Fictional Faves: Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno

Hey everyone 24hr.YABookBlog here! (~˘▾˘)~ 💞✨📚 Have you ever wondered what your favorite fictional characters would enjoy from our world? I know I sure have, that’s why today I’m so excited to share with you Fictional Faves !! 🎉🎊

Don't Date Rosa Santos by Nina MorenoI was inspired to create this post because as an aspiring YA writer, my favorite part of the creation process has always revolved around my characters!

So, the introduction into today’s post will feature Rosa Santos from Nina Moreno’s Don’t Date Rosa Santos! If you’re interested in reading my thoughts on this lovely contemporary you can check out my full review here!!

I’ll be listing books, video games, and other fun fictional stories that I think Rosa would really enjoy!

Books

Rosa has got a lot on her plate from finalizing her college plans, setting up for her town of Port Coral’s Spring Fest, while also trying to explore more about her family’s past to feel more connected to her Cuban roots, and maybe even find love along the way!

Analee, In Real Life by Janelle MilanesThat’s why I feel Rosa would really love books by Janelle Milanes! Milanes is a YA author who also writes contemporary stories centering around Cuban-American main characters (who also have anxiety)! With her most recent book being: Analee, In Real Life!

Rosa would feel such a deep connection to her books because she even mentions in Don’t Date Rosa Santos that although she’s grown up in Port Coral that has a Latinx community, on a personal level she still hasn’t found that connection to her own Cuban history!

Not only would Rosa easily devour Milanes’s books in one sitting, but she’d also be able to relate to them on such a personal level. Also considering that Rosa is graduating high school, she would find Milanes’s younger characters incredibly brave and inspiring (Victoria: 15 and Analee: 16 or 17 I think?). Reading about Cuban-American protagonists just like her that overcome their own obstacles, would also inspire her to to the same!

Podcasts

If Rosa were in the mood for a podcast, I think she would really enjoy the urban fantasy audio drama: Return Home!

return-home-podcast

Return Home, created by Jeff Heimbuch centers around Jonathan Barker who is told to “return home” to his home of Melancholy Falls, NJ. From there he reunites with his best friend Buddy and former girlfriend Amy as they uncover the mysterious and supernatural happenings of their town!

Rosa would really enjoy this podcast because coming from a small town herself, she’d relate to the tight-knit community presented in the show! Also, it would have her wondering maybe Port Coral has some of its own supernatural mysteries left undiscovered? (especially when she’s heard of the town’s hidden Golden Turtle).

Video Games

I’ll honestly find any reason to include Kingdom Hearts on my blog every now and again, but I truly believe if Rosa were to play video games, she would really love this series!

joyce-mccown-791673-unsplash books

Kingdom Hearts is a JRPG that follows Sora on his adventures to travel across different worlds inspired by the Disney films! Its a story about friendship + the bonds between, as he fight monsters and learns more about the light/darkness the tie the worlds together.

With Rosa’s dream to explore more beyond her small town, much like the themes within Kingdom Hearts, she would relate to the main characters of Sora and Riku! Also, I believe she’d appreciate a good adventure with unique and immersive fantasy lore, and complex storytelling!

I also feel she would listen to the Destiny Islands theme on repeat–I know I sure did while reading Moreno’s book (it gave me such Port Coral vibes)! 😂🎧💖

So those are the fictional stories Rosa would absolutely love!

What are your thoughts on today’s Fictional Faves? Any recommendations for another fictional character I should create a list for?

Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno Review

Don't Date Rosa Santos by Nina MorenoDon’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Release Date: May 14, 2019

Pages: 331

Available Through The Book Depository: Don’t Date Rosa Santos

Summary: Rosa Santos is cursed by the sea-at least, that’s what they say. Dating her is bad news, especially if you’re a boy with a boat.

But Rosa feels more caught than cursed. Caught between cultures and choices. Between her abuela, a beloved healer and pillar of their community, and her mother, an artist who crashes in and out of her life like a hurricane. Between Port Coral, the quirky South Florida town they call home, and Cuba, the island her abuela refuses to talk about.

