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Juliet takes a breath
2019
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Coming out to her Puerto Rican-American family, a girl from the Bronx pursues an internship under a legendary feminist author during a summer of exploring identity, race and first love. - (Baker & Taylor)

"Juliet, a self-identified queer, Bronx-born Puerto Rican-American, comes out to her family to disastrous results the night before flying to Portland to intern with her feminist author icon--whom Juliet soon realizes has a problematic definition of feminism that excludes women of color"-- - (Baker & Taylor)

A People magazine Best Book of Fall 2019
An Amazon Best Young Adult Book of 2019
"F***ing outstanding."--Roxane Gay, New York Times bestselling author


Juliet Milagros Palante is a self-proclaimed closeted Puerto Rican baby dyke from the Bronx. Only, she's not so closeted anymore. Not after coming out to her family the night before flying to Portland, Oregon, to intern with her favorite feminist writer--what's sure to be a life-changing experience. And when Juliet's coming out crashes and burns, she's not sure her mom will ever speak to her again.

But Juliet has a plan--sort of. Her internship with legendary author Harlowe Brisbane, the ultimate authority on feminism, women's bodies, and other gay-sounding stuff, is sure to help her figure out this whole "Puerto Rican lesbian" thing. Except Harlowe's white. And not from the Bronx. And she definitely doesn't have all the answers . . .

In a summer bursting with queer brown dance parties, a sexy fling with a motorcycling librarian, and intense explorations of race and identity, Juliet learns what it means to come out--to the world, to her family, to herself. - (Penguin Putnam)

Author Biography

Gabby Rivera is a Bronx-born queer Puerto Rican babe on a mission to create the wildest, most fun stories ever. She's the first Latina to write for Marvel comics, penning the solo series AMERICA about America Chavez, a portal-punching queer Latina powerhouse. In 2017, Gabby was named one of the top comic creators by the SyFy network, and one of NBC's #Pride30 Innovators. Gabby now makes magic on both coasts, currently residing in California. She writes for all the sweet baby queers and her mom. - (Penguin Putnam)

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Trade Reviews

Kirkus Reviews

Bronx native Juliet Palante lands her dream internship in Portland, Oregon, the summer after her freshman year of college. In 2003, the 9/11 attacks are a recent memory, mixtapes are in full effect, and Juliet comes out as a lesbian to her Puerto Rican family the night before she leaves town. Bearing the pain of her mother's disapproval, Juliet bravely moves forward (pa'lante!) in hopes of self-transformation with Harlow Brisbane, author of Raging Flower: Empowering Your Pussy by Empowering Your Mind—Juliet's beloved "magical labia manifesto." Curious and open, Juliet plops into Harlow's white hippie world of polyamorous lesbians and feminism while she questions her purpose as a brown-skinned, curvy, asthmatic, Puerto Rican lesbian. When a Raging Flower reading blows up, Juliet flees, seeking refuge with her badass revolutionary cousin and her queer chosen family, further expanding her understanding of personal freedom. Diverse primary and secondary characters reflect believable communities in Portland and Miami, although the portrayal of Filipino tertiary character Phen lacks cultural text ure. Rivera (America, Vol. 2: Fast and Fuertona, 2018, etc.) offers up a passionate tribute to the power of one's voice through Juliet's savvy and tender narration. Crucial and intense explorations of sexual orientation, gender identity, and race ring true. A white and Korean librarian love interest and a masturbation scene add sweet sensuality to Juliet's self-discovery. A whirlwind coming-of-age story that leaves one breathless. (Fiction. 14-adult) Copyright Kirkus 2019 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

PW Annex Reviews

In this retooling of her YA debut, Rivera explores intersectional feminism through a self-described "closeted Puerto-Rican baby-dyke from the Bronx." Juliet Palante has just finished her freshman year of college, and after seeing her girlfriend off and coming out to her family, she's headed to Portland, Ore., to intern for "the Pussy Lady": Harlowe Brisbane, author of Raging Flower: Empowering Your Pussy by Empowering Your Mind. Brisbane, who is white, is awfully relaxed about the internship and their living arrangements, and her brand of feminism seems limited to Juliet, who is not sure she can be comfortable in New Agey, predominantly white Portland. But Palante means "to move forward," and in Rivera's expansive prose (a mix of letters, book excerpts, and narration), Juliet does. In trying to keep it together, and sometimes succeeding, she comes off as wonderfully human, worrying about her first girlfriend (and maybe her second); her mother's bad reaction to her coming out; and navigating micro aggressions, new ideas, and research before Google. Best of all, Juliet's eye-opening summer of identity research reflects early adult life—intense experiences and relationships, and the work of finding oneself—in all its messy, confusing splendor. Ages 14–up. (Sept.)

Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly Annex.

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