As a Latinx writer who covers upcoming books on a regular basis, I get a lot of recommendations from publishers. While I would like to read all of them before they are available to the masses, life often gets in the way. Still, I add many new (and newish) novels to my TBR (to be read) list and am happy when I see more and more Latinx books appearing on my doorstep, in my emails, and on my social media. Here are five fab 2023 Latinx books that will be making their mark this year and should be on your TBR list.
Ana Maria and The Fox by Liana de la Rosa
There has been a healthy buzz surrounding Ana Maria and The Fox, penned by “MexiRican” author Liana de la Rosa. The novel, which was released on April 4, 2023, and set in the Victorian era, follows Mexican heiresses in the Luna sisters. They go to London to “seek refuge from the French occupation of Mexico.” While there, Ana Maria Luna Valdés meets Gideon Fox, and everything changes. We’re talking forbidden romance, Victorian fanciness, and rich and powerful Mexican characters – aka everything you need for a must-read historical romance, the Latinx way.
The Faraway World by Patricia Engel
As a Colombian-American, I am especially drawn to and look forward to reading books written by Colombian authors. After having read and loved Infinite Country by Patricia Engel, I automatically add any new work of hers to my TBR list. Luckily, I received an advance copy of The Faraway World, a collection of 10 short stories “linked by themes of migration, sacrifice, hope, and moral compromise,” that dropped on January 24 of this year. I love collections of short stories, as they allow you to meet a multitude of characters and dive in and out of different worlds with ease. This array of tales doesn’t disappoint.
Los Monstruos: Felice and the Wailing Woman by Diana López
There’s a very good chance you have heard of the legend of La Llorona, the sorrowful woman who is destined to cry forever for her children who she drowned. But you haven’t seen her in this light. Diana López’s middle-grade novel, Los Monstruos: Felice and the Wailing Woman, introduces us to 12-year-old Felice, who is La Llorona’s daughter, and who has taken on the task of freeing her mom from eternal spiritual limbo. She is joined by other kids of monstruos to help the town of Tres Leches rid itself of its curses. Added bonus? This adorable book, which is available as of April 18, is the first in a series!
Borderless by Jennifer De Leon
Fashion? A Latina protagonist? Sign me up! Borderless is Jennifer de Leon’s latest novel, and it takes readers to Guatemala City, where Maya Silva is attending fashion school. Her innovative designs, reusing discarded materials, have gotten the attention of the industry. Maya is hoping to get a fashion prize, which will allow her and her mother to leave their dangerous neighborhood. When she meets artist Sebastian, who was deported from the U.S., love blooms. But there are also secrets and events so scary that Maya doesn’t know whether to stay in Guatemala or head to the Mexico-U.S. border. Doesn’t this description make you want to read this Guatemalteca-penned book ASAP?
The Wind Knows My Name by Isabel Allende
Chilean icon Isabel Allende automatically garners respect and attention, even before a single, new word has been read. Her latest novel, The Wind Knows My Name, will be available to readers en masse on June 6, 2023 and so is obviously one of the 2023 Latinx books to read. It follows two interwoven stories of young children forced to immigrate to new lands in the face of war. One is a boy, Samuel Adler, who escapes the Nazis in 1938 Vienna by boarding a Kindertransport train to the UK. The other is a girl, Anita Diaz, who ends up in a Nogales camp after escaping El Salvador in 2019. The back cover of the novel says, “It is both a testament to the sacrifices that parents make and a love letter to the children who survive the most unfathomable dangers–and never stop dreaming.”