As her college decision looms, Rosa collides – literally – with Alex Aquino, the mysterious boy with tattoos of the ocean whose family owns the marina. With her heart, her family, and her future on the line, can Rosa break a curse and find her place beyond the horizon?

My Rating: ★★★★☆ ½

My Thoughts: Don’t Date Rosa Santos is a magical, character-driven, but above all beautiful YA Contemporary debut that takes you on quite a journey! Rosa Santos explores the dynamics of her family, its complexity, love, and choices as she finalizes her university plans before school ends!

Moreno’s debut has left me a mess of emotions & I’m not entirely sure how I’ll recover 😭✨

Don’t Date Rosa Santos was just one of those books I knew I had to read in 2019! Coming from a Latinx background, I was incredibly excited to be anticipating a YA Contemporary debut that felt like it would be a story of magic, family, love, grief, but full of new beginnings and journeys– I got that and more! 🧡🌸✨

Through a lush and all-around lovely 1st person POV, we follow Rosa in her town of Port Coral, Florida where she lives with her Mimi (grandmother) and takes part in the town-wide Spring Fest ,which is a sort of a yearly homecoming and supports local businesses, but now she’s joining to help the town save their harbor for this year’s festival!

Not only that, but she also decides to help plan a wedding too, between locals Clara & Jonas that’ll take place during the festival!

For 3 generations of Santos women, they’ve been no stranger to their curse and trouble with the seas. Mimi lost her husband and Rosa lost her father! So when Rosa begins falling for her planning partner in the Spring Fest, Alex Aquino, she’s constantly worried of what will go wrong, but takes a chance anyways!

Moreno seamlessly weaves this internal journey Rosa undergoes to better understand the curse that’s haunted the women in her family, her culture, and herself as she finds the courage to do things she never thought she would–meet a boy, fall in love, go out to sea, and confront her fears head-on to find her happiness and purpose as the days wind down for her to pick the university she’ll attend in the fall!

Through the writing, you not only get this full scope of the fictional coastal/small town of Port Coral, but also its vibrant community, and the many businesses and quirks that make it a beautiful and unique place to live! There’s an intimacy and familiarity that grows on you as you read more about the town!

Moreno crafted a story that was wholly familiar to me and found myself noting passages, phrases, or other moments that I could relate to so much: the chisme 😂✨, the power of caldo, the reference of honey & ginger to cure a cough (for me & my family we use onion!), and YES even the food such as platano chips, ceviche, tres leches cake, & so much more! Also, coming from a Latin-American background, I love discovering expressions from other Latinx cultures & now I’ll never forget tiki-tiki!!

The Santos are all too familiar with the locals around town theorizing they are bad luck and because of that, Rosa didn’t really expect any other outcome, because it had happened to two Santos women already. This journey allows her to try and find her own luck in this internal place of grief and secrets.

I found Moreno explored this idea that when we hold onto grief or events that have caused us pain, it can seem like it’ll be never-ending, which can be difficult to overcome. However, there’s an underlying theme that I found not only Rosa, but also Mimi & her mother learned was that we shouldn’t be afraid to talk about these things and know that bonds between family is something strong that’ll help us get through!

The plot is so memorable and I can’t put into words how immersed I was in each page from Rosa with her best friend Ana-Maria, pondering over her college decision to not disappoint Mimi (because she wants to go on an abroad trip to Cuba), the festival/wedding planning, her development with Alex & so much more! The story kept me compelled with each and every page and I loved following Rosa’s journey of growth!

The inclusivity & diversity in this novel is beautiful from the representation of Cuban culture, prominent characters throughout the story who identify as gay, Rosa who is bi, also Afro-Latinx and Black characters!

Additionally, Moreno explores a lot about diaspora in the Latinx community, which I hadn’t ever really seen with such depth in a YA Contemporary before!

“Enough. I was still trying to work that one out…Always caught in between…Never quite right or enough for either…” (107).

