as the writer of the words that form this journey, I ask you to do me a favor and check in with yourself before starting. And I want you to know that it’s okay if you’re not ready for this book yet. It’s okay if you never are.”

Julián is a high school senior growing up in Corpus Christi, Texas. He can’t wait to graduate and get as far away as he can—hopefully to college in California—so he can finally feel free to be himself. He’s tired of his father’s expectations, criticisms, even occasional abuse, constantly telling him to act more like a man, not to be emotional, find a girlfriend, etc.

His best friends probably know he’s gay, but if he tells them, will everything change? He knows things with his father will only get worse, so he’s just biding his time. And then one night, with one drunken tweet, he throws his plans away, forcing it all—and himself—out into the open.

His friends are well-meaning, but when the abuse from classmates begins, they’re not as supportive as Jules expected them to be. But before his closet-smashing tweet he had met Mat, a high school student from California, by sliding into his DMs on Twitter. Little by little, this online friendship blossoms into something more serious, so Jules has someone to rely on as everything starts to come apart.

This is a beautiful story about taking control of your own life, about chosen family, and knowing that you have people in your corner. It’s tough at times, but I had faith that Jules would find his way.

Once again, I’m thankful that this generation has books like Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun to show them that they deserve love and friends and everything that they dream of, no matter how they identify themselves, no matter who they love.

Check out my list of the best books I read in 2021 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2022/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2021.html.

See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com.

Follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.
Profile Image for eli ♡ .
160 reviews141 followers
July 22, 2021
Letters For Literature - "Fifteen Hundred Miles From The Sun" Review

.·:·.☽✧ 4.5 stars (rounded down to 4)✧☾.·:·.

Thank you Netgalley for an ARC of this title!

CW/TW (may contain spoilers)

"Fifteen Hundred Miles From The Sun" by Jonny Garza Villa is a beautiful story told in first-person POV centered around self-identity, family, friends, and finding love. When I read the synopsis for this story, I was beyond elated to read it. And while I found some issues with the novel, I thoroughly enjoyed it overall.

Within the city of Corpus Christi, Texas, seventeen-year-old Julián Luna feels suffocated because he can't be his authentic self without being judged. His plan is to graduate and attend UCLA so he can finally be free. But after a reckless tweet at a party, Jules' plan of lying low for the next nine or so months are thrown- quite literally-out the closet. On the upside, Jules has the opportunity to be himself. On the downside, the whole world knows, and now has the opportunity to judge him for his mistake.

But not all hope is lost when Jules' very cute Twitter crush from Los Angles, Mat, messages him through Twitter, and they quickly form a connection over the next few months. Jules feels like he can tell him anything, and Mat makes the world seem conquerable. But things become difficult when they both need physical comfort and affection because of their hectic worlds, yet the other person is still fifteen hundred miles away.
"And for a while, I can imagine a life where I'm not so scared. Where I'm happy and free and maybe get to hold Mat's hand while we walk through The Groove. A life fifteen hundred miles away from what's felt like continual gray and where I can finally be in the sun."
And now that Jules has accidentally propelled himself into the life he's always dreamed of, and he's in complete control, what he does next is up to him.

Plot & Pacing - 10/10

I liked the plot of this novel because while the synopsis I provided may not seem too action-packed, the story itself most definitely is action-packed and full of emotion. Because of how enthralling the plot was, the pacing was executed well in a similar fashion.

Characters (main and secondary) - 9.2/10

When I reflect on the characters in "Fifteen Hundred Miles From The Sun", it is slightly difficult to remember the characters who weren't Julián and Mat. I can remember their names, but I barely remember anything about their personalities, so I'll quickly talk about them towards the end of this section. Because most characters who weren't Julián and Mat were barely developed, I had to lower my rating for this section.

