How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe is emotional, raw, and captivating. Delivering the full spectrum of emotions, it is a story about love and self-acceptance, of (un)learning and agency. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
When her twin sister reaches social media stardom, Moon Fuentez accepts her fate as the ugly, unwanted sister hidden in the background, destined to be nothing more than her sister’s camerawoman. But this summer, Moon also takes a job as the “merch girl” on a tour bus full of beautiful influencers and her fate begins to shift in the best way possible.
Most notable is her bunkmate and new nemesis, Santiago Phillips, who is grumpy, combative, and also the hottest guy Moon has ever seen.
Moon is certain she hates Santiago and that he hates her back. But as chance and destiny (and maybe, probably, close proximity) bring the two of them in each other’s perpetual paths, Moon starts to wonder if that’s really true. She even starts to question her destiny as the unnoticed, unloved wallflower she always thought she was.
Could this summer change Moon’s life as she knows it?
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
TW: fatphobia, racism, parental abuse, suicide of a SC
How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe features one of my favorite elements: complex sisters. And while this relationship, as well as toxic family members, are explored with thought and nuance, it’s also a story firmly rooted in Moon and her journey. How the opinions and the things that the people we love say to us begins to change the ways we see ourselves in the mirror. All the moments she feels invisible, unwanted, and second.
Heart wrenching from start to finish, Moon feels neglected and alone. These moments had my heart breaking especially as it’s contrasted with her own passion and her stifled dreams. How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe shifts from unraveling the secrets of the past, to exploring toxic relationships that whisper our worst thoughts back to us, and clashes of religion and love. While it unfolds slower than I was expecting, I never noticed it feeling slow, instead I greatly enjoyed watching the story unfurl.
Don’t even get me started on how much I enjoyed the romance storyline. It felt grounded and immediately I love a big grumpy softie. In general, every relationship in How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe was tender and detailed. The ones that are so good when they’re good. And when they’re bad they leave you feeling utterly alone. Not to mention that How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe examines dismantling our internalized shame and repression. It’s one of those books that manages to explore so many important topic like queerphobia, fatphobia, sexism and the “shame of desire” all at once.
If you’ve ever wondered why we let the ones we love hurt us so deeply, then you have to read How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe. Stories about listening to the voices around us, the ones that warp in our mind, and convince us we are the side character in our own life. That we don’t deserve love or respect, that we’re to blame. It’s a powerful story about the times we listen to these voices in our head and the journey to find our own.
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