Throughout the novel, Rosa wants to find more connection to her Cuban roots, though she has found some of it in Port Coral, she’s eager to know more! The secrecy from her Mimi only creates fear for her, worried she’ll upset Mimi when she asks or mentions her study abroad trip to Cuba!

Family is such a huge part of this novel and Moreno explores it with so much depth and complexity, through each of the Santos women! Mimi & Rosa’s mother, Liliana, have a relationship that’s filled with so much history and heartache. With that, it was both beautiful and heartbreaking for Rosa to uncover more to their stories, although they were hesitant to share! Mimi doesn’t put up with any nonsense when it comes to Liliana and they both are at odds throughout the story, but I love how the events of Port Coral bring them closer than ever and allow them to slowly move past their grief little by little.

Similarly, there’s so much depth to the relationship Rosa has with Mimi and her mother! Rosa remembers a time when her mother said they’d always find a home together and that, for a time, was Port Coral. As her mother moves around from town to town to keep up with her painting, Rosa doesn’t have much faith her mother will stay for long. However, Mimi has laid the roots for Rosa to feel like she truly can be a part of Port Coral, she takes care of her, offers her advice, and wants her to be her very best!

I loved uncovering and exploring the stories of the 3 Santos women! I’m honored to have followed such wonderful characters!

Through Rosa’s POV I just loved the energy and spirit she brought to the story that made Don’t Date Rosa Santos such a heartwarming, uplifting, and wonderful book as a whole!

I could relate to her a lot, from her anxieties of trying new things, her determination when it comes to things she’s passionate about, and her bullet journaling!! 😂💞

Now onto Alex and Rosa–what else can I say but they were the best?!?! Their dynamic and development was heartwarming to read and I loved how they both learned to take chances with each other in different ways! Alex was just the best–he appears to be intimidating in the beginning but we learn he’s just a quiet sailor/baker!

When we uncover more about Mimi’s past in Cuba and unlock more of the story as to why, it reminded me of my grandparents as well (because something similar happened) that just made this book feel even more vivid and close to home–I was not expecting it!!

All of the characters and vibrant town of Port Coral captured my heart, as did this story as a whole and I’m sad I reached the end!! There’s so much life and depth to these characters and this beautiful world that Moreno crafted–I loved it so much!

My only very minor gripe was the pacing in a couple parts, but aside from that, this book was absolute perfection!! It’ll stick with me for a long time and has easily made it onto my list of favorite YA Contemporary books!

Don’t Date Rosa Santos is a magnificent YA Contemporary that you don’t want to miss! From the beautiful writing, following Rosa’s journey, and the themes explored from family to love and loss. The plot will captivate you as will the characters! This is a magical novel about finding your place in the world know when it seems odds are stacked against you. But no matter what, the underlying message is…you’ll always find a way!

Upcoming 2019 YA Book Recommendations From Book Bloggers!

Hey, 24hr.YABookBlog here (~˘▾˘)~ 💞✨📚

2019 is finally here and that means so many new books! New worlds and stories to be explored 💫📚

Now, today’s post is one I am incredibly excited to be sharing and one that involved  fantastic bookish people I’m grateful to have met through this community! 📚❤ 

I reached out to my book blogger friends asking them what their top 2019 YA release would be 😍📚🎉✨

Thanks so much to each of you for taking the time to do this, your all amazing!!

So, here’s a list of upcoming 2019 YA Book Recommendations From Book Bloggers! (Hoping to have more posts like this is in the future too  )

~ Each of these book bloggers are absolutely wonderful and if you aren’t follow them already–you should be! I’ll be leaving a link to where you can find them, so go give them a follow! 😌✨🎉

1.Adriana from BoricuraReads

Adriana recommends: Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno
Release Date: May 14, 2019
Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Don't Date Rosa Santos by Nina MorenoSummary: Rosa Santos is cursed by the sea-at least, that’s what they say. Dating her is bad news, especially if you’re a boy with a boat.
But Rosa feels more caught than cursed. Caught between cultures and choices. Between her abuela, a beloved healer and pillar of their community, and her mother, an artist who crashes in and out of her life like a hurricane. Between Port Coral, the quirky South Florida town they call home, and Cuba, the island her abuela refuses to talk about. As her college decision looms, Rosa collides-literally-with Alex Aquino, the mysterious boy with tattoos of the ocean whose family owns the marina. With her heart, her family, and her future on the line, can Rosa break a curse and find her place beyond the horizon?
 