Julián was such a strong and courageous character. I know it's hard for me to support my point without spoiling, so please believe me when I say that. Jules went through so much, yet always found some benefit from the situation because his family and friends showed him how to overcome those type of situations. He was also so sweet and caring that I ended up loving his character even more. And going back to the things Jules went through, I liked how his struggles were portrayed in an authentic and realistic way instead of being shown to us through rose-tinted glasses. That portrayal most definitely helped me sympathize with Jules, while still understanding where he's coming from.

Mat was adorable. Man, I love him so much. He always had cute and funny one-liners to make Jules feel better when he's down. Even though he was optimistic in most situations, it was refreshing to see him acknowledge something for what it is. I think it not only benefited his character, but also his relationship with Jules, to sometimes have a pragmatic view on the world, so it doesn't seem like his head is in the clouds. I hope that makes sense. Though as much as I enjoyed his character, I think he could've been more developed, so he couldn't only be listed by the qualities I described.

The secondary characters, families, and best friends were good. I think that's the best way I can describe them. They all played their roles in the story and helped Jules and Mat, but they don't really have distinctive personalities. I remember that Itzel was the smart and caring friend. Jordan was the pretty masculine friend that usually isn't sentimental. The way I just described Jordan mostly describes Piña/Gabriel and Rolando. Lou was the loud and very expressive friend. Jules' sister, Xo, was the very supportive and caring older sister. And we're not going to talk about Jules' Dad because I'd be ranting for days. The reason I gave a very brief rundown of most secondary characters' personalities is because, as I said before, they aren't very distinctive. In my mind, their traits are pretty vague and aren't traits specific to just one character.

Relationships (romantic and platonic) - 9.4/10

As much as I loved Jules and Mat's relationship, I do have to acknowledge that their love developed in an instant and was very sudden.
""Anh yêu em, Moonlight."
"También te amo, Sunshine.""
Other than that small flaw, I loved their relationship overall. I really enjoyed seeing Jules interact with his friends and family because most of them support who he is, and it put a smile on my face to see his identity being validated.

And as much as I loathe Jules' father for how he treated Jules, I really liked how their relationship was portrayed. It wasn't black and white, and the lines were blurred when it came to what was right, and what was wrong. Even though Jules wanted to hate his father for what he did, he still loved him.
"[…]I want to tell you I hate you. I wish I could tell you I hate you.[....] But I can't. To say it would be a lie. Because I still love you. And I forgive you.[...]"
It broke my heart, but I understood why he felt that way. Their relationship is complicated and very intricate, and I really love how it was executed.

But when it comes to Jules' mother, I can't say the same. She's mentioned at times for holidays like Día de los Muertos, but I don't remember learning much about how he feels about his mother, his relationship with her or anything of the sorts. I really wish that relationship was focused on more in the novel because I would've loved to learn about those two.

Dialogue/Writing - 10/10

I don't have much to say about the dialogue and writing because they were both done well, and I have no complaints about it. I really appreciated how the dialogue just flowed. It felt like real teenagers were communicating and interacting in this book instead of aliens poorly mimicking teenage behavior. That was a weird comparison, but I hope you get my point.

Ending - 9.7/10

I love the ending. A lot. I really wish I could spoil, but I can't, so I'll keep this section brief. It made me very happy to see Mat and Jules living life to the fullest, and I nearly cried when Jules could finally be himself without the chains he previously had weighing him down. But I am curious to know what will happen with Jules and his ability to play soccer. Will he be a professional soccer player? Did he forget about soccer because that was high school, and he now wants to move onto bigger and better things? I have these questions about soccer because when Jules played soccer, it was merely mentioned, and wasn't discussed when he was figuring out his plan for college. I do wish that his plans for soccer were more clear.

