Book Reviews

Review: The Luis Ortega Survival Club by Sonora Reyes

I loved The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School and knew I had to read this one. It’s a story about rape, solidarity, community, and friendship. I was rooting for Ariana the entire book and I loved watching her journey in this YA Contemporary. Keep reading this book review of The Luis Ortega Survival Club for my full thoughts.


Ariana Ruiz wants to be noticed. But as an autistic girl who never talks, she goes largely ignored by her peers, despite her bold fashion choices. So when cute, popular Luis starts to pay attention to her, Ari finally feels seen.

Luis’s attention soon turns to something more, and they have sex at a party—while Ari didn’t say no, she definitely didn’t say yes. Before she has a chance to process what happened and decide if she even has the right to be mad at Luis, the rumor mill begins churning—thanks, she’s sure, to Luis’s ex-girlfriend, Shawni. Boys at school now see Ari as an easy target, someone who won’t say no. 

Then Ari finds a mysterious note in her locker that eventually leads her to a group of students determined to expose Luis for the predator he is. To her surprise, she finds genuine friendship among the group, including her growing feelings for the very last girl she expected to fall for. But in order to take Luis down, she’ll have to come to terms with the truth of what he did to her that night—and risk everything to see justice done. 


(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

Okay so The Luis Ortega Survival Club started by breaking my heart. Make sure you read the trigger warnings because heart broken. Ariana’s situation and how she processes her own rape and experience left me on the floor. It felt too real and resonated in a way I thought I was beyond. However, The Luis Ortega Survival Club turns into a book about power, solidarity, and friendship. About the victim shaming, the internalization, and the grasps of control. Yet also about friends who will make space to listen.

(Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links. For more information you can look at the Policy page. If you’re uncomfortable with that, know you can look up the book on any of the sites below to avoid the link)

I listened to the audiobook which I think only made me connect more with Ariana. Elisa Meléndez did a phenomenal job at infusing Ariana’s narration with emotion and the reflection of doubt and tender hope. The time flew by reading The Luis Ortega Survival Club as we get to see these characters and their personalities beyond their common link. Another element I enjoyed was Ariana’s relationship to her mother. This book had all the elements that resonated! It’s a story about processing, healing, and justice.

Find The Luis Ortega Survival Club on Goodreads, Storygraph, Amazon,, Blackwells,, and Google Play.


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