Lobizona (Wolves of No World, #1)
Some people ARE illegal.Lobizonas do NOT exist.Both of these statements are false.Manuela Azul has been crammed into an existence that feels too small for her. As an undocumented immigrant who's on the run from her father's Argentine crime-family, Manu is confined to a small apartment and a small life in Miami, Florida.Until Manu's protective bubble is shattered.Her surrogate grandmother is attacked, lifelong lies are exposed, and her mother is arrested by ICE. Without a home, without answers, and finally without shackles, Manu investigates the only clue she has about her past--a mysterious "Z" emblem—which leads her to a secret world buried within our own. A world connected to her dead father and his criminal past. A world straight out of Argentine folklore, where the seventh consecutive daughter is born a bruja and the seventh consecutive son is a lobizón, a werewolf. A world where her unusual eyes allow her to belong.As Manu uncovers her own story and traces her real heritage all the way back to a cursed city in Argentina, she learns it's not just her U.S. residency that's illegal. . . .it's her entire existence.

Lobizona (Wolves of No World, #1) Details

TitleLobizona (Wolves of No World, #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 4th, 2020
PublisherWednesday Books
ISBN-139781250239129
Rating
GenreFantasy, Young Adult

Lobizona (Wolves of No World, #1) Review

  • chai ♡
    January 1, 1970
    You might think I’ve only read this book because the cover is pretty but yes you are absolutely correct.Full review to come.
  • Chelsea Humphrey
    January 1, 1970
    New US Pub Date: August 4, 2020*I won an early review copy of this title via the publisher.
  • ♠ TABI ♠
    January 1, 1970
    um excuse me why aren't more people screaming about this??also this is set in my home state so huzzah!!
  • Ash
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’ Press for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.DNF ~30%.My one-sentence review of this book would be: Lobizona is a four-star contemporary novel and a one-star fantasy novel. In other words, I have very mixed feelings about it. But let’s start with the positive.Lobizona stars Manu, an undocumented immigrant whose mother brought her to the United States from Argentina when she was very young. She is bilingual, she loves to read, and she Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’ Press for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.DNF ~30%.My one-sentence review of this book would be: Lobizona is a four-star contemporary novel and a one-star fantasy novel. In other words, I have very mixed feelings about it. But let’s start with the positive.Lobizona stars Manu, an undocumented immigrant whose mother brought her to the United States from Argentina when she was very young. She is bilingual, she loves to read, and she aspires to one day work for NASA as an astronaut. Particularly in the first section of the book, Lobizona explores the challenges undocumented immigrants face in America, as well as questions of identity regarding Manu’s physical differences and her father, who she knows next to nothing about.If you strip away the fantasy elements, Lobizona is a well-written, modern young adult contemporary novel about the immigrant experience. It effectively communicates the alienation, the fear of discovery, and the unrelenting hope that defines Manu’s life as an undocumented immigrant, and it does so in a way that is both accessible to teenagers and enlightening for adults.But Lobizona is also a young adult fantasy novel – a genre I have a fraught relationship with – and unfortunately, in that respect, it did not live up to my expectations. Although I will say, the one thing I appreciated about Romina Garber’s fantasy world was its basis in Argentinian folklore. I’m always on the lookout for fantasy novels that stray outside the typical Western European sphere of influence.The novelty wore off quickly, however, once it became clear how utterly cliché the rest of the fantasy elements in this story were. Manu is special: the first ever lobizona (female werewolf), an only child with powers that are usually reserved for the seventh son or seventh daughter in a family. She has golden eyes with silver, star-shaped pupils (yes, seriously). Her werewolf powers include super strength and super speed, no exercise required, as well as super senses. Her transformation began at puberty and brought with it mysterious dreams of a magical world.I decided to stop reading when the fantasy and YA clichés started to pile up about a quarter of the way into the story. Manu’s first interaction with Tiago was also incredibly off-putting. I have a policy where I quit reading at the first sign of instalove. Since I didn’t finish the book, I don’t actually know if they end up in a romantic relationship, but my YA spidey senses have rarely steered me wrong. I think I’m too far past my YA days to appreciate this book. Teen readers might enjoy it more than I did.
