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“Xochital is destined to wander the desert alone, speaking her troubled village’s stories into its arid winds. Her only companions are the blessed stars above and enimagic lines of poetry magically strewn across dusty dunes.

Her one desire: to share her heart with a kindred spirit.

One night, Xo’s wish is granted—in the form of Emilia, the cold and beautiful daughter of the town’s murderous mayor. But when the two set out on a magical journey across the desert, they find their hearts could be a match… if only they can survive the nightmare-like terrors that arise when the sun goes down.”

Each of Us a Desert

I got an ARC of this book.

I ended up not finishing this book, but I feel confident writing a review. I read a third of the book and have some pretty strong opinions.

The book isn’t bad per say. I was just bored. The story never picked up for me. If I am bored after a hundred pages, why am I still reading? The biggest issue for me really was that the story resembled one of my favorite books and it just couldn’t compare. So I think this is really on me and not the book. My favorite is a novella and had so much more of an emotional impact, then this one takes a hundred pages to really even have the plot start to go somewhere? I just couldn’t take it.

The writing was really pretty. I was impressed with how fluid that everything was. It flowed between English and Spanish in a way that felt organic and wonderful. It was not a forced switch with constantly translations for the English reader. It was just the way things were. It was lovely and really added a truth to the story that just wouldn’t have existed otherwise. I can’t imagine this story written in any other way. It really was a big detail and the main thing I liked.

The author is clearly not someone who was born with a vagina. I say this because there were SO MANY references to her period and cramping. Seriously? My period was literally two weeks long and had a week of cramping and mood swings before it. I bled so much I was seriously scared of bleeding out. I had to see doctors. I am trans and my world shut down for three weeks every month, because of this. Yet, I still thought about my period less. This was just another example of an author who doesn’t quite get what being a woman is like. The story would not have been any different if she didn’t have her period. It served no purpose but to make me roll my eyes. There were even more references to peeing, like even the smell of her urine was described at one point. It just didn’t make any sense to me. This was part of why I was bored.

I didn’t even make it to the queer content I was promised. Maybe you will make it further. I just couldn’t take the meandering plot that never seemed to start. The writing was great (most of the time). It really was just the slow pacing on this one. I wanted to like it.

2 out of 5 stars. I would not recommend this book.

You can buy the book here.

~Isaiah