Trying a new format for my reviews, tell me if you like it.
Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova
Synopsis: Alex comes from a family of brujas(witches) and as she grows she only sees the horror that comes at the price of having magic. When her powers rises, it is to her dismay that she is actually the most powerful witch in a generation. Before the power is blessed by her ancestors Alex performs a spell to get rid of her power that backfires and her family disappears. Along with the help of a brujo she had just met, they travel to Los Lagos (the origin of magic) to find her family and set things right once again.
In the YA book community there is something we lack, and that is books with POC as main characters becoming popular. This book was published 6 months ago and normally I keep up with new upcoming novels, and I just heard of this one last month. It surprised me and excited me because WOW, a book with a latina MC this is almost completely unheard of. I loved how she integrated various cultural aspects from latin america.
“Right now, I’m just a girl, and there is also magic in that.”
I must acknowledge that even if Alex did make me want to scream a few times(most main characters from YA novels do so it’s an expected reaction from me). She was the typical girl who thought she was the unhappiest girl in the world until everything she took for granted was taken away, multiple times she said how horrible her life was when at her side Nova had lived a much more terrible life yet she still felt the need to overpower his sufferings as if they were nothing. I simply wanted to slap Alex…a lot. But in the end I have to admit, I genuinely laughed out loud a few times with the book, because the characters would react in sarcastic ways to bad times just like I do. It felt completely relatable from my point of view. And one more amazing thing, Alex is blatantly bisexual. Rishi’s and Alex’s romance seems a bit undeveloped that would have bothered me much more if romance was the main driving force of the book. Alex and Nova had many cute moments but I REALLY WANT RISHI AND ALEX TOGETHER. Hopefully in the next book she will actually show chemistry between them if she is going to add more romance into the book. Alex has both a male and female love interest that in the end of this one, her decision on who she wants to stay with isn’t part of the plot. Which leads to my next topic.
Romance actually took the back seat, and if you know anything about me I LOVE THAT. When a book is driven by romance I get bored very easily, for there isn’t many paths a writer can take when they focus on the romance. But here, Alex had to learn to appreciate her family’s history and know that her family is messed up but not as horrible as she had it idealized in her head. She learns to appreciate her culture and she realizes that normal white suburban life she had been idealizing wasn’t meant for her and there was nothing wrong with her own strange life.
The world was utterly enchanting, a reinvented world with pieces of Latin folklore built upon each other. Weaving them together to create an utterly enchanting and frightening world where magic and humanity actually only seep into each others worlds at time. They live side by side, reminding me of an Wonderland type of world yet completely different. This is not a “Latin Alice in Wonderland” type of book many would say to describe this book, but this is a unique tale where cultures that have been lacking representation are brought to light in this ingenious way.
“Why’s it always the heart or the eye of something?” Rishi asks. “You notice that? There are so many body parts that don’t get enough love, like earlobes and belly buttons.”
Final Opinion: I loved it, and I simply can’t wait to see where the next book will take it. It left us in a cliffhanger(not an edge of your seat one, but one that still pokes your interest in the next book) that I simply cannot wait for.
Diverse book like these are desperately needed, and #ownvoices books like this one are necessary. So when you can support these authors and buy their books, for just as any author they need support but they are greatly lacking it. Take a moment and read a diverse #ownvoices book next month(since March is already ending).