Temporada de Huracanes was the pick for this month for the book club with my friends from Mexico. Melchor writes a book that immerses the reader in a small, poor town in Veracruz where a body is found by a group of kids in a canal. The body belongs to the Bruja, or witch, of the town and who has a lot of rumors surrounding her life, her powers, everything about her really. What follows the first chapter where she is found is 7 more chapters, each narrated by a different person related to how the Bruja ended up in that canal.
Each chapter unfolds a new layer to the complexity of each character, telling us more details about their lives and also about their perspective on why the Bruja ended up dead. There is a lot of violence within these pages: emotional, physical, and sexual, but it is not done in a nonsensical way. Melchor takes extra care on when she uses graphic language vs not and she also chooses how each character speaks with intention.
The language used in the book is very specific to the region of Veracruz where the book is set. While it is a fictional town, my friends from Veracruz confirmed that this is how people talk there and I also can confirm that that is how I’ve heard older relatives talk as well. There is a lot to say about this book, the themes about socioeconomic status, religion, academic education, sexual education, culture, addiction, children forced to become adults early in their lives, just a lot!
One thing I will say that I loved about this book is how Melchor managed to write characters that I feel like I now know personally. She is able to make us see the worst of people but also the best of them, they do some really horrible things but we also see how they ended up in those situations. Impossible decisions to make in that context!
In the book club we talked about how our perspective is one of privilege and this book is only a window into that world so we can’t begin to imagine what it would actually be like to live in that world. If we’ve ever touched a corner of that world in our lives, our instinct is to turn and go the other direction. This now leaves us with knowledge of this world and also empathy for that world as well as understanding.
I’d love to recommend this book to everyone but this book is not for everyone. As I mentioned, there is a lot of emotional, physical, and sexual violence, as well as heartbreaking situations with everyone, from minors to adults. However, if you do choose to read it and you can get it in Spanish I’d recommend that, I’ve seen that the translation is pretty good as well.
But first, let’s take a look at what I’m currently reading:
The Stand by Stephen King: Yep, still buddy reading this, nearing 75% now and I’m so ready to see how this all wraps up!
Todos los Cuentos by Gabriel García Márquez: I am nearing the end of this book and I just love how Márquez manages to envelop me in beautiful writing and just all the atmosphere of his stories.
Emma by Jane Austen: I was not expecting this one to be so funny! I absolutely love Emma’s dad, he’s ridiculous in the most endearing way ever.
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon: I barely started this one and it will unfortunately go into the backburner for a bit since I’ll be putting other books as priority for the first half of September. However, I’m super enjoying the writing so far, I need to know what is going to happen!
Temporada de Huracanes by Fernanda Melchor: This is the new pick for the book club with my friends and wow it’s so good! It is about brujas in a town in Veracruz, Mexico. A woman, known to be a witch in her town, is found murdered and so far we see how her origin is full of rumors, mythology, and violence. Excellent writing, absolutely love it.
And now, let’s look at what I will read for the Novice path for the Magical Readathon that I mentioned above!
For my character I’ve chosen to create Anukis Atali who lives in the urban center of Kerador and who is of Skaimorn heritage. She is a reader who has always been super curious about the magic that might be within her but which she has never been able to harness except in moments of intense pressure. She was raised by her great-uncle who is all about searching for the origins of his ancestors, genealogy is his passion. As such, Anukis knows that she comes from a line of powerful magic, which makes her inability to harness her own quite frustrating. The three books seen (Fight Club, Romancing Mr. Bridgerton, and Club Dumas) will be read before April 2022 so I will talk about them in future TBRs.
So the idea for September is that my character will be embarking on the journey to Orilium Academy in order to learn how to harness her magical abilities. As such she must travel through various landmarks, each marking a trial that she must endure and pass in order to make it to the Academy. She’s not alone but she’s also super shy so hopefully she’ll be able to overcome that shyness in order to get to her goal.
The Novice Path Entrance — Read a book with a map: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo: No, I haven’t read the Shadow and Bone series but I absolutely love heist movies and I’ve never read a heist book so I really wanted to check this out. I don’t know much more about this book other than the heist element and I am pretty sure that’s all I need!
Ashtorn Tree — A book on top of your TBR: Wordslut: A Feminist Guide to Taking Back the English Language by Amanda Montell: This is the pick for this month’s Feminist Book club so of course it’s at the top of my TBR! This book takes a look at words that have often been used against women, labeling women as less than, and tracks their origins in order to take away that negative connotation and allow the reader to take back the word into a different kind of use.
The Mist of Solitude — Read a Standalone: In the Wild Light by Jeff Zentner: I am SO excited to read this book. I’ve loved all of Zentner’s books so far and I don’t expect this one to be any different. I don’t even know what this book is about!
Ruin of the Skye — Read a book featuring ghosts/supernatural elements: Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas: This book follows Yadriel, a Latinx brujx, who has managed to summon the ghost of the school’s resident bad boy, Julian Diaz. Now they are forced to work together in order to set things right for both of them. Ghosts, romance, LGBTQ+ and Latinx representation, can’t wait!
Obsidian Falls — Read a thriller or mystery book: The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix: I am a big fan of horror movies and one of the tropes in many of them is that final girl who manages to survive. So this book follows a group of final girls who have survived their respective serial killers and who now come together to help each other deal with the aftermath. But apparently their horror story is not over….
Tower of Rumination — Read a five star prediction: Sabrina & Corina by Kali Fajardo-Anstine: This is a series of short stories centered around Latinas of indigenous ancestry. There’s friendship, motherhood, sisterhood, and heritage. I’m pretty sure I’ll love this.
Orilium Academy Arc — Book with a school setting: A Tale of Magic by Chris Colfer: A middle-grade book about Brystal, a 14-year-old girl who is whisked away to a magical school where she’ll learn that maybe her life is not as boring as she thought! I loved The Land of Stories series so I expect that this will be no different.
And that’s it for the Novice Path TBR! IF there’s time at all, I will also be starting All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, which came up in my last Want To Read List Cleanup post. As it stands, it might be pushed into October but that’s quite alright since there’s no hurry. Who knows, I might be in the mood and start it even while working on the books for the Orilium journey, we’ll see!