Why: Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno has been giving me such Jane the Virgin vibes, which is good because that’s one of my favorite TV shows. I’m excited to read a story that focuses on a teenage girl of Cuban heritage that wants to explore her roots and a history hidden due to generational trauma, cultural repression and assimilation. It has family drama which is a core necessity in Latinx households, and a romance I can’t wait to delve into because I’m certain it’s gonna make me swoon and sigh– Adriana

2.Jordan from TheHeartOfABookBlogger

Jordan recommends: Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo
Release Date: May 7, 2019
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux (Fierce Reads)

somewhere only we know by maurene gooSummary: 10 00 p.m.: Lucky is the biggest K-pop star on the scene, and she’s just performed her hit song “Heartbeat” in Hong Kong to thousands of adoring fans. She’s about to debut on The Tonight Show in America, hopefully a breakout performance for her career. But right now? She’s in her fancy hotel, trying to fall asleep but dying for a hamburger.

11 00 p.m.: Jack is sneaking into a fancy hotel, on assignment for his tabloid job that he keeps secret from his parents. On his way out of the hotel, he runs into a girl wearing slippers, a girl who is single-mindedly determined to find a hamburger. She looks kind of familiar. She’s very cute. He’s maybe curious.

12:00 a.m.: Nothing will ever be the same.

Why: It’s been pitched as Roman Holiday with a k-pop star and tabloid reporter in Hong Kong, and I am so here for it. I absolutely cannot wait to dive into this swoony rom-com– Jordan

3.Marie from DrizzleAndHuricaneBooks

Marie Recommends: You Asked For Perfect by Laura Silverman
Release Date: March 5, 2019
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

you asked for perfect by laura silvermanSummary: Senior Ariel Stone is the perfect college applicant: first chair violin, dedicated community volunteer, and expected valedictorian. He works hard – really hard – to make his life look effortless. A failed Calculus quiz is not part of that plan. Not when he’s number one. Not when his peers can smell weakness like a freshman’s body spray.

Figuring a few all-nighters will preserve his class rank, Ariel throws himself into studying. His friends will understand if he skips a few plans, and he can sleep when he graduates. Except Ariel’s grade continues to slide. Reluctantly, he gets a tutor. Amir and Ariel have never gotten along, but Amir excels in Calculus, and Ariel is out of options.

Ariel may not like Calc, but he might like Amir. Except adding a new relationship to his long list of commitments may just push him past his limit.

Why: I adored the author’s debut, Girl Out Of Water and her sophomore novel sounds AMAZING and way too relatable too: it deals with academic pressure, has incredible characters and overall sounds like the book I’ve been needing all my life to readMarie

4.Sil from TheBookVoyagers

Sil recommends: The Wicked King by Holly Black (Folk Of The Air #2)
Release Date: January 8, 2019
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers

the wicked king by holly blackSummary: The enchanting and bloodthirsty sequel to the New York Times bestselling novel The Cruel Prince.
After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world. 

Why: Maybe because after reading and finishing The Cruel Prince this year, I honestly needed the second book as quick as possible. I’m always on the search for anti-heroines in fantasy fiction and Jude is one of the best. This queen. She truly deceived us all. And I cannot wait to see what’s next in store. If you’re on the search for a YA fantasy with fae, political intrigue at court and off the court, family and moments where you don’t know what is going on, this series is perfect for you–Sil

Thanks so much to each of you for being a part of this post! I’m looking forward to each of these wonderful YA Releases! 😍✨💖📚

What 2019 YA Book are you looking forward to? 📚✨🎉