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  • Romina Garber
    January 1, 1970
    4/11/2020 update:A bit of news: Lobizona’s pub date has been pushed to 8/4. I’m really bummed, but these circumstances are beyond anyone’s control. I hope you will still add her to your tbr shelf/preorder/request from your libraries because I have never ever been more excited to introduce a character to you. bit.ly/lobizonaCan’t wait for you to meet #ManuLaLobizona this summer! Also, I just finished the first draft of the sequel & AAAAHHHHHH!!! #WolvesOfNoWorld ----3/26/2020 update:YAY!!! The Lo 4/11/2020 update:A bit of news: Lobizona’s pub date has been pushed to 8/4. I’m really bummed, but these circumstances are beyond anyone’s control. I hope you will still add her to your tbr shelf/preorder/request from your libraries because I have never ever been more excited to introduce a character to you. bit.ly/lobizonaCan’t wait for you to meet #ManuLaLobizona this summer! Also, I just finished the first draft of the sequel & AAAAHHHHHH!!! #WolvesOfNoWorld ----3/26/2020 update:YAY!!! The Lobizona PREORDER GIVEAWAY is LIVE! https://bit.ly/LobizonaPreorderWhen you preorder a hardcover, ebook, or audio edition, submit your receipt for a set of 5 Lobizona buttons! Unfortunately, due to legal nuances, this is only valid for US & Canada residents.----I don’t want to scare you off, but the mystery at the heart of Lobizona is real. . . . Like Manu, I was also flipping through the pages of a newspaper when I stumbled across the Argentine law that inspired this story—la ley de padrinazgo presidencial 20.843. The law declares the President of Argentina godparent to the 7th consecutive son or daughter in a family. I was curious why this was even a thing, & when I spiraled down the rabbit hole of online research, history bled into myth, until it became harder and harder to separate fact from folklore.Naturally, I had to write a book. So I did. A dozen years ago.Yet when I tried to get the novel traditionally published, I was told US readers didn’t care about Argentine immigrants. In other words, they didn’t care about ME.I tried letting this idea go, & for about a decade, I thought I had. Yet as the situation for immigrants worsened in this country, I realized this story will never let go of me. So if you’ve preordered Lobizona, or added her to your tbr, or even if you’ve just read this far—thank you, for caring. <3 XoxoxoRominaPS: 2.5 months!!!!!!! AHHHH!!!!PPS: Preorder links (keep your receipts!): https://read.macmillan.com/lp/lobizona/
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  • Tucker (TuckerTheReader)
    January 1, 1970
    oohoh moh myoh my goh my gooh my godoh my gooh my goh myoh mohooohoh moh myoh my goh my gooh my godoh my gooh my goh myoh mohooohoh moh myoh my goh my gooh my godoh my gooh my goh myoh mohooohoh moh myoh my goh my gooh my godoh my gooh my goh myoh mohooohoh moh myoh my goh my gooh my godoh my gooh my goh myoh moho| Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram oohoh moh myoh my goh my gooh my godoh my gooh my goh myoh mohooohoh moh myoh my goh my gooh my godoh my gooh my goh myoh mohooohoh moh myoh my goh my gooh my godoh my gooh my goh myoh mohooohoh moh myoh my goh my gooh my godoh my gooh my goh myoh mohooohoh moh myoh my goh my gooh my godoh my gooh my goh myoh moho| Goodreads | Blog | Pinterest | LinkedIn | YouTube | Instagram
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  • Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
    January 1, 1970
    I went into this expecting very little but hoping for a whole lot. That cover! That synopsis! I couldn't help but be intrigued by it all. And while I think this was a very well written story that deeply delves into life of an undocumented immigrant and all that entails, this sorely lacked in the fantasy department as a whole. It dragged a little for me and overall, I found myself wanting to skim pages to get to the action of the story. To find out all the mystery and intrigue and it just never q I went into this expecting very little but hoping for a whole lot. That cover! That synopsis! I couldn't help but be intrigued by it all. And while I think this was a very well written story that deeply delves into life of an undocumented immigrant and all that entails, this sorely lacked in the fantasy department as a whole. It dragged a little for me and overall, I found myself wanting to skim pages to get to the action of the story. To find out all the mystery and intrigue and it just never quite got there for me to keep me wholly entertained. Again, it wasn't a bad story, just sadly, not at all what I was hoping it would be. *ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
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  • jocelyn
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 starsLobizona is so damn satisfying. I read the last half of the book in a frenzy, taking turns between white-knuckling the book in my hand to having to set it down to squeal about it. It is both dramatic and poignant, seamlessly blending heavy topics with some serious entertainment. There is so much care, creativity, and uniqueness in here that I don't know that I'm able to unpack all of Garber's excellent excellent choices. The lush world of the Septimus is everything I could've hoped for 4.5 starsLobizona is so damn satisfying. I read the last half of the book in a frenzy, taking turns between white-knuckling the book in my hand to having to set it down to squeal about it. It is both dramatic and poignant, seamlessly blending heavy topics with some serious entertainment. There is so much care, creativity, and uniqueness in here that I don't know that I'm able to unpack all of Garber's excellent excellent choices. The lush world of the Septimus is everything I could've hoped for as a young teen. I will forever be jealous this wasn't available when I was growing up. I know it would've been in my constant rotation of favorites to reread again and again. Even still, my feelings were such a flurry when I finished. I am beyond ready for book two and to see what else is in store for Manu and co. Until then, I'm going to be scouring the internet for fan art to cope with my withdrawals.
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  • megs_bookrack
    January 1, 1970
    This sounds like a really important, beautiful story, and this cover...I'm so excited to check this one out.Thank you, Wednesday Books, for my ARC!!I appreciate it so much!! This sounds like a really important, beautiful story, and this cover...I'm so excited to check this one out.Thank you, Wednesday Books, for my ARC!!I appreciate it so much!!
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  • Cande
    January 1, 1970
    INTENSE SPANISH SCREAMthere are so many things to talk about but right now all i got is a big scream. i haven’t been surprised by books in a long time and this book WOW that ending!!!! eye... ok, i promise to write a coherent review soon. for now let me tell you, this is one of the greatest books about immigration i have read, really resonated with me. the way culture becomes magic had me in tears. and to see my spanish on page? what an incredible experience 🥺 i stan romina’s mind. when is the s INTENSE SPANISH SCREAMthere are so many things to talk about but right now all i got is a big scream. i haven’t been surprised by books in a long time and this book WOW that ending!!!! eye... ok, i promise to write a coherent review soon. for now let me tell you, this is one of the greatest books about immigration i have read, really resonated with me. the way culture becomes magic had me in tears. and to see my spanish on page? what an incredible experience 🥺 i stan romina’s mind. when is the sequel coming out???
