Release date: Aug. 11
Why you should read it: This book took me by surprise! Raquel has such a poetic, lush way of writing and creating characters that it's hard not to become sucked into the story — and it's one with such an interesting mix of genres. Sia Martinez lives in a small Arizona town and is dealing with the deportation of her mother, whom she hasn't seen or heard from in three years. She believes her mother to be dead. There's a splash of romance that happens when a new boy named Noah moves into town, but the speculative element comes into play when Noah, Sia, and Sia's best friend get caught up in a space mystery after a blue-lit spacecraft crashes in front of Sia's car carrying her mother, who is very much alive. Raquel presents topics of immigration, assault, racism, grief, and abuse and writes about them in a careful yet realistic manner. Once you begin reading, it's hard to put down.
Get it from Bookshop for $17.47, Barnes and Noble for $18.99, or from a local independent bookstore through Indiebound here.