Hot Best Seller

We Light Up the Sky

Availability: Ready to download

In a haunting, genre-bending YA, award-winning author Lilliam Rivera explores the social and racial ramifications of an alien invasion from the perspective of three Latinx teens. Pedro, Luna, and Rafa may attend Fairfax High School together in Los Angeles, but they run in separate spheres. Pedro is often told that he's "too much" and seeks refuge from his home life in a loc In a haunting, genre-bending YA, award-winning author Lilliam Rivera explores the social and racial ramifications of an alien invasion from the perspective of three Latinx teens. Pedro, Luna, and Rafa may attend Fairfax High School together in Los Angeles, but they run in separate spheres. Pedro is often told that he's "too much" and seeks refuge from his home life in a local drag bar. Luna is pretending to go along with the popular crowd but is still grieving the unexpected passing of her beloved cousin Tasha. Then there's Rafa, the quiet new kid who is hiding the fact that his family is homeless. But Pedro, Luna, and Rafa find themselves thrown together when an extraterrestrial visitor lands in their city and takes the form of Luna's cousin Tasha. As the Visitor causes destruction wherever it goes, the three teens struggle to survive and warn others of what's coming--because this Visitor is only the first of many. But who is their true enemy--this alien, or their fellow humans? Can Pedro, Luna, and Rafa find a way to save a world that has repeatedly proven it doesn't want to save them? Pura Belpré Honor-winning author Lilliam Rivera examines the days before a War of the Worlds-inspired alien invasion in this captivating and chilling new novel.


Compare

In a haunting, genre-bending YA, award-winning author Lilliam Rivera explores the social and racial ramifications of an alien invasion from the perspective of three Latinx teens. Pedro, Luna, and Rafa may attend Fairfax High School together in Los Angeles, but they run in separate spheres. Pedro is often told that he's "too much" and seeks refuge from his home life in a loc In a haunting, genre-bending YA, award-winning author Lilliam Rivera explores the social and racial ramifications of an alien invasion from the perspective of three Latinx teens. Pedro, Luna, and Rafa may attend Fairfax High School together in Los Angeles, but they run in separate spheres. Pedro is often told that he's "too much" and seeks refuge from his home life in a local drag bar. Luna is pretending to go along with the popular crowd but is still grieving the unexpected passing of her beloved cousin Tasha. Then there's Rafa, the quiet new kid who is hiding the fact that his family is homeless. But Pedro, Luna, and Rafa find themselves thrown together when an extraterrestrial visitor lands in their city and takes the form of Luna's cousin Tasha. As the Visitor causes destruction wherever it goes, the three teens struggle to survive and warn others of what's coming--because this Visitor is only the first of many. But who is their true enemy--this alien, or their fellow humans? Can Pedro, Luna, and Rafa find a way to save a world that has repeatedly proven it doesn't want to save them? Pura Belpré Honor-winning author Lilliam Rivera examines the days before a War of the Worlds-inspired alien invasion in this captivating and chilling new novel.

30 review for We Light Up the Sky

  1. 5 out of 5

    emma

    I don't, it may surprise you to learn, actually like being mean. While I feel a certain je-ne-sais-quoi joyousness when I am writing a one-star review of a book that deserves it (the racist, the sexist, the stupid), even though I know these ones are most likely to receive an unending wave of disagreeable comments that will suck the life, happiness, and will to go on out of me...I do not like writing negative reviews of books that mean well. And I tried to talk myself into liking this book. I did. I don't, it may surprise you to learn, actually like being mean. While I feel a certain je-ne-sais-quoi joyousness when I am writing a one-star review of a book that deserves it (the racist, the sexist, the stupid), even though I know these ones are most likely to receive an unending wave of disagreeable comments that will suck the life, happiness, and will to go on out of me...I do not like writing negative reviews of books that mean well. And I tried to talk myself into liking this book. I did. Even though it's sci-fi (bleh). Even though COVID-19 occurred in the universe of this story (reprehensible). Even though I really don't like the cover (the greatest sin of all). I mean, it's an ARC with an ensemble cast of main characters of color, one of whom is unhoused, one of whom is mourning. These are all good things. But they're the only good things I've got. The writing style was stilted, especially the dialogue, which was really unbelievable. I didn't care about the characters, maybe because the whole thing felt too short, which I (Goodreads' leading short books advocate) never say. It had a randomly inserted unnecessary romance, and, perhaps most inexplicably of all, NO CONTRACTIONS. So it is with a heavy heart I say, Bottom line: Don't write books about COVID. Or with any of the stuff above. But mostly that. --------------- pre-review my first time reading a book in which COVID-19 exists. i am filled with dread. update: warranted dread, to be precise. review to come / 2 stars --------------- challenging myself to read as many review copies as possible this month because i'm addicted to projects! ARC 1: spaceman of bohemia ARC 2: in search of us ARC 3: aerialists ARC 4: the sound of drowning ARC 5: unleaving ARC 6: the other side of luck ARC 7: romanov ARC 8: the storm keeper's island ARC 9: gut check ARC 10: when force meets fate ARC 11: sisters in hate ARC 12: before i disappear ARC 13: big time ARC 14: stolen science ARC 15: have a little faith in me ARC 16: invitation to a bonfire ARC 17: the splendor ARC 18: how to be luminous ARC 19: the little women cookbook ARC 20: while we were dating ARC 21: the lost girls ARC 22: wait for it ARC 23: your life has been delayed ARC 24: a million things ARC 25: the royals next door ARC 26: the love hypothesis ARC 27: we light up the sky

