Author: Romina Garber
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Release Date: August 4, 2020
Rating: (5 / 5)
I just finished reading this incredible YA fantasy about brujas and lobizones (i.e. witches and werewolves), and it is something else. The last 10% of the book had me wrapped up thinking, NO FRIGGIN WAY!
This is book one in this new series and it is amazing.
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.[Synopsis from Goodreads.]
Review of Lobizona[Disclosure: I received a copy of this title in exchange for a review. This post contains affiliate links.]
Wow. The last 10% of this book was just…WOW.
The first 90% is Manu’s search for her identity, home, and place in this world. There’s the world she’s running from and a world she’s running towards.
While her mother sits in a detention facility awaiting deportation, Manu is in a whole new world with people like her. But in this world, girls are brujas (witches) and boys are lobizones (werewolves). So when Manu arrives in this world, she tries to fake being a bruja, because that must be who she is, right? There’s no way she could have entered into this world unless she had magic.
But it ends up she’s not a bruja. She’s a lobizona. Not just any lobizana, she’s the result of a forbidden love between the notorious lobizon, Fierro, and a human mother. This relationship is illegal and cause for her and her parents to be executed if they were to ever be caught. But Manu doesn’t know who her father is. She’s been locked inside an apartment in Miami the first 16 years of her life with her mother and an old woman who took them in, because her golden eyes with star pupils betray her as not being human. Her mother came to Miami in search of her father after he fled the tribunal and their agents. She came with Manu, a daughter he never knew he had.
But she knows her father is on the run. What she never knew was that fate would lead her to him by following her true nature.
For teens wanting to learn about social justice and being the change our world needs, this is your book. Reading the author’s note at the end made me see how much Romina Garber is Manu in coming from Argentina to America, escaping governments that steal children and kill people for falling out of line. It’s about finding identity in two different homes. She explores what it feels like to be an illegal, and fitting into a society that doesn’t quite accept you, because you are different. Garber twisted all of those issues within her into an incredible story of witches and werewolves in Lobizona.
Just amazing. I am looking forward to reading book #2.
You can pick up your own copy of Lobizona on August 4, 2020 from any of Perfectionist Wannabe’s preferred retailers.