Spotlight on Lilliam Rivera


I was lucky enough to be chosen for a blog tour spotlighting authors that will be in attendance of this FANTASTIC YA BOOK EVENT!!

The Ontario Teen Book Fest is a YA book festival that is home to many YA authors and fans alike. The event is completely free to the public! I don’t know about you but getting to meet some of my favorite YA authors with no charge and no tickets is literally one of my favorite things in the world. This wonderful event is sponsored by the lovely Once Upon A Time bookstore of Montrose and thanks to them, there will be books and merch available for purchase 🙂

So join us on Saturday, March 25th, from 9AM to 5PM at Colony High School located at: 3850 E. Riverside Drive, Ontario, CA 91761

Spotlight on Lilliam Rivera

About The Education of Margot Sanchez

the education of Margot Sanchez.jpgPretty in Pink comes to the South Bronx in this bold and romantic coming-of-age novel about dysfunctional families, good and bad choices, and finding the courage to question everything you ever thought you wanted—from debut author Lilliam Rivera.


Mami, for destroying my social life
Papi, for allowing Junior to become a Neanderthal
Junior, for becoming a Neanderthal
This supermarket
Everyone else

After “borrowing” her father’s credit card to finance a more stylish wardrobe, Margot
Sanchez suddenly finds herself grounded. And by grounded, she means working as an indentured servant in her family’s struggling grocery store to pay off her debts.

With each order of deli meat she slices, Margot can feel her carefully cultivated prep school reputation slipping through her fingers, and she’s willing to do anything to get out of this punishment. Lie, cheat, and maybe even steal…

Margot’s invitation to the ultimate beach party is within reach and she has no intention of letting her family’s drama or Moises—the admittedly good looking but outspoken boy from the neighborhood—keep her from her goal

Goodreads | Amazon

About Lilliam Rivera

lilliam rivera.jpgOriginally from the Bronx, NYC, Lilliam Rivera is a 2016 Pushcart Prize winner and a 2015 Clarion graduate. She has been awarded fellowships and grants from PEN Center USA, Elizabeth George Foundation, and A Room of Her Own Foundation. Her work has appeared in Tin House, Los Angeles Times, Bellevue Literary Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, Latina, among others. She hosts the Los Angeles-based radio show Literary Soundtrack on Radio Sombra and lives in Los Angeles with her family.

Instagram | Website | Goodreads | Twitter


1. Tell us a little about your book.

The Education of Margot Sanchez is a coming-of-age story about a 15-year-old Latina who is forced to work at her father’s failing supermarket in the South Bronx. Over the course of a summer, Margot discovers the realities of her family life, the beauty of the Bronx, and the strength of her own voice.

2. What inspired this story?

My story was inspired by the many young adult novels I read growing up, especially Judy Blume novels. The story is universal with a setting in the South Bronx and a Latina telling the story.

3. Why make the main character a person of color?

That’s an interesting question. There was never a doubt in my mind that I wouldn’t have a Latina protagonist. I grew up with a lack of young adult novels with a person of color at its forefront. I write for those that never had a chance to see themselves in a book. My stories will always come from there.

4. What inspired you to write?

I’ve always been a writer ever since I was a little girl walking around with a pad and pen. My love for writing led me to a career in journalism. In the last five years I’ve been writing fiction. I really love it.

5. What steps were taken to get this book published?

I did this the old fashioned way. After finishing the novel, I queried agents to see if they were interested in reading it. At that time, I was also submitting short stories to literary publications. Some literary agents began reaching out to me wanting to know if I had a novel. Eventually I went with my current agent Eddie Schneider who pulled the book from the slush pile. He then submitted the manuscript to various publishing houses. Margot Sanchez found a home in Simon & Schuster with the amazing editor Zareen Jaffrey.

