Latinx Heritage Month celebrates the experiences and cultures of Latinx people living in the United States. To mark the occasion, Bustle has put together a list of recently released, must-read books by Latinx authors. With offerings from a wide range of genres, this list has something for every type of reader.
No, seriously — something for
everyone. Fans of reimagined classics are sure to enjoy Anna-Marie McLemore’s The Mirror Season, Anna Meriano’s This Is How We Fly, Aiden Thomas’ Lost in the Never Wood, and Ibi Zoboi’s Pride (retellings of “The Snow Queen,” “Cinderella,” Peter Pan, and Pride and Prejudice, respectively). Horror and thriller aficionados would do well to check out Carmen Maria Machado’s comic book The Low, Low Woods, Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s noir Velvet Was the Night, and Diana Rodriguez Wallach’s page-turner Small Town Monsters. Rom-com readers, on the other hand, will find much to love in Alexis Daria’s A Lot Like Adiós and Crystal Maldonado’s Fat Chance, Charlie Vega. That’s not to mention all of the short story collections, speculative fiction, and more included below.
Below, 26 books by Latinx authors to read now — and the rest of the year.
We only include products that have been independently selected by Bustle's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article. 1 Clap When You Land
When she arrives at Santo Domingo Airport to pick up father, Camino discovers that his plane has crashed en route to the Dominican Republic. Over 1,500 miles away in New York City, her sister, Yahaira, is pulled out of class and told the same news. As Camino and Yahaira attempt to work through their grief, each one learns about the other’s existence — and about their father’s double life.
2 ¡Hola Papi!: How to Come Out in a Walmart Parking Lot and Other Life Lessons
In his essay collection
¡Hola Papi!, queer advice columnist JP Brammer shares his story of growing up gay and biracial in the Midwest. 3 Martita, I Remember You
When Corina, a young Chicana woman, travels from Chicago to Paris to pursue her literary dreams, her rose-tinted glasses quickly shatter. The city is expensive, and she has very little money to support herself. Still, she finds something to hold on to in Martita and Paola, her newfound friends. Thick as thieves for years, Corina, Martita, and Paola eventually drift apart, but the discovery of a long-lost letter is about to send Corina hurtling back to her past, in
Martita, I Remember You — a story told in English and Spanish in a single, dual-language volume. 4 Fruit of the Drunken Tree
From Bread Loaf alum Ingrid Rojas Contreras comes
Fruit of the Drunken Tree: the story of two girls growing up in Bogotá, Columbia in the ’90s — Petrona, a 13-year-old maid, and Chula, the 7-year-old daughter of Petrona’s employer — fighting to maintain some sense of normalcy amid the era’s political instability. 5 What’s Mine and Yours
In a racially segregated town in the North Carolina foothills, two families find themselves caught up in a decade-spanning saga of prejudice and politics when their young children — a Black boy and a half-Latina girl — are cast in the same school play.
6 The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina
Zoraida Córdova’s first novel for adults,
The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina, takes place seven years after a family gathered to mourn their magical matriarch. Now, a strange man has begun stalking the clan, and four cousins must join forces to uncover the truth. 7 Gordo
Set in Watsonville, California, Jaime Cortez’s
Gordo traces the lives and relationships of a group of migrant workers across several decades in a series of connected stories. 8 A Lot Like Adiós
At 31, Gabriel Aguilar’s achieved more than most other men his age. The owner of a successful L.A. gym, Gabe is now headed back home to New York City to open a new franchise. But he never planned to return to his childhood haunts in the Bronx — and he’s about to come face-to-face with an important person he left behind.
