Cover Image: Just Your Local Bisexual Disaster

Just Your Local Bisexual Disaster

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Member Reviews

hello friends!! & happy pride month as well!! i feel like i haven’t reviewed a book in quite a while actually (or read that much tbh) but here’s a long overdue review of just your local bisexual disaster by andrea mosqueda. i read an arc of this book back in april on the plane, and now it’s june so oops for that.

just your local bisexual disaster is definitely one of the best books i’ve read this year. it was a fun and enjoyable read, but also there were parts that really resonated with me and i got kind of emotional. i highly recommend and i also think it would be a quick read that would definitely help with a reading slump too.

the main premise of the book is kind of a love triangle (more like a square though), and usually i dislike love triangles but this one felt more realistic and each of the three love interests are interesting people on their own. one of the things i thought that made the triangle work is that there’s a compelling reason to root for each of them, and it’s not like it’s super obvious from the beginning which ship is going to sail. also the main character maggie is bi, and i really appreciated that the book depicted that her interest in more than one gender on page as well as the book (and maggie) being self-aware about bi stereotypes and the discussions about biphobia.

also even though the book is primarily about romance, there’s also a pretty big focus on family and friendship (i especially liked the emphasis on female friendship and the incorporated discussion about boundaries) in addition, i felt that it also was pretty realistic in how it depicted teenagers, the college struggle, and the pop culture references :)

thank you to @macmillanusa @fiercereads for sending me an earc :)
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This book follows Maggie Gonzalez, a bisexual Chicana, and her experiences with love, heartbreak, and friendship. I really loved how realistic and relatable this book was and I bet that this book is one that a lot of bisexual girls growing up will be able to relate to. I liked how the relationships in this book weren't all cookie cutter and there were moments where the characters fought and made up since that made for a much more realistic story. Also, I absolutely loved Maggie and Dani's relationship! It was the most adorable thing ever and there were so many parts where I audibly squealed. Especially towards the end. I don't want to spoil too much about the romance in this book and who Maggie chooses in her love triangle (love square?) but all of them felt very well thought out. I also really liked how Amanda's character was written since she was a very accurate representation of how female friends of bisexual girls act so I hope that her character will bring some more awareness to the little things people say that are extremely irritating and stereotypical. Overall I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it.
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As someone who identifies as bisexual, I was very excited to see this title.  However, I am not big on romance and the whole "I can't decide who I love" trope just isn't my jam. After not really enjoying it, I took a break, read some other stuff, and came back. But even then, I just couldn't get into it. I feel this representation is important, I just don't think this book was my cup of tea.
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A classic YA vibe, but with a minority voice that the industry doesn't have enough of! I really enjoyed the coming of age and self discovery themes. And it felt much more modern than a lot of other YA books lately.
A great contemporary for summer rom-com readers!!
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Disclaimer: I am 44 years old and not this book's target demographic.

The title tells you what you need to know about Maggie. She is a disaster because she becomes cliché after cliché after cliché. I don't know if making her music obsessed is supposed to make me giver her a pass for her complete and utter ignorance of pop culture tropes; but I do not forgive her. The plot summary warns you of her three love interests, but doesn't tell you all you need to know.

<spoiler> Amanda, her best friend and forever crush is in a relationship; as is Matthew, the ex-boyfriend, has a girlfriend. The only viable option (because she is single) is clearly Dani. 

However, Maggie dismissed the relationships and embarks on a photographic journey to determine who she should be with. She does this by creating a Finsta account where she uses different filters to represent each of her love interests and caption each photo with what she is feeling at the time. Two people know about the account: another friend, Jordan, and the art teacher. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that the Finsta is Maggie's final project for class. 

