Mexican Gothic, Full Review

I was engulfed by the pages of this book. Completely captivated by the imagery, the characters, the eeriness of the setting. The vividness of the passages was so intense, that when I was disturbed during my read I felt as though reality were a mere illusion. It created a haze, like a wonderfully, haunting daydream…and it lingered.

Over the years I’ve longed for a book like this. A book that made me want to devour every word. Where each sentence was worth losing sleep over…was worth losing track of time for.

The characters and setting felt real. I could see them, feel them, smell them. I got lost in this world which only existed for them, and I, merely a spectator was granted the opportunity to be invited inside.

It was dark. It was dark and yet, somehow as I read I begged for some way to illuminate it. For the glow to be a way out. For hope.

It’s hard to explain that last sentence without spoiling the book, but I truly believe this novel is worth reading.


The Characters

Naomi was an excellent leading lady. She was smart, witty and extremely fashionable. She never bowed her head, always staying true to herself. Thinking through each of her actions as she tried to figure out how to both help and protect her cousin Catalina, and later Francis.

I also adored the strong bond between Catalina and Naomi. Being able to see Catalina through Naomi’ eyes, and how living with her husbands family had changed her was heartbreaking. To be able to see this beautiful, kind soul, withering away like that…I truly felt Naomi’s pain as she interacted with her cousin.

Francis surprised me. He appears weaker and more timid than Virgil, almost like if one were to compare say the classic trope of the jock and the nerd. I immediately liked Francis, mainly because of his name and the fact that he spends much of his time reading or drawing. His quietness was a comfort, which is strange because the silence in this house is so eerie. It was his small gestures that really made him stand out. Subtle actions, like lending Naomi his sweater, or driving her to town. Little things that truly showed the depth of his character.


I purchased a copy of The Gods of Jade and Shadow before I reached the conclusion of this book, and was again immediately drawn in by the passages. I may have found a new favourite author, which is a wonderful feeling. I love that these books are also #ownvoices and written by a fellow Canadian author. Initially I was drawn in by the title of Mexican Gothic, as I do enjoy gothic literature and thought it might be nice to read a modern take on the genre. I’m so glad I did because if I would I would give this book a 10 star rating. It was perfect. I wouldn’t change a thing.

To keep with the usual 5 star rating though, it gets a full 5 star from me. Well done.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Upcoming Reviews

2021 is here and I am pumped about all the books on my TBR! I have high hopes. I was accepted for 2 arc reviews that I’m looking forward to reading. Along with that I’ve decided on the books and series that I’ll be starting the year off with!

Manga:

Marmalade Boy:

I’ve already read and reviewed the first volume in this series. I’m currently on volume 6 now…and yes I’ve only been reading it for a few days.

Do I sleep? Ha…not since I started reading this.

That aside, I plan on doing a full series review once I get through each and every volume of this series. I can’t wait!

I might also review the anime after I finish the series!

Ultra Maniac

I’m familiar with this series but haven’t read it, so I thought “Hey, I’m on an 90s early 00s manga binge right now. Why not go for it!”

It sounds really cute. I can’t wait to review it!

Fever

I know very little about this series. I judged it by it’s cover. I know…bad…but it’s a book, we do that sometimes.

I also read the synopsis and it sounded kind of interesting. I’m taking a risk giving this manwha a chance.

The cover art for the series is gorgeous.

Lovely Lesson

Lovely Lesson is another series that I’m not very familiar with but I thought it might be interesting to read.

This one I judged by the synopsis and the cover.

Who knows maybe it’ll be a fun read?

Perfect World (Vol 1 – 3)

This is a series I picked up on a whim. I was given the first three volumes from Book Santa. Yes, there is such thing. Book Santa is the Santa that gives you books. It’s the same as regular Santa but…you get BOOKS! Isn’t that awesome!?

Anyway the series looks really good and I’m looking forward to reading it!

