Hot Best Seller

How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe

Availability: Ready to download

The Hating Game meets I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter in this irresistible romance starring a Mexican American teen who discovers love and profound truths about the universe when she spends her summer on a road trip across the country. When her twin sister reaches social media stardom, Moon Fuentez accepts her fate as the ugly, unwanted sister hidden in the back The Hating Game meets I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter in this irresistible romance starring a Mexican American teen who discovers love and profound truths about the universe when she spends her summer on a road trip across the country. When her twin sister reaches social media stardom, Moon Fuentez accepts her fate as the ugly, unwanted sister hidden in the background, destined to be nothing more than her sister’s camerawoman. But this summer, Moon also takes a job as the “merch girl” on a tour bus full of beautiful influencers and her fate begins to shift in the best way possible. Most notable is her bunkmate and new nemesis, Santiago Phillips, who is grumpy, combative, and also the hottest guy Moon has ever seen. Moon is certain she hates Santiago and that he hates her back. But as chance and destiny (and maybe, probably, close proximity) bring the two of them in each other’s perpetual paths, Moon starts to wonder if that’s really true. She even starts to question her destiny as the unnoticed, unloved wallflower she always thought she was. Could this summer change Moon’s life as she knows it?


Compare

The Hating Game meets I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter in this irresistible romance starring a Mexican American teen who discovers love and profound truths about the universe when she spends her summer on a road trip across the country. When her twin sister reaches social media stardom, Moon Fuentez accepts her fate as the ugly, unwanted sister hidden in the back The Hating Game meets I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter in this irresistible romance starring a Mexican American teen who discovers love and profound truths about the universe when she spends her summer on a road trip across the country. When her twin sister reaches social media stardom, Moon Fuentez accepts her fate as the ugly, unwanted sister hidden in the background, destined to be nothing more than her sister’s camerawoman. But this summer, Moon also takes a job as the “merch girl” on a tour bus full of beautiful influencers and her fate begins to shift in the best way possible. Most notable is her bunkmate and new nemesis, Santiago Phillips, who is grumpy, combative, and also the hottest guy Moon has ever seen. Moon is certain she hates Santiago and that he hates her back. But as chance and destiny (and maybe, probably, close proximity) bring the two of them in each other’s perpetual paths, Moon starts to wonder if that’s really true. She even starts to question her destiny as the unnoticed, unloved wallflower she always thought she was. Could this summer change Moon’s life as she knows it?

30 review for How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe

  1. 5 out of 5

    l a u r a

    4.9/5 :) This. Book. Is. Beautiful. This is now my new favorite book (that surprisingly doesn’t happen to involve any murders.) If I annotated this novel, almost every page would be tabbed/bookmarked because that’s how entertaining I found the story to be. It was all perfectly to my liking. One of my favorite things about this book is the little bits of humor everywhere —especially Moon with her smart mouth. I can feel empathy for Moon and understand how she’s feeling through her thoughts. I unders 4.9/5 :) This. Book. Is. Beautiful. This is now my new favorite book (that surprisingly doesn’t happen to involve any murders.) If I annotated this novel, almost every page would be tabbed/bookmarked because that’s how entertaining I found the story to be. It was all perfectly to my liking. One of my favorite things about this book is the little bits of humor everywhere —especially Moon with her smart mouth. I can feel empathy for Moon and understand how she’s feeling through her thoughts. I understood her character and she just felt so… real. I usually find the first-person point of view somewhat annoying, but with Moon, I thoroughly enjoyed it and I am so glad it’s written in first-person POV. This book was just written so beautifully and I loved the descriptions of everything! I can almost imagine the details and how it must've felt in my head, whether it's Moon describing the food, the ladybugs/dragonflies, the woods, her memories (I especially loved the ones with her dad), and even her feelings. This is definitely more character-driven and I really enjoyed getting glimpses of Moon's life in between chapters of the tour; The 'sisterly' bond she had with Star, how she felt about her parents, and how she felt about herself. It’s entertaining, sweet, and serious at times. And even the supposedly cringe topics are not-so-cringy when it’s in Moon’s head. (But I would like it more if there were less sex talks etc :P) The characters we saw more of are all dynamic and changed as the story progressed. The relationships between everyone developed in different -both good and bad- ways. I felt so many different emotions that I felt while reading. I cried, I laughed, and I truly felt everything. Moon is a great main character overall and I love her. I don't think I said that enough… 【 This is a story about self-acceptance and learning to love yourself, knowing your self worth and understanding that you are so much more than you give yourself credit for (especially in Moon's case). This is one of the most diverse books I've read in a long time and I think it's definitely worth reading. 】 04/27/21 p.s. Moon and Santiago are SO cute ahhh (i loved them when they were enemies too ;)) And yes, this is an enemies-to-lovers in case anyone was wondering :)

  2. 5 out of 5

    ;3

    “I will make you hummingbird cake every day, I think.” 🥺🥰🥰🥰🥺

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sara L.