  2. 4 out of 5

    Zoraida

    Grounded SFF like Attack the Block, following the real lives of latinx kids in LA.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Andy

    Thank you to B2Weird book club & tours as well as Bloomsbury for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Aliens come to earth and everyone has a good time (jk no one does lmao). Pedro, Luna and Rafa may all go to the same school, but they don't normally run in the same circles. Pedro's home life is far from ideal and spends most of his time at his local drag bar. Luna runs with the popular kids, but she's still grieving the loss of her beloved cousin Tasha. Rafa Thank you to B2Weird book club & tours as well as Bloomsbury for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Aliens come to earth and everyone has a good time (jk no one does lmao). Pedro, Luna and Rafa may all go to the same school, but they don't normally run in the same circles. Pedro's home life is far from ideal and spends most of his time at his local drag bar. Luna runs with the popular kids, but she's still grieving the loss of her beloved cousin Tasha. Rafa is the quiet yet kind new kid who is hiding the fact that his family is houseless. When an alien comes to Earth and takes on the form of Tasha, the three must reunite in order to figure out why the Visitor is on Earth. As the Visitor gets increasingly more violent, the three must figure out how to stop it without getting caught in the crossfire. This book is like a mix of contemporary and alien invasion. Two things you wouldn't think work at first, but surprisingly work very well together. We rotate POVs between these three and while this can happen within the same chapter, the way its written always lets you know who the narrator is. I found these three very compelling narrators, especially Luna. Her grief was so relatable for me and I just wanted to give her a hug. Really though all three of our narrators need hugs. They're all too soft I love them! I liked that we got to know the cast before everything starts getting alien wild. We see the kids at school and with their families. But as things start to get more preposterous with the Visitor, we watch the kids get closer and begin relying on each other. The plot was exciting and paced well. I never felt bored with this book. I liked how we got vague and broad clues from the omniscient narrator that things weren't as they appear or that certain actions would have overarching effects. The ending was stressful in the best way. I really hope there will be a spin-off or a sequel because the ending was slightly mean! I need closure pleaseeeee. Overall, I would definitely recommend this story to contemporary and sci-fi lovers. Rep: Latine (Puerto Rican) female MC, Latine (Mexican-American) pansexual male MC, queer (Mexican-American) Latine male MC, Latine side characters. CWs: Blood, body horror, colonisation, death, fire, gore, grief, gun violence, injury/injury detail, medical content (death from COVID-19), murder, violence. Moderate: police brutality, racism.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    The three Latinx LA high schoolers in this story are as different as you can imagine. But what unites them is they're together when the aliens begin to arrive and realize they need to work together to stave off the invasion. This is a clever take on colonization, racism, and, of course, the alien story. Woven into the book is the contemporary COVID-19 crisis, which plays a big part in how the aliens begin to arrive (view spoiler)[ though I never quite got the WHY of Tasha here -- what made her bo The three Latinx LA high schoolers in this story are as different as you can imagine. But what unites them is they're together when the aliens begin to arrive and realize they need to work together to stave off the invasion. This is a clever take on colonization, racism, and, of course, the alien story. Woven into the book is the contemporary COVID-19 crisis, which plays a big part in how the aliens begin to arrive (view spoiler)[ though I never quite got the WHY of Tasha here -- what made her body the target other than the photo in the museum? (hide spoiler)] All of the teens are truly teens, and we're able to experience a social media influencer with social clout, a well-off teen girl dealing with immense grief, and a teen boy who experiences homelessness and the reality of that life. The ending on this one worked for me quite well, though I know a lot of readers will be less than pleased. But it serves the story, and because this is a tightly-told story, anything else wouldn't make narrative sense nor leave readers feeling satisfied at the conclusion. Rivera is impressive in range, that's for sure. I'm not entirely sure how I feel yet about COVID as part of novels. It has to be there to be a contemporary novel, since it IS our reality and it shapes every single moment of our lives -- has for 19 months -- but it's also supremely uncomfortable and unsettling in so much that reading can't be an escape from it, either. It's a weird line on which to sit. Pair this one with Bent Heavens for two very different takes on what it means to be human and what it means to be alien.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kye