Blood on the Tracks (Vol.1 and 2)

The first book of this series had me shooketh to the core. Like whoa…

Anyway no spoilers! This is the only horror on my list for as you can see the others are all shojo, romance types. This however was dubbed by one YouTuber as “the series that breaks people” and so I totally had to read it.

I actually stumbled upon it by accident. See, first I saw it at the store and was like “I wonder what that’s about” and then I went home and finished watching a YouTube video that was talking about the history of Horror and how the Horror genre’s book covers have lost their identity. Immediately after that video finished another began to auto-play, featuring Blood on the Tracks.

The following day I bought volume 1.

Then volume 2 was given to me by Book Santa!

I can’t wait to review these.

Comics

Jughead’s Time Police:

If you weren’t aware, I’m a big fan of the Archie comics. I’ve been reading them for as long as I can remember. My mom had a bunch and so did my great-uncle. In university I started adding my own books to the collection, especially after my great-uncle passed away.

My only comment about this franchise is that I wish they would watch out for spelling errors. I’ve purchased several in recent years that had at least 3 mistakes each. I’m not usually this picky about print errors and things but 3 or more mistakes becomes distracting to the reader. I also feel that with such a large company, this really shouldn’t be happening as frequently as it does. If I find any in this comic, I will comment about it in the review and it will probably taint the overall rating, because as I mentioned this wouldn’t be the first time.

That aside, the Jughead comics in these past few years have been really fun! I loved the Sabrina cross overs as well. Jughead’s Time Police covers all the variations of Jughead throughout the comic (and Riverdale’s) history. Basically I’m hoping this comic has the character poking fun at himself. It’ll be fun to see a bunch of Jugheads going head to head…get it? Head to head. Yah…it’s not that funny but I tried!

Novels

As mentioned I’ve been accepted for 2 ARC reviews! One of those is a novel. I’ll be sharing what book it is at a later date but I’m fairly excited to read it as I’d heard rumours about it circulating Bookstagram and got to see the cover reveal a little while back!

As for other novels, I’m still undecided. I’ve got some ideas in mind but because of the lock down I don’t currently have access to those books.

I may however, reread and review an old favourite of mine or even a few of the novels I was forced to read in university and high school…to see if my poor opinion of them changed.


I just want to finish off this post by saying a fly just flew into my cup and I am very sad. Just…why? It didn’t have to drown. It didn’t. But it did. In my drink. I am. So. Upset.

R.I.P Fly McGuy, Jan 4th, 2021

My Favourite Bookish Posts

Seeing as how Christmas is around the corner, I thought a little Narnia humour was in order.

Seriously though, do not eat the turkish delight.

Now onto our next post which comes from Pillow Thoughts II. I found this one on pinterest and thought it was very beautiful.

Have you ever finished reading a gorgeous passage in a book and just sat there in awe? I always take the time to admire them before moving on to the next line. Passages like those deserve to be appreciated for the art that they are.

Have you ever read something without a fandom? I have…it can be a very lonely place. However, I use that as an opportunity to introduce people to new books!

The other day one of my co-workers suggested a book to me that sounds both hilarious and heart-wrenching all at the same time! I’ve added it to my list of books to read ASAP!

I take my co-workers book suggestions very seriously. We spend a lot of time looking at books and judging how beautiful the spines are…I also now have an obsession with the hardcover details thanks to another co-worker of mine. Some of them are absolutely beautiful!

Anyway, here’s another favourite of mine:

I think we all have at least once. When I read the Outsider’s I fell hard for Ponyboy Curtis. Before that when I read Camp Confidential I was in love with Jordan. Before that…and this one takes me way back I loved Prince Val’ in the Princess School series. This doesn’t even include all the cartoon and anime boys.

What’s the best book you’ve read lately?

Which authors inspire you?

I love, love, love to read. If I wasn’t writing right now I’d be reading. Technically writing lets you read and write at the same time…but anyway, authors that inspire me.

