On September 15, Latinx Heritage Month begins. It's the perfect opportunity to celebrate the contributions Latinx people in the United States have made in history, art, politics, music, food, and of course, literature. With that in mind, Bustle asked young adult author Lilliam Rivera to recommend the book club selection for September.
Rivera is the author of two young adult novels, The Education of Margot Sanchez and Dealing in Dreams, which was released earlier this year. Her latest book is a futurist, sci-fi tale set in the dystopian Mega City, where Nalah — better known as Chief Rocka — leads an all-girl crew who patrol the streets and maintain order. Chief Rocka doesn't have a family — these girls are her family, and this is her home. But when she's asked to lead her crew on a mission to infiltrate the Ashé Ryders, a group who threaten the government's status quo, her entire worldview is upended and she begins to reconsider what she actually wants out of life. It's an original, fast-paced tale about family, love, and identity, and you should certainly read it after you finish this month's book club selection.
So, what is the book club selection? In September, Rivera wants you to read The Truth Is by NoNieqa Ramos. Here's why:
"The true test of a good story is when you meet a character that you know will stick with you for a long time. NoNieqa Ramos’ The Truth Is has created such a character through her brave heroine, 15-year-old Puerto Rican Verdad de la Reyna. Dealing with the recent loss of her friend from gun violence, Verdad believes she will never love again until she meets Danny, a trans boy. Verdad tackles weighty issues — her own prejudices, questions of sexuality and identity — with unflinching honesty. This is Ramos’ second young adult novel (her first was The Disturbed Girl’s Dictionary, released in 2018) and it’s exciting to see her continue to go deeper in portraying the complex lives of young people who grieve but also reclaim hope against so many obstacles."
A gorgeous novel about privilege and prejudice, love and loss, and grief and gratitude, The Truth Is will certainly provide you and your book club with the foundation for compassionate, thoughtful discussions. This is a book that speaks to the complexities and challenges of being a young person in the world today.
Follow along for the rest of the month on Bustle Book Club.