I love when books name-drop other books. Not only is it a great way to introduce readers to classics, but it instantly forges connections between the works, and it is like the authors are having a conversation with each other. By mentioning another work, you instantly draw similar themes to mind, and in that way one author responds to another’s ideas.
This book did an amazing job with this. Romina Garber used Lobizona as a platform for introducing young readers to Latin classics, and I will be looking forward to more book recommendations in the next installment of the series, Cazadora, which is set to be released in August.
“Falling hopelessly into the world of a story was always my favorite feeling.”
Manu’s character is very well-read. Her homeschooling allowed her plenty of time and enough freedom to read through both a traditional course list of white-washed classics, as well as Perla’s essential Latinx recommendations (with room to spare for Harry Potter!). For a teen, that is pretty diverse.
As I was reading, I thought it would be so fun to join a book club with Manu! So I put together a list of all of Manuela’s favorites. Keep reading to find out what Manu is reading — but be careful, because they are all still banned in Lunaris!
One Hundred Years of Solitude
“I’ve been trying to read Gabriel García Márquez’s masterpiece as slowly as possible so I can relish the writing, but it’s so good that I’m already two-thirds of the way through.”
First of all, this specific quote is relatable AF. I can’t even count how many times I have had this experience while reading! And I love that I can connect with Manu’s character over our love of books.
Second, I love that this book is referenced so many times. The hidden town of Macondo is a great parallel for the secret world of Lunaris. For years the town is solitary and unconnected to the outside world, similar to Manu’s sheltered upbringing. Inevitably, Macondo becomes exposed to the outside world, again like Manu. Eventually, Manu and Lunaris’ secrets are revealed, and I won’t spoil the endings, but I can see some foreshadowing happening here!
Jorge Luis Borges is one of the most important figures in Argentinian literature and Spanish narrative in general. He was famous for mixing the real and the fantastic, and has been considered by some critics to mark the beginning of the magic realist movement in 20th century Latin American literature. Borges is also one of the most analyzed authors in the history of literature, so I think it was super appropriate of Perla to include this in her coursework, though it wasn’t mentioned exactly which of his stories she had read.
Don Quixote, Miguel de Cervantes
Don Quixote is considered by literary historians to be one of the most important books of all time, and is often cited as the first modern novel. The character of Quixote became an archetype, which is where we get the word ‘quixotic’, meaning the impractical pursuit of idealistic goals. Which perfectly describes Manu. She is quixotic, absolutely.
Harry Potter, J. K. Rowling
“Name one Latino character, and I’ll read it.”
Her Ma directly calls out Harry Potter’s lack of diversity, making a really good point about one of Manu’s favorites. And despite knowing her mom is correct, she still loves it. It shaped her childhood, as it has for many young adults of today’s generation. Despite the politics, which is a whole different discussion that is far too political for me to have publically. But Manu uses Harry’s story to cope, and to save herself in a dangerous situation. The fact is that Harry Potter gave Manu a safe space and helped her through a tough time. In more ways than one.
“Your eyes are your lightning mark–be proud of them.”
Other notable books and authors from Manu’s bookshelf include:
Romeo and Juliet
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
The Handmaid’s Tale
I can’t wait to see more of Manu’s bookshelf in Cazadora, the next installment in the Wolves Of No World series, set to release in the summer of 2021.
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