Wait for It – Mariana Zapata
Goodreads: If anyone ever said being an adult was easy, they hadn’t been one long enough. Diana Casillas can admit it: she doesn’t know what the hell she’s doing half the time. How she’s made it through the last two years of her life without killing anyone is nothing short of a miracle. Being a grown-up wasn’t supposed to be so hard. With a new house, two little boys she inherited the most painful possible way, a giant dog, a job she usually loves, more than enough family, and friends, she has almost everything she could ever ask for. Except for a boyfriend. Or a husband. But who needs either one of those?
As soon as I finished this book I knew it was my favorite romance of 2021. And then, I finished Luna and the Lie, but it’s still really high up there. ( I also have a shorter bullet point review on my bookstagram and goodreads account.)
Wait for It made me feel so many things while reading it. It immediately gripped me with the best kind of main character and quirky, sort of hilarious writing that also constantly made me bawl my eyes out at the most evocative, heartwarming scenes.
This is a character-driven story, and plotwise it seems a bit overly plain or lacking because it focuses on Diana’s journey being there for her boys and… living life in general? But I thoroughly enjoyed it.
And Diana is such a fiercely loving person, so so kind, brutally honest when she needs to be, and just overall a fricking badass who won’t take any shit. I LOVED her! So selfless and resilient in spite of it all.
On a side note, I don’t read a lot of books with children in them, so I was unsure what to expect about this aspect. Diana is raising her two young nephews, and I didn’t think they’d be a big part of the story at first, but I was surprised by how meaningful their presence was and by the emotional depth they really added to the story.
The romance was somehow always a part of the story and not. We see Diana and Dallas’ relationship evolve from the very first moment they meet and through all its ups and downs, but the actual romantic feelings and moments don’t truly make an appearance until much later in the book. (This book has made me discover my love for the slow burn trope.) If you’re a fan of steamier romance novels, this book might not be for you.
Overall, I just loved LOVED this book and cannot recommend it enough.
Tropes: (very) slow burn, friends to lovers, found family, single-parent, grumpy x sunshine, age gap, and some quality latinx rep (that totally reminded me of my extended family). Trigger warnings: grief, trauma, domestic violence (past/mentioned).
Luna and the Lie – Mariana Zapata
Goodreads: The problem with secrets is that they’re too easy to keep collecting. Luna Allen has done some things she would rather no one ever know about. She also knows that, if she could go back in time, she wouldn’t change a single thing. With three sisters she loves, a job she (mostly) adores, and a family built up of friends she’s made over the years, Luna figures everything has worked out the way it was supposed to. But when one of those secrets involves the man who signs her paycheck, she can’t find it in her to regret it. Despite the fact that he’s not the friendliest man in the world. Or the most patient. Sometimes there are things you’re better off keeping to yourself.
Luna and the Lie is not only one of the best books I’ve read this year, but it is without a doubt the one that’s made me cry the most! (If I said I didn’t spend whole chapters crying, I’d be lying.)
Luna’s had an incredibly tough life but she hasn’t let that define her. She’s the most optimistic character I’ve seen in a very long time because she decided she was going to look at the bright side, always. She’s an incredibly loving, bright, and good-natured person.
Rip’s the absolute grumpiest, stone-faced MC. He’s a reserved, even slightly hostile person, and to be honest, I was not rooting for him in the beginning. But the way he comforts and takes care of Luna, constantly showing her his best….new fictional crush??
Also, since I didn’t mention it earlier – Mariana Zapata’s writing style is quite versatile. It was a bit more quirky and humorous in Wait for It due to the different tone of the novel itself, and in Luna in the Lie it has a much more serious and touching tone. In any case, it makes me laugh and cry and feel all the feels…
This was such a heartwarming, emotional story for me and I absolutely loved it! And I can’t write objective reviews for books I adore so this is all you’re going to get. Please read it!
Tropes: the ultimate grumpy x sunshine, friends to lovers, age gap, boss x employee. Triggers warnings: emotional abuse (past/mentioned), some violence (not graphic/not between MCs), graphic depictions of sex.