Book Review: Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno García

This is the story of Casiopea Tun, an eighteen year old girl living with her mean and grumpy grandfather in a small town in Yucatán after the death of her dad. Her mom was grandpa’s favorite before she ran off and married a half-Maya journalist from Merida. Now, they are the undesirable poor relatives who he had to take in, and treats like servants. But one day, Casiopea wakes up the Mayan god of death and is pushed into an adventure that will change her life forever.

I tend to dislike YA, but I found this story cute and charming. I also liked how the author portrayed Mexican culture with such an accuracy, with all its flaws and quirkinesses. That you don’t learn doing research for a book or staying a few months in Merida; it only comes through opening your heart and really seeing us or being one of us.

This story didn’t need to be peppered in Spanish (it wasn’t) a-la American Dirt to feel real, to portray what it feels to be Mexican. And I loved that.

Author: Carla Hafez

Reader of mostly literary fiction and own-voices fiction. Latina. Feminist. Amateur reviewer. Opinionated. Unapologetically progressive. Mom. Wife. Believer.

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