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  • Bethany
    January 1, 1970
    If Lobizona is not yet on your radar, it absolutely should be! One of the best YA fantasy novels I've read this year, it combines magical realism, portal fantasy, Latinx werewolf mythology, and a decidedly progressive vision of the world into a smart, engrossing tale that you won't want to put down. Vivid imagery, a cool magic system, fantastic world-building, important themes, interesting characters, and unexpected twists all contribute to making this something truly special. I can't tell you t If Lobizona is not yet on your radar, it absolutely should be! One of the best YA fantasy novels I've read this year, it combines magical realism, portal fantasy, Latinx werewolf mythology, and a decidedly progressive vision of the world into a smart, engrossing tale that you won't want to put down. Vivid imagery, a cool magic system, fantastic world-building, important themes, interesting characters, and unexpected twists all contribute to making this something truly special. I can't tell you too much about the plot without spoiling things, but the story follows Manuela (Manu) Azul, a sixteen-year old girl from Argentina living illegally in Miami with her mother. Manu's existence is a constricted one, not only because of her immigration status, but also because of her unusual eyes that she must hide behind mirrored glasses. She also has extremely difficult periods each month and her mother gives her pills that keep her unconscious for the first three days of her cycle, during which she dreams vividly of a dangerous and magical world. Things begin strange and quickly get even stranger as Manu tries to uncover the secrets of her identity and her estranged father's past, and gets sucked into a dangerous yet magical world she never knew existed.Without getting into details, we also end up getting a great friend group, forbidden love, and queer representation (not the MC). But things don't go the way you might expect in this kind of story and the author has thoughtfully woven in big issues that are well worth your time and consideration. Obviously this addresses immigration, legal status, and the problems with ICE, but it also addresses misogyny, the problems with a binary system of gender and gendered expectations, privilege, and even, (in a truly brilliant scene) the problems with awarding a privileged status to only "special" or talented outsiders when every life has value. It's such a smart and important book, but also a fun and thrilling one. Not to mention, if a certain book announcement has you excited for vampires and werewolves, Lobizona just might scratch part of that itch. (to be clear, this does not have vampires, but it DOES have werewolves and witches!) Clearly I was a fan of this and I'm very excited to see people talking about it once it's widely available. There is a lot that could be said, but spoilers! So I'll just say, please read this one. I received an advance copy of this book via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
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  • Margarita (margaritathedrink)
    January 1, 1970
    "Why settle for being a son of the system, when you can mother a movement"first i want to thank Netgalley and Macmillan for the E-arc as a Hispanic i am trying to read more books written by Latinx authors and i was so happy to receive this and will be buying a physical copy when it comes out.Lobizona is a Argentina Folklore set in our time with Werewolves and Brujas. Werewolves are only males and brujas are only female but there is Manu who is a werewolf living in hiding and doesnt even know who "Why settle for being a son of the system, when you can mother a movement"first i want to thank Netgalley and Macmillan for the E-arc as a Hispanic i am trying to read more books written by Latinx authors and i was so happy to receive this and will be buying a physical copy when it comes out.Lobizona is a Argentina Folklore set in our time with Werewolves and Brujas. Werewolves are only males and brujas are only female but there is Manu who is a werewolf living in hiding and doesnt even know who she is. This read hits you with todays reality of immigrants living in fear of ICE as Manu and her mother do, also equality, and sexism is discussed in here. its what i loved about this book, even with the fantasy involved it really hit you with the ugliness that we still deal with today.Manu doesnt know what she is until she has to run from people after her and stumbles into a magic school. She has to lie to hide her identity which leads to more problems but also helps her find who she truly is along the way. She is making a name for herself. She is a hybrid, Half werewolf half human which is illegal in the magic world so her friends do everthing to help hide her identity. The school reminded me of Hogwarts but i really dont want it to be compared to HP because this is a whole different story, a whole new world with POC characters and just all around amazing. I love the main character who never felt like she had a home only to realize she now has two homes and i love how she is discovering who she is and finding her place in both worlds. There are queer characters in this book which i loved, i want to say more but dont want to ruin it for readers just know this is one of my newest favorite reads and i can not wait for book two! but i highly recommend this book to everyone.
