I’m back again–in the same month no less–with another book review (and also a few of my favorite quotes!) as part of the TBR and Beyond book tour for Omega Morales!
Omega Morales’ family has been practicing magic for centuries in Noche Buena. But over the years, the towns reputation for the supernatural is no longer one the people carry with pride. So Omega’s family keeps to themselves, and in private, they’re Empaths–diviners who can read and manipulate the emotions of people and objects around them. But Omega’s powers don’t quite work, and it leaves her feeling like an outsider in her own family. When a witch with the power to transform herself into an owl–known in Mexican folkore as La Lechuza–shows up unannounced, Omega, her best friend Clau (who happens to be a ghost), and her cousin Carlitos must conduct a séance under a full moon in order to unvravel the mystery of the legend. Suddenly Omega’s magic begins to change, and the key to understanding her powers is more complicated than she thought. Omega will have to decide what’s more important–trusting the instincts of others or learning to trust in herself.
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Laekan Zea Kemp is a writer living in Austin, Texas. Her debut novel, SOMEWHERE BETWEEN BITTER AND SWEET, was a 2021 Pura Belpré Honor Recipient. In addition to writing she’s also the creator and host of the Author Pep Talks podcast, as well as a contributor to the Las Musas podcast. She has three objectives when it comes to storytelling: to make people laugh, cry, and crave Mexican food. Her work celebrates Chicane grit, resilience, creativity, and joy while exploring themes of identity and mental health.
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My Review & Favorite Quotes
OMEGA MORALES AND THE LEGEND OF LA LECHUZA was such a fun fall read, and it really got me in the mood for spooky season. This book was such a fantastic blend between humor, suspense, and heartfelt portrayals of grief, anxiety, fear, and so many other big emotions.
“Not every stranger is a monster…And not every monster is a stranger.”
The characters in this book–and I really loved them all–were going through so much, and just like real twelve year-olds they faced it so bravely and chaotically and I thoroughly enjoyed the ride. I thought this book had great depictions about the heavy things children have to carry sometimes and I appreciated the honesty and vulnerability with which all those emotions and experiences were handled.
“I look at my strange, magical family, at our skin the color of the land, at our language and rituals and touchstones to the past, and I see love. Big and loud and taking up every inch of space.”
Another aspect of Omega that I loved was how seamlessly it blended ideas about belonging, redemption and forgiveness, and other important themes. Omega and her family, and her family’s traditions and culture, really are the foundation of this book, and it’s her family’s love and values that shape this story and all its messages. I’m truly not explaining it well or concisely haha, but I think the centrality of family and culture to this book informed its themes and storyline