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This Latinx Heritage Month, celebrate by getting a taste of the best Latinx stories. Latinx Heritage Month, which runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, recognizes the contributions and achievements of Latin-Americans, as well as their influence on the history and culture of the United States.
During this time, you can support Latinx-owned fashion and beauty companies, or other Latinx-owned brands, if books aren’t your thing. But if you do love to read, this year, take time to honor the numerous Latinx authors putting out great stories by sitting down with a cup of hot tea and cracking the spine open on a book. I’ve got an array of YA, fantasy, romance, and more for you to pick from, so no matter what your reading tastes are, there’s something for everyone on this list.
Own Voices novels (aka novels where the protagonist and author share the same identity or multiple identities) are a great addition to anyone’s literary repertoire. From spotlighting more LGBTQ+ authors to proper disability representation in media, the publishing industry has a long way to go — and Latinx people are similarly underrepresented in media. If you have any extra space on your 2022 TBR for more diverse picks, let this list be a guide for the books by Latinx authors you need to read.
- The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School by Sonora Reyes
A witty and raw bestseller, The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School tells a coming-of-age story similar to that of its own author. Follow Yamilet, Bo, and Cesar while they navigate high school and love at the same time. (Not to mention being some of the only queer and students of color at their white, straight private school.)
- You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria
You Had Me at Hola is for the Colleen Hoover and Jane the Virgin fanatics. Set in the juicy, dramatic world of telenovelas, this book follows leading lady Jasmine Lin Rodriguez after a messy public breakup. She needs to repair her reputation. Thankfully, sexy and sweet Ashton is there to stand in as her fake boyfriend. Jasmine’s only job is to not fall in love… which shouldn’t be hard at all, right?
You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria, Amazon, $12
- Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
Yadriel is a boy. Too bad his family doesn’t see things that way. A trans boy determined to prove his gender to his traditional Latinx family turns to the undead to solve his problems. But now the ghost he’s summoned just won’t leave him be. Part dramedy, part love story, Cemetery Boys will tug at your heart strings.
Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas, Amazon, $15
- Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
It’s always the right time to read a period drama. Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. There she finds her cousin, barely holding onto her sanity. Noemí must figure out who’s pushed her cousin to the brink and rescue her family before it’s too late. Of course, along the way she finds a trusty sidekick and a handsome man who seems to have all the right answers for her.
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Amazon, $13
- Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
El Paso, Texas. 1987. Two Mexican-American teenagers, Aristotle “Ari” Mendoza and Dante Quintana both form an unlikely friendship where they explore their sexuality, ethnicity, and the reason we’re all here on Earth. Existential and beautiful, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is a must-read.
- Juliet Takes A Breath by Gabby Rivera
Juliet Milagros Palante is a Puerto Rican lesbian from the Bronx. She just came out to her family and now she’s hightailing it to Portland, Oregon to try and figure herself out. In between worrying about if her mother will ever speak to her again and toying with her gender identity, Juliet interns with the author of her favorite book who she considers the ultimate authority on feminism and queer rights.
Juliet Takes A Breath by Gabby Rivera, Amazon, $18
- The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
Acevedo’s bar-setting debut novel follows Xiomara Batista who feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Told in poetic prose, The Poet X lets readers follow Xiomara on her journey to becoming a slam poet that commands the stage with her fierceness and fists. She just has to make sure her family knows nothing about that last part.
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo, Amazon, $11
- Lobizona by Romina Garber
Manuela Azul lost her mother after ICE raided their home. On the run from her father back in Argentina, Manuela has nowhere and no one to turn to. Without a home and without answers, Manuela investigates the only clue she has about her past ― a mysterious “Z” emblem. Thus begins Manuela’s magical journey to a realm straight out of Argentinian folklore.
Lobizona by Romina Garber, Amazon, $19
- Her Body and Other Parties: Stories by Carmen Maria Machado
A collection of short stories that centers the emotions of queer women, Her Body and Other Parties envokes joy, rage, and devastation, all within its short 250 pages. Described as horror, sci-fi, and erotica, this novel occupies a unique place in the literary landscape. It’s a strange, experimental, feminist collection that should be on everyone’s TBR.
- We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia
Daniela is a liar. And her life depends on maintaining her lie — that she was raised in a rich family, not a poor one. At the Medio School for Girls, distinguished women are trained to either run their husband’s household or raise his children. As for the other girls in the world, they’re left to fight for survival on the streets amidst war. What happens when Daniela decides this isn’t the world she wants to live in? You’ll have to read to find out.
We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia, Amazon, $16