January Mini Book Reviews

Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angelline Boulley

Angelline Boulley’s debut YA thriller focused on Daunis, a 19-year old non-enrolled Aniishinabe girl who loves hockey, is pre-med, and has a complicated relationship with her indigenous identity. I was quickly drawn into her world in the Michigan upper peninsula and hooked on the action. While there are many tough topics like missing and murdered indigenous women, I found that Boulley handled them with great sensitivity and care. I mostly listened to the audiobook which helped since Boulley uses a lot of indigenous words and I get stuck mentally on words I can’t pronounce. 

Dating You / Hating You by Christina Lauren

Christina Lauren romances are a constant in my TBR list. Evie and Carter work at rival talent agencies in LA when they meet at a mutual friends’ Halloween party. Evie’s company merges with Carter’s and soon they’re pitted against each other by a shady boss. I listened to the audiobook which had two actors for Evie and Carter.

The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren

I’m a sucker for an enemies to lovers romance and Christina Lauren puts a fun spin on the trope. Jess, a freelance statistician and single mom to a precocious 7-year old, reluctantly joins a dating app that matches people based on their genetic compatibility. She matches with River Peña, the standoffish guy she sees every morning in her neighborhood coffee shop. River is also the chief scientist behind the company. I listened to the audiobook and enjoyed the book. The premise is a little weird (um, why am I thinking of Gattaca and eugenics), but the authors address it without being pedantic.

Any Way the Wind Blows by Rainbow Rowell

I didn’t love the final book in Rainbow Rowell’s Simon Snow trilogy. It was too long and I got bored by the introspective Baz/Simon tortured love story. Simon and crew are back in England after their road trip in the US, but now they’re tackling adventures in duos. I missed the humor and action from the second book, Wayward Son. I also felt the ending was rushed, which didn’t make sense since this was nearly 600 pages. 

A Lot Like Adiós Alexis Daria

Alexis Daria takes us back to New York to the Primas of Power. Michelle, a freelance designer and marketing consultant, has unfinished business with her high school boyfriend, Gabe. They haven’t talked in 12 years but now he’s back in her life as she works on a consulting job for his business’s expansion to New York. Overall, it was okay, but not as enjoyable as the first in the series, You Had Me At Hola. I needed more tension and less of the fan fic Michelle and Gabe wrote as teens. 

Latinos in Lotusland: An Anthology of Contemporary Southern California Literature by Daniel A. Olivas (Ed.)

It’s been ages since I’ve read an anthology, but I’m glad I finally got to this one which has been on my to-read list for several years. I miss LA a ton and one of the ways I like to go back is through literature. I enjoyed many of the stories and liked the mix of genres. The stories that struck me most were by Daniel Chacón, Estella González, Manuel Muñoz, and Rigoberto González. I enjoyed how these writers explored the inner lives of their protagonists. I now have more writers and books to add to my ever-growing TBR list. 😬

If you want more, find me on StoryGraph or Goodreads. For past mini-reviews, check my Instagram highlights. I’m cindylunares on all those apps.


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