    ★★★★★ Officially my favourite book. You should be surprised when I say that because my expectations for romance books are HIGH. Especially since I find most of them too cheesy. But this was perfect. It was the right amount of cheese and drama and love and EVERYTHING. Moon and Star are twins. Except the only thing they have in common is blood. When Star becomes a Fotogram internet sensation, Moon accepts her fate as the ugly sister that no one wants. Moon becomes her sister’s camerawoman and when ★★★★★ Officially my favourite book. You should be surprised when I say that because my expectations for romance books are HIGH. Especially since I find most of them too cheesy. But this was perfect. It was the right amount of cheese and drama and love and EVERYTHING. Moon and Star are twins. Except the only thing they have in common is blood. When Star becomes a Fotogram internet sensation, Moon accepts her fate as the ugly sister that no one wants. Moon becomes her sister’s camerawoman and when her sister is invited to the influencers tour, Moon finds herself being dragged along. As she works as the “merch girl”, on a tour bus full of beautiful influencers, she catches the eye of her new grumpy nemesis, Santiago Phillips, who happens to be the “merch boy”. Even as Santiago is the hottest guy she’s seen, Moon hates him. And she is sure he hates her back. But as their fates have collided together, they learn that there is more than what meets the eye in this never-ending universe. “Who knows what makes us fall in love with the universe?” The Plot was everything engaging and hilarious. Every damned thing that happened, every damned event or scene or even dialogue was filled with so much emotion and action. Not the kind of action that you see in books where the main character is running from a band of murders. But the kind that fills you with joy, the kind that makes up for all the tiny errors of the world. GODS was this book full of it. So yeah, this book was full of action to the point where every sentence is written kept us engaged and kept us busy. And although this book was character-driven, the plot was still perfect. The Writing was beautiful. I LOVED the authors writing style. Raquel added little bits of humour everywhere and everything was so orderly and fixed. The writing grabbed my attention from the very first page and NEVER threw it away. Even when Santiago was explaining the roots of salt, Raquel managed to make it sound way more interesting than it ought to be. “Don’t let anyone feel like they’re supposed to save you. You can only save yourself, this doesn’t mean others can’t help you. But if you’re looking for them to give you your worth, they will always fail you.” There were so many diverse and interactive characters and they were all amazing. Apart from the “bad guys” of this book, I loved the diverse mind-compelling characters. Moon was a perfect main character. Having her as the main character was the highlight of the book. Everything about her character was absolute. She is definitely my new comfort character because I will totally be like “What would Moon Do?” in times of trouble distress?”. And her having flaws made everything even better! I can finally have a character that I can relate to, a character that makes me feel OK to be me because she went through all she did and is still alive and happy (not a spoiler). Santiago was a miracle in on himself. I’m not straight and don’t feel anything for men, but- he would be my number one fictional crus if I did. After everything he has gone through, he’s still an amazingly strong and brave person that loves Moon for who she is. Their relationship made me feel like I don’t have to be in one but it has to be special if I do end up in one. Santiago wasn’t perfect too, he had his flaws and made a lot of mistakes but Moon saw the real him and not just the grumpy “merch boy” that happened to be working with her. Star was the sister I don’t think I would want. But even though she put Moon through a lot, she herself has some dark secrets that are hurting her. As awful and manipulative Star was, she was also hurting and I truly felt for her. Now that I think about it… maybe I do want a sister like her. Tía was the old wise guy in this book. She was the aunt that sounded amazing and came through at the end. I wish I got to see more of her in this book though because she was amazing when she came in for the last 15%. It was like everything she said was a quote. “I can choose who I surround myself with and make sure they deserve me. Because maybe that’s thicker than blood, you know? Maybe love is thicker than blood.” The messages this book conveyed were on spot. The sex-positive attitude of this book was refreshing. Especially after seeing so much hate and shame in the religious society when it comes to sex. Throughout the book, Moon discusses and discovers that there is nothing wrong with having sex. This book also did an amazing job with the message of self-love. Most YA authors I’ve read from discuss body image as something to do for someone else (like men) and not yourself. But this book turns the tides and shows us that you don’t have to do anything for men, not even dress to impress them. Because no matter how much you don’t feel comfortable in it, it’s your body and you could own it instead of giving it off to someone else on a platter. You could dress for yourself. You could do things that a lot of people do for men, for yourself. The relationships in this book were done expertly. This book discusses the common misconceptions of families. Not all are happy. And not all aren’t. Sure, all families have problems but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a toxic relationship. But it also doesn’t mean that some families couldn’t be toxic. Sometimes it’s OK to leave something behind. Especially if it’s a toxic relationship. Moon had to deal with a lot while living with her mom and is constantly thinking of leaving the unhealthy relationship but she’s also afraid that she might lose Star if she does that. Later on, she discovers that not all people are who they seem and that some people just are who they seem. The grieving side of all this was also done perfectly. After we learn that Moon lost her father, the signs of her grieving are more obvious and she has a breakdown in which she shares the specifics. The way the author handles grief is beautiful, showing us that the hole inside may never go away but they are ways to deal with it so it doesn’t become harmful. “I am at the center of the universe. And that’s okay. Better than okay. It’s miraculous.” Overall, messages combined, I’ll give you this message- GO. READ. THIS. BOOK. Because if you end up loving it as much as I do, you won’t regret it. |Triggers- ableism, abuse, anger issues, bullying, cyberbullying, car accident, death, depression, homelessness, homophobia, loss of a loved one, toxic relationship, racism, slut-shaming, body-shaming, suicide| *A special thanks to the publishers and NetGalley for sending me an advance readers copy of How Moon Fuentez Fell In Love With The Universe.* ✄✄✄✄✄✄✄✄✄✄✄✄✄✄✄✄✄✄✄✄✄✄✄ PRE-REVIEW: ~Did I pull an all-nighter to finish this: Yes, it is now 5:12 am ~Was it worth it: 💯 yes, it is now my favorite Romance Book RTC ✄✄✄✄✄✄✄✄✄✄✄✄✄✄✄✄✄✄✄✄✄✄✄

  4. 4 out of 5

    CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨

    This book cracked me open, unfurled me at the seams. This book left me feeling raw, seen, understood, and yet so fulfilled by the end. I love Moon Fuentez with my whole, whole heart. - Follows Moon, a fat Mexican-American teen who follows her famous influencer sister on a multi-city tour across the country - and learns to love herself and unexpectedly falls in love in the process. - The writing in this is just sublime, gorgeous, and so stunning. Raquel's poetry background shines through in the st This book cracked me open, unfurled me at the seams. This book left me feeling raw, seen, understood, and yet so fulfilled by the end. I love Moon Fuentez with my whole, whole heart. - Follows Moon, a fat Mexican-American teen who follows her famous influencer sister on a multi-city tour across the country - and learns to love herself and unexpectedly falls in love in the process. - The writing in this is just sublime, gorgeous, and so stunning. Raquel's poetry background shines through in the storytelling and I was just in awe of how the story holds the beauty of the universe in its words. - This is a story about trauma, grief, loving yourself, sexuality, the joy of food and cooking, fatness, parental abuse, and religion. I'm stunned by how the story shows how the world can be so ugly and vicious, but amidst all that, there's beauty and healing and light. - The relationships in this are incredible. From the hate-to-love romance between Moon and Santiago (who is also a hand amputee and a spectacular cook) and the fraught and tenuous relationship between Moon and Star (her sister). - I just love this book with my whole heart, y'all. Content warning: parental abuse (physical and verbal), bullying, slut-shaming, fat-shaming, sexism I received a digital advanced reader's copy in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Romie

    i think i now understand what love at first sight means, because this cover? owns my heart:)))

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sofie |

    Thank you NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for the eARC for review! ____ all the god-loving stars. We are all ancient. And it's bananas to me, how the holiness of this earth was attempted to be contained in a church, forcing people to feel bad about the sacred and ancient and wild of our bodies, our senses, our glorious impulses to make mistakes, some of which turn out to be the best things ever. How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe made ME fall in love with the universe. Made me want t Thank you NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for the eARC for review! ____ all the god-loving stars. We are all ancient. And it's bananas to me, how the holiness of this earth was attempted to be contained in a church, forcing people to feel bad about the sacred and ancient and wild of our bodies, our senses, our glorious impulses to make mistakes, some of which turn out to be the best things ever. How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe made ME fall in love with the universe. Made me want to dance in poppy fields and chase dragonflies and feel the ocean's salt between my fingers. This book is like a warm hug, in the most heartbreaking, devastating, lovely way. Moon was an incredible protagonist. I felt for her ever step of the way. Her anger, her loyalty to her family, her self-deprecation, her humour, her journey to finding herself despite all her traumas. I wasn't expecting that, going into this. I wasn't expecting the deeper conversations about religion and purity and rape-culture. I wasn't expecting facets of mental illness and emotional and physical abuse. And not once did the story feel contrived, feel like it was trying to shove in a whole bunch of hot-button issues just to tick some boxes. Everything was so personal and nuanced and I'm not sure how we got from a story of Instagram-esque influencers on a tour bus for the summer to one of a girl living her twin's shadow, under her mother's thumb, as she overcomes deeply-rooted and toxic religious teachings, as she deals with abuse at home and from peers, as she struggles to accept love. And yet here we are. Even the parts of the book that made me angry for Moon, I understood. Even the parts where I was angry AT Moon, I understood. I HATED (view spoiler)[the way Star treated Moon around her influencer friends. I hated her for her cruel jokes, her passive-aggressive comments, her judgement.... and yet, i felt for her. I can't pretend to know how internalized homophobia affects someone who is so deeply indoctrinated in the church, but I know that Star was troubled. Not blameless. But dealing with her own insecurities and traumas and I can almost, almost forgive her like Moon did. (hide spoiler)] Also *chef’s kiss* to 3-Dimensional side characters! Sometimes a rarity in the NA genre, especially in a romance. Tía. Santiago. William. Even Star (and she definitely had her classic Insta-bitch moments!) I think I resonated so much with Moon because I too - though at a much lesser extent - know the journey of breaking free from religious and conservative values. I know how hard it is to question what you’ve been taught, to feel like you have no-one in your corner. This is a love story. A self-love story. A story of acceptance and beauty and finding the tiny miracles in life and the words that run over your skin like honey.

