Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera Book Review
Books,  Fiction,  Sarah Slusher,  YA

Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera

Juliet Takes a Breath
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Published: 9/17/2019
A gutsy, queer coming-of-age story perfect for fans of Nina LaCour, Rainbow Rowell, and Elizabeth Acevedo. Juliet Milagros Palante is a self-proclaimed closeted Puerto Rican baby dyke from the Bronx. Only, she's not so closeted anymore. Not after coming out to her family the night before flying to Portland, Oregon, to intern with her favorite feminist writer--what's sure to be a life-changing experience. And when Juliet's coming out crashes and burns, she's not sure her…

Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera

Can my review just say that Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera is amazing & you need to read it ASAP?

Juliet is a 19-year-old Puerto Rican lesbian from the Bronx. She’s heading to Portland, OR for an internship with her feminist icon. She just came out to her family & her girlfriend is heading to DC for her own internship.

Readers spend a summer with Juliet. We see Juliet question whether this privileged white feminist is really a voice for all women. Juliet meets friends, colleagues & love interests who introduce her to queer spaces. We learn why these safe & inclusive spaces are so important & cherished for the LGBTQIA+ community. We see Juliet experience microaggressions towards her, blatant racism & we see Juliet trying to make space for herself in a white-centered world. I hear myself saying, “Oh, shit” knowing there are places in my life where I (as a privileged white woman) can & will do better.

Along with Juliet, readers are able to learn about labels, gender, fluidity, the meaning of feminism, inclusion, love & how each of us really can take ownership of those terms & labels. Most importantly, we get to see Juliet come into her own & shaping & owning her true self.

THE VERDICT

Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera is powerful. While I think readers of probably 14 & up are best suited for this novel, many adults should read this too. Truly, there is something really meaningful about seeing a young person question, learn & develop into feeling comfortable & harnessing their own power. It’s inspiring & solidifies my quest to read more YA.

Also, I can’t wait to read more from Gabby Rivera. I’m grabbing Gabby’s America Chavez series from Marvel ASAP.

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Momma, wife, baker, reader & smart ass. I am Really Into doughnuts, inside jokes, trash TV, pizza, 48 Hours & George Michael.

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