I was supremely upset that neither of these people told Maggie that this was a bad idea--although to be fair I don't know if the teacher knew who the three love interests were because Maggie only used initials in the captions. However, when the project concludes the teacher tells Maggie the worst piece of advice. I just checked on my digital ARC and it's not there--I ended up borrowing the audiobook from my local library--but it's something along the lines of that it's not possible to love someone the wrong way. What kind of advice is this?!?! What about people who inflict psychological and physical abuse on their so-called loved ones? Nope, that was it for me </spoiler>
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Maggie Gonzalez needs a date to her sister's quinceañera. Coming to terms with the fact that non of her relationships or plans are as simple as she may had hoped. Between her low simmering crush on her forever best friend Amanda, her messy breakup with her ex Matthew, and a confusing new girl Dani, Maggie is forced to confront the complexity of her emotions tied to all of them.
I LOVED every second of this. It felt authentic and real and honest. Every character was developed and complex, every issue was real and thought out. I find YA can sometimes feel forced, and though there were a lot of pop culture references which usually I can find 'try hard' these were authentic and felt very accurate to a teenager.
Loved loved loved this book, will be recommending it to everyone. This is the book I wish I had when I was a teenage bisexual disaster.
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Personal/Parent Thoughts- This is the book is so honest and relatable. It is definitely for young adults due to typical teen language/cursing. Honestly though, it's still representative of what I hear daily at the middle school level. It should be perfect for high schoolers since the MC is 16 and younger sister is turning 15. I love the Latinx representation, especially that of one whose parents didn't teach them Spanish. Honestly, the only thing keeping me from rating this a 5 is I can't separate my bias: is it a book for everyone to read and relate to, or were there so many references I related to (like Blessthefall) but not necessarily everyone else would get?
Only thing explicit in the book is the amount of cursing. But, again, it fits with the intended audience. The most romance shown is kissing.

Mind of a student- Great bisexual representation, especially since it addresses the common stereotypes. Always love a romance that's sweet enough for middle-grade. Only concern is some kids may not feel comfortable checking it out due to the title in fear of being "outed" or unsupportive family/peers. 

Teacher/Librarian Brain- No-brainer for a high school library, class and school, collections. We have enough LGTBQ+ students and plenty of students 14+ yrs old to justify it in our middle school library collection. Easily likable. Not super lengthy or overly difficult to understand. Some references may be too specific to certain cliques (emo/scene kids).
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This was a really quick endearing read that touched on important topics of today without being too intense or in-you-face. Maggie is a teen self described "bisexual disaster" who has stumbled into the unlucky situation of crushing on three people at once. Her bff Amanda, ex Matthew and a mysterious new girl at school. And now it's crunch time, with only a few weeks left before her sister's quince. Which of course she needs a date to. 
Maggie's project to pick a date is heartfelt, funny and at times appropriately cringe-worthy. Add in the color and personality of her outspoken, loving latinx family and you have a great read.  Easy 4 stars.
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This was a really fun read. While I was iffy on the premise of Maggie liking three people, I did enjoy that she took her time to see who she connected with. The way she went about it... well... everyone is young and dumb at one time, right? And isn't that what high school is all about? Drama?

Additionally, when it all hits the fan, things aren't automatically okay after. It takes time for the characters to heal and face each other. In a lot of books, they're just automatically friends again the next day. Not here, and I really appreciate that. It made the characters seem a lot more human.
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THE 411...

Maggie Gonzalez gave me a serious case of nostalgia as she helped her sister get ready for her quinceañera, picked a partner to accompany her to the quince and sorted through her messy (relatable) romantic feelings. Growing up in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley, Maggie dreams of one day becoming a music photographer. She's one of three girls to a single mom/small business owner, they're bonds with one another are pretty tight. With college right around the corner, we see Maggie struggle with mixed emotions over leaving her family as well as guilt over how expensive a college education can be. Her love life is just as complicated, Maggie is a bisexual teen who is trying to sort out her feelings for her BFF Amanda, ex Matthew and new girl in town Dani. Along the way there's discussion on stereotypes Bisexual people are met with and the boundaries Maggie learns to set for herself. 

WRITING & FINAL THOUGHTS...

Just Your Local Bisexual Disaster delivered Latinx queer characters that embodied the messy chaos that is being a teenager in love. This is a character driven story where the relationships are well fleshed out. This has led to some reviewers feeling like this could've been shorter but personally I enjoyed seeing the history behind these connections. Maggie is Gen Z (even with some pop culture references that were out of place), she smokes weed with her friends, has a Finsta and is exploring hobbies/passions that can turn into a future career. If you enjoy stories with a focus on family bonds, Maggie and her sisters are pretty tight knit. Everyone helps out in the household and family owned business, they know their mom works hard and in many ways the oldest help raise the youngest. What to look forward to? seeing Maggie's family come together to organize the Quinceñera, Maggie trying to pick an escort to the very special birthday/rites of passage, and LOTS of complicated feelings and blurred lines. I happened to also get a copy of the audiobook and thought the narrator did a good job with the friend group, even the obnoxious temperamental ex 🤷🏻‍♀️ I also can't end this review without mentioning how yummy this book read haha!  but seriously you've been warned, the mention of tacos and other foods is very likely to set your tummy rumbling 😉

