Sia Martinez and the Moonlit Beginning of Everything

Featured
 
5.0 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
1470 0
Sia Martinez and the Moonlit Beginning of Everything
Publisher
Age Range
12+
Release Date
August 11, 2020
ISBN
978-1534448636
Buy This Book
      

It’s been three years since ICE raids and phone calls from Mexico and an ill-fated walk across the Sonoran. Three years since Sia Martinez’s mom disappeared. Sia wants to move on, but it’s hard in her tiny Arizona town where people refer to her mom’s deportation as “an unfortunate incident.” Sia knows that her mom must be dead, but every new moon Sia drives into the desert and lights San Anthony and la Guadalupe candles to guide her mom home. Then one night, under a million stars, Sia’s life and the world as we know it cracks wide open. Because a blue-lit spacecraft crashes in front of Sia’s car…and it’s carrying her mom, who’s very much alive. As Sia races to save her mom from armed-quite-possibly-alien soldiers, she uncovers secrets as profound as they are dangerous in this stunning and inventive exploration of first love, family, immigration, and our vast, limitless universe.

Editor reviews

2 reviews

moving story about family, love, and all the obstacles to happiness
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
SIA MARTINEZ AND THE MOONLIT BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING is a fascinating YA contemporary/sci-fi/magical realism that follows Sia, a teenaged girl whose mother was deported a few years earlier. Sia must continue to live with her racist classmates and the memory of her mother, who had immigrated to the US when she was 6 months old, and deported to the country she never knew when ICE descended, called by the racist sheriff of their small town, who had been harassing their family for a while.

When legal mechanisms did not work, she tried to cross the border again. However, she never arrived and they did not hear from her again, with her death assumed. Sia continues to be harassed and bullied by the sheriff's awful son, but she does have her loving father and her BFF, who is also the target of racism. The book is written in vignettes with memories of Sia's mother and grandmother, as well as stories from the present, as Sia is falling in love and forging forward with her life.

The latter half of the book takes an unexpected turn with UFOs and the mother that Sia thought was dead reappearing from a crashed alien spaceship. The stories she brings and the truths she shared may seem unlikely, but they have clear parallels to current events.

What I loved: This book was absolutely captivating. The storytelling nature of the vignette style writing completely pulls the reader into Sia's life and her legacy of stories from her grandmother and mother. Despite the plot seeming a bit wild in places, Sia and her life seem so authentic, making this a magical realism story that seemlessly intertwines the unexpected with a contemporary fiction read. The book tackles some major topics in a really approachable way, including sexual assault, racism, and the treatment of immigrants and undocumented workers in the US. Although Sia's mother's story may seem fantastical, at its core, it reflects the current treatment of immigrants in a way that brings these events to the front of the reader's mind.

These themes are really important and presented in ways that really help the reader to understand the experiences as well as the present connections and decisions/options (or lack thereof). The writing is really incredible, and this story is beautifully conveyed. This is definitely a worthwhile read.

Final verdict: With important themes, authentic characters, and beautifully told vignettes, SIA MARTINEZ AND THE MOONLIT BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING is a fantastic YA read. Highly recommend for fans of ARISTOTLE AND DANTE DISCOVER THE SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE, SOMETHING IN BETWEEN, and THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0
Sia Martinez and the Moonlit Beginning of Everything
(Updated: August 16, 2020)
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
What worked: There's so much to love about this contemporary diverse thriller that is bits Laurie Halse Anderson meets Sci-Fi/X-Files with a Latinx twist.

Fast-paced story that has so much. Sia lost her undocumented mother three years previously after ICE deported her. Sia and her BFF Rose are the only 'brown' teens in a mostly white Arizona town. Sia and Rose encounter racism and hatred, especially from the town sheriff and his son. Add to this Sia deals with PTSD after a horrific act committed on her during a date.

What I really loved about this book is it doesn't fit one category at all. There's romance, a mystery, contemporary modern-day issues like ICE and deportation, families; and the power of friendships. Add Mexican surrealism with an abuela that 'speaks' to Sia and helps and warns her when danger appears.

I loved how Gilliland mixes Mexican culture as a backdrop. There's also a big secret behind Sia's mother's disappearance. That's where the Sci-fi element comes in. Possible aliens with deadly intentions against those undocumented citizens who end up being deported come into play. There's also a bubbling romance between Sia and new kid in town Noah, who has his own secrets. Plus, a LBGT romance between her BFF and classmate.