  7. 5 out of 5

    rania | rania’s rambling reads

    Contrary to the name of the book, I don’t think this is the story of how Moon fell in love with the universe, but how she started loving herself, and I think that that is so much more beautiful. “It’s hard being human. It’s too easy to get pulled under by what makes us ache and bleed.” Moon has always been the unlucky twin. Her sister is the one that got blessed with everything. The looks, the body, the personality, even their mother’s love. After her dad passed away a few years ago, with no o Contrary to the name of the book, I don’t think this is the story of how Moon fell in love with the universe, but how she started loving herself, and I think that that is so much more beautiful. “It’s hard being human. It’s too easy to get pulled under by what makes us ache and bleed.” Moon has always been the unlucky twin. Her sister is the one that got blessed with everything. The looks, the body, the personality, even their mother’s love. After her dad passed away a few years ago, with no one left to hold one to, she knew she had to get out of there. So when Moon gets into her dream college, nothing could make her happier, until she realises that she has no way to pay for the expenses. Asking her mother is simply out of the question. Then her sister is invited to tour with the biggest social media platform, Fotogram’s founder. And Moon is forced to go along. But she’s getting paid after all, so how bad could it be? Everything about Moon’s journey was so relatable and inspiring. I was instantly able to connect with her on a level where I felt the exact same way she did. She hated someone? I hated them too. She wanted to hug someone? I wanted to too. I have never been so connected to a character before and her story was a completely new breath of fresh air. There are a lot of different elements incorporated in this book but most importantly I loved how fat and sex-positive it was. There are so many readers that go through low self-esteem and doubting their body image, and this book was a love letter to everyone who was in the same headspace as our main character. Moon has such an inspiring development throughout the book and I loved how she overcame her insecurities and finally started loving herself. She went through so much in her whole life and looking at her finally getting accepted by someone for who she is was a very emotional experience for me as a reader. “But we can’t know everything. We can’t. Some people might say only God knows, or only the universe knows it all. Either way, we humans aren’t the ones who’ve figured everything out. The more I learn, the more I realize that I know so little, it could be a fraction of a speck, and if you put the knowledge of all humans together, it might be two or three specks in the infinite and twinkling and wondrous universe." The writing was absolutely magical. The prose just sucks you in and suddenly you can’t stop reading. The way the author describes the surroundings and Moon’s thoughts were beautiful and I loved it! I also loved the romance, not only because it was enemies-to-lovers, but because the trope was done perfectly. The build-up and slowburn was done so well and it was really everything I could have ever asked for. Their banter was so funny and their chemistry was unparalleled. Another thing I loved is that their relationship wasn’t perfect. It was messy and complicated but the satisfaction and giddy feelings the reader gets when they finally get through it is the best feeling ever. Overall, and I can’t say this enough, this is one of the best books I’ve read, probably in my whole life, no questions asked. I think I resonated with it a lot more because I went understand what Moon is feeling and where she’s coming from. Other than that, READ IT NOW OR FACE MY WRATH.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    4.5/5 stars This book is a Young Adult Contemporary Romance with a bit of Magical Realism. It is my first book by this author. This book was such a pleasant surprise. It is a beautiful coming of age story. It's full of heart and some pain. But it was magical and beautiful. And I really loved it. It's the summer after they've graduated high school and twins Moon and Star (17 almost 18 years old) get an amazing opportunity. Moon is the narrator (1st person POV). She is an incredible photographer and e 4.5/5 stars This book is a Young Adult Contemporary Romance with a bit of Magical Realism. It is my first book by this author. This book was such a pleasant surprise. It is a beautiful coming of age story. It's full of heart and some pain. But it was magical and beautiful. And I really loved it. It's the summer after they've graduated high school and twins Moon and Star (17 almost 18 years old) get an amazing opportunity. Moon is the narrator (1st person POV). She is an incredible photographer and earth artist. Her twin sister is a religious social media influencer. Moon has always felt like the bigger uglier sister. But honestly she was such a unique voice. I loved her so much. The book has tarot cards. Photography. Art. Social media. Cooking. Family struggles. Curses. Mental illness. There is a lot going on in this story. Andro is the founder of the Fotogram social media app. He invites Star and other social media influencers to tour the country. His brother Santiago is also there. And I was fascinated by them both and thought that they both added a lot to the story. The romance was slow, but I really liked it a lot. I was also fascinated by the relationship between Moon and her sister. And between Moon and her mother. Overall this book was amazing. I was expecting a cute YA romance. But I got so much more. I would highly recommend this book! Thanks to netgalley and Simon & Schuster Canada for allowing me to read this book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jena

    4.5 stars rounded up! How Moon Fuentez fell in Love with the Universe follows the story of Moon’s summer after graduation. Her sister, Star, is a high-profile celebrity and Moon agrees to spend the summer on tour with her working the merch table. Much to her dismay, she has to spend the summer working with Santiago, who she initially doesn’t like, but learns to see eye to eye with. Upon hearing this premise, I immediately knew this was a book I wanted to get my hands on, but what I didn’t expect 4.5 stars rounded up! How Moon Fuentez fell in Love with the Universe follows the story of Moon’s summer after graduation. Her sister, Star, is a high-profile celebrity and Moon agrees to spend the summer on tour with her working the merch table. Much to her dismay, she has to spend the summer working with Santiago, who she initially doesn’t like, but learns to see eye to eye with. Upon hearing this premise, I immediately knew this was a book I wanted to get my hands on, but what I didn’t expect was the way it would impact me. This book is beautifully written and tackles a variety of social issues, all with the care that they deserve. Additionally, this book is incredibly diverse. I was impressed to see representation in terms of body size, mental health, sexuality, religion, ethnicity and disability. I’ll start by getting my few complaints out of the way so I can talk about all the good in this book. Personally, I found the first half of this book to be a 4 star read. It was good, but it I felt like it didn’t dive deep enough into the issues it presented. Additionally, the romance had a slow start. The banter between Moon and Santiago often felt forced, and I felt like they kept repeating the same argument over and over. Essentially, the “enemies” aspect of the enemies-to-lovers arc felt forced. That being said, the “lovers” part was great. The tension is absolutely there, but more importantly, the characters feel like real, loveable people, so naturally I wanted to see them get together. At about the 50% mark, this book became a 5 star read for me. All the serious topics that had previously been mentioned were explained in depth. This book really is the perfect mix of romance and coming-of-age. As I mentioned, this book tackles a variety of social issues, but I’ll talk in brief about the ones that stood out to me. To start, I loved the sex positive attitude of this book. Over the course of the book, Moon accepts that there is nothing wrong with having sex. Additionally, this book discussed slut-shaming and purity culture in a very considerate way. This is an important discussion to be made in Young Adult media, as it’s vital that young girls who might have grown up in situations similar to Moon are shown that the decisions they make with their body are completely their own. Next, this book did an incredible job tackling the complexities of family relationships. To keep it brief and spoiler free, I was impressed that this book did not just give one overarching message regarding family. Instead, it acknowledges that sometimes you need to leave an unhealthy relationship, but some mistakes are not end all be all, and can be worked through. In terms of family, Star’s character was particularly interesting. Initially, she felt somewhat one dimensional, and her selfishness was downright cruel, but as the book progressed, we got a look at what made her this way. It’s important to note, her actions were never condoned, only explained. This book did a good job explaining how the media compares women and makes us believe that we are each other’s competition. I did find Star’s arc to be a bit rushed towards the end of this book, but as a whole it was very well thought out. On the topic of family, I was floored by how well Moon and her father’s relationship was presented. I find that normally it is hard to invoke an audience reaction when discussing a character who has little page time, but in the glimpses we get of it, Moon’s relationship with her father is honestly beautiful. Lastly, this book did an incredible job with the message of self-love. I find that authors often fall into the trap of having the final point of a character’s arc regarding body image to be that they acknowledge the world, or men, find them beautiful. That was not the case with Moon. This book distinctly notes that yes, people find Moon beautiful, but much more importantly, she sees the beauty within herself. This is what self-love is, and I loved seeing this message depicted so unabashedly. Overall, the first half of this book was good, but the second half was incredible. The romance progressed in a natural and cute way, and the more complex aspects of the plot all wrapped up nicely. At the end of the day, if you are going to deliver your messages as beautifully as this book does, of course I’m willing to overlook a couple moments of awkward dialogue. Thank you to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Tomes And Textiles