In conclusion, "Fifteen Hundred Miles From The Sun" was a very enjoyable read, but left me with so many questions that I can't detail them all here without spoiling the story. I loved a lot of the relationships that were developed, but for some relationships, I wish they were developed more. The plot, pacing, dialogue, and writing were all on point. But I think the secondary characters and the ending could use some revision. I would highly recommend this novel to anyone who loves stories centered around self-identity, family, friends, and finding love.
Profile Image for tessie.
219 reviews46 followers
February 14, 2021
ok so, first of all, i think the fact i’ve finished reading this book is very rude!! i needed, like, 1000 more pages of that

so, how does one review that one book they read in february but already know will probably be their favourite of the year? hmmmmmm (i have no idea please send help)

my expectations for this book were somewhere along the lines of a fun internet mutuals to lovers (yes) book with a bunch of important themes that i’ll enjoy a lot and what i got was a fun internet mutuals to lovers book that heavily broke my heart

first of all, i had a few very very minor issues about this book and like, all of them, were completely eclipsed by how much i loved the characters. the dialogue was a little stilted in some places for the first 30-40% person or so? and the last maybe 20% dragged on a little? and often that would make me make my rating a little lower or just Not like a book as much but??? there was a group of characters at the heart of this book that made me ignore everything

i just loved them y’know!!! the heart of this book is a group of friends who i would like to read much much more about - if you need a book that makes you fall completely in love with a cast of characters then like!!!!!! this book exists i loved all of them (apart from one, obvs)

this had this sort of classic queer ya contemporary atmosphere to it that i can’t quite explain i’ll just hope people can uhhh interpret my extremely vague words. what i DO vaguely mean though is that the feeling while reading this? reminded me of the feelings i’ve gotten when reading a lot of the big queer ya books

cannot review this book without talking about the romance within it because . fuck . so i’ve read a lot of ya books recently where there’s a romance but it maybe takes up only a tiny bit of the book and that’s super cool!! i love that!! but i know that i and a lot of other teen readers want stories with big intense romances that take up a big part of the story and this had that which i was VERY happy about and enjoyed a lot

also i’m SO glad there’s finally an internet mutuals to lovers book because like,,,,,half of my queer friends have had an online relationship at Some point at this point it’s probably more realistic than people meeting at school and stuff??? (or am i just saying this as an 18 year who has had Way. Way too many crushes on online friends over the years)

the romance was so tender and beautiful and !!!!!! i spent the majority of this book ~dead~ this book ended me!!! there was one chapter i’m pretty sure i highlighted the whole of?? once i have a physical copy of this book there will be multiple post it notes on every page i just know it

relating to that this book was SUCH a slow read for me and?? i’m certain that was because the writing was SO GORGEOUS!! like i said there was a little bit of stilted dialogue towards the start but it got more natural throughout and god,,there were so many beautiful lines that i’ll be thinking about for a while

i cannot talk about this book without also mentioning that there was a lot of pain in it - there’s a lot of debates lately about queer ya being happy or not or whatever and this book is one of a few recently that get this really important balance (think: books like felix ever after?) where there’s so much pain and fear and trauma but it’s not without so, so much joy and happiness and i’m so glad these stories exist because it is the reality for a lot of people

so yeah, i love love love LOVED this book and there’s so many more things i could yell about BUT!! just let it be known that this book is annoyingly good and i’m excited to aggressively shout at my friends to read it (just joking,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,probably)

i’ll write a review for this book that actually makes sense soon (ish) for an instagram post and replace this one with that but i just couldn’t NOT yell about this book immediately ok

rep: Mexican-American gay mc, Vietnamese-American gay li, Latinx side characters, Vietnamese side characters, Latina pansexual side character, Black side character, Vietnamese lesbian side character, Vietnamese bisexual side character, Filipino gay side character

tw: homophobia, homophobic slurs, physically abusive parent, forced outing
Profile Image for Meags.
2,178 reviews415 followers
October 4, 2021
4 Stars

Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun is a remarkable LGBT-themed novel, immersed in the kind of cultural diversity that the YA genre so desperately needs to expand upon, showcasing the lives and first-love shared between two male BIPOC characters of depth and quality.