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  • Caden
    January 1, 1970
    This book... This book is so powerful and beautiful. It has so many different layers to it that each have an important and relevant message. This story is important to tell and was so beautifully written. All of the characters were so well thought out. The plot was intricate and I was never bored. Romina's writing is so elegant and strong. She weaves together sentences that burrow into your heart and soul and will impact you for life. This is such an important story to tell for so many different This book... This book is so powerful and beautiful. It has so many different layers to it that each have an important and relevant message. This story is important to tell and was so beautifully written. All of the characters were so well thought out. The plot was intricate and I was never bored. Romina's writing is so elegant and strong. She weaves together sentences that burrow into your heart and soul and will impact you for life. This is such an important story to tell for so many different reasons and Romina did a beautiful job telling her, and others, stories. PLEASE, PLEASE pick up this book and read it. PLEASE, PLEASE, support this book and its message. 5/5 STARS
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  • The Nerd Daily
    January 1, 1970
    Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Kibby RobinsonLobizona by Romina Garber is the kind of book that digs its claws into you and leaves marks so you don’t forget what you just experienced. Though much of the story is deeply rooted in folklore and magic, the way Garber examines and calls out parts of modern society is one of the most impactful parts of this novel. With Lobizona, Romina Garber is poised to become a strong literary voice of this era.Manu has spent her life in lockdow Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Kibby RobinsonLobizona by Romina Garber is the kind of book that digs its claws into you and leaves marks so you don’t forget what you just experienced. Though much of the story is deeply rooted in folklore and magic, the way Garber examines and calls out parts of modern society is one of the most impactful parts of this novel. With Lobizona, Romina Garber is poised to become a strong literary voice of this era.Manu has spent her life in lockdown because of who she is and what she looks like: an Argentinian immigrant living in Miami, on the run from her father’s crime family, with bright yellow eyes and a grey star around the pupil. But Manu’s whole world cracks apart when her mother is arrested by ICE agents and long hidden truths become revealed. There is a magical world hidden within our own, one that Manu’s history is deeply entangled with. Manu must find a way to navigate this world, with new friends, foes, and loves, all while learning more about herself than she ever thought possible.The most striking things about Lobizona are the worlds Garber builds. There is the “real” world, which is brutal and hard, but painfully accurate. The opening scene of Lobizona, in which Manu and her mother hid from ICE agents, is one that will stay with you for a long time. But where Garber really comes into her own is the world of brujas and werewolves. I can’t remember the last time I read a world so intricately and beautifully crafted. The reader is the silent companion to Manu discovering the hidden magical world in this novel and it is a wonderful journey to go on.The characters in Lobizona are all well developed and recognisable. No matter where you come from, you know these characters: the one trying to find their way in the world, the one trying to live up to their parent’s standards, the one trying to help others even if it’s in a slightly illegal way, and the one who would do anything for the ones they love. And while we all know these characters, Garber makes them wholly her own. The character dynamics throughout this novel keeps the reader engaged and invested in the plot.While the general plot of Lobizona is one we have seen before (special main character who finds a magical world and learns about who they really are), Garber weaves the tropes with issues many face in the real world and brings a whole new perspective to things. She is unflinching in calling out racism, sexism, and xenophobia, but does so in a way that is logical and relatable. Some may find the story a bit slow, as I did, but I never lost interest in what was happening. The mysteries and revelations of Manu’s life are teased out through the novel and it always kept me coming back for more.There isn’t much more I can say about this book without spoiling some of the best parts of the story. This is the kind of book that is enjoyed best with as little foreknowledge as possible. Discovering things along with Manu makes everything so impactful and connects you to the story in ways that few books can pull off. Lobizona is an important and timely book that will resonate with many teens today and those from previous generations that didn’t have this kind of book in their youth.
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  • Isabelle | Nine Tale Vixen
    January 1, 1970
    I received an advance review copy from Wednesday Books through Netgalley; all opinions are my own and honest.4.5 starsThis was a solid 4-star read until the last third or so, which surprised me mostly in good ways and left me eager to see how the rest of the series will develop.Books like this are why I still read ARCs despite the many DNFs along the way — the chance to discover incredible stories (without too much influence from others' opinions because most others haven't read it yet) and help I received an advance review copy from Wednesday Books through Netgalley; all opinions are my own and honest.4.5 starsThis was a solid 4-star read until the last third or so, which surprised me mostly in good ways and left me eager to see how the rest of the series will develop.Books like this are why I still read ARCs despite the many DNFs along the way — the chance to discover incredible stories (without too much influence from others' opinions because most others haven't read it yet) and help get them on the radar as much as possible.FRTC.content warnings: (view spoiler)[xenophobic & anti-immigrant & sexist remarks (challenged in-text), discussions of menstruation (hide spoiler)]rep: (view spoiler)[ (hide spoiler)]----------- CONVERSION : 12.1 / 15 = 4.5 starsProse: 5 / 10Characters & Relationships: 8 / 10Emotional Impact: 8 / 10Development / Flow: 9 / 10Setting: 9 / 10Diversity & Social Themes: 5 / 5Intellectual Engagement: N/AOriginality / Trope Execution: 4 / 5Rereadability: N/AMemorability: 4 / 5
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  • Fanna
    January 1, 1970
    April 15, 2020: Super excited to be on a blog tour for this! It has definitely got my attention with the witches and wolves it promises in a Latinx world. Thank you Wednesday Books for the digital review copy via Netgalley!