    4.5 stars! This book was EVERYTHING. Full review to come.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    Thanks to the publisher for providing an eARC of How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe. I'm officially obsessed with Raquel Vasquez Gilliand. She somehow manages to perfectly balance in the realm between endearing relatability and cringy pop culture references to write characters who feel like actual, easy to root for teenagers. Moon Fuentez is a contemporary with a few magical elements and her narration perfectly fits that. It's real and grounded while simultaneously managing to be lar Thanks to the publisher for providing an eARC of How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe. I'm officially obsessed with Raquel Vasquez Gilliand. She somehow manages to perfectly balance in the realm between endearing relatability and cringy pop culture references to write characters who feel like actual, easy to root for teenagers. Moon Fuentez is a contemporary with a few magical elements and her narration perfectly fits that. It's real and grounded while simultaneously managing to be larger than life in the best way possible. Also, YA relationships that go through actual, gradual development? We love to see it.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Karla

    This book was so unexpected. I think these characters are going to stay with me for a long time. The plot is simple enough: When her twin sister reaches social media stardom, Moon Fuentez accepts her fate as the ugly, unwanted sister hidden in the background, destined to be nothing more than her sister’s camerawoman. But this summer, Moon also takes a job as the “merch girl” on a tour bus full of beautiful influencers and her fate begins to shift in the best way possible. From that seemingly simp This book was so unexpected. I think these characters are going to stay with me for a long time. The plot is simple enough: When her twin sister reaches social media stardom, Moon Fuentez accepts her fate as the ugly, unwanted sister hidden in the background, destined to be nothing more than her sister’s camerawoman. But this summer, Moon also takes a job as the “merch girl” on a tour bus full of beautiful influencers and her fate begins to shift in the best way possible. From that seemingly simple plot, I didn’t expect to find so much poetry, beauty and pain in this book. I shouldn’t be surprised about the lyrical prose since the author released two poetry books before this one but I was still in awe of the writing style. I loved how metaphorical and vivid it was and how everything was connected to the universe. Moon is the real star of the book (you will understand this pun if you read the book) and reading about her journey of self-love and self-discovery was incredibly painful. She is the ugly duckling of her family, she has a twin sister who is perfect and who everyone constantly compares her to. I also have a twin sister and I am all too familiar with the constant comparison. But this made it so much more painful to read because the conclusions were obvious to everyone: Star won the genetic/life lottery and Moon lost. At least that’s what everyone thinks and what Moon has been taught. I felt very uncomfortable with the descriptions of the two, with Star being described as fair, pretty, thin when Moon was described as unattractive, dark and fat. This reinforced the negative stereotype of European beauty standards and the colourism that stems from it. At first it’s easy to describe Moon as a drama queen who exaggerates everything but as the story goes on the reader has a glimpse of all of the abuse Moon has endured: physical abuse, mental abuse, gaslighting, neglect, etc. The list is endless. She has not had an easy life and yet she still tries and ultimately manages to see the beauty in the universe and in herself. I loved the focus on divination and the practice of tarot and ancient magic. It was so refreshing to read about that and it gave me a better appreciation for nature and the magic in it. So much of Moon’s character is centered around Christianity, religion and how much damage it did to her. In this case it was extremely dangerous and the focus on the repression of sex was very present. Moon has always been taught that sex is a bad thing and that women under no circumstances should want to have sex (a character justifies marital rape). As she had sex before marriage, Moon suffers the consequences and punishment of her "behaviour". She is constantly slut-shamed and humiliated because of it. Being a black queer Christian myself, I know how harmful some beliefs are and how Christianity has hurt so many people me due to colonialism, patriarchy and homophobia. I was so conflicted as I read it because this book only showed the negative effects and I know this is a reality and I don’t want to challenge Moon's experience but it still hurt so much to read. The twins are collateral damage of that education and this leads Moon to curse a lot using a lot of blasphemous sayings in order to distance herself from the practice of a religion that has harmed her. This made her quest for a different belief, an "ancient magic" even more enjoyable. When you have a twin, or a sibling it goes either two ways: you're very close or you don't get along. Moon and Star alternated between the two which made for some great, entertaining drama and plot. I was saddened by their relationship because the author captured in an honest and good way how love is not enough in a family, that feelings, of the ugly kind can get in the way. The romance was a slow-burn with a lot of angst and pining and was nothing short of beautiful. Both Moon and Santiago are insecure about their bodies; Moon because of her curves and Santiago because of his disability. They had the tendency to project their fears onto the other which created a lot of tension between the two. It was nice seeing them try to overcome their trauma and trusting each other. I loved the moments they shared together - from their banter, their "cooking show" and everything in between. Overall this was a story about hope, about finding yourself and the people who genuinely care about you and love you. It was a very emotional book and I had to physically take a break from reading but I really ended up loving it even if the topics in this story were darker than I thought. TW: mental abuse, child abuse, parental neglect, cruelty, physical abuse, gaslighting, ableism, mentions of rape, slut shaming, body shaming. Thank you to TBR and Beyond Tours for providing me an eArc of this wonderful story!

  13. 4 out of 5

    sirius proserpine

    Oh, wow. This was... so much better than I expected. I actually teared up a few times, and I genuinely cannot believe this is marketed as a romance. (Not that it isn’t one— it is. It’s just... so much more than that.) I am very, very glad this book exists. I think it’s an absolutely beautiful look at art, self-love, religion, and forgiveness, and it’s going to mean a lot to a lot of people. It means a lot to me, even as someone who definitely isn’t in the demographic this book was written for. An Oh, wow. This was... so much better than I expected. I actually teared up a few times, and I genuinely cannot believe this is marketed as a romance. (Not that it isn’t one— it is. It’s just... so much more than that.) I am very, very glad this book exists. I think it’s an absolutely beautiful look at art, self-love, religion, and forgiveness, and it’s going to mean a lot to a lot of people. It means a lot to me, even as someone who definitely isn’t in the demographic this book was written for. And regardless of the type of background you have and how that affects your reading experience, it’s simply the type of novel that makes you feel things. So, yeah, I really loved this. Like I said, I think there are so many merits to it besides the romance— I’d go into more detail but will refrain for the sake of spoilers. It’s simply amazing and so incredibly written, with so, so much heart. The romance itself was perfectly fine and I think it could really work for a lot of people because of how much respect Moon and Santiago have for each other. Personally, I don’t really think it added as much to the story as it could have, and I sort of wish Moon’s character development via her relationship with him had happened a little differently, because it does sort of come across as a “fall in love and it fixes everything”/“other people will fix you, especially a significant other” thing, which I don’t appreciate, which is part of the reason this was 4 stars instead of 5. The other reason is Moon’s relationship with Star. Don’t get me wrong, I actually thought it was a brilliant idea, the way their relationship worked. But the end of the novel felt kind of rushed, and I wish there had been more self-reflection on page for Star and more time before Moon forgave her. It does feel, to an extent, like a situation where they are both trying to move on way before they’re ready, and I wish there had just been a little more time between point A and point B. Despite these flaws, I truly think How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love With the Universe is one of the best books of 2021, and I am so excited to see it out in the world. Highly recommended to everyone. Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Alexx

