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Summary

Juliet Milagros Palante is leaving the Bronx and headed to Portland, Oregon. She just came out to her family and isn't sure if her mom will ever speak to her again. But Juliet has a plan, sort of, one that's going to help her figure out this whole "Puerto Rican lesbian" thing. She's interning with the author of her favorite book: Harlowe Brisbane, the ultimate authority on feminism, women's bodies, and other gay-sounding stuff. Will Juliet be able to figure out her life over the course of one magical summer? Is that even possible? Or is she running away from all the problems that seem too big to handle? With more questions than answers, Juliet takes on Portland, Harlowe, and most importantly, herself.

©2016 Gabby Rivera (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

Critic reviews

"Even if Holden Caulfield was born in the Bronx in the 1980s, he could never be this awesome." (Inga Muscio, author of C--t)

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Cristal H.
  • 04-06-17

So necessary.

Would you listen to Juliet Takes a Breath again? Why?

Yes, because it's so layered, and poses so many questions, that I think a re-listen would include even more discoveries.

What other book might you compare Juliet Takes a Breath to and why?

None. This book is unlike any I’ve ever read before. "Juliet Takes a Breath," by Gabby Rivera, is a revelation, and it is revolutionary. It’s a novel that poses so many questions, and it makes you think, and rethink. Most of the questions aren’t answered, but that’s okay, because I believe that’s the point. In "Juliet Takes a Breath," Juliet explores the world and who she is, and the reader is forced to do the same.

Any additional comments?

I loved nearly everything about this book, the prose in particular. It has humor and melancholy, and it’s insightful analysis is mostly balanced by an entertaining plot. The writing is beautiful and engaging, intelligent and down-to-earth. This wasn’t a perfect read for me, because there were some moments when I lost interest, though they were few and far between. Sometimes the pace just let up and I had to rewind and reset.

“This world is yours to reinvent.”

In this book, Juliet falls in love with a book because it is a refuge from her neighborhood and her contradictions, but then when she meets the author and her friends, she learns that we’re all a host of contradictions and differences that we most reconcile within and amongst ourselves. I love this novel for tackling intersectionality and the challenges women face regarding unity and empowerment.

The characters in this novel are vibrant and to say they’re multi-faceted is an understatement. There are lessons to be learned here, but as I stated, it’s not clear cut, at all. I loved Juliet’s story and what she goes through, even if her growing pains sometimes made my heart ache.

More books like this need to exist, books with depth and passion. ALL women should read this book. (Men too, but they’re not what this is about.) I highly recommend this novel to anyone looking for a book that features great writing, is layered, awesome, engaging, and honest. Get to reading!

“I live for myself, all of my selves.”

27 of 33 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Melanie M.
  • 09-12-17

Amazing

Finally a book that tells our story. It made me feel like a queer brown teenager again. Thank you Gabby Rivera!

20 of 25 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Irenda Yamaris
  • 21-04-18

I LOOOVED IT!

I ABSOLUTELY LOVED, LOVED, LOVED IT, I LAUGHED, CRIED, TOOK A DEEP BREATH!

10 of 14 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Terra's Mom
  • 29-04-18

Made me feel young!

What a delight. I went on an
Adventure with Juliet and was taken back to my youth, when the world opened up to me in new ways. I'm nearly an old lady now, an old white straight lady at that, but this book gave me a chance to open my horizons, feel affirmed and excited. I applaud Gabby Rivera for the place she is claiming in this world. Gabby, I offer you my gratitude! This is leading me on a treasure hunt for other great books. No matter who you are, read this book!!! Also - great narrator.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Sheila S
  • 25-04-18

Word, repetitive YA novel

I couldn't get past the slow pace. Some interesting observations were buried under a mountain of words.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 25-04-18

Decent

Listen to this and tell me a non hispanic with a horrible accent and pronunciation reading this book doesn't irk you. The book emphasizes racism yet they thought it ok for a person who is probably white to read this. Wonder what the author thinks.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • M Beth Haas
  • 23-04-18

Enlightening and joyful

An eye-opener for a privileged, white, heteronormal 65-year-old feminist. I always enjoy learning about different cultures fiction. Thanks Juliette for your thoughtful journey of duscovery as a young Lesbian POC. Good stuff.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • moarbookspleaze
  • 06-08-18

Love

This story is based on the author’s own experience which in my opinion enhances the readers experience. This book is perfect for anyone trying to identify and become comfortable with their own sexuality and is also a great read for those who may have someone in their life who has recently come out.

I can’t wait to see what Gabby does next.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Carolyn G. Manuel
  • 27-07-18

Young, Gay, and Searching for Herself

Wonderful coming of age story of a young woman who takes an internship on the other side of the country. She helps a feminist, gay author research the stories of women. Marvelous performance. Highly recommend.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 29-06-18

Disappointed in the performance

Don't get me wrong? Nothing against Lilian. However, a book about a girl of color needs to be read by a girl of color. Other than that, great book. Thanks Gabby!