6. What was editing like?

The process was fairly easy. Zareen sent me an editorial letter that included notes on things she wanted me to expand on. I let her notes sit with me for a day and then I got to work. At the time I was working full time, I would bring my laptop and walked to a nearby park to edit during my lunch hour. I had a fairly quick deadline so I had no time to waste.

7. What’s your writing space like/what’s on your desk?

I don’t have an office so I write at my kitchen table. I converted a butcher’ block into my portable office space with a printer. The side of the refrigerator is where I post images that inspire me. Unfortunately, when it’s time to eat, everyone is in my office.

8. Do you write with music?

I don’t write to music. I need there to be absolute quiet but I did create a playlist for my novel. You can find it on Spotify! There are classic rap songs like “South Bronx” by Boogie Down Productions, “Alright” by Kendrick Lamar, and the Lost Ones” by Lauryn Hill.

9. Any tips for writer’s block/new writers/writers trying to get published?

My advice would be to try to write everyday. When I’m stuck, I put down what I’m writing and work on another story or journal-write. If I continue to write everyday I don’t feel like my current project is insurmountable. It’s also so important to finish. Finish what you are writing and celebrate. Then go back and revise!

Continue reading

What Light

51vnabl1eql-_sx330_bo1204203200_Title: What Light
Author: Jay Asher
Original Publication Date: October 18th, 2016
Original Price: $18.99 (Hardcover)
Number of Pages: 251
Starkiller Rating: ★★★★✫

Disclaimer: I received this book from Razorbill in exchange for an honest review.

I read Thirteen Reasons Why  a couple years ago and completely fell in love. When I heard that Jay Asher had another book coming out, I knew I would have to add it to my To Read list. With the help of my lovely book bud, Kevin, I got an ARC edition, but decided to save it for the holidays. Well the holidays came and I began the book, then the holidays went and I was only a few chapters in.

Something about the book felt off to me. I just couldn’t place what it was. It wasn’t what I was expecting. It all seemed too sugary sweet. But then crept in a bit of darkness that added a much needed bit a conflict. Now when I say darkness, I don’t mean heavy drug use and murder haha but Caleb’s (the love interest) story is not as black and white as it first seemed.

There are typical young adult contemporary cliches and nuances that come along with the territory and I found myself growing a little tired of them but within the last 1/4 of the book, something changed. The romance began to creep it’s way into my frozen over heart and chipped away at the outer layers. By the end, my eyes were welling with tears of happiness, full of glee, giddily hugging my book and so happy that I stuck around to finish it.

I think my biggest problem with this book had absolutely nothing to do with the book itself. It was all me, expecting to have another Thirteen Reasons Why on my hands when this book was completely different but just as good in it’s own sweet, heartwarming way.

Definitely recommend reading this book at winter time because reading it with a warm cup of joe in my lap was definitely a highlight of this past season. ❤


Riverdale Episode 1

Archie Comics hold a kind of special place in my heart. I’ve never been obsessed but it reminds me of simpler times. My parents used to frequent a swap meet where there would occasionally be a comic book vendor and wanting to relate to my interests, my parents would bring me back some Archie Double Digests.

One random winter day, driving around Silver Lake, I saw a bus stop bench advertisement for a show called Riverdale. “RIVERDALE?! LIKE ARCHIE, RIVERDALE?!” I excitedly turned to my boyfriend. “Um, yeah probably?” he shrugged continuing to watch the road, trying not to kill us both. I went home and added Riverdale to my autotune list on my cable box. Fast-forward to Premiere day and there I was, curled up into my pillows with snacks in tow, ready to delve into the world of:

Continue reading

Lola and the Boy Next Door

22247695Title: Lola and the Boy Next Door
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Original Publication Date: September 29th, 2011
Original Price: $10.99 (paperback)
Number of Pages: 338
Starkiller Rating: ★★★★✫

Quick Synopsis: Lola’s unique and eccentric, has a hot older boyfriend, her life is pretty perfect, until she’s forced to live next to the boy who broke her heart.

Continue reading