    OKAY, I AM SCREAMING I LOVE THIS SO MUCH. I guess I have another new fave?? 😂 This was just beautiful! It's funny, it's heartwarming, it's poignant, it's moving, it's simple. What I thought was simply going to be a fun, enemies-to-lovers romance, turned out to be this beautiful, hilarious, profound, sex-positive, body-positive book about seeing yourself and loving yourself, dealing with the good and ugly sides of family, and falling in love. It challenged fatphobia and misogyny; it talked about me OKAY, I AM SCREAMING I LOVE THIS SO MUCH. I guess I have another new fave?? 😂 This was just beautiful! It's funny, it's heartwarming, it's poignant, it's moving, it's simple. What I thought was simply going to be a fun, enemies-to-lovers romance, turned out to be this beautiful, hilarious, profound, sex-positive, body-positive book about seeing yourself and loving yourself, dealing with the good and ugly sides of family, and falling in love. It challenged fatphobia and misogyny; it talked about mental illness, domestic violence, prejudice against sexually-active women, how religion can sometimes trigger worst in people; it also had a bit of disability rep and queer/sapphic rep. Also, Moon Fuentez as a main character is already a compliment itself. I loved her! I loved her character, her personality, her character arc, everything. She made this book so lively and definitely relatable. This book has it all. It's an instant favorite for me. 😭 CW: fatphobia, bigotry mostly influenced by religious views, misogyny, domestic violence/child abuse, unstable mental health, parental death, implied suicide, slut shaming, sexual harassment (minor/mild), sexual content (mild to graphic), racism Please look forward to my tour stop on August 14th with TBR and Beyond Tours! (And seriously, please go preorder/request this book!) Find me elsewhere: Instagram | Twitter | Blog

  15. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    Moon Fuentez assumes she’ll be nothing more than a merch girl and photographer for her celebrity sister when she’s forced to tag along on a countrywide tour for social media stars. She certainly doesn’t expect anyone to shine a spotlight on her and her artwork, and she absolutely didn’t envision a love/hate crush to bloom between her and the guy she’s sentenced to sling shirts with… and those are only a couple of things that transpire in these pages. I was completely mesmerized: Gilliland has no Moon Fuentez assumes she’ll be nothing more than a merch girl and photographer for her celebrity sister when she’s forced to tag along on a countrywide tour for social media stars. She certainly doesn’t expect anyone to shine a spotlight on her and her artwork, and she absolutely didn’t envision a love/hate crush to bloom between her and the guy she’s sentenced to sling shirts with… and those are only a couple of things that transpire in these pages. I was completely mesmerized: Gilliland has not just written a love story, but a story about grief, self-worth, rebirth, and breaking through cycles of abuse. Only words of the highest caliber can be used to describe How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe. This novel is phenomenal, extraordinary, spiritual, and breathtaking-- just to name a few. This book cracked open my ribcage and made both my heart and soul ache in the most wonderful way. Moon talks of how flowers become seeds, to flowers again, and how life remakes us anew through all sorts of experiences-- just being on this journey with her had that effect on me. I was wholeheartedly immersed in this stellar narrative of bittersweet healing.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Camryn

    I loved this very, very much. I heard a good portion of people talking about this book before it came out, and I can't believe it isn't everywhere. I was hooked from the beginning. I love Moon's voice, her interests, the way she thinks so many things are beautiful like words and plants and the outside. I have to talk about how real her voice sounds. A lot of times I read YA and it doesn't sound like a young person, not because it doesn't have the right slang or references, but it just doesn't cap I loved this very, very much. I heard a good portion of people talking about this book before it came out, and I can't believe it isn't everywhere. I was hooked from the beginning. I love Moon's voice, her interests, the way she thinks so many things are beautiful like words and plants and the outside. I have to talk about how real her voice sounds. A lot of times I read YA and it doesn't sound like a young person, not because it doesn't have the right slang or references, but it just doesn't capture what it's like to be sixteen or seventeen. But this absolutely did. I love Moon. I wanted to yell at her every single time she doubted herself or called herself a name. I think I've been through many things she has, thought the same things, too, but I wasn't constantly thinking about myself while reading this book. I was so engrossed in the story. Moon sees things a certain way, and it takes falling in love and being validated in different ways for her to see the truth. I thought the way the author did this was so so powerful. I side-eyed a lot of the family dynamics from the beginning, but didn't think the author would have the guts (or skill) to end up covering it the way she did, in an incredibly uplifting, real, and amazing way. I think I'm blown away to see this narrative about a girl who is put down by virtually everyone in her life learn to love herself. I loved the chapter titles and how they would tie into the concept of the chapters. The way Moon's art is described; a lot of teens in YAs are artists, but it doesn't feel real or vivid or as important as it is to Moon. I think I was so impressed because this covered a lot of tropes I see in other YA books and made them feel fresh and not corny. Santiago loves cooking, but it felt like something very specific and special to him, not a personality trait I've seen assigned to tons of love interests. I LOVED all the scenes about food. I too am I horrible cook and would die if someone started cooking for me. I loved, most of all, the relationship between Santiago and Moon. It was everything. Everything!!!!!!! From the nemesis to friends to lovers thing going on, the misunderstandings, Santiago being a big grump who schools his features a lot, Moon being awkward but completely hilarious, herself, and absolutely not letting Santiago pull any shit with her. There was so much chemistry, they just fit. The scenes where they both let their guard down was beautiful. I just had to have more of them. I kept squealing at my school lounge. I loved that Santiago and Moon messed up with each other over and over, but I never hated either one of them. I was like wow why did you do that??? But I understood. They felt like real people. I've met so many girls like Moon who hate themselves and it was beautiful to see a girl like that be loved. All the spots where Santiago says he likes the fat that she's "squishy" also made me melt into jelly, by the way. I liked that they were both jealous. I loved "she's the hot one, give her this nametag." And: "“I will make you hummingbird cake every day, I think.” Just GAH. The romance in this is PERFECT. I'm still so warm and fuzzy inside about it. I get why the ending happened that way with Star, but still hated her. My only problem with this book was that I think it was too long. I love Moon and the characters, but there were lots of parts I personally would've cut, and I think even the plot could've stopped at a certain point. But anyway. I think this might be the best book I've read this year, which is wild. Everyone should read it.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Selene Velez

    thank you to SimonTeen for a copy of this book! finished this in one day! How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe is a beautifully written book that’s main focus is the main character’s journey toward self-love and acceptance, but also touches on purity culture, toxic Christianity, and sex positivity in a well-developed and thoughtful manner. i loved the comedy/banter (and Moon’s unfiltered commentary) between the MC and her love interest Santiago, and the romance was also extremely ador thank you to SimonTeen for a copy of this book! finished this in one day! How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe is a beautifully written book that’s main focus is the main character’s journey toward self-love and acceptance, but also touches on purity culture, toxic Christianity, and sex positivity in a well-developed and thoughtful manner. i loved the comedy/banter (and Moon’s unfiltered commentary) between the MC and her love interest Santiago, and the romance was also extremely adorable and angsty, two of my favorite things. my favorite part of this book was Moon’s growth, and I think the author did a great job of writing the obstacles within her path and how she overcomes them. why this wasn’t 5⭐️: while i understand this was probably essential to Moon’s character development, I was not a big fan of how she consistently called herself the ugly sister or stated how unloved and detestable she was in the beginning of the book. it felt repetitive, and i would’ve preferred to see these thoughts come through in less direct ways (interactions with others maybe) but i think this is simply how i prefer to follow characters. i also found some of the things Moon says to be really cringey😭. like, yes she’s 17 going on 18 and is going to make dumb jokes, but as someone who was 18 a year ago, no one (personal experience) says “Chupacabra-poop” or “Jesus’s toenails” or like “Fidgesticks” or whatever. BUT STILL! great book! i started for the romance and loved that, along with the beautiful imagery, descriptive scene writing, and the way Gilliland incorporates discussion on the harm of purity culture and abuse of faith. CW // child abuse, suicide, sexual harassment (groping, comments), car accidents, depression, slut shaming [PLZ LOOK UP TW/CW ON YOUR OWN BEFORE READING!!]