Part long-distance romance and part coming-of-age journey, this story follows the rollercoaster of emotional highs and lows that Chicanx teenager Julián Luna experiences during his final year of high school in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Julián is a likeable and tangible character, going through some seriously trying times on the home front with an abusive and homophobic father. Thankfully, Julián’s older sister, Xo, along with his diverse group of friends, prove time and again that they’ll all support and love Julián through thick and thin, no matter what, which goes a hell of a long way when he unintentionally comes out on his Twitter account, after indulging at a friend’s party, changing his world forever.

It is after this faux-pas, that California-based Vietnamese-American teenager Mat reaches out to Julián, and the two share a fast and immediate connection, which soon evolves from a new friendship into first love, which they fight tooth and nail to hold onto despite the distance between them.

The story spans the entire school year, following Julián through some pretty major life changes and experiences, but through the ups and downs, he comes out of it all feeling stronger and happier, and more in alignment with his authentic-self than ever before.

This was a lovely read—one made all the better because of the amazing cast of support characters that surrounded Julián and Mat. It was a truly profound experience to share the world through Julián’s eyes.

This was an #OwnVoices story at its most raw and realistic and I’m grateful for the insight and experience. I look forward to seeing what new author Jonny Garza Villa does next.
Profile Image for sarah.
404 reviews269 followers
June 23, 2021
“And I think about how Dad gave me everything I could need. Except for the one thing that shouldn't have terms or conditions. That should be a given. That should be so easy. Acceptance.”

Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun was a heartwarming and poignant story of first love, self-acceptance and queerness. It was honest and authentic, depicting the experience of a queer chicanx boy in all its joy and heartbreak.

I can see this book resonating on a deep level with many in the community, and I am so glad it has been written and released for anyone who needs it. It is the queer happily ever after that is so so important for those teens to read.

But it is not all rainbows and happiness- there is grit to the story, strained relationships and themes of homophobia and abuse. Just keep in mind that for every bad thing that happens to these characters, there are countless other moments of hope and beauty.

Despite this being an objectively great book, I personally didn't connect with it on as high a level as I was hoping. But that is fine, I think I just wasn't the target audience. I cannot pinpoint exactly why it left something to be desired for me. Perhaps it was the social media slang that felt a little forced and unrealistic. Maybe it was the writing, which while perfectly fine, wasn't anything special. But I don't want to dwell on the drawbacks for too long because they are just personal nitpicks I had and most likely won't impact the majority of people's experiences.

Thank you to Skyscape Fire for this ARC

Release Date: 8 June 2021
Profile Image for luce (that loser crying on the n° 2 bus).
1,438 reviews4,048 followers
May 30, 2022
blogthestorygraphletterboxd tumblrko-fi

3 ½ stars (rounded up to 4 because why the hell not)

“And I think about how Dad gave me everything I could need. Except for the one thing that shouldn't have terms or conditions. That should be a given. That should be so easy. Acceptance.”

