10 Latinx Authors You Should Be Reading

With the recent surge of cultural pride, it's now more important than ever to partake in supporting and appreciating the beauty in each other's cultural identity. As usual, you should have already read the magical books of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the authenticity in the works of Sandra Cisneros, and the poetry of Pablo Neruda, but it won't hurt to broaden your horizons and try something new with the works of these amazing Latinx authors.

In no particular order, here are 10 Latinx authors you should be reading:

1. Lilliam Rivera - Education of Margot Sanchez

Lilliam Rivera's debut novel revolves around the common issue of being a teenager—trying to fit in. According to Rivera's website, main character Margot Sanchez is punished for “borrowing” her father's credit card to finance a more stylish wardrobe by having to work off the debt in her family’s struggling grocery store. With each order of deli meat she slices, Margot can feel her prep school reputation slipping through her fingers, and she’s willing to do anything to get out of this punishment.

It's a sort of Pretty in Pink comes to the South Bronx in this bold and romantic coming-of-age novel about dysfunctional families, good and bad choices, and finding the courage to question everything you ever thought you wanted.

2. Erika L. Sanchez - I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

According to the School Library JournalI Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter is centered on a tragic accident that takes place on the busiest street in Chicago, which leaves Julia's perfect Mexican sister, Olga, dead, and Julia left behind to reassemble the shattered pieces of her family. But no one seems to acknowledge that Julia is broken, too. Instead, her mother seems to channel her grief into pointing out every possible way Julia has failed. But it’s not long before Julia discovers that Olga might not have been as perfect as once thought. With the help of her best friend Lorena and her boyfriend Connor, Julia is determined to find out.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian meets Jane the Virgin in this poignant but often laugh-out-loud funny contemporary novel about losing a sister and finding yourself amid the pressures, expectations, and stereotypes of growing up in a Mexican-American home. 

3. Gabby Rivera - Juliet Takes A Breath

Juliet Takes A Breath focuses on protagonist Juliet Milagros Palante, who is leaving the Bronx and headed to Portland, Oregon. She just came out to her family and isn’t sure if her mom will ever speak to her again. But Juliet has a plan—sort of—one that’s going to help her figure out this whole “Puerto Rican lesbian” thing. She’s interning with the author of her favorite book: Harlowe Brisbane, the ultimate authority on feminism, women’s bodies, and other gay-sounding stuff (goodreads).

4. Mariana Enriquez - Things We Lost In The Fire

In these stories, Mariana Enriquez paints a portrait of three young friends who distract themselves with drugs and pain in the midst of a government-enforced blackout; a girl with nothing to lose steps into an abandoned house and never comes back out; and to protest a viral form of domestic violence, a group of women set themselves on fire. 
 
But alongside the black magic and disturbing disappearances, these stories are fueled by compassion for the frightened and the lost, ultimately bringing these characters—mothers and daughters, husbands and wives—into a surprisingly familiar reality. Things We Lost in the Fire is a powerful exploration of what happens when our darkest desires are left to roam unchecked, and signals the arrival of an astonishing and necessary voice in contemporary fiction.

I mean, it even made it on "17 Best Books to Read This Spring" on Oprah's website, so you know it's worth a read.

5. ​Zoraida Córdova - Labyrinth Lost

According to Teen ReadsLabyrinth Lost is about a girl named Alejandra (a.k.a. Alex). She is one of the most powerful brujas (witches) of her generation, but she absolutely hates magic. One day (her Death Day, specifically) she casts a spell to get rid of her magic. Something goes horribly wrong and she magically gets rid of her entire family. She then meets an incredibly mysterious brujo boy named Nova, and with the addition of Alex’s best friend, Rishi, they embark on an amazing quest to find her family. To do this, they have to travel through one of the most dangerous places imaginable: Los Lagos, a world in-between where it seems as though anything could happen.

Through their journey they learn of love, friendships and many other important life lessons.

6. Benjamin Alire Sáenz - Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

According to Simon and SchusterAristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe revolves around Aristotle, an angry teen with a brother in prison, and Dante, a know-it-all with an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship, and it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.

7. Janelle Milanes - The Victoria In My Head

Fifteen-year-old Victoria Cruz is quite the all-star student: she boasts a high GPA, and runs cross-country and track—but it's not so much because this is what she wants to be doing, it's because Harvard wants well-rounded students, and this Ivy League school is the only option, at least according to her Cuban parents. But deep down, all Victoria wants is a life fueled with her one true love: music. Victoria never dared to chase after this dream, that is until her best friend pushes her to audition for a band led by a 17-year-old named Strand, and her boringly predictable life takes a dramatic turn.

8. Fred Aceves - The Closest I've Come

First-time author Fred Aceves gives us The Closest I've Come, a story about a boy named Marcos Rivas, who yearns for love, a working cell phone, and maybe a pair of sneakers that aren’t falling apart. But more than anything, Marcos wants to get out of Maesta, his hood, away from his indifferent mom and her abusive boyfriend—which seems impossible.

When Marcos is placed in a new after-school program, he meets Zach and Amy, whose friendship inspires Marcos to open up to his Maesta crew, too, and starts to think more about his future and what he has to fight for. Marcos ultimately learns that bravery isn’t about acting tough and being macho; it’s about being true to yourself.

9. Elizabeth Acevedo - With the Fire On High​

Author of The Poet X, Elizabeth Acevedo is back at it with a beautiful book published under Harper Collins. Ever since she got pregnant her freshman year, Emoni Santiago’s life has been about making the tough decisions, and doing what has to be done for her daughter and her abuela. The one place she can let all that go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness.

Though she dreams of working as a chef after she graduates, Emoni knows that it’s not worth the time to pursue the impossible. Yet, despite the rules she thinks she has to play by, once Emoni starts cooking, her only choice is to let her talent break free.

10. Juleah del Rosario - 500 Words or Less

Juleah del Rosario's latest novel will definitely take you back to the pains of writing essays for your college applications.

In 500 Words or Less, Nic Chen refuses to spend her senior year branded as the girl who cheated on her charismatic and lovable boyfriend. To redefine her reputation among her Ivy League-obsessed classmates, Nic begins writing their college admissions essays. But the more essays Nic writes for other people, the less sure she becomes of herself, the kind of person she is, and whether her moral compass even points north anymore.