  18. 4 out of 5

    Samantha (WLABB)

    Rating: 4.5 Stars Moon lived in the shadow of her beautiful and successful sister, Star. She dreaded accompanying Star on this influencer tour, but it seemed that Moon was able to shine outside of her toxic home. This tour might end up being one of the most important journeys Moon had ever taken. This book really touched on so many things, but for me, it was about not needing external validation to love yourself. Moon was the opposite of Star in every way possible, and the opposite of everything h Rating: 4.5 Stars Moon lived in the shadow of her beautiful and successful sister, Star. She dreaded accompanying Star on this influencer tour, but it seemed that Moon was able to shine outside of her toxic home. This tour might end up being one of the most important journeys Moon had ever taken. This book really touched on so many things, but for me, it was about not needing external validation to love yourself. Moon was the opposite of Star in every way possible, and the opposite of everything her mother thought was acceptable. Many dismissed her as having no worth, and she often sought approval in unhealthy ways. Removed from her normal environment, she started to be noticed for her photography and design skills, and over time, she believed in and accepted her talents. This journey from feeling invisible and worthless to accepting the best parts of herself was my favorite part of the book. Sometimes it’s hard to remember our own worth when others are constantly knocking us down, and this was a reminder to do so. The relationship that developed between Santiago and Moon was very special too. I won’t say they were instant besties. In fact, they had a rough start, but spending time together in close quarters allowed them to get to know each other better. Moon shared her passion for art, flowers, and photography, while Santiago shared his passion for cooking and salt. They developed a friendship and realized they had quite a bit in common. Santiago was probably tied with Moon for my favorite character. He surprised me, and he provided a solid support system for Moon when she really didn’t seem to have anyone to rely on. He was respectful of her autonomy while making sure she knew he was there for her. It ended up being one of the most healthy relationships Moon had ever engaged in. I must mention how beautifully written this story is as well. There were magical moments injected into this tale at certain points, and the prose flowed in a way that pulled me into the enchantment of the moment. It was lovely and lyrical, and really enhanced the mystical feel. At times, the story was quite painful, but also extremely beautiful and honest. Moon captured my attention and my heart from the very beginning as her feeling of being “less-than” really resonated with me. I was very proud of her growth and progress, and I am glad I had this opportunity to get to know Moon Fuentez. *ARC provided in exchange for an honest review. BLOG | INSTAGRAM |TWITTER | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    This book gave me too many words and left me speechless at the same time. I devoured it in one sitting, unable to keep myself from falling in love with the magic of Moon Fuentez and her universe. A story of healing, self-love, and finding the courage to bloom, this story is an artistic masterpiece that captured my heart and soul. Moon’s journey resonated with me - I admired how she transformed her deepest insecurities into armor that reflected her strength back to the world around her. This stor This book gave me too many words and left me speechless at the same time. I devoured it in one sitting, unable to keep myself from falling in love with the magic of Moon Fuentez and her universe. A story of healing, self-love, and finding the courage to bloom, this story is an artistic masterpiece that captured my heart and soul. Moon’s journey resonated with me - I admired how she transformed her deepest insecurities into armor that reflected her strength back to the world around her. This story so clearly captures what it is to feel small and undervalued, before flourishing beyond those limits to showcase what we are truly capable of when we learn to love ourselves for who we are. With a captivating cast of characters, a wonderfully witty enemies-to-lovers romance, and important messages we all need to be reminded of, this story is an absolute must-read.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Brittney

    There are some books -- and they're almost never the same books for everybody -- that just reach into your heart and touch some leftover broken part of yourself that you didn't realize you were holding onto. Characters that feel so real to you, you wonder if their lives on the page are some reflection of an alternate universe version of yourself. Moon Fuentes was that kind of magic for me. I didn't always like her; there were choices she made, things she said, that my adult self disapproved of. There are some books -- and they're almost never the same books for everybody -- that just reach into your heart and touch some leftover broken part of yourself that you didn't realize you were holding onto. Characters that feel so real to you, you wonder if their lives on the page are some reflection of an alternate universe version of yourself. Moon Fuentes was that kind of magic for me. I didn't always like her; there were choices she made, things she said, that my adult self disapproved of. But the adolescent me, she felt totally seen here. Favorite parts: - Moon's photography. I had never really thought about earth art as a media form in and of itself, and now I want the Moonflower Tarot IMMEDIATELY. - The relationship between Star and Moon. I don't think Star was a nice person, and I don't think we got to see enough of her own complexity, but I still love that even though they kept hurting each other, in the end, they thought of each other as a vital part of their constellations. - The romance with Santiago. Wooooooowee. I wish we'd gotten to see more of some of the side characters, especially Belle and Tia. And I wish I had known going in how intense the emotional abuse would be. But it really is a beautiful book, and I am so grateful I had the chance to read it.

  21. 5 out of 5

    rain

    there are books that shake you to the core and this is one of them. the poetic writing is everything i ever wanted and i still can't stop thinking about it. raquel vasquez gilliland has a way with words that leaves you breathless and wanting for more. how moon fuentez fell in love with the universe is a brilliant YA contemporary that is largely about self-love. in this book, we get to see moon grapple with insecurities about her body, her sexuality, and her worth. it also talks about grief, reli there are books that shake you to the core and this is one of them. the poetic writing is everything i ever wanted and i still can't stop thinking about it. raquel vasquez gilliland has a way with words that leaves you breathless and wanting for more. how moon fuentez fell in love with the universe is a brilliant YA contemporary that is largely about self-love. in this book, we get to see moon grapple with insecurities about her body, her sexuality, and her worth. it also talks about grief, religion, and parental abuse in a manner that is both meaningful and hard-hitting. this book resonated with me in a lot of ways, and im sure a lot of people will also find healing in its pages despite the heaviness of these topics. if you love romance, magical realism, pretty writing, and stories that will make you laugh and cry, this one is for you. im sure you will not be disappointed. there's so much magic to be found in these pages and i hope you can read it for yourself too.

  22. 5 out of 5

    ikram

    Have you ever wished a book doesn't end because you're so lost in the story? How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe made me feel. This is a young adult novel that solely focuses on loving yourself. This book highlights parental abuse, fatphobia, and sexually active women. Meet Moon Fuentez, a girl who follows her influencer twin sister on a tour where she learns how to love herself. Raquel Vasquez Gilliland wrote a raw and honest book that left me feeling warm at the end of the book. I Have you ever wished a book doesn't end because you're so lost in the story? How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe made me feel. This is a young adult novel that solely focuses on loving yourself. This book highlights parental abuse, fatphobia, and sexually active women. Meet Moon Fuentez, a girl who follows her influencer twin sister on a tour where she learns how to love herself. Raquel Vasquez Gilliland wrote a raw and honest book that left me feeling warm at the end of the book. I personally love how Gilliland makes a conversation about sex-positive in a careful and light manner. Kudos!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Amber

    Loved this so much. Moon and Santiago made my heart melt 🥺

  24. 5 out of 5

    Clarissa

    Moon Fuentez’ twin sister Star is an influencer and she gets invited to go on a Charity Tour, Moon being both her sister and photographer is forced to accompany her on the tour. She gets hired on as the merch girl, working and bunking alongside Santiago Phillips. I went into this thinking it was just an enemies to lovers YA romance. But this is so much more than just a YA romance, while we get the enemies to lovers trope in all its glory we also get so much more. We get body positivity, sex pos Moon Fuentez’ twin sister Star is an influencer and she gets invited to go on a Charity Tour, Moon being both her sister and photographer is forced to accompany her on the tour. She gets hired on as the merch girl, working and bunking alongside Santiago Phillips. I went into this thinking it was just an enemies to lovers YA romance. But this is so much more than just a YA romance, while we get the enemies to lovers trope in all its glory we also get so much more. We get body positivity, sex positivity, representation of all sorts. This is what the book was about at its core. It wasn’t necessarily just a romance it was about Moon and her coming to terms with herself and the romance was a lovely plot point that hooked me. The family based conflict in this book raised my blood pressure - I just want to talk to Moon’s mom, and by talk I mean fight. I want the world for Moon, I want to wrap her up in a blanket and keep her safe from her mother. I love this book, I cried like twice. Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lola

