Hey fellow ramblers! I’m very excited for today’s post, as I’m going to be reviewing one of the best books I’ve read this year. A big thank you to TBR and Beyond Tours as well as the author and publisher for providing me with an early copy of this book in exchange for an honest review! You can check out the rest of the tour stops by clicking on the banner below!
Author: Rachel Vasquez Gilliand
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Publishing Date: August 10, 2021
The Hating Game meets I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter in this irresistible romance starring a Mexican American teen who discovers love and profound truths about the universe when she spends her summer on a road trip across the country. When her twin sister reaches social media stardom, Moon Fuentez accepts her fate as the ugly, unwanted sister hidden in the background, destined to be nothing more than her sister’s camerawoman. But this summer, Moon also takes a job as the “merch girl” on a tour bus full of beautiful influencers and her fate begins to shift in the best way possible. Most notable is her bunkmate and new nemesis, Santiago Phillips, who is grumpy, combative, and also the hottest guy Moon has ever seen. Moon is certain she hates Santiago and that he hates her back. But as chance and destiny (and maybe, probably, close proximity) bring the two of them in each other’s perpetual paths, Moon starts to wonder if that’s really true. She even starts to question her destiny as the unnoticed, unloved wallflower she always thought she was. Could this summer change Moon’s life as she knows it?
Contrary to the name of the book, I don’t think this is the story of how Moon fell in love with the universe, but how how she started loving herself, and I think that that is so much more beautiful.
“It’s hard being human. It’s too easy to get pulled under by what makes us ache and bleed.”
Moon has always been the unlucky twin. Her sister is the one that got blessed with everything. The looks, the body, the personality, even their mother’s love. After her dad passed away a few years ago, with no one left to hold one to, she knew she had to get out of there. So when Moon gets into her dream college, nothing could make her happier, until she realises that she has no way to pay for the expenses. Asking her mother is simply out of the question. Then her sister is invited to tour with the biggest social media platform, Fotogram’s founder. And Moon is forced to go along. But she’s getting paid after all, so how bad could it be?
Everything about Moon’s journey was so relatable and inspiring. I was instantly able to connect with her on a level where I felt the exact same way she did. She hated someone? I hated them too. She wanted to hug someone? I wanted to too. I have never been so connected to a character before and her story was a completely new breath of fresh air.
There are a lot of different elements incorporated in this book but most importantly I loved how fat and sex positive it was. There are so many readers that go through low self-esteem and doubting their body image, and this book was a love letter to everyone who was in the same headspace as our main character. Moon has such an inspiring development throughout the book and I loved how she overcame her insecurities and finally started loving herself. She went through so much in her whole life and looking at her finally getting accepted by someone for who she is was a very emotional experience for me as a reader.
“But we can’t know everything. We can’t. Some people might say only God knows, or only the universe knows it all. Either way, we humans aren’t the ones who’ve figured everything out. The more I learn, the more I realize that I know so little, it could be a fraction of a speck, and if you put the knowledge of all humans together, it might be two or three specks in the infinite and twinkling and wondrous universe.“
The writing was absolutely magical. The prose just sucks you in and suddenly you can’t stop reading. The way the author describes the surroundings and Moon’s thoughts was beautiful and I loved it!
I also loved the romance, not only because it was enemies-to-lovers, but because the trope was done perfectly. The build-up and slowburn was done so well and it was really everything I could have ever asked for. Their banter was so funny and their chemistry was unparalleled. Another thing I loved is that their relationship wasn’t perfect. It was messy and complicated but the satisfaction and giddy feelings the reader gets when they finally get through it is the best feeling ever.
Overall, and I can’t say this enough, this is one of the best books I’ve read, probably in my whole life, no questions asked. I think I resonated with it a lot more because I went understand what Moon is feeling and where she’s coming from. Other than that, READ IT NOW OR FACE MY WRATH.
Raquel Vasquez Gilliland is a Mexican American poet, novelist and painter. She received her MFA in poetry from the University of Alaska, Anchorage in 2017. She’s most inspired by fog and seeds and the lineages of all things. When not writing, Raquel tells stories to her plants and they tell her stories back. She lives in Tennessee with her beloved family and mountains.
And that’s all for today’s post! What did you think? Have you read How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love With the Universe yet? Do you plan on reading it soon (if you don’t, I’ll be shoving it down your throat)? What’s the best book you’ve this till now in 2021? Let me know in the comments!