Review go live date: June 13th 8am EST
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Thank you to NetGalley and Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group for the electronic ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Maggie Gonzalez is feeling the pressure.  She and her friends are looking ahead to college, and everyone has high expectations of her. But more immediately, her sister’s quinceanera is coming soon, and she doesn’t have a date yet. She has narrowed it down to three possibilities—her ex-boyfriend Matthew, her best friend Amanda, and new girl Dani. When a teacher challenges her class to come up with twelve works of art to tell the journey of their last 12 weeks of senior year, she decides to use the project to help her make her decision. Maggie is a photographer, so she takes photos of her candidates, and assembles them into any unpublished instagram account with captions.  No one is supposed to see them except her teacher.

As the date of the quinceanera nears, the decision isn’t getting easier.  She’s getting mixed messages from one candidate, and she doesn’t want to interfere with another’s current relationship. And as she begins to reach a conclusion, she just wants to be honest. But are her friends ready for that kind of honesty?

A really wonderful and realistic story about being a high school senior and a sister…and also bisexual.
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In Andrea Mosqueda’s Just Your Local Bisexual Disaster, Maggie Gonzalez, a high school junior with dreams of becoming a music photographer, finds herself torn between three potential escorts for her sister’s quinceañera, and when a school assignment urges her to do some self-exploration through a creative medium of her choice, she decides to use a new Instagram account as a diary to work through her complicated emotions. The longer this goes on, though, the more she realizes her inner turmoil is not just the result of her mixed up feelings for her three different crushes—she’s also second guessing her original plan for her future and dealing with insecurity, internalized biphobia, and the crushing guilt of daring to be uncertain about her life as a teenager.

While there were many promising aspects of this novel, I think it would have benefitted from a bit more revision. The characterization is inconsistent and often underdeveloped. I couldn’t make sense of Maggie’s feelings for her best friend, Amanda, and I didn’t believe that she actually had a crush on her because there are so many moments where their relationship does not even make sense on a platonic level, let alone a romantic level. Amanda is portrayed several times as vapid, inconsiderate, and self-centered—something Maggie is more than aware of—so with Maggie’s very apparent frustration and dislike of Amanda as a human, I did not understand from where the crush could even stem. Given a bit more attention and perhaps a few more pages, this relationship could have been such excellent representation of how straight girls can take advantage of queer girls and how toxic friendships that have this dynamic can be. The foundation is already there.

Dani, the new girl and another of Maggie’s three crushes, is not developed nearly enough on her own, and her relationship with Maggie even more so, so their moments together fall flat and the chemistry between them is lacking. In contrast to the other two crushes, Matthew and Maggie’s relationship as exes who might still have feelings for each other is rich with their long, complicated history and unfolds on the page in a compelling way. I would have liked for all three relationships to feel as vivid and complex as theirs did. Outside of these three love interests, the ensemble cast of side characters felt too numerous, and trying to tie everyone into the story and keep them all relevant to the plot made the book feel a bit messy.

Maggie’s internalized biphobia and self-hatred, among other things, could have used several extra beats to allow the story the space it needed to give weight to these moments and bring them to a proper, satisfying conclusion. In the novel, as the title suggests, Maggie believes she is giving bisexuality a bad name and living up to the awful stereotypes surrounding bisexuality because she has three simultaneous crushes. There are several moments where she seems repulsed by her own sexuality and views her attraction as predatory and creepy, and she also refers to herself as a slut several times. This sense of disgust and shame towards one’s own sexuality is such a prominent feeling queer youth have to unpack and unlearn; it’s a really important theme the novel aims to address, but the moments where Maggie’s internalized biphobia come through are so jarring and disruptive to the narrative that they need to be acknowledged and resolved more clearly. As it stands now, without giving these moments enough significance, attention, and resolution, they feel forced in and heavy-handed, like a tool to make a point without any subtlety. The novel is clearly seeking to challenge these cruel stereotypes and show the negative effects they have on young bisexuals, but I don’t think it quite succeeds in doing so realistically and authentically.

