Published by: Riverdale Avenue Books
Where I got the book: Public Library
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars
This book was my selection for the Queer Lit Bingo 2016 challenge: O23 YA.
Juliet Takes a Breath is a queer coming of age story on finding and learning to love yourself. At its heart its a story about love, the beginning and end of a first relationship. But it’s also a story about the love of friendship and family and what happens when you realize that your hero may not be totally deserving of the praise and affection you’ve given them.
Juliet is an amazing and adorable main character, and her story is super relatable. The book touches on a lot of topics, such as intersectional feminism, racism, whitewashing, struggle and dissent within queer spaces between white queers and queer and trans people of colour. But though out the entire book it never felt like it was a lecture or a platform for social issues. These were issues that affected Juliet’s everyday life as she struggled to find her identity as Puerto Rican, as queer, as a lesbian, as a daughter, as a girlfriend, and to figure out how all the pieces connected together. All the issues that she was struggling to learn about and come to terms with helped her grow as a character as she learnt to create her own definitions and meaning for herself.
Rivera writes beautifully and really captures the depth of Juliet’s voice, allowing the reader to join her on this journey. Without a doubt this is one of the best books I’ve read this year so far. I really recommend that you pick this book up for yourself, and then another copy for a teen in your life.