Cover Image: Lobizona


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Member Reviews

I went into this book with an expectations that's only tied in with the summary, only to find out that it was more than that. This books surprised me in a good way. It doesn't only talk about Manu's life, but also her search for her true identity. It magically-infused book was powerful in every singe way that I could think of.

I couldn't recommend this book more. Please do get a copy once it's released. The release date was pushed back to August, so we have to be patient. But I can see this book on my shelf once it reveals itself to the world.
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After pondering about this for many days I am finally ready to leave my thoughts one I want to start with the title makes the book extremely predictable. Two I want to say I love this book has Latinx and queer representation . This book starts off with an interesting hook to grab your attention about deportation. A very real issue then switched to a fantastical fantasy world if you will. The mc is trying to hide her true self (her unusual eyes) while trying to find her father or hide from him she is really quite conflicted about that along the journey she ends up at a school where people practice magic and transform into wolves she notices they all have eyes similar to hers. But will her journey at this school be fulfilling or present even more challenges?
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**I received an eARC of 'Lobizona' by Romina Garber through NetGalley and Wednesday Books, in exchange for an honest review**

Immigration and family separation are very heated topics in America today, and Romina Garber addresses these issues wonderfully in 'Lobizona'. Manu and her mother are undocumented immigrants in Maimi, and a twist of fate leads her in a search to seeking out her origins. Fantasy elements are beautifully woven together, as Manu experiences supernatural life changes that she cannot explain for herself. Romina Garber also blends urban fantasy very well into this supernatural tale, as Manu is brought into a magical school of witches and werewolves, a life drastically different from her life in Miami, Florida. 

I love that 'Lobizona' ties in the issues of gender roles and feminism. Although women are more liberated in the magical realm, they are classified in a set role (as are the men). A woman to cross into a 'man's world' is considered risky, and vise-versa, and this issue is covered extensively as the story progresses. As Manu navigates between the world of humanity and the supernatural, she learns that standing out can have a risky meaning. She lives a life destined for sadness as being undocumented, yet her search for community in the supernatural world brings forth a different meaning of belonging. 

'Lobizona' carries a powerful message: while the road to acceptance may seem difficult, your impact in life is significant to everyone you meet. It is such a strong book that gives diverse characters a powerful voice as they move forward in their journeys.
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The reader already knows what Manu is based on the title and it takes a while to build up her world as an undocumented loner who has some seriously painful menstrual cycles that are tamed with pills that knock her out for three days.  Add  strange recurring dreams, people vanishing into smoke, secrets galore and you have a perfect set-up for a fantasy story based on Argentinian lore with brujas (witches) and lobizones (werewolves).   
Once you get to where Manu belongs, the pace moves fast and is full of adventure, magic and love. I liked the use of Spanish even if not all sentences were translated. Readers can get the gist through context. This is one of those reads where I'd stay up late at night and the only thing that stopped was the e-reader dying and making me go to sleep. I eagerly got back to finishing it the following day. Definitely worth a purchase to add to YA collections.
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Manuela Azul has special eyes. Eyes that her mother made her hide behind sunglasses. Raised in Miami to a single Argentine mother, Manu dreamed of the day when she would be a U.S. citizen and the end of her almost 17 years of hiding. But when her "grandmother" was injured and mother taken away by ICE, Manu was left to fend for herself for the first time in her life. A life she understood almost nothing about.

On the surface, "Lobizona" is a fantasy novel about undocumented immigrants, but in truth, it is so, so much more than that. This book belongs to all immigrants, biracial people, feminists, queers, and every fighter who believes in equality. I don't think I've ever read anything where all these identities blend so well into a single story. Garber certainly did that, and it blew me away.

"Sometimes reality strays so far from what’s rational that we can only explain it through fantasy."

I expected this book to be good, but I didn't anticipate it to be absolutely breathtaking. Manu, Saysa (I love Saysa), Tiago, Cata, and all their friends are extremely loveable characters with their own beliefs, ideologies, as well as flaws and insecurities. They are a force of change as they join each other to fight for equality. To fight for liberation from their cages.

