Blog Tour, Favorite Quotes, Hear Our Voices, Reviews

Blog Tour – Fat Chance, Charlie Vega by Crystal Maldonado (#OwnVoices Reflection & Favorite Quotes)

Welcome to stop for the blog tour Fat Chance, Charlie Vega hosted by Hear Our Voices Book Tours. I was excited to see they were doing another book tour for Puerto Rican’s author because I don’t see them often. I don’t usually read contemporary books but this interested me and I wanted to read what it was about and I am glad I did.

Fat Chance, Charlie Vega

By: Crystal Maldonado

Publisher: Penguin Random House

Release Date: February 2, 2021

Genre: YA Fiction

Synopsis:

Coming of age as a Fat brown girl in a white Connecticut suburb is hard. Harder when your whole life is on fire, though.

Charlie Vega is a lot of things. Smart. Funny. Artistic. Ambitious. Fat.

People sometime have a problem with that last one. Especially her mom, Charlie wants a good relationship with her body, but it’s hard, and her mom leaving a billion weight loss shakes on her dresser doesn’t help. The world and everyone in it have ideas about what she should look like: thinner, lighter, slimmer-faced, straighter-haired. Be smaller. Be whiter. Be quieter.

But there’s one person who’s always in Charlie’s corner: her best friend Amelia. Slim. Popular. Athletic. Totally dope. So when Charlie starts a tentative relationship with a cute classmate Brian, the first worthwhile guy to notice her, everything is perfect until she learns one thing — he asked Amelia out first. So is she his second choice or what? Does he even really see her? UGHHH. Everything is now official a MESS.

A sensitive, funny, and painful coming-of-age story with a wry voice and tons of chisme, Fat Chance, Charlie Vega tackles our relationships to our parents, our bodies, our cultures, and ourselves.

Find the book here: Goodreads |Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookshop.org

Crystal Maldonado is a young adult author with a lot of feelings. Her debut novel, FAT CHANCE, CHARLIE Vega (Holiday House), will be released on Feb. 2, 2021.

By day, she is a social media manager working in higher ed, and by night, a writer who loves Beyonce, shopping, the internet, and being extra. She lives in western Massachusetts with her husband, daughter, and dog.

Find her here: Twitter | Website | Instagram | Goodreads

Rating: 💜💜💜💜💜

Growing up as brown, glass wearing girl, I would have loved to have a book that the main character represented me in the story. I was not fat growing up but I did relate to how Charlie felt when her mom would nag her about her weight and make comments that were hurtful. My grandma (loved her) would always make comments about my weight and about how big my butt and hips were which she would always say that I needed to try harder to lose more weight. She didn’t just do it to me, she would do it to her daughters, cousins and she even did it to my 5 years son at the time. That is when I finally told her that she needed to keep her remarks to herself and that she needed to look in mirror when remarking on anyone being fat. It is the reason why my mom had ED growing up because her mom (grandma) would make those comments to her constantly and it is the reason why my mom didn’t do it to me and my sister growing up.

One of the other areas that I related to Charlie when it came to her self-esteem, even though I was not overweight I still struggle with how my appearance was and how kids would bully me because I was brown, had glasses, didn’t dress well and was a complete nerdy tomboy growing up. I was a really introvert person who would shy away from people because I didn’t want see them pass judgement about me without even getting to know me first. Middle Grade was the worse but when I went to Catholic high school where we all had to wear uniforms and I was finally attending a school where my cousin/best friend was going too, I started to feel a lot more confident about myself and started to realize that I didn’t need to be just like everyone. I started to realize that being different is ok and being unique was great and I kept that mindset as an adult.

I did have a great relationships with my cousins compare to Charlie, I always looking forward to getting together and having parties with them. It was the highlights of growing up for me and especially look forward to summers because we always had my family gatherings. Also, I miss my mom’s making Puerto Rican food and me eating it. It is something that regret that I never learn her recipes.

This book is great and I would definitely recommend it brown girls that are struggling with their weight, their self-esteem and struggling with their relationship with their parents to pick up this book because it will give the encouragement to not only be yourself but to accept yourself for being who you are met to be.

I really loved Charlie Vega and the rest of characters but I didn’t really care much for her mom because she reminded me to much of how my grandma would make comments about weight, it brought back some memories that I had forgotten about.

I am looking forward to seeing what other books that Crystal Maldonado brings to us.