Written in a simple conversational style Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun is a tender love story, equal parts funny and heartfelt. Julián Luna’s voice is exceedingly authentic and it will be easy for readers to form a connection to him. Jules lives with his father in Corpus Christi, Texas, and he is in his last year of high school. He has a tight group of friends, most of them Latinx like him, and a supportive older sister. His relationship with his father however has become increasingly strained in recent years. Jules’ father has a fixed vision of what being his son should be like. His rather passè notions of manhood and masculinity lead him to abhor anything he perceives as 'different'. He's also quick to anger and is verbally and physically abusive towards his son.
Even if Jules is not ashamed of being gay he isn’t willing to ‘come out’ in this kind of environment. His plans to ‘lay low’ are however sabotaged by one drunken tweet. The author does a brilliant job in depicting the, shall we say, highs and lows of coming out. On the one hand, Jules feels as if he can finally be himself, and many of the people around him are incredibly supportive and ‘there’ for him (i particularly loved his bond with his sister and jordan). On the other, well, given that his father has always been outspokenly homophobic it is unlikely that he will have a sudden change of attitude.
As Jules goes through this particularly difficult period in his life he becomes close to Mat, who lives in Los Angeles and whom he ‘met’ via Twitter. Mat, also in his last year of high school, is an immeasurably sweet and empathetic guy and their texting was the perfect blend of cute, funny, and real. When they both start catching feelings they decide to try a long-distance relationship.
What follows is a touching coming-of-age. There are many light-hearted and romantic moments that balance out the more heartbreaking ones. The author demonstrates great empathy in the way they portray and address abuse and struggles faced by lgbtq+ teens. Jules’ story, however painful, is one that needs to be told. Sometimes the people you love the most are the ones who will reject you or hurt you just for being yourself. Jules’ makes for a relatable and likeable protagonist. The author articulates Jules’ insecurities (about being ‘out’, his future, his relationship with his dad and others) in a very realistic manner. I also appreciated how bilingual the novel is—through Jules’ inner monologues and his conversations with his friends/family.
The love story was probably my favourite part (was the moon/sun thing a bit cheesy? yes. did i care? no). While the story itself isn’t the most ‘original’, we have quite a few classic YA tropes, and some of Jules’ friends are rather one-dimensional, I overall really enjoyed this. Some of the pop culture references did go over my head, the kind of music the characters listen to in this novel is the kind that would make my ears bleed (just kidding), and having a character say "OTP" in real life is cringe, but whatever, these are minor things that probably won't bother other people.
Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun will definitely appeal to fans of the YA coming-of-age genre and I would 100% recommend it to those looking for an engrossing story filled with romance, heartbreak, and hope.
Profile Image for Guy Venturi.
857 reviews1 follower
August 21, 2021
Distance is relative, time is twisted. Just be.

It is some of the most difficult and challenging times in someone's life as they struggle with the phases of the moon and the rotations of the sun.

High school brings many changes in life, family, friends, and living arrangements, but graduation probably concentrates more changes into a short time period and requires more planning and coordination as a new phase of life overwhelms the past with college setting the new requirements for living, learning, loving, leisure, luxury, and social interactions. The world begins to open up to trigger the mind with travel, sports, business, investments, and networking while anchored to the classroom while learning how to research and think.

Then soon the after college phase begins with graduate school for some, jobs for everyone, and if you still have any great friends left, the true size and scope of the world and endless opportunity pull everyone apart, even those starting families.

It is not the distance that matters. It is only the love of each other that connects friends and family like the gravity attraction keeps the moon in orbit and the Sun shining to energize the emotions to stay together. The sun makes the moon glow and reflect on the hearts on men.
Profile Image for Emery Lee.
Author 2 books4,859 followers
February 23, 2021
An honest, explorative book about first love and long-distance relationships that paints a hopeful picture of gayness and teen romance. This book doesn't pull punches around the heavy elements, but it leans into a happy angle, giving gay teens of color a chance to see themselves in a story that ultimately shows the love that they deserve. With a cast of fun, unique, and vibrant characters and easy but heartfelt narration, this is definitely one of the best books I've picked up in a long time!
Profile Image for Adri.
986 reviews799 followers
April 19, 2021
CWs: Verbal and physical child abuse; physical assault; homophobia; homophobic slurs (English and Spanish); bullying; non-graphic allusions to suicidal ideation; disownment; descriptions of PTSD, panic attacks, and depressive episodes; some exploration of grief; references to underage drinking, some graphic allusions to sex

Jonny Garza Villa really and truly didn't have to write the perfect book. But they did, and I'm forever grateful.

Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun very much feels like a successor to Ari & Dante, especially in its deliberate, slow pace. This is a story that meticulously takes you through the seasons of Jules' senior year, reveling in moments of friendship and love while also confronting homophobia head-on. It's a story about love in all its power and its limitations—exploring what love can do and what it can't. Love can support you, protect you, and keep you going when things get tough, but at the same time, love can't make up for everything when it's not supported by action.