“[W]hy settle for being a son of the system, when you can mother a movement?” – Saysa

"Lobizona" is one of the best novels on people who were supposed to belong but deemed otherwise by law. It is a book on being utterly undocumented, on feminism, on queer rights, on equality, and on fighting back. It is a revolution under the guise of fantasy, rooted in love and stretching into every injustice. Very well-written and well-thought-out, "Lobizona" is undoubtedly a YA no one should miss out on.
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Arc provided through Netgalley, all opinions are my own. 

"Sometimes reality strays so far from what’s rational that we can only explain it through fantasy.”

This is a magical realism story inspired by Argentinian folklore and it uses Manu's illegal existence in this world as a parallel to her undocumented status in the United States. It's a story about a girl that has to study at home and hide everytime ICE goes to her complex. A story about a girl trying to imagine a better future where she belongs but that is constantly afraid of her living situations. A girl that has no past and an uncertain future and how she discovers a world where she could truly belong for the first time and she finds friends, love and passion. It's heartbreaking to see her experiences because they are so close to what I see online about immigrants.

Manu is 17 and as she has been in her apartment her whole life, she's nos knowledgeable about living out of it. She spends her time reading and escaping to fictional Victorian worlds and Hogwarts. Then, she finally decides to make decisions for herself and stumbles into the  adventure of her life.  I like how she's not an annoying main character that sees Cata as a challenge or tries to come between her and Tiago.

I have to say that this story centers around family and belonging and this message is spread throughout the book. How her friends are going to support her and put themselves at risk and how she knows she shouldn't put them at risk (and says so) but she's just a scared girl.

This book definitely thrives in its folklore, the descriptions of Lunaris and El Jardín are as beautiful and enticing as the cover. This is a book that will resound with a lot of Latinx kids living in USA and for that I have to give it props.

This book does reads a tad young with its tropes and clichés about chosen ones and instalove, it didn't annoy me thaaat much but it does put a bit of damper and that's why I took of some stars. 

Really recommend it!
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Please note: I received a digital ARC of this book (via NetGalley) from its publisher in exchange for an honest and fair review. 
OMG Brujas, this book is absolute life! Lobizonas literally took my breath away. It far exceeded all of my expectations. We have beautiful Latinx witches and werewolves taking on the patriarchy, while also dealing with issues that undocumented immigrants face.  Lobizonas by Romina Garber is everything I never knew I needed! Let's start with the cover...GORGEOUS! This is one of the most beautiful book covers I have seen this year. There are so many intricate designs and colors. Every inch has something new to discover and unpack.  

Lobizonas is the first book in the Wolves of No World series. At its heart, Lobizona is a coming of age story. We follow Manu, a young women who is considered an outcast in the United States because of her undocumented status. While growing up in fear of being arrested by ICE, she uncovers there is more to her being hidden by her mother than just her immigration status. She is part of another patriarchal magical world where she is considered an outcast for being different. This society has very strict rules for men and women and those falling outside the norms face execution. Romina Garber takes on hard hitting issues like inequality, violence, sexism, intolerance, racism, past trauma, and xenophobia all in an epic fantasy setting. 

This world Romina Garber has created is absolutely brilliant. There are beautifully detailed alternate worlds, a complex magical system, mythical creatures, and more! This lush world feels real and totally unique. If you love epic fantasies, root for the underdog, and believe in kick ass heroines, then this book is for you! To put it shortly GO READ THIS BOOK!

Published by Wednesday Books, this gem set to release on May 5th, and is available for pre-order from all major booksellers. I give Lobizona 5 out of 5 gems. I cannot wait to read more stories set in this universe. Happy Reading!
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A fascinating twist on fantasy! Lobizona is an atmospheric and spellbinding tale. The prose was beautiful and I`m looking forward  to more of this author`s work.
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This is like two different books. Contemporary with some tough topics on immigration, fitting in, and society today. And fantasy with wolvss, powers, and ancient cultures. 
I am not sure how well they mix. It feels like the first half of the book we are reading a poinient novel on contemporary immigration but then suddenly wolves, and instalove, and star eyes. But literal star eyes(pupils that look like stars). 
For me it was just two genres that I couldn't mesh together in my mind and the plot got lost. While I loved the parts seperately together it felt like too much.
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<b> I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review </b>

I was so grateful to receive this book because I've been intrigued ever since I saw the beautiful cover. The writing is beautiful and flowery, but not over the top. The author did such a great job with describing scenery, and developing the characters. I can't say anything bad about this book, it was just that good.