    I wanted to like this. I truly did. The premise had so much potential. But oh was it so poorly written. The entire book read like a stilted documentary. Like the author had been watching planet earth on repeat and went oooo that's the perfect writing style. ALL telling ZERO showing. This made it impossible to connect with the characters. Which sucks because they could've been so loveable. Each character has their own trauma which gets lost in the author forcing how I should feel or think down my I wanted to like this. I truly did. The premise had so much potential. But oh was it so poorly written. The entire book read like a stilted documentary. Like the author had been watching planet earth on repeat and went oooo that's the perfect writing style. ALL telling ZERO showing. This made it impossible to connect with the characters. Which sucks because they could've been so loveable. Each character has their own trauma which gets lost in the author forcing how I should feel or think down my throat every page. I wanted to connect with the characters, care about them, feel for them but the writing style made it utterly impossible. This short novella was almost a dnf. I was hoping the ending would save it, but like everything else I was disappointed.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jenna

    This book talks about COVID, if you aren’t ready to read about that then I wouldn’t recommend picking this up.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Bekka

    If you are reading or watching a Science Fiction/Fantasy book or movie, how important to you is that everything is believable within the confines of the story? For me, it's pretty important and unfortunately that's what made this go from a highly recommended book to one that I am on the fence about. The plot follows three Latinx teenagers who attend the same high school. They are all dealing with serious issues: Luna is mourning the loss of her cousin who died from COVID-19, Pedro is part of the If you are reading or watching a Science Fiction/Fantasy book or movie, how important to you is that everything is believable within the confines of the story? For me, it's pretty important and unfortunately that's what made this go from a highly recommended book to one that I am on the fence about. The plot follows three Latinx teenagers who attend the same high school. They are all dealing with serious issues: Luna is mourning the loss of her cousin who died from COVID-19, Pedro is part of the LGBTQIA+ community which makes him not fit in at school or home, and Rafa is trying to hide the fact that his family is homeless. Just their hardships would be enough for a poignant story, but an alien visitor joins the story. Once on Earth, the Visitor kills dispassionately and without mercy. I do have a major gripe with the logic of the alien's powers. (view spoiler)[The alien, or the Visitor, is described as being this viscous blob that can shape shift. It has powers over flora and fauna. All of that I think is pretty neat. What does bother me is that when the alien shapeshifts to look like Luna's dead cousin Tasha from a photograph, the alien somehow absorbs some of Tasha's memories and emotions that take place after the photograph was even taken. Firstly, I find the concept of memories and emotions being stored in a picture to be highly suspect logically, but when the picture predates those very memories and emotions it becomes completely nonsensical to me. I understand that the author wanted to be able to make it even more emotional that the alien had a connection with Tasha, but there are other more truthful (to the story/ reader's belief system) ways to achieve said goal. (hide spoiler)] Caught in the alien's crosshairs, Luna, Pedro, and Rafa struggle with whether they should make themselves vulnerable to a violent entity for a world that has treated them so poorly. This is only exaggerated with the multiple instances that security, police, and other adults treat the Latinx teens as inferior throughout the book. Another pet peeve is that while the author refers to the alien as The Visitor throughout the book, so does Pedro. (view spoiler)[I am aware that this is a small pet peeve. (hide spoiler)] While much of the writing was very good, I found that it felt rushed and some details just didn't feel resolved. I do feel that a younger person, whom this young adult novel is more geared towards may or may not like the brevity and the fast paced action. This book does deal with: loss of a loved one, homelessness, toxic masculinity, police brutality, COVID-19, and violence towards animals and humans.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kasey Giard