Whether that means a father who refuses to acknowledge his son's queerness or a long-distance boyfriend who's struggling to figure out how to show up for someone when you can't physically be there, the story deftly explores both love's power and its failings. Even though this is a book that's not afraid to acknowledge the hardships queer people face, it's also largely about finding out which friends are true and learning to find joy in the communities we build for ourselves. This is a story that perfectly captures those high school friendships where buying a $2 soda from a fast food drive through on your way to the beach after school is an adventure you'd take over and over again and where piling onto the same bed together is an appropriate response to someone's depressive episode—those ride-or-die friendships that make your soul sing.

Not only that, but FHMFTS is a love story for the ages and exactly the love story we need right now. It's very rare that we get to see a story that both understands and celebrates online, long-distance romance. Not only is this a story that validates long-distance relationships, but it shows how integral online relationships can be in day-to-day life. Besides his physical presence, you miss nothing of Mat throughout this story. He is every bit as vibrant and present in Jules' life as Jules other friends from school are. He supports Jules, cheers him on, and wants the best for him, all while trying to maintain clear and open communication.

They run into pitfalls along the way, and the distance definitely tests both of them in different ways, but their relationships is every bit as real and beautiful as any other romance out there. They have A-plus level chemistry and banter, yes, but I think their relationship is so memorable because they're both learning not only how to see the other person for everything they are, but how to allow themselves to be seen in return. Letting yourself be known, in all your messiness and in all your mistakes, is an act of love and bravery, and that is ultimately what makes their relationship so satisfying to read.

Oh yeah, and they're funny as fuck.

Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun is a book that will make you laugh, a book that will make you smile right after it makes you cringe, and a book that will make you feel above all else. Trust me when I say you do NOT want to miss this book. I would wholeheartedly recommend it to absolutely everyone.
Profile Image for Maja  - BibliophiliaDK ✨.
1,097 reviews674 followers
June 7, 2021

This is one of those books, where the ingredients were all there. Cute couple, trying to figure out their sexuality. Long distance dating. An interesting collection of friends. A tense, strained relationship between the MC and his father. True love and rainbows. Still, I wasn't swept away by this book. Honestly, I can't put my finger on what exactly it was, that didn't sit well with me. Perhaps it was the writing, which was filled with unnecessary descriptions. Perhaps it was the feeling I had, that the author was trying too hard to sound young all the time. Perhaps it was the endorsement of teenage drinking. Perhaps it was all of this and more that I cannot put into words. So, in the end, I enjoy it but I didn't love it.

ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

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Profile Image for roma.
365 reviews88 followers
February 15, 2021
3.5 stars!

"I see all these TV shows and movies and they get hugged by their parents. They get told it doesn’t matter. I want that.” i felt that so hard

this book. this book is so important to me? reading about another qtbipoc kid with an abusive and homophobic family member who gets out? and this is done without villainizing their entire culture? I've wanted to read a book like this for so long.

the tone of the book is very hurt/comfort; it doesn't let the story get too dark but also doesn't brush off the after effects of the things Julián has to go through. It was a very personal read in many ways and I'm really really glad this exists.

The best thing though is how it captures that accute feeling of loneliness when you are a queer poc teen living in a place that's never going to accept you but it's also hopeful, the relationship between Julián and his sister and grandfather made me feel™, we always love some supportive family members. I liked the love interest and would've liked if he was more developed but good for Jules!

Another thing I liked was a background interracial relationship and how the author addressed the fact that non-black poc can still be racist, and that's a conversation we definitely need to have.

nitpicking here but Julián assuming everyone around him was cishet is so annoying to read.

Also there is a lot of social media terminology used here, it didn't bother me because I like social media fanfic but I know a lot of people don't like lol and ikr in their published books

tl;dr: if a hopeful but realistic hurt/comfort with funny dialogue, oomfs to lovers appeals to you, pick this up!

rep: gay mexican mc, gay vietnamese li, side mlm relationship, black sc, lesbian sc, pansexual sc

content warnings: homophobic slurs(pejorative), homophobia, n word(pejorative), anti-black racism, internalized homophobia, abusive family member(physically and emotionally), gaslighting, hate crime

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my opinion in any way.

