Michelle Ruiz Keil's #OwnVoices debut is a literary YA fantasy about love, found family, and healing-an ode to post-punk San Francisco through the eyes of a Mexican American girl. Seventeen-year-old Xochi is on her own in San Francisco, running from a painful past. On a visit to Golden Gate Park, she meets Pallas, a precocious twelve-year-old with a rockstar family that lives in one of the city's storybook Victorian mansions. Xochi accepts a position as Pallas's live-in governess and quickly becomes part of the band's household, fascinated by their free-love philosophy and the happy calm that balances out their glamorous music personas. But on the night of the Vernal Equinox, as a concert afterparty rages in the house below, Xochi and Pallas perform a pagan ritual that unintentionally summons a pair of ancient creatures devoted to righting the wrongs of Xochi's adolescence. She'd do anything to preserve her new life, but the nightmares of her past are never far behind: the mother who abandoned her, the man who betrayed her, and the loving grandmother whose death left Xochi alone in the world. With the creatures determined to exact vengeance on those who've hurt her, no one in Xochi's life is safe-not the family she's chosen, nor the one she left behind.
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by Michelle Ruiz Keil
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"Narrator Maria Liatis's voice shines with youth and hope in this debut YA audiobook bursting with magic. Xochi is a teen runaway when she encounters 12-year-old Pallas in San Francisco. Hired as a governess, she moves in with Pallas's rock star family and is swept up in a whirlwind of parties and polyamory. While character voices are easily distinguished, some awkward pronunciations and accents interrupt the flow of the performance. Liatis's simple style and bright tone do enhance the fairy-tale nature of the story as its kaleidoscope of perspectives includes a bookstore cat and the vengeful water babies Xochi accidentally summons. It is this quality that makes it worth the listen as magic and love guide Xochi from abuse and hardship to a new experience of family. S.T.C. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine"
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