    I read and loved NEVER LOOK BACK, a retelling of the Greek myth Orpheus and Eurydice by Lilliam Rivera, so when I saw this new book, I pretty much knew I was going to have to read it. Sci-fi isn’t my top preferred genre, but I have found that I love a solid contemporary story that incorporates science fiction into the story. I don’t know if that makes a whole lot of sense. I think it’s the difference between reading a romance novel, where the romance IS the story, versus reading a story where the I read and loved NEVER LOOK BACK, a retelling of the Greek myth Orpheus and Eurydice by Lilliam Rivera, so when I saw this new book, I pretty much knew I was going to have to read it. Sci-fi isn’t my top preferred genre, but I have found that I love a solid contemporary story that incorporates science fiction into the story. I don’t know if that makes a whole lot of sense. I think it’s the difference between reading a romance novel, where the romance IS the story, versus reading a story where the romance is a subplot. The alien encounter is pretty much the focus of this particular story, but it’s also firmly centered around Luna, Rafa, and Pedro’s connections to each other and their individual grief. That part of the story– grief and connections– is what really hooked me. I loved that the relationships they build with each other aren’t just part of a character arc, but they also play into the final battle of the story. I felt like that elevated the whole story from interesting to compelling. On the whole, I really liked this book. I haven’t had a lot of reading time lately, so if I didn’t like it, probably it would have sat on my night stand waiting for me. Instead, I found myself grabbing it to read a chapter while I waited in a parking lot or in the few minutes I had before starting dinner. The short chapters and sharply focused narrative made it easy to pick up and put down, and the realistic characters kept me eager to come back for the next chapter. I think readers who enjoyed WHEN LIGHT LEFT US by Leah Thomas or who like character-driven sci-fi will love this book. Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)

    You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight 3.5* I quite liked this one, for the most part, though I had a few issues too. So let us break it down into what worked versus what didn't!  What I Liked: ►Aliens! Oh, aliens are such fun! Not to encounter, in this case, but to read about. These aliens aren't the friendly kind who want to like, send greetings and swap banana bread recipes. No, these just want to kill all the humans. You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight 3.5* I quite liked this one, for the most part, though I had a few issues too. So let us break it down into what worked versus what didn't!  What I Liked: ►Aliens! Oh, aliens are such fun! Not to encounter, in this case, but to read about. These aliens aren't the friendly kind who want to like, send greetings and swap banana bread recipes. No, these just want to kill all the humans. ►Love the whole "humanity may be as bad as aliens" bit. Look, in virtually any disaster, humans have proven to be garbage to each other. Not all of them, of course! But enough that it creates a real problem. And I love that the book delved into this. Especially because... ►COVID is a thing in this book. And the thing is, humans haven't reacted great to this have we? Which is why I love how the human response to aliens is also gross. Like, of course it is. We couldn't even agree to wear fabric to protect each other, but sure, we're going to band together and put up a united front for the aliens. In addition, Luna's beloved cousin died of COVID, and Luna is still trying to come to terms with the grief. ►Even though I didn't feel super connected (see below), I really did like the characters. At first, they seem to not have a ton in common, and come from wildly different backgrounds and life situations. But what I liked about them is that they were able to band together when they needed to. And, they were all going through a lot of their own personal stuff that would have made it easy for them to be like "nah, bye", but they didn't. They fought. What I Didn't: ►I didn't feel as connected to the characters as I'd have liked.  See above!  I just think that with such a short book and three distinct points of view, it was hard to get too connected to any one of them. ►The ending. Look, some people dig an open ending. I am not those people. That said, it probably did fit well with the story? I still wouldn't turn down a nice sequel. Bottom Line: I enjoyed this story, as it was a quick paced and exciting book. I'd have liked a more solid ending, but we can't always get what we want.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Cathleen (Woven From Words)

    Have you ever read a book that stayed with you, long after you've finished reading it? That's what 'We Light Up the Sky' by Lilliam Rivera accomplished! This story follows the lives of 3 Latinx/e characters in the midst of grief, crisis and conflict. It has a 'War of the Worlds' vibe, but in the modern era. 'We Light Up the Sky' also carries a deep message about humanity that's rooted in these current times. It's very thought provoking, and a sure to foster many conversations in your book club or Have you ever read a book that stayed with you, long after you've finished reading it? That's what 'We Light Up the Sky' by Lilliam Rivera accomplished! This story follows the lives of 3 Latinx/e characters in the midst of grief, crisis and conflict. It has a 'War of the Worlds' vibe, but in the modern era. 'We Light Up the Sky' also carries a deep message about humanity that's rooted in these current times. It's very thought provoking, and a sure to foster many conversations in your book club or family gathering! Thank you so much to B2Weird tours and Bloomsbury YA for my gifted copy!

  11. 4 out of 5

    S.R. Toliver

    I waited a few days to see if my review would change, but it didn’t . This book was ok. I was a little lost at first with the multiple POVs, but I got used to them as the story continued. I think the plot was interesting enough to continue reading, but the ending felt abrupt with no real conclusion, and I’m uncertain about whether or not a sequel is in the works. I’m not sure if I’ll read the sequel if there is one. I love scifi and alien invasion stories. I love weird speculative fiction. I jus I waited a few days to see if my review would change, but it didn’t . This book was ok. I was a little lost at first with the multiple POVs, but I got used to them as the story continued. I think the plot was interesting enough to continue reading, but the ending felt abrupt with no real conclusion, and I’m uncertain about whether or not a sequel is in the works. I’m not sure if I’ll read the sequel if there is one. I love scifi and alien invasion stories. I love weird speculative fiction. I just couldn’t really get into this one the way I hoped I would.