There were some absolutely breathtaking passages in this novel, like many of Maggie’s Instagram captions and the first little vignettes that lay out Maggie’s feelings for each of her crushes, but the writing and voice never seem to commit to one cohesive style. For every stunning turn of phrase, there would be a sentence that felt clunky in how hard it was trying to sound lyrical and another sentence that abandoned any sense of poeticism altogether in favor of incorporating Gen-Z slang and pop culture references in a way that didn’t feel natural.

All of this, combined with the forced and overly dramatic conflict that initiated the climax (which I won’t go into in detail to avoid too many spoilers but needed to be mentioned in some way because it truly baffles me), made pushing through to finish the book a bit difficult. It had so much potential but did not quite hit the mark for me personally.
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3.5, rounded down.

Don't get me wrong—this was good and entertaining, but I found myself skimming through quite a bit of it. I felt it was too long and not the book for me, which is 100% on me for continuing to read YA contemporary when I was in the mood for speculative literary fiction (#moodreaderproblems).

However, this is DEFINITELY going to be the book for other people, and it probably definitely would have been the book for me when I was a teen and super duper closeted bisexual (I was so fucking closeted I didn't even realize it myself).

There is a lot to love in this book. Amazing rep, for starters. A cute subversion of the "bisexual who can't decide" trope/stereotype. A supportive (and messy) friend group. A fantastic set of siblings. A mom who had just the right amount of guidance while being real herself (and also messy). And a lot of (actually contemporary for today's teens) music...although there was mention of Weezer, Blink 182 and some other band I grew up with as a teen a bajillion (going on twenty years ago is a bajillion in teen years) years ago, so maybe that loses some cred there. Also there was a lot of flannel and converse. Is flannel a thing again? Because if so, my wife will be thrilled.
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YALL this book was so good!!! You know, when I first began reading young adult books as a teen, I wasn’t a big fan of contemporaries. Probably because I couldn’t really identify with white kids living in the suburbs. But now, with all of the books coming out featuring BIPOC characters, I’m finally enjoying and even loving contemporary books more. And Just Your Local Bisexual Disaster is one of those. We follow the Gonzalez family, composed of three sisters; Verónica, Maggie and Alyssa, and their mom, who live in Rio Grande Valley, and are in the midst of the preparations of Alyssa’s quinceañera. Maggie has to get a date for the big event, but she has conflicting feelings with three of her friends; Matthew, her ex, Amanda, her BFF, and Dani, the new girl of the group. This book was so messy and real, it made me have flashbacks of my time as a teen and even my own quinceañera. I loved the characters and I loved seeing how the author developed their relationships as well as them as persons. I felt right at home following their stories, and connected with some of them. The popular culture references took me out because I completely resonated with them (yes Maggie, I fell in love with Kuvira too) and it’s honestly so fun to find little things that you recognize in a new book. Overall, you have to read this book because it is wonderful and Andrea really threw it out of the park with this story. If you love books like No Filter and Other Lies and Ophelia After All (two of my faves!), then you will love JYLBD.
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Just Your Local Bisexual Disaster by Andrea Mosqueda is the perfect read for June. It follows Maggie, a bisexual Chicana, who has to find a date for her sister’s quince. things get complicated when she has to figure out if she wants to give her ex-boyfriend a second chance, confess her crush to her best friend or explore her feelings for the new girl in town. This was such a fun story, with pure chaos and bisexual disasters.

Maggie is a messy character, trying her best. She’s wondering what love is, and how it feels for the different people in her life. She loves photography, but she isn’t sure if leaving her town for university is what she wants to do anymore. She’s the definition of a disaster (sorry not sorry, Maggie!). But it’s impossible to not root for her, she’s such a caring and sympathetic character. She’s afraid of stepping out of the familiar, she’s scared of disappointing her mom and sisters after everything they have done for her. She’s scared, she’s seventeen, she’s pure angst and she’s your local bisexual disaster

Yes, this is a story about romantic love and crushes. But it is also about figuring out life after high school, the way friendships and dreams change. It’s about family and sisters and a big quince. Maggie is so afraid of how things are changing in her relationships, that she wants to hold on to the familiar so hard. She makes mistakes along the way and she learns how to fix them. Her relationships help her grow and in turn, her relationships with her loved ones grow as well.