"Sometimes reality strays so far from what's rational that we can only explain it through fantasy."

This quote caught my attention immediately. This book touches on subjects relating to undocumented immigrants, gender identity, and gender norms. I think for some people those topics can be really hard for people to grasp and understand, and this book did a beautiful job of making these topics understandable. I really love that this book had a purpose, and it delivered.

Manu goes on a journey of self discovery through the book and it was so great to see her grow into herself. The friendships and relationships formed in the book were built on loyalty, and communication. It was really nice to see friendships that weren't toxic. I feel like a lot of YA books have relationships and friendships that are toxic to make the plot work, and so this book was a breath of fresh air. 

There were a lot of parallels and mentions of other books throughout the story, and every time I came across one it was like finding an easter egg.

Overall, I couldn't find one thing in this book that I didn't like. I will recommend it to everyone. I can not wait for the sequel to come out, and am praying I will be fortunate enough to receive an ARC of that one too!
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I was really impressed with the fantastical world Garber built. Manu was a great main character; smart, determined, kind, and loyal and I really liked reading about her learning about the Septimus world as well as her family's struggle to stay off the radar in the human world. Garber brings in social justice issues in both the human and magical realms that feel relatable and familiar while helping the reader put themself in Manu's shoes and imagine what it would feel like to have to constantly hide. The pace lagged a little in the middle for me and the end resolved more quickly than I expected, but overall, I really liked this book. I'd recommend to fans of the Divergent series. 

I received a free ARC of this title from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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We need more books like this. Fairytale/ Folktale retellings by Own Voice authors! I really enjoyed reading about the legends and culture of Argentina, which is a country I’m not familiar with. My only issue with this book is that it seemed a bit rushed in key areas and could use more time world-building. I’m hoping that the sequel will go into more details.
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Lobizona is a striking YA novel that takes a sci-fi approach to present day issues of immigration. Manu and her mother are in the U.S. illegally, fleeing violence in Argentina that has left Manu's father presumed dead. Manu fears raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. She lives in hiding, with no contact with other young people her own age.

Manu's life also holds mysteries that she herself finds baffling. Why are her eyes so unusual that she must wear sun glasses at all times? Why are her periods so closely timed to the moon's phases—and so painful that she has to be medically sedated for the first three days of them? And what is the world she visits while under sedation?

Romina Garber offers a complex. compelling narrative that effectively combines the magical and some of the most painful aspects of "the real world." Each time Manu moves closer to understanding who she is, she feels even more isolated from those around her—no matter who those others are.

Lobizona is a compelling read from the start—and the last third will have readers racing along, both tense and hopeful about the novel's possible outcome. What a delight that this is volume one in a series and that readers will have the opportunity to spend more time with Manu in the future.

I received a free  electronic review copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. The opinions are my own.
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Mini review:

I received this e-arc via the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


I was looking forward to reading this! I've heard so many good things about this book. Unfortunately it didn't work for me.

Once I started reading I became disinterested. I tried for a few more pages but simply didn't care.

I still recommend. I think others will enjoy it.
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The first thing that drew me to this book was the cover and the second was the synopsis. Lobizona is about a young girl, Manu, on her journey to discover who she is .... what she is. She is an undocumented immigrant living with her mother in a tiny apartment hiding from both ICE and her fathers family in Miami. The only thing she has been told about the later is that they are dangerous and powerful. After seeing her mother get taken up by ICE and discovering that everything she’s been told is not as it seems she finds herself on a journey to not only who she is but also what she is and in that there is the danger. 