  • Carolina
    January 1, 1970
    BREAKING NEWS: local man has lost all ability to can, more at 8
  • Kristi Housman Confessions of a YA Reader
    January 1, 1970
    I admit that while this book sounded amazing, I was a bit afraid to start it.  I'm so picky with pacing, but I found this one hard to put down.Manu has been shut away her whole life.  She and her mom left Argentina and are undocumented immigrants in Miami.  Manu is told that her father is dead and his people are looking for her.  She's not safe.  Manu can't even fit in if she tried.  Her eyes jump out as unnatural to anyone that sees them.  She's thought to be a freak.  Starting when she turned I admit that while this book sounded amazing, I was a bit afraid to start it.  I'm so picky with pacing, but I found this one hard to put down.Manu has been shut away her whole life.  She and her mom left Argentina and are undocumented immigrants in Miami.  Manu is told that her father is dead and his people are looking for her.  She's not safe.  Manu can't even fit in if she tried.  Her eyes jump out as unnatural to anyone that sees them.  She's thought to be a freak.  Starting when she turned 13, Manu started getting her periods on the full moon.  The first one was so painful that her mom found a drug to make her sleep for three days each time.  While asleep, Manu dreams of this place with a citadel.  It's always the same and she doesn't understand it.  Manu's mom is picked up by ICE and Manu escapes.  Instead of going to hide where she was told, she followed a man that's been outside her apartment building.  She gets in his truck and ends up somewhere in the Everglades.  She jumps out and is found by a boy with strange eyes.  He thinks she is a new student that's lost.Manu has found herself in a school for brujas and lobizones.  The myths she heard growing up are starting to be true.  The girls are brujas and only boys can be a lobizon.  They're taught separate.  The brujas use magic and the lobizon are more like their protectors.  Manu wants to find her mom and get her out of ICE custody, but she can't get away.  She lies about her name and pretends that she already knows how to use magic.  Her lies can only last so long before the truth comes out.  Manu starts hearing her father's name at the school, too.  He was a leader who wanted change, especially with gender roles.  He hasn't been seen since before Manu was born.  Now she wonders if he's really dead.Manu makes friends for the first time and everyone is so loyal.  They risk their own safety to help Manu when they find out what she is.  Manu is a result of a human and lobizon having a child.  There were only a couple references of that happening and they're considered to be illegal.  If Manu is found out, she'll be killed.  There are some big surprises in store for Manu and everyone around her.  She also starts to fall in love and is conflicted.  Her friends also have their own secrets and they all want things to change.  I'm going to leave the world and magic a bit vague since it's really interesting to read about it throughout the book.  I loved the focus on undocumented and illegal status mixed with the mythology with the brujas and lobizon.  The author's writing pulled me in and I found it hard to put the book down at times.  I think it would have been 5 stars, but I found a couple things to be a bit too repetitive.  It never took away from the story though.  I cannot wait to see what happens to this wonderful friend group in book two.  I loved Manu's strength and her growth throughout the book.  Thank you to the publisher and Edelweiss for my review copy.  I gave this book 4  1/2 stars rounded up to 5 stars.Warnings for sexism, immigration and ice issues, bullying of people who don't fit in (freak, etc), medicine trafficking, parental trust, talk to periods and bad cramping, laws forcing marriage and having children (no same sex couples).  There are probably things I'm forgetting about and I apologize for that.  I was tired when I finished the last hour+ of the book last night.
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  • Renee (The B-Roll)
    January 1, 1970
    This book is set in dual places, Miami and a series of fantastic/magical/folkloric realms that are open only during specific times of the month that correspond to moon phases.  In Miami with her mother, Manu Azul is not allowed to really leave the house or have a "normal" life.  Her mother fights to keep her protected and demands that she always wear sunglasses since Manu's eyes are quite different from everyone else's; they have large golden suns on/in them.  After threatening ICE raids on her This book is set in dual places, Miami and a series of fantastic/magical/folkloric realms that are open only during specific times of the month that correspond to moon phases.  In Miami with her mother, Manu Azul is not allowed to really leave the house or have a "normal" life.  Her mother fights to keep her protected and demands that she always wear sunglasses since Manu's eyes are quite different from everyone else's; they have large golden suns on/in them.  After threatening ICE raids on her neighborhood and building, a mysterious couple of people who seem to be spying, strange red clouds of mist, an 'attack' on her dear Perla, and her mother's secret occupation in the city Manu flees Miami and goes into the Everglades.  Once there, she enters into a different realm that isn't sticky with Florida humidity and where strange animals and insects roam.  As she enters, she is told to show her huella.  Once she begins to make friends and fall into a world she seems to fit into, chaos ensues and secrets begins to tumble out not just about her new friends and classmates, but also who Manu is and her mysterious father, Fierro.When I read this synopsis of this book I fell in love with it and how diverse and truly magical the story seemed to be.  The author writes in her note that she was so in love with an inspired by Hogwarts, that she wanted to write something that also had the accepting and magical feel to it.  This book is somewhat successful of this, my only hesitation being that this book covers so little of the actually school where Manu ends up.  This isn't a bad thing at all, I just expect and can't wait for more books that do continue on the world building that this sort of story and setting require.  For the first book and opening of a series, this book does a great job setting the scene for both realms and introducing readers to a new and different magical/fantastical system that is based in Argentine folklore. On the same note, I love how lush and vibrant this world and this book are!  Garber has a skill for writing about colors and textures and describing these magical settings in ways that are almost tactile.  For me, this is something that really makes this book and story one to remember and fall in love with.  I love the way she describes even the most seemingly mundane things such as drinking yerba.  There is an intimate and deep recognition of Argentine culture and folklore and is woven throughout this story and I really appreciate those small things such as the incorporation of yerba and how the play into both the larger book and the larger Argentine culture outside of the book.  On a similar note, the cover art for this book is some of the best and definitely one of my favorites.  It is so beautiful and packed with colors and textures.  It also makes sure to highlight Manu and her stunning eyes as well as a wolf.  The cover art helps me to imagine what the magical realms would look like, as well as steep this story even further into its folkloric roots and basis.  As far as the story itself and the technical writing, I feel like there is a lot of intense foreshadowing about what or who Manu is with the usage of the moon phases and the weird monthly issues she has.  I did appreciate that it wasn't just stated up front though.  It an interesting story with interesting characters.  I am upset that Manu ends up falling for a guy, who also happens to be the alpha of the group.  I get it, people still want to read this storyline but I feel like more could have been done with it, especially considering who or what Manu is.  I was appreciative of the same-sex couple (although they were in secret for a long time).  I was glad to see that bit of representation, but honestly there could have been so much more.  I completely get it though, this is a first novel and there is still many other stories and characters to both tell and develop throughout.  Hopefully the representation will continue and it won't be a cut and dry male/female sort of adventure.Lastly, something that I really appreciate was how Garber chose to talk about both history in Argentina and the current ICE raids happening in the United States.  Using media such as fiction and fantasy books is a fantastic way to bring both history and current events to readers.  It casts these subjects in lights that aren't boring and one-sided, but gives you a character to follow, connect with, and think about.  Books like this, for me, are much more successful when it comes to spreading a message or teaching a lesson either based in history or current day.  Garber makes some blatant statements in her afterward, but is also very eloquent in the book when it comes to talking about these things.  I liked that she incorporated some intense statements near the end of the book and seems to want people to think about those tough things.  There were plenty of times where I was either screenshotting a really good quote or writing down something that I wanted to remember from this book.  There really are some good pieces to keep with you all throughout this book.  Overall, this was a fun and colorful book packed with some interesting characters, dynamic plot lines, and tons of right history and folklore related to Argentina.  It also works really hard to use a lot of Spanish and colloquialisms throughout, which really took the cake for me.  It just helped to round this story out even further and made it feel so real.  It was obvious the time and love that the author put into this book.  I feel like this book, when it is published (May 5, 2020) is set to be quite a hit.  I can't wait to see what others think about it!