  12. 4 out of 5

    USOM

    (Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) We Light Up the Sky is an action packed SF until the very end. In an almost omniscient way, Rivera skips us between Pedro, Luna, and Rafa's perspective. One of my favorite elements had to be Luna's experiences with grief. The way that people think that at some point, one should be over it. Each one of these characters bring something heart wrenching to We Light Up the Sky. Somethi (Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) We Light Up the Sky is an action packed SF until the very end. In an almost omniscient way, Rivera skips us between Pedro, Luna, and Rafa's perspective. One of my favorite elements had to be Luna's experiences with grief. The way that people think that at some point, one should be over it. Each one of these characters bring something heart wrenching to We Light Up the Sky. Something human and emotional to this SF. In many ways, We Light Up the Sky is about the things we don't pay attention to, until they crash into us. About the way the world doesn't just stop when our world does. While it's very much about this new invasion, War of the Worlds style, it's also about our ghosts and regrets which come back to haunt us. full review: https://utopia-state-of-mind.com/revi...

  13. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    This book was good, but did not feel finished when it ended. I am not sure if there are plans for a sequel, but if not I am even more disappointed. It felt very rushed and abrupt. Overall the book was just, okay. It was a book written during COVID, and it tied in aliens, and plants, and it just didn't jive well all together. They also threw in a relationship towards the end that really seemed poorly executed, and thrown in as a last minute "I need this element and my story is wrapping up" thing. This book was good, but did not feel finished when it ended. I am not sure if there are plans for a sequel, but if not I am even more disappointed. It felt very rushed and abrupt. Overall the book was just, okay. It was a book written during COVID, and it tied in aliens, and plants, and it just didn't jive well all together. They also threw in a relationship towards the end that really seemed poorly executed, and thrown in as a last minute "I need this element and my story is wrapping up" thing. I feel like it didn't do justice. I don't think that overall I would recommend this book to anyone really. I was so excited, and the book seemed promising, but it failed to deliver properly on so many fronts. I just reviewed We Light Up the Sky by Lilliam Rivera with an ARC from NetGalley. #WeLightUptheSky #NetGalley