All quotes are from an advanced copy and may differ in final publication

Profile Image for Janna.
311 reviews296 followers
March 11, 2022
i'm sure a lot of you will fall in love with this one. it's a very heavy read, but it's also full of strong friendships, romantic phone calls and supportive siblings!

the mc is mexican-american, the love interest ist vietnamese-american and there are a lot of latinx side characters, as well as other queer characters and BIPoC.

i was very happy to see that there were trigger warnings included before the first chapter. i'll say it again and again, but this should be the standard for all books.

even though our mc is facing a lot of problems regarding his homophobic and abusive father, he still has a support system (friends, sister and grandfather). however, be aware that homophobia and abuse play a huge role in this book. there's a lot of casual homophobia, but also physical violence against the mc.

i think that a lot of people will be able to relate to the romance (me too!), because a lot of relationships and friendships nowadays start through social media.
Profile Image for jules.
109 reviews160 followers
April 13, 2022
someone hug me rn, I’m very emotional
Profile Image for Saimon (ZanyAnomaly).
405 reviews227 followers
May 22, 2021
Fifteen Hundred Miles From The Sun appeared on my radar a year earlier when I saw that it was pitched as One Day At A Time meets Simon Vs. A book comp'd with my favorite book AND favorite tv show? I was SOLD. Historically, comps have not always been accurate and are usually just a publicity tool to get people to pick up the books. But FHMFTS is one of the instances where it delivers EXACTLY what it promises in terms of the vibes its compared to.

This book is UNAPOLOGETICALLY Latinx. Mexican culture is deeply entrenched in this story. There are so many instances of characters speaking in spanish with each other and Jonny Garza Villa does not stop to translate or explain what they mean. As a reader of color who grew up having to learn about white people things with zero context on any of them, it brought me so much joy to witness characters of color living their lives on the page without that translation. It didn't take away my enjoyment of the story in any way, and I had so much fun reading it.

The story was so cute and felt so nuanced. I am so proud and happy for how far queer stories in YA have come along in just the recent few years. It was a delight to read Julian's story. His awesome sister, his amazing supportive friends, his complicated relationship with his dad, his cute online fling with his twitter crush Mat - it was all so detailed and felt so real, I missed the characters so much by the time I finished the book.

Even the way sex was dealt with in the book felt so real - and by real i don't mean there were lots of explicit on page content - this is still a YA novel. But it still had and implied the right amount of conversation and moments of sex (and sex education!!), the right amount (in my opinion) for a story featuring teenagers at the peak of their teenage years. We need more of this in YA books, especially YA books featuring queer stories!

I just absolutely enjoyed this book, it was filled with cute moments featuring an adorable cast of friends, siblings, and love interests while also tackling a lot of intense topics with the seriousness and nuance they require. If you're looking for your next feel-good read, look no further than Fifteen Hundred Miles From The Sun - Jonny Garza Villa has written a beautiful book that must be read by all. 5 stars.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an advanced reading copy in exchange for an honest review.
changed ratings from 4 to 5 after writing the final review

Fifteen Hundred Miles From The Sun is pitched as One Day At A Time x Simon Vs and it is such an on point comparison. The book is so unapologetically latinx, filled with Mexican culture and expressions and conversations in Spanish (that are not translated to satiate white readers). And the complexity of being a queer person of color with a homophobic parent is deftly explored. along with the most adorable set of friends AND THE CUTEST love interest! Definitely recommend picking this up if you're looking for a cute, nuanced feel good book! 4 stars.

Thanks to the author, Netgalley and the publishers for the review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Simon Vs. meets One Day At A Time?
My favorite book meets my favorite show???
Profile Image for Anna.
1,514 reviews251 followers
June 26, 2021
5+. Honestly so freaking good. Review to come.
Profile Image for Cody Roecker.
843 reviews
February 12, 2021
A new favorite. A perfect blend of moonlight and sunshine, and a stunning reminder of the power of friendship. I love love love this book.
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