We Set the Dark on Fire

Author: Tehlor Kay Mejia

Published: February 26, 2019

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Where I picked up my book: Library

Key Words: YA, Fantasy, Latinx, LGBTQ+, political

My Rating: 4.5

bookishfolk book review

Synopsis (via Goodreads):

At the Medio School for Girls, distinguished young women are trained for one of two roles in their polarized society. Depending on her specialization, a graduate will one day run a husband’s household or raise his children, but both are promised a life of comfort and luxury, far from the frequent political uprisings of the lower class. Daniela Vargas is the school’s top student, but her bright future depends upon no one discovering her darkest secret—that her pedigree is a lie. Her parents sacrificed everything to obtain forged identification papers so Dani could rise above her station. Now that her marriage to an important politico’s son is fast approaching, she must keep the truth hidden or be sent back to the fringes of society, where famine and poverty rule supreme.

On her graduation night, Dani seems to be in the clear, despite the surprises that unfold. But nothing prepares her for all the difficult choices she must make, especially when she is asked to spy for a resistance group desperately fighting to bring equality to Medio. Will Dani cling to the privilege her parents fought to win for her, or to give up everything she’s strived for in pursuit of a free Medio—and a chance at a forbidden love?

My Thoughts:

I LOVED this book! When I heard it described as a YA version in the same vein as Red Clocks and The Handmaid’s Tale, I knew I was in! BUT it deserves SO MUCH MORE than that comparison. In my opinion, this is a book unto itself. It is is set in a LatinX dystopian world (YESSSSSS) and it’s gay (YESSSS) and deals with societal roles, feminism, fighting societal norms, politics, immigration, patriarchy (and how it needs to be taken down), diversity and so much more (YESSSSS). It’s a fantastic and timely commentary that will have you sucked in from page one. It’s right up my alley and it did not disappoint at all!

Mejia’s writing is fantastic and as I read it, I felt like I was walking the streets she described, eating the foods the characters were eating, and experiencing each character’s every action. When there was tension, I felt it and when there was love, I also felt it. At one point, I was reading outside and on the edge of my seat about a situation happening in the book.  A neighborhood kid yelled and I literally jumped out of my chair spilling tea all over. I was that engrossed and that doesn’t happen to me very often. The writing is that good. And this is a debut novel-I can hardly believe that, but it’s true!

If you’re into dystopian #ownvoices, timly, YA novels-please run and grab this book immediately. But let me warn you…this is the first book in a series, so…you’ll have to wait to see where the plot goes long after you read the last sentence of this book. Just a warning, because I was totally taken off guard and almost wrote Mejia an email or at least DMed her and bunch of angry face emoji’s lol. I can’t WAIT to see what else this debut author has to offer us!

Have you read it? What did you think? If not, are you planning to? As always, find me on Instagram!

bookishfolk…read instead.

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