Hey all, Dani here.
I think I’m starting to physically adjust to my old-but-feels-new-again job duties at work. My muscles aren’t as sore at the end of the shift, which is a good thing. But honestly it will still take a little bit of time for me to fully get into the swing of things again. I’m having to re-learn jobs and areas because it’s been months since I last did them and things have changed.
But, at least I’m still able to figure out how to fit reading time in my life still. There are still so many books that have been released already that I want to read, as well as so very many books that are not out yet but I’m super excited for. I guess that leads into today’s review post which is for an upcoming release. That’s right. This book will be out in just one week on August 4, 2020. However I’m going to share my thoughts with you on the book now.
So, I just want to say thank you to Wednesday Books for letting me be part of the blog tour for this fantastic release. I received a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Opportunities such as this are wonderful, but they do not affect my rating or review. My opinions remain my own.
All right. Let’s jump into the review.
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Publication Date: August 4, 2020
ISBN: 1250239125 (ISBN13: 9781250239129)
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.
Rating: 4.5 stars
I’ll be completely honest. I knocked this book’s rating down a half-star just because it took about 20% before the real magic and action started to happen. It was still an interesting opening. We get a peek into Manu’s illegal life, pretty much isolated, always feeling like she’s in hiding, terrified of being discovered and locked up. In many ways this does feel like a quite timely novel. I live in the US, and between the coronavirus and racial inequality and immigration status and riots and protests, this story sadly rings fairly true to me.
But Lobizona adds that little bit of magic to the story as well. The way that the Argentinian culture and lore was woven into the story was fantastic. I felt myself swept away by the descriptions and the shape-changing and the magic. It’s honestly a bit of a disservice that this book references Harry Potter several times, and even some of the sales pitches and blurbs for Lobizona compare it to HP, but frankly this stands on its own. It doesn’t need compared to that story at all.
Oh, and I guess I should also point out that this is a YA novel that actually talks about teen girls menstruating. It’s a thing, and I think it’s important to talk about it more because it is a normal part of life for so many people. While I’m mentioning that this book talks about periods, I should also mention that it also deals with immigration and deportation and illegal immigrants. So, if you need/want trigger warnings, there you go.
After I reached the 20% mark, I started to read this book faster and faster. By 50% I was hooked, and all I wanted to do was to get off work so I could go home and read more. I enjoyed the characters, I enjoyed the magic, I enjoyed the magical worldbuilding and the mythos used in this story. Basically I was enraptured by Lobizona.
I can’t wait to have a finished copy on my bookshelves, and I have definitely already added the sequel to my TBR.
Where to Get a Copy
You can pre-order your own copy of this book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or from your local indie bookstore through IndieBound. This book will be out next Tuesday, August 4th, 2020.