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  • The Kawaii Slartibartfast
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.This is a wonderful story about finding yourself. Manu is our MC. She is an undocumented immigrants who just wants to have a normal life but in addition to the isolation posted by the terrors of ICE she has horrifically bad menstrual cramps that can only be eased by knocking her out with a mysterious medicine and she has strange, otherworldly eyes.Manu's mother is arrested by ICE and Manu goes on the I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.This is a wonderful story about finding yourself. Manu is our MC. She is an undocumented immigrants who just wants to have a normal life but in addition to the isolation posted by the terrors of ICE she has horrifically bad menstrual cramps that can only be eased by knocking her out with a mysterious medicine and she has strange, otherworldly eyes.Manu's mother is arrested by ICE and Manu goes on the run with very few clues as to who she actually is.What follows is a journey of self-discovery and Manu finding a place to belong only to discover if they find out what Manu actually is, she'll be killed.This sounds like I'm spoiling it a lot,doesn't it? In absolutely not. There is so much going on in this delightful powerful book.
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  • Sammy
    January 1, 1970
    Reading Manu's story brings up issues of immigration through a fantastical lens, as well as a realistic one. The separation between the real world and the fictional is a thin line that is crossed about 1/4-1/3 of the way through and highlights similar issues between these two worlds. Between the review version (300 pages) and what seems to be the final version (400 pages) there is a lot of details that could have been added, moments that changed, or even new scenes that I didn't get in the revie Reading Manu's story brings up issues of immigration through a fantastical lens, as well as a realistic one. The separation between the real world and the fictional is a thin line that is crossed about 1/4-1/3 of the way through and highlights similar issues between these two worlds. Between the review version (300 pages) and what seems to be the final version (400 pages) there is a lot of details that could have been added, moments that changed, or even new scenes that I didn't get in the review, but I hope are there. I feel like the beginning, which takes place in Miami, is more fleshed out than the fantastical world. It's not clear whether it's due to lack of explanation, or that it's a completely different world these characters are living in, but I felt a bit lost.I assume, and I hope, that the fantastical world is fleshed out a bit more in the final copy. If so, then I think the book is going to connect and resonate a lot more with readers than it would right now.Overall, I really liked the story. I'm a fan of Romina's work in general and I'm excited to see this new story come to light soon!
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  • Ashley
    January 1, 1970
    So. NBD...THIS LOVELY BOOK ARRIVED ON MY DOORSTEP TODAY! I WON an ARC in the GR GIVEAWAYYYYYY!I never win anything! WOO HOOOOOOOO! This one is going down in the history books!(Along with my abhorrent overabundance of exclamations just now. I sound like tigger. HOO-HOO-HOO-HOO! TTFN! TA-TA FOR NOW! 😉)
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  • Wilmarie (lesbe.reader on IG)
    January 1, 1970
    Lobizona by Romani Garber has me feeling all kinds of things. I honestly don't know how I feel. Part of me really liked it, especially after I hit the 48% mark but then the ending happened and I'm confused. Please don't come here to explain to me, I got it, I just don't know. I'm so conflicted. I think the best way to review this book is with a list of what I like and what I did not like.Things I dislike:Even though the ending took a big chunk of pages it all felt rushed. Also, what the hell hap Lobizona by Romani Garber has me feeling all kinds of things. I honestly don't know how I feel. Part of me really liked it, especially after I hit the 48% mark but then the ending happened and I'm confused. Please don't come here to explain to me, I got it, I just don't know. I'm so conflicted. I think the best way to review this book is with a list of what I like and what I did not like.Things I dislike:Even though the ending took a big chunk of pages it all felt rushed. Also, what the hell happened? So much happened and so fast that I feel we didn't get enough time to process it. The synopsis and title spoils it. Also, people reviewing it PLEASE stop spoiling it.A big part of this is predictable probably because of the tropes used. If you've read books like Harry Potter you can already predict a lot of it.The reasoning behind Cata and the guy whose name I already forgot's relationship.The romance.I feel like the author tried to add too many social commentaries and didn't give it enough time to develop. I feel like the characters were one dimensional.The plot twist seemed to happen out of nowhere. I see you, Fierro. Things I like:How similar it was to Harry Potter and how the author doesn't hide it but embraces it by quoting, referring to it, and mentioning Manu's love for the books.The immigrant representationThe schoolHow immersive the story was.The Latinx representationManu's eyes and I mean it in a literal sense.The coverTaking my likes and dislikes into consideration I think I would give it 3.5 stars.Rating: 3.5
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  • Autumn Byrd
    January 1, 1970
    ARC was provided by NetGalley & Wednesday Books in exchanged for an honest review.This review is being published before the release date (August 4th, 2020) Content/Trigger Warnings: Anxiety, talk of claustrophobia, xenophobia, sexism, discussion of menstruation, bullying, drug trafficking, drugging, talk of postpartum depression, trauma, misogyny, scene of attempted sexual assault, forced marriage, minor homophobia “I come alive on the full moon.” Dearest readers, I’m so thankful th ARC was provided by NetGalley & Wednesday Books in exchanged for an honest review.This review is being published before the release date (August 4th, 2020) Content/Trigger Warnings: Anxiety, talk of claustrophobia, xenophobia, sexism, discussion of menstruation, bullying, drug trafficking, drugging, talk of postpartum depression, trauma, misogyny, scene of attempted sexual assault, forced marriage, minor homophobia “I come alive on the full moon.” Dearest readers, I’m so thankful that I received an arc of this book. Not to mention that I was able to buddy read this book with so many of my fellow friends and partners at the Social Distance Book Fest. This book was captivating, unique, and I literally took a couple of weeks just to put my thoughts in order, to write this review and tell you all about it.Our story follows Manuela Azul, an undocumented immigrant, who had her whole life turned upside down. Secrets are now coming to light, with her grandmother in the hospital and her mother taken into custody, Manu has no other choice other than to run. Only fate will lead her to a place that allows her to be herself, trace her heritage, and uncover her own story.I loved Manu as a