Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera (April 2018)
Juliet Milagros Palante is leaving the Bronx and headed to Portland, Oregon. She just came out to her family and isn’t sure if her mom will ever speak to her again. But Juliet has a plan, sort of, one that’s going to help her figure out this whole “Puerto Rican lesbian” thing. She’s interning with the author of her favorite book: Harlowe Brisbane, the ultimate authority on feminism, women’s bodies, and other gay-sounding stuff.
Will Juliet be able to figure out her life over the course of one magical summer? Is that even possible? Or is she running away from all the problems that seem too big to handle?
With more questions than answers, Juliet takes on Portland, Harlowe, and most importantly, herself.
Viv's reaction: I was skeptical at first, but ended up beingpleasantly surprised by the complexity of it all. It’s clearly autobiographical - and I found myself thinking “wow these conversations were being had in Portland 16 years ago, and they’re just mainstream now.” I also thought it was so interesting… I wonder if we can talk about the “goddess and faeries?”
Kit's reaction: Juliet being shamed for not knowing all these concepts – like, c’mon, it’s 2002! Who knew this in 2002?! The character comes from a different background for me, but reading about these places that I know and love a lot – NYC and Portland – was really great. I had a similar ‘wtf are these Portland people for real’ the first time I went there? But it’s very spot on! I found myself yelling ‘NO NO NO NO’ aloud at the #whitefeminism displayed here, but there’s a theme throughout of sisterhood that I truly enjoyed. It's a book about finding your place.