Dirty Girls on Top by Alyssa Valdes-Rodriguez
In this latest installment of her Dirty Girls series, which hit big in 2003 and created a new genre now known as chica-lit, Valdes-Rodriguez follows the familiar characters introduced in the first novel. The 6 now 30-something amigas are still trying to find their way in life, but are no longer feeling as though they have all the time in the world. Sound familiar? This identification with the characters, Latina or not, is what makes the Dirty Girls series resonate with readers. But the salacious lives they lead is what makes this the perfect summer beach read!
The Brief & Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
Pulitzer Prize winning author Junot Diaz's wise cracking, lovably nerdy titular character Oscar makes this unique novel an absolute must-read! From Oscar's one-of-a-kind dialogue to his endless quest for love, Diaz has created an intensely creative and interesting world that everyone wants to be a part of. Told from multiple perspectives, The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is an entertaining and heart-felt novel which speaks to the Latino experience in a way no book has before.
Like Water for Chocolate: A Novel in Monthly Installments with Recipes, Romances, and Home Remedies by Laura Esquivel
A love story with levels of drama rivaled only by telenovelas, this classic romance/fairy tale/cookbook is a longtime favorite. Esquivel's writing is so lyrical you can smell the food simmering in the kitchen and get caught up in the love and jealousy of the story. This charming novel is a must-read and you can match the passion of the characters by whipping up the recipes sprinkled throughout the pages for your familia.
A Handbook To Luck by Cristina Garcia
After the success of Dreaming in Cuban author Cristina Garcia takes on the transition between childhood and adulthood with an equally poetic finesse. This book follows three teens in the late 60's from all different walks of life as they struggle to make their way in through this historically tumultuous time. The three seemingly unrelated characters find themselves unexpectedly encountering each other at crucial points in their lives.
God's Spy by Juan Gomez-Jurado
For those who love thrillers, this debut by Gomez-Jurado will not disappoint. Set against the backdrop of the Vatican in Italy, the suspenseful plot follows Police Inspector Paola Dicanti as she tries to track down a serial killer in the days following the death of Pope John Paul II. The search leads her to an American priest with much more information than it seems at first and continues all the way up to the highest levels of the church and government to a heart-stopping finale.
Tarnished Beauty by Cecilia Samartin
Samartin's smart second novel after Broken Paradise follows Jamilet Juárez. Ostracized by her village because of a marking covering her body considered to be a sign of the devil, Juárez escapes across the border to the USA where she plans on saving up money to have the birthmark removed. She soon encounters the Spaniard Señor Peregrino, who insists on sharing the tale of his adventurous pilgrimage along the Road to Santiago. The two travelers eventually discover that they have much more in common than meets the eye.