main character. She’s very strong, independent, and even though it’s not shown enough (in my opinion), she’s very family oriented. She also has this free spirit about her that I absolutely adored. The way Garber shows Manu’s vulnerability with being so uncertain, not wanted people to get in too deep with her situation, and the scene where she tries to push everyone away… I couldn’t stop appreciating that side of her and those vulnerabilities really resonated with me. I’m very much a person who wants to protect the ones she loves and cares about. So seeing Manu’s internal conflict about what she should do and how she do it, it really hit my soft spots. “Because you can’t be invisible when your irises are yellow suns and your pupils are silver stars.” The side characters were fantastic. I loved the way there were so many different personalities and how they all meshed so well with one another. What I really loved about these characters was how a small handful of them had Manu’s back despite everything. I loved how Cata and Saysa were willing to help Manu stay in the bruja part of the school, but what I loved the most is how Cata and Saysa both represented the angel on one shoulder with the devil on the other. Not to mention, we’re made aware of it later on in the story, but they’re both in a secret relationship with one another. And I think the thought of their different personalities coming together in a relationship really made me love them even more. Then we have Tiago and this poor boy couldn’t catch a break. Manu kept cutting him off left and right. It about killed me having to watch this boy get crushed so many time especially after a special scene that shows us the feelings growing between Tiago and Manu. Plus, his personality mixes so well with the way Manu’s personality is throughout this story. It was great chemistry and I truly felt that they were a perfect match for one another.I also loved the way the magic was shown throughout this book. For my reading experience, the magic and the world felt very ancient, something alive and breathing. That feeling became even more solid after Manu is told Lunaris is the home of all magic and how Lunaris ends up having a real conversation with Manu. Ten years were added to my life by all of this. And I truly believe it was a clever idea to give Lunaris the ability to have a persona and the ability to communicate. And can I talk about this world building for a second?! I loved the world building in this book. I’m very picky about fantasy and world building. If a book can’t rope me in within the first five chapters, I will probably struggle with reading the book. However, for my experience, Romina Garber really gave me a vivid experience. It felt like I was walking right beside Manu as she moved from different areas in the book. I adore and crave books that can give me the vivid experience. And I think the author did a marvelous job delivering that expectation for me. “You seek to discover your true home, yet you no longer have one… You have two.” This book also addresses many important issues, as well. There’s a huge discussion of immigration and about ICE which overlaps a lot with what’s happening in today’s time. I don’t want to speak too much on that because that’s not my story to tell. However, if this is an own voices read for you and you have a review for this book, talking about your own experiences, please send me a link so I can help boost your voice and story. This book also addresses the topic of gender and gender identity. This is another important topic that sparks many arguments and conversations today. Even though there has been so much progress, there’s many places where gender restrictions is still a thing or an issue. In the the same area, we have the relationship with Cata and Saysa where they have to hide their love and relationship because it’s illegal for them to be open about it. Once again, even though the lgbtqiap+ community has made great strides and helped the world progress so much, there are many places in the world where it’s illegal to be open about same sex relationships. So I really appreciated Romina Garber adding these topics in because they’re still important issues that exist today and it’s not talked about enough. “Fierro valued every life, wanted the best for everyone no matter if they were lobizones, brujas, or humans.” I also want to mention that any reader should practice self-care while reading this book. There are a lot of content warnings, but I want to point out that there is a scene of attempted rape and as a rape survivor myself, that scene left me very uneasy and how it went unchallenged. I would have liked to see it challenged more or see some form of punishment happen. While I realize this is to show how society handles sexual assault and rape situations, I feel like it could have been challenged more. As I mentioned, just practice self-care and step back when you need to while reading this book.I think the biggest issue I had with this book and the reason why I couldn’t give this a full five stars was the translated Spanish. And what I mean by that is Romina Garber’s personality is very un-apologetically Latinx, but when you read this book, it’s anything but. Now, I’ve seen many authors who are un-apologetically whatever heritage they are in books. Julie Kagawa is one of the of the best examples I can think of because she uses a lot of Japanese words and saying in her books, but she doesn’t explain it every time she uses them in her Shadow of the Fox series. She has a glossary in the back of her book for readers to constantly reference. Then you also have the matter of Google which is there for a reason. Now, I could understand if the author was explaining the sentences to add to the world building, however, I thought the world building was beautifully done. So the fact that every time there’s a Spanish sentence spoken and then immediately translated right after it’s said was very surprising for me. I truly would have loved to have seen the author run wild with the Spanish, without translating it, and leaving a glossary or dictionary piece in the back of her book. I would have loved to have seen the editing process for this book because I truly believe the translations didn’t need to be added. In my opinion, the world building speaks for itself and I would rather have the author be un-apologetic about their heritage and culture then see them feel obligated to translate it.Overall, I really enjoyed my time reading this Lobizona. I loved how there was such emphasis on family and how important it is, I fell madly in love with the world building and characters, and I think many readers are going to be putting this on their top books for 2020. I’m truly hoping more readers will pick this book up, preorder it, and get as excited as I am about this book. However, now that I’ve finished reading the first book, I need the second one immediately. Can I have it already?!The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.|Blog|Instagram|Twitter|YouTube|
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  • Julie
    January 1, 1970
    What a fantastic, unique book. It surprised me on so many levels. It was beautiful and impactful and had such an incredible cast. I really had to think about the binary world we live in. More tk.