I’ll have to start with Charles Dickens. I’ve read a lot of his work. My favourites are Great Expectation’s, Oliver Twist and A Tale of Two Cities. I like how descriptive his writing is…although I won’t lie there are times I’ve skimmed through it to get back to the main story. Still, I admire it because he really does paint a picture for the reader. I’ve attempted to put that level of detail into my writing in the past but stopped out of fear that I might bore my readers. I actually prefer to write dialogue.

Io Sakisaka is also someone I admire. I still can’t grasp how she can so expertly express relationships through her work. I don’t think I’ve read a manga that had me blushing and crying within a few panels of each other. Since romance is her genre of focus, it’s very interesting how she goes about playing with concepts and ideas surrounding love, friendship and family.

When I first read, S.E. Hinton, I think that was when I told myself I wanted my work to be published one day. I wanted people to love my character’s as much as I loved hers. I also considered using a pen name at the time versus my own. I liked how she managed to weave her stories together and I’m glad that she had Ponyboy show up in one of her other novels.

If I’m being honest, I feel like every author I’ve ever read has inspired me in some way. Whether it’s through their use of descriptions, their pacing, their character’s. Whatever it was that drew me to their work, has also inspired my own writing over the years.

I love the different ways we writers weave our words. How those words lift off the page, creating images, mustering emotions and forming even the faintest of smells. How a single sentence can capture so much…it’s always fascinated me. I think that’s what I love about books. You can open one up and be transported.

I Bought Some New Books!

I picked up a couple books today that I am looking forward to reading in the very near feature.

The first was Mexican Gothic, which I also found out was by a Canadian while I was buying it today. Hello Silvia! It is a pleasure! I look forward to reading your book.

Haha…Who knows she may read this post someday. You never know?

I really am excited to read this. I read the synopsis while browsing for books online and I instantly wanted to read it.

The other’s I got were one that I ordered forever ago Chocolat, which was a series I was really into when I was 14. I only managed to get book 1 but I’ll keep my eye out for the others. I know the series was discontinued…which sucks because we got left with this big cliff hanger. I like to imagine my own endings when that sort of thing happens with a series.

Lastly I got Black Canary Ignite, which is about DC’s Black Canary (one of my faves btw) when she’s 13 years old. Bonus Meg Cabot is the author. That’s right, the author of Princess Diaries! What a stellar combo!

I’m stoked to read all three of these and if I like the Black Canary one I will definitely be passing it onto my niece. I personally prefer to read books before I give them to her. Mainly just to gauge the maturity level.

Middle Grade fiction (9-12 books) are a little tricky. I’d say YA (teen) is diffificult in the same way. I know from experience that although a book says it is meant for readers 9-12, it may be more for a 12 year old audience. 12 year old’s and 9 year old’s may seem close in age (and sometimes height…at least in my case), but the reality is that some books I got when I was 9 I absolutely hated because they were “boring.” When in reality I just wasn’t mature enough for the content. When I turned 11/12 I adored those same books I once hated.

As I mentioned YA is very similar. Books I enjoyed at 17, I might have hated at 13. Simply because I couldn’t relate to the character’s or found it “boring.”

This is why for example after reading Best Babysitters Ever, I decided to not give it to my niece until she’s about 10. I think she’ll enjoy the book but it is a bit longer than what she’s currently reading and I don’t want her to feel intimidated by all this vocabulary that she hasn’t grown accustom to yet. I think when she’s in 5th or 6th grade she will also relate to these character’s a lot more than as a 4th grader.

Another thing to note is it depends on the individual kid. Understanding their sense of humour, their level of maturity, what genres they like etc…so if you are choosing a book for a 9-12 or 13-18 year old, keep that in mind.

I’m used to recommending books as I work and spend most of my free time in bookstores…along with being an author and studying books…so uh…yah. I wouldn’t say I’m an expert or anything but I’ve come to learn what to think about when you are buying a book for someone else. It hasn’t failed me yet! So hopefully that gives me some credibility.

That aside, I’m really excited about all the books I’m reading going into September! I can’t wait. Sure my list keeps growing, but there are just so many wonderful things to be read!