Categories
Recommendations

Ten Reasons Why You Should Read Lobizona by Romina Garber

Hello there, friends! 🌙

Today is quite the exciting day, as it marks the release of one of my favorite books of 2020, Lobizona! 🐺

I read this beauty back in May, and I’ve been aching to reread it ever since, because it’s just such a stunning story and I adore everything about it. This is another one of those novels that I have so much love for that I still haven’t been able to string coherent thoughts and write a proper review. It’s just too hard, y’all. How do I do this beautiful book justice? It’s IMPOSSIBLE.

But I still wanted to celebrate its book birthday, so I came up with the next best thing; truly, what I consider, the perfect excuse to gush and yodel about Romina Garber’s latest. So in this blog post, I will be listing ten reasons why you should read Lobizona. Rawr. 😎

(I did something similar a few months back with Lyla Lee’s I’ll Be the One, and I just think it’s a really fun way to express my love for upcoming releases without tripping over my own words, and I think that’s glorious and a win for us all. Check out that post here!)

I will definitely reviewing this one in the not-so-distant future, as I have plans to reread it during Latinx Heritage Month, so I’m manifesting it into existence! I know it’ll be a VERY long rambling session. But in the meantime, let’s talk about why you should read book 1 in the Wolves of No World series! (What a badass trilogy name, amirite?)

Before I begin, let’s take a quick look at what this stunner is about:

Lobizona

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.

Add it on Goodreads!

*cracks knucles* Let the gushing begin!


1. Based on Argentinian folklore and culture!

You can really tell how much love Garber put into this magic system, and how she weaved so many elements of Argentinian cultural tradition into it, like magical mate, the carne barbecues, the fútbol, and so many more! And how it also discusses several aspects of the real-life Argentinian government, which is done brilliantly!

2. Raw and honest conversations about immigration!

Touching on the experience of being an undocumented immigrant is never an easy feat, but it is a topic that is handled masterfully in Lobizona, with a lot of nuance and care. The way it’s talked about does an amazing job of representing the current reality in the United States. Your heart hurts for Manu when she describes her fear of being deported from the country, the fear that she feels whenever she goes outside, her fear of her and her mother being detained by ICE, and also how alienated she’s grown up, not being able to go to school or make any friends because of having no papers. It’s a painful conversation but an important one. It provides the space to make readers understand that immigrants are not defined by their status. They are NOT illegal, and should not be described as such. They are humans and deserve rights just like everyone else, point blank period.

3. Latinx werewolves!

Midnight Sun who? We don’t know her!

It’s been a while since a YA book about werewolves became popular, but I truly believe that Lobizona will cause a Werewolf Renaissance, because not only does it star werewolves, it stars LATINX WEREWOLVES, which has never been seen in the YA age genre. Romina Garber is truly a game-changer, and she does an incredible job of narrating the transformations and heightened senses of the lobizones. I honestly couldn’t be gladder this was my first YA werewolf book.

4. Unique take on 2010s tropes!

Werewolves are definitely creatures that saturated the YA market during the late 2000s and early 2010s. The most popular books of 10 to 15 years ago all have a certain formula, and definitely transmit a sense of nostalgia. And Lobizona, in all its diverse glory, takes these tropes and makes them original again. Seriously, the romance, the story, the writing, and more all have a certain old-timey feel that is reminiscent of old YA paranormal fantasy, but it’s all fresh, original, and brand new. If you loved supernatural and paranormal fiction growing up, this one is for you!

5. Deconstruction of the gender binary!

When I tell y’all it feels like a breath of fresh air to come across a fantasy that completely dismantles the gender binary and the transphobic and queerphobic ideologies in Latinx culture, I truly mean it. In Lobizona, there are lobizones and brujas, werewolves and witches, but this traditional system doesn’t allow space for gender non-conforming and nonbinary folks. Being anything that isn’t cisgender is seen as unnatural, and the book confronts this issue head-on, with explorations of queer identity and the importance of acceptance. The magic system is a wonderful way to reflect how society insists on confining people to these boxes that shouldn’t even exist in the first place, and I just think that’s pretty neat.

6. Magical boarding school!

Are you looking for a magical school to fill your Hogwarts void because J.K. Rowling is an anti-semitic, transphobic, sexist, racist, and homophobic piece of shit? Look no further, friends! I present to you El Laberinto, a magical boarding school where the witches and werewolves go to study and master their craft. Seriously, this school is literally a TREE, and getting to see how everyone masters their powers is so cool. The setting is so vivid and makes you feel like you’re right there, sitting or wandering through one of the humongous branches of the school. Spare fanart, pls? 🥺👐

7. Captivating plot!

Lobizona is such a page-turner, folks. It’s got plot twists at basically the end of every chapter and from the moment you begin reading, you’re just HOOKED. You think you know what’s happening and what’s about to come, but PSYCH, you absolutely do not. The way that Garber manages to unravel so many plot lines and weave in so many other new mysteries is spell-binding and will literally leave your heart pounding. This is one of those novels perfect to read in the dark and long into the night. The world of Lobizona and all its layers will enchant you, trust me.