  • Crystal
    January 1, 1970
    Amazing story of a young girl finding out who she is on many different levels. A heart warming story about love, friends, family, and self discovery. I could not put this book down for long. I hope this story continues on in another book.
  • lives_in_books
    January 1, 1970
    12.3.19I won a Goodreads giveaway for this book, and am sooo excited to read it! That cover is gorgeous. I have finally won a giveaway for a book that is one of my most anticipated for the year! Can't wait to recieve my copy.1.2.19 Wow! This book was amazing!!
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  • Andrea
    January 1, 1970
    now this is that book.> now this is that book.>
  • Chloe
    January 1, 1970
    *Spoiler free*I'm not quite sure what drew me to this book. I think it was kind of a what the heck, I'll try it. I actually thought it was an adult book for a bit, because the cover kind of feels like an adult one. But, it is firmly YA! I basically only knew that the main character would discover magic along the way and would learn about a new world. And that was enough for me to give it a try.This book was seriously amazing. I started off only really liking it and not loving it, but as the book *Spoiler free*I'm not quite sure what drew me to this book. I think it was kind of a what the heck, I'll try it. I actually thought it was an adult book for a bit, because the cover kind of feels like an adult one. But, it is firmly YA! I basically only knew that the main character would discover magic along the way and would learn about a new world. And that was enough for me to give it a try.This book was seriously amazing. I started off only really liking it and not loving it, but as the book went on, I ended up loving everything about it and that's rare for me. My feelings don't usually change so drastically. As the book goes on, Manu discovers more about herself and more about the world she is discovering. I loved discovering things with her. I loved watching her change and I loved watching the world around her change. It's such a clear progression and it allowed everything to blossom in such a great way.Also, werewolf books are usually hit or miss for me. I dunno, I guess it's hard to impress me with werewolves haha. But I seriously loved this one. In this world, there's brujas (witches, the girls) and lobizons (werewolves, the boys). It's very gendered. But Manu is female and she's a lobizona, a female werewolf. It's amazing. The way it was set up was incredible.The friendships were one of the best things. Manu has been secluded most of her life, but she finally gets to make friends. I loved the pack dynamics and I loved how she found the people she wants to protect and the people who want to protect her. It's rocky at first, but they get to grow together. I loved watching their friendship grow and I loved watching them grow closer together.There's also an academy for the witches and werewolves to study! I adore academy stories and it was so cool to see them train. I feel like it gives a really good look at the world dynamics and how things are structured.The world was so, so intricate. I'm having a hard time phrasing some things since I don't want to leave anything out, but I also don't want to be confusing. There's so many moving parts. There's so many relationships and secrets and there's a certain hierarchy that the brujas and lobizons/lobizonas have to fit into. Still, I wasn't confused at all and I didn't feel like there was a lot of info dump. Manu is learning at the same time I was, so any long stretches of information felt fascinating rather than hindering. Plus, everything is so gorgeous. It's absolutely bursting with nature and it's laced with magic. Sometimes things felt so big that I had a hard time figuring them out in my head and I love huge fantasy worlds. But I didn't think it was a bad thing! There is just so much. There's a huge tree, so many plants, so many creatures, and so many huge buildings that are so fascinating. It was so cool.There is also the harsh realities immigrants face, misogyny, and strict rules about where and how you can exist. I felt like it all came together in a way that felt right. It's hard to explain, but all these things that Manu is struggling with merge together in a way. They're their own struggles, but the work together to a bigger message. And Manu wants to help fight all of them. She wants to help make the world better. She wants to fight to make sure her loved ones don't get hurt or don't have to go through life hurting.There's also a witch/werewolf version of soccer, shadow puppies (shadow wolves, but still), giant monstrous creatures, lots of cool plants, a different dimension, periods, super sweet guys, and lots of magic! It's seriously packed full of so many amazing things that I'm having a hard time describing them all. And they all work together and it's incredible.This book was amazing. I wasn't expecting to love it as much as I do, but I'm glad I read it. I can't wait for the next book. I loved Manu, Tiago, Cata, Saysa, and the rest of the pack. I loved the magic and the academy. I just loved so much.
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  • Gabi
    January 1, 1970
    Lobizona is 100% my favorite read of 2020! This book addresses serious topics such as the struggles of undocumented immigrants, homophobia, and misogyny, while also delivering a fascinating magical world full of brujas and lobizones. I adore this book and I need the sequel immediately!
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