ARC provided by Sourcebooks in exchange for an honest review.
1.) Labyrinth Lost ★★★★
🔮 My favorite review for Bruja Born: Lilly’s!
“This is a love story. At least, it was, before my sister sent me to hell.”
Friends, Bruja Born was such a treat. It’s the ownvoices, Latinx, magical story you’ve been looking for. And I liked it even more than Labyrinth Lost, which I loved! When I first requested an ARC of this, I was completely surprised when I found out it wouldn’t be following Alex, the main character of Labyrinth Lost, but her sister, Lula, who I quickly and easily fell in love with, too.
“Magic transforms you. Magic changes you. Magic saves you. I want to still believe in all those things.”
But Lula’s story also quickly and easily breaks my heart. I want to write so much here to give you guys a synopsis, but I’m going to be very vague. The book’s actual synopsis feels really spoilery, in my opinion. I went into the book without reading the synopsis, and I truly think I had a better reading experience because of it. But Lula finds herself in a very heartbreaking situation, and when this tragedy strikes, the goddess of death herself is there to pick up the pieces. Lula finds herself unable to give someone up and uses her magic to desperately try to keep them close to her, but she quickly discovers that not all things are meant to stay.
Trigger and content warnings (please do not read if you want to go into this book completely unaware of the events) for car crash, blood, gore, loss of a loved one, grief, trauma, a lot of talk of death, talk of dead bodies, and scenes with physically harming oneself.
One of the best elements of Bruja Born is the strong emphasis on familial bonds, and how unconditional love will always be the most powerful kind of magic any of us will ever possess. Lula, Alex, and Rose are such sister goals, but their entire family and their willingness to sacrifice is something so beautiful that I don’t even have words for it.
“You really think I’m going to betray my sister for you? Boy, bye.”
And Lula’s personal journey, to loving herself, outside and inside, is so powerful that I wish I could put this book in the hands of every teenage girl in the world. Being able to sacrifice for the ones you love, but to ultimately put yourself and your life first is a combination I hardly ever read in books, but it is so very needed. This truly is the most beautiful love story of all time: the love story of loving yourself, unapologetically.
“My mother told me beauty was a gift. If they’re right, then what am I now? All I know is I left fragments of myself in Los Lagos and I don’t know how to get them back.”
And this book also heavily deals with the effects of grief. Everyone in this family is grieving from what they’ve lost or what they’ve found. PTSD, trauma, and grief are all touched upon in this book, and everyone is coping and dealing with it differently. Lula is the star of this book, and everything she is dealing with breaks my heart, but seeing her deal with it is so important and so inspiring.
Overall, I loved this and I think the world will love it, too. And I feel like I could never get enough stories about these Brooklyn Brujas! I’m guessing the next installment will be about Rose, and I’ll be honest with you all: she’s my favorite sister. So, I’m extra hyped. Also, Nova totally won me over in this book as well. So, hopefully we get both of them and more paranormal beings, because this book had vampires, shifters, zombies, and more! Please, Zoraida, give me all the fae! I loved Bruja Born and I hope you all fall in love with it too, this June 5th!
The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.