At first, it was difficult to get into this book. I couldn’t seem to associate or really feel any connection with Manu but after I got past the first few chapters her story really started to draw me in. One thing I felt the author did really well was bring forward what is going on in our country in terms of undocumented immigrants. The other thing the was the author described her would so beautifully, from the food, to the locations, to the people...I was truly transported to these places. I definitely look forward to reading the next installment of Manu and her friends journey!
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A beautifully built world of Latinx and fantasy. I finished this book in one day and loved every aspect from showing the importance of family in a latinx world to the true representation of it’s characters. Garber’s prose is enchanting and will have you zooming through pages until you’re finished.
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I received a free digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Great book! I think this tackles some hard hitting issues in our own current society that really need to be addressed more in the public eye. 

Thank you kindly to the author, the publisher, and NetGalley for this review copy.
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Thank you to St. Martin's Press for providing the ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

 I get the feeling that this social distancing world is turning me into a bit of a Grinch because this the latest addition in a string of books I couldn't connect to. 

 When I received the opportunity to read this ARC, the description of the story really hooked me. A contemporary novel with fantasy elements? Including as controversial a topic as illegal immigration? I love it! Sign me up!

 The issues come quick for this story and they're primarily twofold. First, this story is a very slow burn and unless you relate to these characters, that writing style is going to burn you. The author has a beautiful style, but unless you build that connection strongly for the readers, you're not going to reach very many. 

 Second, the story leans so much into the contemporary and treats the fantasy piece more like an afterthought. Truthfully, this story would have had a stronger impact on its readers if it dedicated to one genre instead of attempting to blend both.
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“I’ve always been a voracious reader, and this is quite the story.”

** Trigger warning for racist violence, including a scene involving an ICE raid, and violence against women, including rape. **

“Manuela de La Mancha,” says a deep voice. It sounds strange to hear such a long name, but that’s the manada I’m pretending to be from. 

“Hola, Marilén,” I say to Tiago and Saysa’s great-grandmother, whom I met moments ago. 

“No sos bruja.” You’re not a witch. 

My tongue feels like sandpaper, and my mouth seals dry. Since our wolf-shadows roam outside the Citadel, and my fangs and claws are retracted, I didn’t think there would be any indicator of my identity— 

“No te preocupes, no vengo a interrogarte.” Don’t worry, I’m not here to interrogate you. 

She moves closer, and the way her steely eyes seem to see more than others reminds me of Perla. “Toda la vida soñé con conocerte,” she whispers. My whole life I’ve dreamt of meeting you. 

Her long black hair is in a tight, elegant bun that pulls her skin, stretching it so that if there’s a single wrinkle, I don’t see it. “La primera de nosotras que nació fuera de su jaula.” 

The first of us to be born outside her cage.


“Anything you do that’s traditional wolf territory could be challenged by some zealot, and you could wind up before the tribunal. I’ve been studying their decisions, and they tend to be led by their pragmatism. Our world is gray, and rapidly gray-ing, and the tribunal navigates it by sticking to a determinedly black-and-white approach. They rule by the book and can’t be swayed by emotion. If you don’t fit the exact letter of the law, they see you as going against it.” 

“So what do I do?” 

“You can’t break a law that doesn’t apply to you.” 


“If you’re undocumented, you’re unwritten. Embrace that.”

“You’re saying if no one’s told my story before … I get to tell it the way I want?” 



“Sometimes reality strays so far from what’s rational that we can only explain it through fantasy.”


Sixteen-year-old Manuela “Manu” Azul lives on the fringes of society, in more ways than one; in more ways than even she knows. 

For starters, she and her mother Soledad are undocumented immigrants, living in Miami illegally while Ma applies for visas through her employer, a wealthy Cuban immigrant named Doña Rosa. As the story goes, Soledad was forced to flee Argentina more than a dozen years ago after she had an affair with Manu’s father, the reluctant heir to a powerful criminal organization. When he tried to leave his family for his lover, they had him killed. Soledad’s only saving grace? She ran before her treacherous in-laws discovered she was pregnant with Manu.