Andrea brings such charming characters to life. It’s a poignant story, with so much thought behind it. Maggie discusses many times different biphobic stereotypes. It's how self-aware the story is that won me over some of my doubts at the beginning of the book. Like how Maggie comments about being a bisexual girl who isn't sure about her feelings for these three people and how it looks like she can't decide. These instances are properly called out, I just want to say. Maggie acknowledges these stereotypes, which I thought was very well done. There is an intention behind Maggie's (questionable) choices, which makes her character more nuanced, and more charming as well.

One of my favorite things about the story was the relationship between Maggie and her sisters. They fight and tease each other but they are always there to hold each other up. Their love for Maggie carries her so far. It warmed my heart.

I feel like if you love YA romance and messy YA protagonists, Just Your Local Bisexual Disaster is a must-read.
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I enjoyed this book a lot! I think Maggie, who is the main character, is my favorite character. I really enjoyed her voice throughout the novel. I wasn’t super into or attached to any of the side characters. This is a quick and easy read. Also, a love triangle that I was genuinely invested in! Obligatory readalike for Ghost Wood Song, without all of the ghosts. Same color scheme though! Four stars.
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I think the title of this says it back, sometimes you are a bisexual disaster. This book is unapologetic in knowing that you can personally be messy, but  in a way that can cause growth.
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the main character, Maggie, was super fun to read about and quite unique compared to other YA protagonists. she's a very realistic teenager which made her stand out to others. 

the plot is pretty straightforward and simple but it was fun to read about nonetheless. maggie needs to find a date to her sisters quince, easy enough, but first she has to deal with her feelings for her best friend, ex boyfriend, and the new girl in town.

maggie's relationships were really well done even if i didn't find the love interests the most likable. often times I found them annoying but it does play into the whole messiness of the book.

the bisexual rep was really good of course and we see the main character deal with her feelings with a male character and two female characters. often times books with bisexual characters interested in the same gender are disregarded so that was fun to read about here. 

i also really loved the latine representation!! i adore books with queer latino protagonists so this was so fun. the whole plot surrounding a date to a Quince was so cute and super fun. 

overall, this was a pretty quick and fun read with great representation.
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I don’t think I’ve been this hyped for a novel and then not only let down but let down hard in a long time. It hit me even harder because being bisexual, I was saddened that I disliked the main character (a female bisexual) as much as I did. You’d think that if there was one character I could relate to in a book it’d be a cishet bisexual female, but nope. I guess that just goes to show not all bisexuals are the same, because I just about couldn’t stand Maggie. 

This book was just about everything I dislike about almost any book, but especially YA romances: it was too long and it had too much filler. 

This book would’ve been rated lower if I didn’t actually feel some genuine emotions here and there at points during the book, mostly during scenes involving Maggie and her family. Those scenes felt like some of the most genuine and sincere scenes in the book, with warmth and familial intimacy practically wafting off the page. 

Now, if only the rest of the book felt the same. Then maybe we could’ve gotten somewhere. 

Thanks to NetGalley, Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, and Feiwel & Friends for early access to this title in exchange for a fair and honest review. Due to personal policy, this review will not appear on social media or bookseller websites due to the 3 star rating.
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I loved watching Maggie explore her thoughts and romantic feelings through her school project!  Some of my favorite parts of the book were the short instagram captions she would write about her love interests, as they really helped me relate to the way that she was feeling about each person.  Initially, I was strongly rooting for just one of the pairings (I won’t tell you which one to keep from spoiling anything), but as the book progressed and Maggie worked through some of her feelings, I found myself cheering on all of the potential relationships Maggie could pursue.  They were all just so well developed and strongly written that I couldn’t help but get warm fuzzies while reading about Maggie’s affections towards Matthew, Amanda, and Dani.  Just Your Local Bisexual Disaster is a delightful contemporary debut, with a nod to the classic love-triangle trope!

My Recommendation-
If you are looking for a light-hearted and joyful queer read to kick off your summer reading, I would definitely recommend that you grab a copy of Just Your Local Bisexual Disaster!  This book would be an especially great choice for anyone who has been searching for a book that specifically centers on a well-written and relatable bisexual protagonist.
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