  14. 5 out of 5

    Marisa

    A solid 3.5 stars. I will definitely be reaching for that sequel! That ending? omg NOT cool! We Light Up The Sky by Lilliam Rivera is a YA sci-fi novel that follows three young adults who take on defending Los Angeles, CA from an invading extraterrestrial. The odds are against them as the bunch barely know each other and are facing an e.t. that can morph itself to look human and sound like anyone it interacts with. It has turned LA into an overgrown jungle filled with obedient poisonous subspecie A solid 3.5 stars. I will definitely be reaching for that sequel! That ending? omg NOT cool! We Light Up The Sky by Lilliam Rivera is a YA sci-fi novel that follows three young adults who take on defending Los Angeles, CA from an invading extraterrestrial. The odds are against them as the bunch barely know each other and are facing an e.t. that can morph itself to look human and sound like anyone it interacts with. It has turned LA into an overgrown jungle filled with obedient poisonous subspecies of mountain lions and coyotes and the gang need to find it’s weakness to stop it from taking over the planet. The story takes place after COVID-19 and uses this as a theme throughout the book, creating a parallel between the virus and the alien. It is a timely novel that I was very excited for, but I did not fall in love with it like I had hoped. The story did not grab my heart due to the lack of connection between the reader and the protagonists. The writing was good, but it felt choppy with each new character narration, it felt like I was left wanting more with each chapter. Also the romance was poorly executed and felt forced. HOWEVER I did enjoy: being able to see the city that I know so well reflected on the page, the latinx representation, and the main message of the story. "A radical change is about to be imposed on this planet, and to hide from it is to be complicit. She won't be complicit again. She must do something" (Rivera 188). Let's talk about the positives: Pedro, Rafa and Luna are amazing! I loved them all… separately. Not so sure if they work well as a group? Pedro: an influencer who would never be caught dead wearing the same outfit as the day before; he is loud and talks before thinking, he’s lovable and hilarious. I’ll admit, I loved Pedro instantly from page one and he is my favorite. I connected to him the most from his desire to always look cute and his tendency to rely too much on horoscopes/astrology. I also empathized with Pedro as we’ve both had to deal with racist people at work/life (on one too many occasions). Rafa: is quiet and keeps to himself; an introvert not by choice, but due to the immense responsibility he feels to take care of his family and keep up with family expectations. I related to Rafa as he struggled to uphold family expectations and respected his need to protect his little sister. Luna: who has chosen to close herself off from those who love her and hide behind a mask of superficial friends. She grieves the loss of her cousin in silence. She is also smart and independent; she doesn’t listen to what the guys have to say, instead she goes with what her mind tells her is the right thing to do. Her ability to brave everything the crazy alien storm throws at her was admirable. They’re all amazing individuals and relatable, but they did not ever click in my opinion as a group and it was a bit disappointing. Though our cast of heroes did not click, I loved the representation and the fact that the main characters represented real Latinx young adults and their struggles! I loved that, it’s something so rare ro read and seeing it was amazing! As I mentioned, I empathize with Pedro as he had to deal with racist people at work. The scene features Pedro working the In-n-Out drive thru line. A car rolls up with two obnoxious teens asking for burritos. Pedro keeps his cool and says they must be confused, but these customers push him further. Pedro easily makes a witty comeback which I applauded and revealed in his ability to shut them up. So many times I have wished I could’ve said the right thing to the same type of people, but most of the time you gotta just stay quiet. There are other scenes like this pointing out how unfair it is that we are quickly pointed out and misjudged due to our ethnicity or race. Having these scenes and this book gives me a sense of relief, like “hey I see you and maybe one day this won't happen again, but until then your struggle is heard.” I also appreciated how the author practically yelled out through her book that police brutality will not be left unchecked. Most of racist moments depicted featured cops, bringing to light how often skin color is all that is seen by the police force. How quickly can a cop forget that he is pointing a gun at a young teenager with his whole life ahead of him? Very quickly. Moments like this are depicted multiple times and there are allusions made to a specific shooting: on March 29th 2021 13-year old Adam Toledo was shot and killed by Chicago Police. It is never stated specifically but I’m pretty sure this is what the author was referencing. This book was also a lot of fun. As I read it I felt transported to my city of angels. I vividly read about the observatory by Griffith park, the Beverly Center, and the Eggslut restaurant! Ultimately, I did not like the characters as a group as I felt there wasn’t a strong connection between them. This was due in part to the ominous tone and also in part to the multiple pov narration. Also the romance aspect of the book felt like it was too rushed. I love the idea of it and hope that if there is a sequel that this is more developed. If anything though this book would be a great conversation starter in school! Check this book out if you’re looking for: Speculative Fiction E.T Invasion A Quick Read A Powerful Message Latinx Representation LGBTQIA+ REP Thank you to the publishers and to B2weird Book Tours for the free finished copy of this book in exchange for a review and for posting on my instagram!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Vera

    Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read an ARC of We Light Up the Sky!! I absolutely loved Lilliam Rivera's previous book, Never Look Back, so I was super excited to read this one. One of the things I loved most about Never Look Back was its seamless blend of realistic elements and fantasy elements, and I think We Light Up the Sky was going for the same kind of vibe. We Light Up the Sky is the story of three Latinx teens from different social circles who get Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read an ARC of We Light Up the Sky!! I absolutely loved Lilliam Rivera's previous book, Never Look Back, so I was super excited to read this one. One of the things I loved most about Never Look Back was its seamless blend of realistic elements and fantasy elements, and I think We Light Up the Sky was going for the same kind of vibe. We Light Up the Sky is the story of three Latinx teens from different social circles who get thrown together following the arrival of some kind of alien. They have to work together to figure out how to stop the alien on its path of destruction, while also dealing with other challenges in their personal lives. I really loved the realistic elements in this book. I thought all three main characters were deep and well-developed, and I wanted to know more about each of their stories. I thought the way they interacted with each other and learned to trust each other over time was beautiful, and I would love to see where their relationships go. The sci-fi elements, on the other hand, didn't really work for me. I didn't fully understand the motivations of this alien visitor, and I felt like it caused a lot of trouble with no real purpose. I think the book actually would have been better as straight-up contemporary YA without the sci-fi elements (which is strange for me to say, since usually I'm more into SFF). I think the characters' real struggles with their families and community felt real, while the sci-fi elements mostly felt fake. I loved a lot of the writing style, and I loved the characters, but many aspects of the plot fell short for me. I still highly recommend Lilliam Rivera's work, and I look forward to reading more of her books in the future!!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jes McCutchen

