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Culture > Entertainment

Hispanic & Latinx book recommendations to wrap up Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at American chapter.

Though Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month ends on October 15th, continue to learn about Hispanic and Latinx stories year-round by checking out these book recommendations. Here are eight books written by Hispanic and Latinx authors spanning various genres to fit your personal preferences!

  1. Big Chicas Don’t Cry” by Annette Chavez Macias (Contemporary romance and fiction)

“Big Chicas Don’t Cry” provides a deeply personal view of four Mexican-American cousins over a very eventful year, with all its ups and downs. Author Annette Chavez Macias has each chapter switch perspectives from the four cousins, so we get a first-person look at each of their characters. 

The book tells the story of the four women in a fictional suburb of Los Angeles, who grew up as best friends and promised never to grow apart. Fifteen years later, one of the cousins distanced herself from the other three and they resented her for it, but no one knows the whole story. It takes a tragedy to bring the women together again and make them realize that the only thing certain in life is family.

  1. You Sound Like a White Girl: The Case for Rejecting Assimilation” by Julissa Arce (Memoir and social commentary)

Julissa Arce is a Mexican-American immigrant who moved to Texas from Mexico at a young age. Her book “You Sound Like a White Girl: The Case for Rejecting Assimilation” intertwines her personal experiences of feeling as if she was losing her culture as well as a social commentary on the topic of assimilation. Arce dismantles the belief that when moving to the U.S. immigrants need to abandon their language and culture, and highlights the injustices that Latinx immigrants face in the U.S. on a daily basis. The book is a beautiful story of learning to accept and love uniqueness and the culture from which you came. 

  1. Five Midnights” by Ann Dávila Cardinal (Suspense and horror)

“Five Midnights” is a suspenseful thriller based on the Cuco myth — a Spanish myth similar to that of the boogeyman — set in modern-day Puerto Rico. The two teenage protagonists, Lupe and Javier, work together to solve a series of murders wreaking havoc across Puerto Rico. Lupe is the chief of police’s niece, and she believes that there is more happening in this case than the police are willing to admit. Javier is a former member of the gang Los Congregitos, whose members are the targets of the murders, and he wants to solve the meaning behind these murders before his best friend becomes the next target. Throughout their investigation, it becomes evident that there may not be a murderer at all, rather a monster that is responsible for the deaths.

  1. Ander & Santi Were Here” by Jonny Garza Villa (Young adult queer romance)

In this heartbreaking yet beautiful queer love story by Jonny Garza Villa, Ander, a nonbinary Mexican-American teen, falls in love with Santi, an undocumented Mexican immigrant. “Ander & Santi Were Here” takes place in San Antonio, Texas, where the mixture of Latinx and American culture blends into everyday life. Although it is a romance novel, the book also dives into deeper themes of being nonbinary and queer in the Latinx community, as well as the life of undocumented immigrants.

  1. Woman of Light” by Kali Fajardo-Anstine (Historical fiction and epic fiction)

“Woman of Light” is an epic, adventurous story written about five generations of an Indigenous Chicano family, mainly set in 1930s Denver. The main character, Luz, begins to have visions of her Indigenous homeland and ancestors, and in the end, it is up to Luz to make sure that her family’s stories are not forgotten. Author Kali Fajardo-Anstine’s stories often feature strong Latina and Indigenous female protagonists, with this book being no exception.

  1. Mango, Mambo, and Murder” by Raquel V. Reyes (Cozy mystery)

“Mango, Mambo, and Murder,” the first book in Raquel V. Reyes’ A Caribbean Kitchen Mystery series, is the perfect fall cozy mystery book highlighting Caribbean cuisine and a likable Cuban-American protagonist. The book follows Miriam who gets a job on an on-air cooking segment of a Spanish-language morning TV show in Miami. Miriam has to learn to balance her job, solve marital problems with her husband and raise her son bilingual, all while also investigating a murder when her best friend becomes the police’s main suspect.

  1. Our Migrant Souls: A Meditation on Race and the Meanings and Myths of ‘Latino’” by Héctor Tobar (Nonfiction)

Héctor Tobar, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the Los Angeles Times for their coverage of the Los Angeles riots of 1992, explores the 21st century Latinx experience in his new nonfiction book “Our Migrant Souls: A Meditation on Race and the Meanings and Myths of ‘Latino.’” Tobar draws upon his own stories growing up to Guatemalan immigrant parents in the U.S., as well as stories from his decades-long work reporting on immigration and Latin American culture to paint a greater picture of the migrant community in America.

  1. Relit: 16 Latinx Remixes of Classic Stories” by several authors, edited by Sandra Proudman (Young adult short stories and fantasy)

“Relit: 16 Latinx Remixes of Classic Stories” is a collection of short stories written by 16 Latinx writers of various backgrounds. These are not just any stories though; they are classic stories rewritten with fantasy twists and Latinx main characters. For example, one of the stories is a twist on “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen, except it takes place in space. Another story reimagines “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald in Costa Rica instead of New York City. The rewriting of classical literature centered around Latinx characters provides the community with representation that they do not often have, and the format of short stories and addition of fantasy elements makes this book a quick, easy read that is sure to satisfy almost any reader.

Sophia Rocha

American '25

Sophia is a Brazilian-American junior at American University majoring in international studies and minoring in Spanish and marketing. Her interests include social media, journalism, and the Latinx community. Outside of school and work, she likes to read in her free time.