Roswell New Mexico, X-Files meets YA where a Latinx teen finds that maybe some conspiracy theories might be based on a fact that involves her mother. And omg, on that ending. Is this a hint that there might be another book in this world? Please say yes!
Good Points
1. Roswell New Mexico meets YA
2. PTSD
3. Fast-paced; thriller
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

The Obsession
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
A classic sort of love story...except somebody might wind up...
The Project
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Lo Denham is used to being on her own. After...
Kingdom of Ink and Paper (The Betwixt and Between Chronicles Book 1)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Every book you’ve ever read. Every story you’ve ever ...
The First Holidays
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Lila Weston is a pro at keeping secrets, but this...
Wings of Ebony (Wings of Ebony, #1)
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
In this riveting, keenly emotional debut fantasy, a Black teen...
You Say It First
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
One conversation can change everything. Meg has her entire...
My High School Royal Boyfriend
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
ALEX A tragedy at Langley Estate puts my family...
The Forgotten World (The World Apart Series Book 3)
 
5.0 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
Clark thought he knew what grief was. Addie thought...
Tales from the Hinterland
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A gorgeously illustrated collection of twelve “lush and deliciously...
Sisters of Shadow and Light
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
From the acclaimed author of Defy, Sara B. Larson,...
In the Penalty Box
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Willow Figure skating was supposed to be my whole...
Unchosen
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Katharyn Blair crafts a fiercely feminist fantasy with a horrifying...
Miracle Girl
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Leanne Strong hates June eighth even though it's supposed to...
The Memory Thief  (Thirteen Witches #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Twelve-year-old Rosie Singer’s mom is missing whatever it is that...
Singled Out: The True Story of Glenn Burke
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
On October 2nd, 1977, Glenn Burke, outfielder for the Los...
The Elephant in the Room
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
It's been almost a year since Sila's mother traveled halfway...

Latest Member Reviews

The Obsession
 
4.7
"THE OBSESSION is a creepy and riveting YA thriller. Delilah lives with her mother and her mother's abusive boyfriend, a..."
The Project
 
4.3
"Lo Denham, magazine assistant and loner, is looking for her sister, Bea. Six years ago, Lo's parents died in a..."
The Night Circus
 
4.3
"I couldn’t begin to express how much I adore this book. This book, magically, soothed my temper and let me..."
Wings of Ebony (Wings of Ebony, #1)
 
4.7
"WINGS OF EBONY is a beautifully crafted YA fantasy. A year has passed since Rue's life was irrevocably changed. Her..."
The Gilded Ones (Deathless #1)
 
4.3
"THE GILDED ONES by Namina Forna is a YA fantasy novel and the first book in the Deathless series. The..."
Unchosen
 
5.0
"UNCHOSEN is a fantastic and completely captivating YA apocalyptic fantasy, filled with feminism, friendship, sisterhood, and romance. Charlotte is the..."
In the Penalty Box
 
4.0
"IN THE PENALTY BOX is a cute YA contemporary hockey romance. Willow is a figure skater heading for the Olympics,..."
The Afterlife of the Party (Afterlife, #1)
 
4.7
"THE AFTERLIFE OF THE PARTY is a YA vampire book for anyone who doesn't want to make out with the..."
The Alcazar (The Cerulean, #2)
 
3.0
"THE ALCAZAR wraps up an intriguing YA fantasy duology. The book continues to follow four main characters in alternating points-of-view,..."
Super Fake Love Song
 
4.0
"Super Fake Love Song is about Sunny Dae, a Korean American teenager who is a mega-nerd trying to survive at..."
Hot British Boyfriend
 
4.3
"Ellie lives in Washington D.C. and attends an elite school, even though the tuition is a stretch for her single..."
The Cerulean
 
3.3
"THE CERULEAN is an intriguing start to a YA fantasy duology. The book begins with Sera, a Cerulean who has..."
Tales from the Hinterland
 
5.0
"TALES FROM THE HINTERLAND is an enchanting, haunting, and deliciously creepy collection of fairytales. Completely new and unlike anything I..."
You Owe Me a Murder
 
3.0
" *Connor is Deaf and has implants *Alex has light brown skin..."
Across the Green Grass Fields
 
4.7
"I love the Wayward Children series, and the latest installment, ACROSS THE GREEN GRASS FIELDS, is no exception. Here are..."
DEV1AT3
 
4.7
"Feedback What a difference between book 1 and book 2. I enjoyed this one so much more, and I..."
The Broken Raven (Shadow Skye, #2)
 
4.0
"THE BROKEN RAVEN is an intriguing YA fantasy that sweeps the reader away to a land of magic, plotting, and..."
You Have a Match
 
5.0
"YOU HAVE A MATCH is a beautifully written YA contemporary about family, summer, forgiveness, and best friend crushes. Abby is..."
The Ever After (The Omte Origins, #3)
 
3.7
"THE EVER AFTER is the final book in the YA fantasy Omte Origins series, and it goes out with a..."
The Quantum Weirdness of the Almost-Kiss
 
4.7
"THE QUANTUM WEIRDNESS OF THE ALMOST-KISS is a delightful YA STEM-themed romance. Evie and Caleb have been BFFs since they..."