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This is going to be a rant. A very big, ugly rant. You have been warned. What in the fuck did I just read? Why? I wish I could bleach my brain to get rid of the amount of bullshit I have read. I don't like giving books bad review. I usually don't give less than 3 stars even if I don't like the book. But this book absolutely butchered my last brain cell. I am also not going to be bothered to write a blurb because I don't care 🧟‍♀️🧟‍♂️. The book at the start and middle was okay. Normal YA book stuf This is going to be a rant. A very big, ugly rant. You have been warned. What in the fuck did I just read? Why? I wish I could bleach my brain to get rid of the amount of bullshit I have read. I don't like giving books bad review. I usually don't give less than 3 stars even if I don't like the book. But this book absolutely butchered my last brain cell. I am also not going to be bothered to write a blurb because I don't care 🧟‍♀️🧟‍♂️. The book at the start and middle was okay. Normal YA book stuff. Moon's mother is one of those people who live and breathe religion. Toxic sort of religion. Purity and all included. She is abusive in every sense of the word. She taunts Moon, calls her "ugly, loud and bad daughter". She constantly compares her to her twin sister, Star. She slut-shames her own freaking daughter. Their are some things I hate in this world with all my soul, and one of them is slut shaming. Then her mom calls her "fat". WOW. My bad, add fat shaming to that list. Her sister Star is as religious as her mother. She is a pure virgin (emphasis on VIRGIN, God forbade) angel child who does not wear makeup and quotes Bible in her "fotogram" posts. Firstly, what kind of nonsensical trope is this. Which year is this again? What kind of barbaric era is her family from? This is a cult. Now, a summary of this book in my own words:: Moon is an insecure teenager who has to supress her dreams in order to be the unpaid labourer of her sister. She has to listen to all the taunts and jabs her mother throws at her, along with her knives. She has to join "The Summer Fotogram Influencers", a charity event, so that she can help her sister sell merch and be her personal assistant. There she meets Santiago. The start of another VERY SHITTY romance story. They have this tension between them blah, blah, blah. Then Moon gets bullied by her sister's "friends". What is Star doing to protect her, you wonder? 🤔 Being the angel virgin sister and all. She is busy laughing along with them!! Such a good sister. 😌 Jokes on you. Unfortunately, Moon's fotogram account hits off and becomes popular. The founder of fotogram, Andro, asks her to headline the rest of the tour. Because she is SO TALENTED. Moon refuses, aware of Star's bitchy behavior and all. And now Star is a jealous bitter angel virgin sister who wants Moon's boyfriend and success for her own. *gasp* Shocking, right? 😱😦🤯 “What’s this about you headlining the rest of the tour?” She’s breathless. “Uh, what?” How does she know about that already? “You went to lunch with Andro, right? Chamomila was around. She heard him talking about it.” Her cheeks are splotchy and pink. I sigh and close my eyes. “Star. He asked me to headline, yeah, but I said no.” Star’s face is ugly for the second or third time in her life. “Right. And what the heck did you do to make him offer that?” I open and close my mouth. Is she saying— “We all know what kind of girl you are, Moon.” Now the sister calls her twin sister a "slut". Like mother, like daughter. Side note: She said all this unprovoked. This is not the first time Star has behaved like an outright disgusting person. She downplayed Moon's achievements and interests because she did not want Moon to "steal her spotlight". She even lies to people about the story behind Moon's scars. (HINT : her mother did it. Her mother stabbed Moon because she was no longer a VIRGIN). If this is sister love, I don't know what's between me and my sister anymore. After she finds out Moon and Santiago are probably in a relationship, Star trashes Moon's camera and laptop. Because who doesn't? I do it all the time!! 😇😁😉 Every-sane-person-ever just trashes their sibling's stuff because they are a jealous little brat. Oh sorry, that was because Star is concerned about Moon "going down the bad path". With the Father's consultation, offcourse. This is not the end. Star comes crying back to Moon because her mother is a psychopath and trashed her belongings (that sounds like someone else in this novel. I wonder who? 😑) in anger. She asks for her forgiveness. The. Audacity. And Moon forgives her. Star is just jealous and insecure, people. Just jealous and insecure. Meanwhile a lot of drama is going on between Moon and Santiago, because there is nothing else left to this hollow, meaningless and crap story. Moon is even willing to forget Santiago to be a better sister. Yep. You read it right. Because that's what good sisters do. Like each other's boyfriend (which is UTTERLY DISGUSTING) and then agree to leave them because their sister is a toxic piece of shit. Moon and Santiago still end up together. This is the worst novel I've ever read. I usually do not finish them because I value my sanity. I hoped it would get better. It didn't. This is Lola. Don't be like Lola. ----------------------------------------------------------- It takes a different level of garbage brain to write this type of story. If I ever see this author again, I won't hesitate. I would go running away.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Starr ❇✌❇

    I received an ARC from Edelweiss TW: abusive mother, body shaming, slut shaming, racism, colorism, knife violence, ableism, suicide, mentions of/threats of forced institutionalization, mentioned fatal car accident 3.8 Moon expects another summer of being her twin sister's photographer, but she doesn't expect to be doing that on a tour bus. When her influencer sister, Star, gets invited to be part of a tour- alongside other Fotogram stars and the handsome owner of the app, Andro, himself- Moon g I received an ARC from Edelweiss TW: abusive mother, body shaming, slut shaming, racism, colorism, knife violence, ableism, suicide, mentions of/threats of forced institutionalization, mentioned fatal car accident 3.8 Moon expects another summer of being her twin sister's photographer, but she doesn't expect to be doing that on a tour bus. When her influencer sister, Star, gets invited to be part of a tour- alongside other Fotogram stars and the handsome owner of the app, Andro, himself- Moon gets dragged along and forced to sell merch. But it isn't that bad- she's getting paid, and she can pocket the money for the meal plan her mother gave her, meaning her dream of going to college far away, near her aunt, could actually be a reality. But first she needs to get through a summer of annoying celebrities, Andro's hot yet horrible younger brother, and a sister who's starting become unrecognizable. This book has the same beautiful writing and great pacing as Vasquez Gilliland's debut, Sia Martinez and the Moonlit Beginning of Everything, with just as interesting characters. I enjoyed reading this book because this is an author who knows how to write really well. The magic is integrated nicely, the language is descriptive and poetic without every making Moon seem flowery or overdone, and the short chapters and storytelling-feeling made it hard to put down. I love the idea of La Raiz so much, and the way Moon's feelings towards it progresses! I also love how the heavier parts of this story are dealt with. Moon is a character who deals with so much- including verbal and physical abuse from her mother, and grief from her father's death. The ways that is brought into her character are at times unexpected, but always feel honest. And the exploration of slut shaming, colorism, and abuse is well done and woven through the story in both heavy, important ways and casually enough to feel incredibly real. Where things fall short for me are, primarily, in the romance. I do think that Santiago could have been a good character and love interest, and their bickering, reluctant allies to lovers forced proximity thing is very much something I expected to like. But I couldn't, because Santiago is absolutely terrible. Part of it is just that he really, really has things he needs to work through before he gets involved with anyone, not to mention Moon. But it's the way he treats her, mostly. He's jealous, he's quick to get angry at her, he's judgmental and assumes things about her and then assumes she's lying or pretending when she proves him wrong or tells him he is. The idea of purity being used as a punishment or an unreachable goal is a big theme in this book, and yet it feels like that's what's happening in this book too. Santiago will only accept Moon if she's a certain way if she looks like she's missing that mark even a little he's ready to ship her off! There is nothing that makes me feel like they would have a healthy relationship, and he definitely does not deserve Moon. I was also hoping for more from Moon's sister. I love good and interesting sibling dynamics, and this had the makings of one. But Star is so surface level, I feel disappointed that we didn't get to see more of her. Her arc is sudden and her motives mostly left to assumption, and I would have loved more time with her as a person instead of an obstacle. I love the way Vasquez Gilliland writes, and her strong and complicated protagonists. I wish the supporting character had been given more depth or time, but I enjoyed reading Moon's story a lot.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Leelynn (Sometimes Leelynn Reads) ❤

    Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to TBR & Beyond Tours, Raquel Vasquez Gilliland, Netgalley, and Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers for this free copy. All quotes in this review are taken from the Advanced Reader Copy and may change in final publication. Gosh I am so ANGRY right now! Why? For a bunch of reasons. The main one is that it’s freaking OVER. But honestly, this was one of the best books that I Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to TBR & Beyond Tours, Raquel Vasquez Gilliland, Netgalley, and Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers for this free copy. All quotes in this review are taken from the Advanced Reader Copy and may change in final publication. Gosh I am so ANGRY right now! Why? For a bunch of reasons. The main one is that it’s freaking OVER. But honestly, this was one of the best books that I’ve read this year, and I am so freaking honored to have had the chance to read it. Also, can I just say shout out to Kyla Garcia for being the best narrator and portraying Moon Fuentez so freaking perfectly?! Okay back to why I’m angry. And trust me, this may seem weird but this is also why I loved reading this story by the time everything was said and done. MOON’S MOTHER AND SISTER ARE SUCH JERKS TO HER! My gosh, I felt so damn terrible for Moon because of all of their abuse! Yes, there is abuse in this story, mostly in the form of emotional and verbal abuse and instance of physical abuse. "If she really believed in that, she wouldn't treat you the way she does." Tell her, Santiago! Let’s listen to this: Star is Moon’s twin. Star is a “Fotogram” influencer and gets sponsorships and whatnot right? However, since they were 14 years old, Moon was volun-TOLD to be Star’s photographer, editor, etc. Everything she’s had to do was to make Star look beautiful and perfect for the ‘gram. Apparently Moon can’t be anything by herself, according to the words and actions of both her sister and their mother. You can even see what they really think about her in what they say to her. There’s an instance where Moon believes that Santiago doesn’t believe her when she says that her mom doesn’t even really love her, so she calls her. That whole conversation just blew me away because wow… yeah Mama Fuentez gives no shits about Moon whatsover. It was heartbreaking to hear it, to be quite honest. "You might want to think about coming home, mija. My knife might slip." But enough about Star and Mama Fuentez. I can’t stand them right now, especially after everything that happened I have no sympathy for them whatsoever. The real STAR of this novel is Moon Fuentez, the sister that is considered “ugly” or “unimportant” or “a nobody” because my girl is a true somebody. She was just never felt to feel that way by those close to her, which is a damn shame. Not only is she an amazing photographer – a fact that I think really makes Star jealous because in reality, Moon is the reason why she’s so aesthetic… and probably what made her get all those followers to become an influencer but I’ll be quiet about that – but she’s amazing at artwork. She creates her own fonts, and she’s designed her own tarot deck. I mean, she’s hella artistic and yet she’s not allowed to pursue that on her own free time because of her mother and sister. Listen, I understand that people have their ways of coping with grief and loss. I get that, but there are certain things that I just can’t condone. Again, that’s my opinion, and I could be biased because I don’t appreciate how they treated my precious Moon Fuentez. Gosh everything that she has done for her family only to be treated like crap?! Ughhh okay I can’t talk about this. I’m already so angry again thinking about this crap. Long story short: going through Moon’s journey during this summer that she didn’t even want to be a part of was an emotional ride. It was one that happens so often in real life but that a lot of people may not talk about or admit. It’s one that shows a young woman trying to be her own person in a world that doesn’t even see her, or learning that she is worth so much more than what she was meant to. I’m so glad that Moon has her Tia in her life, because that was the one person that always made Moon understand and feel that she was not everything that her mother said she was. I’m literally crying thinking about Moon at her lowest point, and even listening to the threatening messages from Mama Fuentez. I cried when hearing Tia’s fierce protection and loyalty for Moon, knowing that she will be okay without her nuclear family. This was just such an emotional novel all around, even the happy moments that were sprinkled here and there. This happens to be my first novel from Vasquez Gilliland and wow, her writing is absolutely powerful. I really want to read the rest of her novels, even if I end up getting emotionally distraught.

  28. 5 out of 5

    smalltownbookmom

    This book is absolutely INCREDIBLE! I LOVE Moon and Santiago SO SO SO MUCH!! I've only seen rave reviews for this wonderfully moving and heartbreaking book about Moon Fuentez, a fat Mexican American teenage girl spending a summer on tour with her gorgeous social media influencer twin sister. The range of emotions this book will bring out in you is vast, from toxic, abusive family relationships to the most swoon-worthy romance I've read in a while. Much more than a YA book this covers some heavy This book is absolutely INCREDIBLE! I LOVE Moon and Santiago SO SO SO MUCH!! I've only seen rave reviews for this wonderfully moving and heartbreaking book about Moon Fuentez, a fat Mexican American teenage girl spending a summer on tour with her gorgeous social media influencer twin sister. The range of emotions this book will bring out in you is vast, from toxic, abusive family relationships to the most swoon-worthy romance I've read in a while. Much more than a YA book this covers some heavy topics including grief, slut-shaming, body-shaming, the death of loved ones, homophobia, suicide, depression, mental illness, racism, ableism and homelessness. Moon is such a strong character with a spunky vibe all her own she is able to be true to herself despite the hate she experiences from her mother and even her sister at times. I also loved that she owns her sexuality and does not apologize for being a sexual person and I really enjoyed seeing Moon get appreciated for her artistic talents as the summer progresses and her tarot card designs blow up. And then there's Santiago, oh am I a sucker for a good Grumpy + Sunshine, enemies to lovers romance! Santiago is on tour because of his brother, much like Moon, and the two get forced together selling merch and being bunkmates. I am a little sad we didn't get any of the story from Santiago's perspective because he's such a quiet, brooding, FULL-hearted guy who only has eyes for Moon, even though it takes her a while to realize it. Santiago has his own challenges too, he lost a hand in a car accident but that doesn't stop him from pursuing his passion for cooking - and boy can he COOK!! The food descriptions in this book were one of my very favorite parts. Long story short, do yourself a favor and get to know Moon and Santiago. You will not be sorry! This was also excellent on audio and highly recommended for fans of Starfish or I am not your perfect Mexican daughter. CW: some explicit sexual scenes that may be more age appropriate for older teens

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ava Budavari

    Moon Fuentez fell in love with the universe, and I fell in love with her. I knew the second that I read Sia Martinez And The Moonlit Beginning Of Everything, Raquel Vasquez Gilliland was going to be a new favorite author, and Moon Fuentez did not disappoint. As much as this story is a romance, it is really about learning how to love yourself. How to love yourself enough to know who deserves to be in your life, to heal from the trauma you've faced. This book is a giant F U to purity culture and d Moon Fuentez fell in love with the universe, and I fell in love with her. I knew the second that I read Sia Martinez And The Moonlit Beginning Of Everything, Raquel Vasquez Gilliland was going to be a new favorite author, and Moon Fuentez did not disappoint. As much as this story is a romance, it is really about learning how to love yourself. How to love yourself enough to know who deserves to be in your life, to heal from the trauma you've faced. This book is a giant F U to purity culture and diet culture which was amazing. And every time Moon owned her right to stand up for herself, to take up space and set boundaries, to go after her true heart's desire, I felt like I could too. What a beautiful, beautiful book.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Bethany Dickey

    WOWWWW I am generally not super into YA contemporary anymore but this was unbelievably good. It wasn't set in high school, so it's a bit older than some YA, and there was a small magical realism element that I absolutely adored. SO many themes were explored - purity culture, abuse, sisterhood, social media, disability, fatphobia, Latinx culture....probably more??? Engaging writing, I would die for Moon and LOVED THIS WOWWWW I am generally not super into YA contemporary anymore but this was unbelievably good. It wasn't set in high school, so it's a bit older than some YA, and there was a small magical realism element that I absolutely adored. SO many themes were explored - purity culture, abuse, sisterhood, social media, disability, fatphobia, Latinx culture....probably more??? Engaging writing, I would die for Moon and LOVED THIS

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...