9 The President and the Frog
In this insightful novel from the author of
Cantoras, a Latin American president presiding over a poor, unnamed country — strongly hinted to be Uruguay — discusses his storied life with a journalist, but keeps one secret close to the vest: his prison-cell conversations with a talking frog. 10 L.A. Weather
In the midst of a record drought, a woman initiates a divorce from her weather-fixated husband, destabilizing the lives of their three adult daughters
11 The Twilight Zone
The Twilight Zone centers on an unnamed narrator who, as a child in 1980s Chile, was shocked to see a man confess to his complicity in the Pinochet regime’s crimes (“I Tortured People,” read the magazine cover). The experience haunts her well into her adulthood, when she decides to dig deeper — and soon falls down a rabbit hole. 12 Mona at Sea
Set against the backdrop of the 2008 housing crisis,
Mona at Sea finds its eponymous protagonist adrift after college, struggling to find firm footing in the slippery world of young millennial adulthood. 13 Of Women and Salt
Four generations of Latina women fight for peace and stability in Gabriela Garcia’s critically acclaimed debut. A first-generation American, Jeanette wants to know more about her heritage, but her mother’s lips are sealed. Determined to find answers, she leaves Miami for her grandmother’s house in Cuba.
14 The Low, Low Woods
People lose their memories so often in Shudder-to-Think, Pennsylvania that most folks in the town have just come to accept it — when they remember it to begin with, that is. But when two teenagers wake up in a local movie theater with no recollection of how they got there, they throw themselves into an investigation of Shudder-to-Think’s mystery disease, with surprising — and horrifying — results.
15 For Brown Girls with Sharp Edges and Tender Hearts: A Love Letter to Women of Color
Part philosophical treatise, part self-help book, Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodríguez’s
For Brown Girls with Sharp Edges and Tender Hearts is a must-read for women of color everywhere. 16 Fat Chance, Charlie Vega
Charlie Vega stands out in her majority-white New England suburb, but not for the reasons she’d like to. She’s fat, she’s Puerto Rican, and she refuses to apologize for either of those traits. So when the boy she likes finally notices her — and even asks her out — Charlie thinks her life is finally on the upswing... until she finds out that her best friend already turned her new beau down.
17 The Mirror Season
In this re-telling of “The Snow Queen,” two teenagers attacked at the same party grow close as they try to work out what happened that night — a night one of them can’t remember, and the other wants to forget.
18 This Is How We Fly
When her summer plans are dashed by her stepmother, a college-bound teen finds a way to circumvent her grounding by joining a local Quidditch league. The point was for Ellen to get away from the house and hang out with her best friends, but what happens when her teammates grow close, and her old pals drift away?
19 Velvet Was the Night
When a woman disappears in Mexico City in the 1970s, two total strangers — the victim’s next-door neighbor and a crime syndicate’s most reluctant enforcer — set out to find her. Along the way, they might find something even more important in one another.
Threatened with the total loss of her magical powers, Finn, a faceshifter, must pull off the heist of a century if she wants to keep her cherished anonymity, in Maya Motayne’s
Nocturna. 21 One of the Good Ones
When Kezi — a young, YouTube-famous activist — is killed at a demonstration, her two sisters join forces with her grieving BFF to take a Green Book-guided road trip in her honor.
22 Las Biuty Queens
Chilean American trans elder Iván Monalisa Ojeda makes his/her English-language debut with
Las Biuty Queens: a collection of stories revolving around a group of queer, Latinx immigrants working in New York City. 23 I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter
An instant classic upon its release in 2017, Erika L. Sanchez’s
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter centers on Julia: a girl who survived the accident that killed her seemingly perfect older sister, and now finds it difficult to walk in her shadow. 24 Lost in the Never Woods
In this modern re-telling of J.M. Barrie’s
Peter Pan, Wendy is a high-school senior struggling to recover her lost memories, which may unlock the secret to her younger brothers’ fates. When the only boy she can remember, Peter, shows up in town begging for her help, Wendy goes on a new and more deadly adventure. 25 Small Town Monsters
For Vera, the daughter of a husband-and-wife demonology team, the occult is something to be feared. Lacking her parents’ talents for supernatural detection, Vera wants to escape the family legacy and live a life that’s, well, normal. But when a neighboring boy begins to suspect that his mom is affected by dark forces, Vera is thrust into her parents’ demon-hunting world.
A contemporary “remix” of
Pride and Prejudice, Ibi Zoboi’s Pride centers on Zuri, an Afro-Latina girl determined to save her neighborhood from gentrifiers like her new neighbors, the Darcys.