    "We Light Up the Sky" by Lilliam Rivera was the perfect type of YA alien story that would make a really great CW show (in the best way!). Three teenagers, all with different backgrounds and personalities, are thrown together when a super creepy alien Visitor shows up. The POVs are so distinct. You really feel who Pedro, Luna and Rafa are from their first chapters, which can be challenging in YA because of length. But I felt like Rivera did a fantastic job of writing all of them as unique and aut "We Light Up the Sky" by Lilliam Rivera was the perfect type of YA alien story that would make a really great CW show (in the best way!). Three teenagers, all with different backgrounds and personalities, are thrown together when a super creepy alien Visitor shows up. The POVs are so distinct. You really feel who Pedro, Luna and Rafa are from their first chapters, which can be challenging in YA because of length. But I felt like Rivera did a fantastic job of writing all of them as unique and autonomous characters. Rivera's take on alien visitors is not something we see very often either. Her aliens aren't the standard "take me to your leader" types. And their powers are really unique. I don't want to put in too many spoilers...but what the aliens do is really gross, and also they mostly target cops so, maybe cops shouldn't point guns at kids. Rivera also dangles a bit of a sequel carrot for us at the end too, but I'm pretty sure this is a standalone that's going to make you want more. If this was a CW show, it would be season one, and the fans would be petitioning to get season two filmed asap. I definitely recommend this book for anyone who wants to really care about a group of kids at the end of the world.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Shakera

    I want to start by thanking Bloomsbury and B2Weird for allowing me to join the tour for this exceptional book. This was such a great read, and it didn’t feel like 272 pages. The story follows three Latinx teens in high school. The three of them are the epitome of “everyone has a story.” Luna is grieving her cousin who died from COVID, Pedro is queer and has a pretty hard home life and Rafa is homeless. An unexpected Visitor brings the three together, and they have to find a way to save humanity. T I want to start by thanking Bloomsbury and B2Weird for allowing me to join the tour for this exceptional book. This was such a great read, and it didn’t feel like 272 pages. The story follows three Latinx teens in high school. The three of them are the epitome of “everyone has a story.” Luna is grieving her cousin who died from COVID, Pedro is queer and has a pretty hard home life and Rafa is homeless. An unexpected Visitor brings the three together, and they have to find a way to save humanity. This story is told from their perspectives, but you also get the perspective of a few secondary characters. It was great getting all their points of view; however, what kept this from being a 5-star review was I couldn’t tell if the book ends in a cliffhanger, which would set up a series, or if it was an open-ended ending. While I would totally be down for a sequel, I see this being an open-ended ending. I enjoyed this fast-paced story with people of color at the forefront. I would have liked a more definite conclusion, but I’m hoping this is the setup for a series.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mila

    This was my first time reading fiction where COVID was inserted into the world and even though I thought I wasn’t ready for it, I didn’t mind it being apart of this story. My main strife came from the way the story was written. The book read like a screenplay or a summary of what happened and I admit, it took a long time for me to get use to it. Once I kind of took my mind off the writing style, I was able to enjoy it a little more. The three main characters Pedro, Luna, and Rafa were all very r This was my first time reading fiction where COVID was inserted into the world and even though I thought I wasn’t ready for it, I didn’t mind it being apart of this story. My main strife came from the way the story was written. The book read like a screenplay or a summary of what happened and I admit, it took a long time for me to get use to it. Once I kind of took my mind off the writing style, I was able to enjoy it a little more. The three main characters Pedro, Luna, and Rafa were all very real teenagers who experience very real hardships like grief, verbal abuse, and homelessness and it was refreshing to read about an alien invasion with three brown kids being tasked to help it. It’s not something we see often when it comes to shows, movies, and books about alien invaders so I really enjoyed seeing this one through. I also enjoyed how it was set in my home state and I’m a sucker for being able to understand all the city references and being able to picture where everything is taken place.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Courtly

    This book was good, but not great. I didn't fully connect to the characters and I wanted more from the alien plot line. That being said I think this is a great book for younger YA readers (12-15 years old) and would easily recommend for that age group. I also don't know if I was ready for a book that dealt with the topic of grief from Covid loss, since we are still in the middle of the pandemic, but I do think this book is highly relevant. This book and more will be needed as we continue to navi This book was good, but not great. I didn't fully connect to the characters and I wanted more from the alien plot line. That being said I think this is a great book for younger YA readers (12-15 years old) and would easily recommend for that age group. I also don't know if I was ready for a book that dealt with the topic of grief from Covid loss, since we are still in the middle of the pandemic, but I do think this book is highly relevant. This book and more will be needed as we continue to navigate this Covid world and hopefully beyond it. Overall, many enjoyable aspects but fell short for me in writing style and the main first contact plot line.