Now Manu spends most of her time in lockdown, confined to the relative safety of an apartment complex known as El Retiro, her invisible bars shaped by Ma’s maxim: “Attention breeds scrutiny. Silence is your salvation. Discovery = Deportation.” But it’s hard to evade both ICE and the Argentinian mob when you share a rare genetic mutation with your infamous father: “Because you can’t be invisible when your irises are yellow suns and your pupils are silver stars.” Barred from attending school or socializing, Manu’s only friend is Perla, her ninety-year-old roommate, teacher, and surrogate grandmother.

Manu’s precarious existence is upended when Perla is attacked in their apartment, and Soledad’s employer is raided by ICE – all in the same afternoon. Manu discovers that so much of her life has been a lie; while in other ways, the half-truths and creeping sense of isolation have only been harbingers of things to come. The magical place she dreams of during her period – when her “lunaritis” becomes so severe that Ma has to sedate Manu for her own good – really does exist, and it’s the key to finding her place in the world. Worlds, plural: her mother’s and her father’s. For her father’s people are Septis, powerful lobizonos and brujas who move back and forth between earth and Lunaris. 

There’s one thing Soledad wasn’t lying about, though: if the Cazadores learn of Manu’s existence, she will be executed. Human-Septis hybrids are considered abominations, and Manu has yet another beautiful deviation up her sleeve: one that threatens to upend the entire patriarchal system on which Septis culture is based. She’s not a bruja, as gender essentialism would dictate, but rather a powerful lobizona. The first of her kind.

LOBIZONA is such a great story, and I’m worried that I’ve already dropped too many spoilers, so I’ll shut up about plot specifics. Let’s just say Manu’s quest involves surreptitious enrollment in a boarding school for young Septis; a search for her missing father, Fierro; a found family involving classmates Tiego, Cata, and Saysa (among others); smashing the patriarchy; and a trip to another world that’s both enchanting and lethal. 

Garber’s world building here is simply spectacular: the twin locales of El Laberinto and Lunaris, anchored by a sentient, bigger-on-the-side, magic police box tree called Flora, are as beguiling as they are complex and detailed. There’s so much to love here, from Flora’s “living library” to Lunaris’s rainbow colored waterfalls and wolf-shaped shadows that seem to exist apart from their owners. 

And the racial and gender politics! While I was fully expecting parallels between Manu’s dual “outlaw” status – as an undocumented immigrant in the United States, and as a hybrid in Lunaris – Garber’s decision to throw gender into the mix made things extra deliciously complicated. And I am so here for it! The scenes where Manu’s bruja sisters (and more than a few lobizono brothers – yay for allyship!) rooted for her gave me all kinds of feelings, and Diego’s coaching Manu to write her own story – to own her race and gender and species membership – is inspiring AF. 

There’s a bit of a Handmaid’s Tale meets Harry Potter vibe here, but with a much more nuanced interrogation of race on both counts. (Or interrogation of race, period.)

Like THE HANDMAID’S TALE, I feel as though I could write an entire thesis on the themes explored in LOBIZONA (that’s one way to pass the time until the sequel, am I right?); Garber’s attention to detail is impressive, and leads to some rather interesting and unexpected reveals. The bit about brujas being required by law to birth at least two children – nevermind that doing so saps them of their magic – is particularly chilling, and sadly as relevant as ever.
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Lobizona is about Manu, a teenage girl living as an undocumented immigrant in Miami. She and her mother fled Argentina when she was five to escape her father’s family. As if this wasn’t challenging enough Manu also has very strange eyes that make her stand out in a crowd, not something helpful when you’re trying to keep under the government’s radar. And she gets terrible cramps during the full moon. She begins to suspect there is more to her father’s family than she knew. This was a pretty powerful book, reading Manu’s fear and anger and helplessness at the situation she was in and had no control over was very moving. So many people are in similar situations right now and it is heart breaking and needs to change. The fantasy part of the story while not as powerful was also enjoyable, and I really liked the characters she meets and how they are figuring out how to deal with their own society which has parallel problems to the ones Manu faces in Miami. I really enjoyed this book and look forward to the sequel!
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