8. Bilingual language!

It is always so nice to see Latinx bilingual characters like me, and it’s even more special to see more dialects being spoken on the pages of YA fiction! This is the first time I’ve ever read an Argentine accent in a YA book, and it was divine. It’s so important for bilingualism to be represented too, especially in YA characters who live in the diaspora and not in their homeland. The Spanish here genuinely felt like a nice, warm blanket, and I can’t wait for Argentinian readers to experience this too. Also, there’s just something about Spanish curse words that hits different, you know?

9. Bookworm main character!

Bookworms are pretty common, but a 16-year old teen who grew up reading Latinx classics? I have never seen that before, but can we keep it coming? It’s so great to see a YA main character discuss how literature has impacted them and I don’t think I’ve ever read another book that perfectly captures the feelings of love that I have for words. How it feels like coming home. How magical it is to get lost in another world. I would’ve never thought I’d see a girl my age talking about Gabriel García Márquez and his work, and fuck, it just feels so good. Manu is the only bookworm with rights, I said what I said!

10. Side F/F romance!

Sexualities are not spoilers and they should never be considered that in the first place. So because the community loves the gays, most importantly the sapphics, I think it’s my responsibility to let the public know that there is a SIDE FEMALE/FEMALE ROMANCE! I REPEAT, LATINX SAPPHICS! Can I get an AYYYYEEE?

I won’t reveal who the romance is between though, because I want everyone to cry over the reveal just as I did. A lot of people will think to know what’s happening with the main romance, but oh honey, no you don’t. I can’t wait to see more of my favorite gays in Book 2!


If all those reasons weren’t already enough convincing, then I would highly encourage you to check out Cande’s ownvoices review of Lobizona over on their blog, Latinx Magic! It’s such a good review that displays some of the books’s best quotes and discusses the amazing Argentinian representation! Please give it a read and make sure to follow their blog as well and help them get to 300 followers!


Lobizona by Romina Garber is OUT NOW, and you can purchase your own copy via Amazon, Bookshop, and Indiebound!  If you’re able to, it’d be great if you could support a Black-owned bookstore! Here’s a great resource for stores in the US and the UK!


If you enjoyed this blog post, consider voting for me in the 2020 Book Blogger Awards in the category of Best Teen Book Blogger here! But no pressure, though! Support book bloggers today, tomorrow, and always! 💫

Voting closes Sunday, August 16th, at 11:59PM CDT.


And that concludes this blog post!

Are you trembling in your boots from excitement? You should be!

Lobizona is honestly just A Gift, and I’m blessed and lucky to exist at the same time it does. To be a part of its fandom. And when this book gets big, I will proudly put mi mano en el pecho and say that I’ve been here since the beginning. Because y’all, this book deserves the world. It deserves to earn all the accolades and awards, it deserves to hit the NYT bestseller list, and sell out in every bookstore! It’s THAT good, and I’m so happy that the world will finally get to experience its greatness TODAY! 🌕

Are you excited? Have you ordered your copy? Have you read it already? Tell me everything!

I hope you all enjoyed, and I’ll see you on the next one!

 

Love,

Carol

By Carolina V.

My favorite thing to do in life is eat. And I guess, occasionally I read a book or two.

24 replies on “Ten Reasons Why You Should Read Lobizona by Romina Garber”

You just put into words how I felt reading this book/ARC! The Spanish lines were a breath of fresh air for me because I haven’t read another Latine/x book that use complete sentences or conversations in Spanish (they only use words and that makes me a little uncomfortable if I’m being honest).

I have to differ with you in one point, Manu is not the only one valid bookworm… What about Tiago? When he gave Manu the birthday gift… 😍

I need to stop, I need more people to read this book so I can talk more about it and see fanart!

Love your post! 😊

Liked by 1 person

Omg yes, how could I forget about Tiago? He’s such a king 🤩
And I agree with you, sometimes random words in Spanish can turn the text a bit awkward if not used accordingly 😓
WE NEED ALL THE LOBIZONA FANART! I have a mighty need 😩
Thank you so much for reading ❤

Like

Hahaha is normal to forget a charcter, I had to go back to reviews to remember his name 😂 Yes, he is king! ❤
Yeah, and I feel is, sometimes, forced to make it “more Latine/x”.
YES PLEASE LOBIZONA FANART!! If only I could draw 😂
You are more than welcome, thank you for replying 😊❤

Liked by 1 person

I’m in the same predicament! I have very limited shelf space but as soon as I can afford it, I’ll be getting my own finished copy too 🥺
I really hope the fandom keeps growing! It’s truly what Lobizona deserves 🤧

Liked by 1 person

This cover is honestly EVERYTHING! One of the best of the year, imo 🤩
Oh, I feel so happy you’ve been convinced! More people need to read this beauty! Can’t wait for you to get to it 🥰

Like

This was such a wonderful post!! I was already excited for this one but you’ve made me want to read it as soon as my preorder comes fjdjss I can’t wait to experience all of it!! Also I can’t believe I didn’t know this had a magical boarding school?? Romina Garber truly giving us the content we deserve!!

Liked by 1 person

Thank you so much Alicia! 🥺💗
Definitely, Latinx authors’ interpretations on supernatural, paranormal, and natural creatures are really different and unique to what publishing is used to and I hope that they get the chance to continue telling these amazing stories 💞

Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s