  20. 4 out of 5

    LeeAnn

    Maybe this is a book about social justice, about teens who make a difference. Maybe it's about fighting against racism. Maybe it's about acceptance for the LGBTQIA+ community. Maybe it's about not judging someone based on their socioeconomic status. Or their beliefs. Or their family. Maybe. Or maybe this is just a really well-written dystopian alien invasion scifi story. "A radical change is about to be imposed on this planet, and to hide from it is to be complicit. She won't be complicit again. Sh Maybe this is a book about social justice, about teens who make a difference. Maybe it's about fighting against racism. Maybe it's about acceptance for the LGBTQIA+ community. Maybe it's about not judging someone based on their socioeconomic status. Or their beliefs. Or their family. Maybe. Or maybe this is just a really well-written dystopian alien invasion scifi story. "A radical change is about to be imposed on this planet, and to hide from it is to be complicit. She won't be complicit again. She must do something" (188). Maybe you should read this book for yourself.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Eliza Gonzalez

    This book features some of the stupidest, most unrealistically behaving characters I've ever read, stilted dialogue, a rushed romance, coronavirus, acab vs not all cops arguments, boring antagonists who don't get fleshed out, juvenile writing, and a lackluster ending to wrap it all up. Hard pass on the sequel I assume is to come. Characters: 1/5 Plot Concept: 1/5 Plot Execution: 1/5 Pacing: 2/5 Writing: 0/5 Romance: 1/5 Overall Enjoyability: 0/5 This book features some of the stupidest, most unrealistically behaving characters I've ever read, stilted dialogue, a rushed romance, coronavirus, acab vs not all cops arguments, boring antagonists who don't get fleshed out, juvenile writing, and a lackluster ending to wrap it all up. Hard pass on the sequel I assume is to come. Characters: 1/5 Plot Concept: 1/5 Plot Execution: 1/5 Pacing: 2/5 Writing: 0/5 Romance: 1/5 Overall Enjoyability: 0/5

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    This ARC was unlike anything I have ever read before but in a good way. The author did an incredible job tying together current events in a unique and thought provoking way. There were a few times where I was a little confused by the transitions in the story but each of the main characters are well developed for it being a short novel. If anything, I wanted the book to be longer and explore the world the author created more.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Yona

    I liked getting to know these three characters in the first half, but the second half was too ungrounded (the sense of space during the attacks was especially poor and confusing). Some of the dialogue was really bad and hard to believe, especially Luna’s bratty friend. Worst of all, I didn’t understand why the alien took the shape of her cousin and none of its victims, how it had her cousin’s memories, or the “rules” of its powers. It made the entire story fall flat.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    I think I get where this is supposed to be going, but it was just so short! The aliens were super creepy, and the Visitor reminded me a lot of a Twilight Zone episode, which was cool, but just as soon as the book got going it was over?? And there's a romance that gets thrown in literally in the last 10% of the book, that we don't need at all. Even the COVID element didn't seem to have much of an impact. I think I get where this is supposed to be going, but it was just so short! The aliens were super creepy, and the Visitor reminded me a lot of a Twilight Zone episode, which was cool, but just as soon as the book got going it was over?? And there's a romance that gets thrown in literally in the last 10% of the book, that we don't need at all. Even the COVID element didn't seem to have much of an impact.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Here's the thing, I'm not a science fiction fan. I mean, I am a Star Wars fan but that's about the extent of it. So maybe that's why I just really loved this book. I could relate to the characters, seeing them in the young adults I work with on a daily basis. A good mix of reality and fantasy, this book made me happy. Here's the thing, I'm not a science fiction fan. I mean, I am a Star Wars fan but that's about the extent of it. So maybe that's why I just really loved this book. I could relate to the characters, seeing them in the young adults I work with on a daily basis. A good mix of reality and fantasy, this book made me happy.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Katelyn Beane

    I found this book to be odd. It was a quick read and it had an interesting premise, but it failed to live up to its potential. The characters were good and the post-covid woprd was a little startling to see but it was the alien aspect that really fell flat for me. I didn't understand so much about the alien or why it looked like Tasha, so the last half of the book was odd. I found this book to be odd. It was a quick read and it had an interesting premise, but it failed to live up to its potential. The characters were good and the post-covid woprd was a little startling to see but it was the alien aspect that really fell flat for me. I didn't understand so much about the alien or why it looked like Tasha, so the last half of the book was odd.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sonali Khan

    Nothing much happened at all. The strange eerie girl dint feel strange and eerie to me at all. Yes she could do unnatural things but nothing about her scared me. I dint care at all about any of the characters. The only likable thing was the love and relationship between Tasha and Luna

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jenn

    DNF. Not for me.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    I received an ARC from Bloomsbury in exchange for an honest review. Full thoughts for TCG to come.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Erricka Hager

    It took a while for me to get invested into the story and by the time that happened it ended..abruptly.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...