“I’ve seen what’s it like to be a true outcast, and I just don’t want to give anyone ammunition to make that my reality, so I only let them know a perfectly controlled version of me and my life.”

“What I mean is a book specifically about a fat Puerto Rican girl with glasses. I’ve never once read a story about one, and something about that has always made me feel devastatingly alone.”

“I think about my body, about all of its imperfections, and I don’t necessarily see beauty. Yet. But I’m working on it.”

Favorite Quotes, Hear Our Voices

Blog Tour – Blazewrath Games by Amparo Ortiz (#OwnVoices Reflection & Favorite Quotes)

Welcome to stop for the blog tour for Blazewrath Games by Amparo Ortiz hosted by Hear Our Voices Book Tours.

Blazewrath Games

By Amparo Ortiz

Publisher: Page Street Kids

Release Date: October 6, 2020

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Experience the World Cup with dragons in this debut fantasy, set in an alternate contemporary world, in which riders and their steeds compete in an international sports tournament

Lana Torres has always preferred dragons to people. In a few weeks, sixteen countries will compete in the Blazewrath World Cup, a tournament where dragons and their riders fight for glory in a dangerous relay. Lana longs to represent her native Puerto Rico in their first ever World Cup appearance, and when Puerto Rico’s Runner—the only player without a dragon steed—is kicked off the team, she’s given the chance.

But when she discovers that a former Blazewrath superstar has teamed up with the Sire—a legendary dragon who’s cursed into human form—the safety of the Cup is jeopardized. The pair are burning down dragon sanctuaries around the world and refuse to stop unless the Cup gets cancelled. All Lana wanted was to represent her country. Now, to do that, she’ll have to navigate an international conspiracy that’s deadlier than her beloved sport.

Find the book here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookshop.org | Book Depository | Books-A-Million

Amparo Ortiz was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and currently lives on the island’s northeastern coast. Her short story comic, “What Remains in The Dark,” appears in the Eisner Award-winning anthology PUERTO RICO STRONG (Lion Forge, 2018), and SAVING CHUPIE, her middle grade graphic novel, comes out with HarperCollins in Winter 2022. She holds an M.A. in English and a B.A. in Psychology from the UPR’s Río Piedras campus. When she’s not teaching ESL to her college students, she’s teaching herself Korean, devouring as much young adult fiction as she can, and writing about Latinx characters in worlds both contemporary and fantastical. Her debut novel, BLAZEWRATH GAMES, hits shelves on October 6, 2020 from Page Street Kids.

Find her here: Website | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest

#OwnVoices Reflection

Rating: 💜💜💜💜💜

I have never done an ownvoice reflection before for a book tour so this a little different for me and somewhat difficult for me to come with what I wanted to type about. When I saw that Hear Our Voices has a blog tour for a young adult fantasy book written by a Puerto Rican author which included a story with Puerto Rico, I was excited and wanted to support the author and the book.

I am a 48 years old Puerto Rican women who loves to read YA books and I had always wished that when I was growing up there were books that were written by authors who were the same nationality and who had characters in their books that look like me. Unfortunately, I didn’t find those books growing up but it so refreshing to see more and more Latino and Latina getting the opportunities to be able to tell stories that are reflected of who they are and show the younger generation that they can find a book which will have character or story that they can relate too.

I was not born in Puerto Rico and I do know how it feels when you thought of not being Puerto Rican enough because you spent most of your life in the mainland so I was able to understand how Lana felt in the book for being push aside from it and dealing with racism because of my skin toned.

Not only do I wish that this book was written when I was growing up but I wish it was around when my son who is 21 years old was growing. I think he would have benefited with seeing a characters that were like him because he is biracial and had dealt with discrimination most of his young life.

If you are Latina/Latino and want to see yourself in a book, I would encourage you to pick up Blazewrath Games and the plus it has dragons (which are awesome)!

Favorite Quotes

“Dragon are better company than people. Not that I hate people. Some are okay. People can’t fly, though.”

“Puerto Rico made me who I am but Blazewrath is the reason I was born.”

“I need to get out of this place drenched in nightmares. Deep down, I know it’s useless. Tomorrow I won’t just belong to the monsters. I will become one of them.”

“I once told you to believe in the world that’s coming. That was a mistake. The world I wanted to live was filled with anger, but your heart and your courage gave me hope.”