At this year’s Bronx Book Fair, I had the pleasure of meeting the awesome people of Riverdale Avenue Books, based in Riverdale (duh!) They were gracious enough to let me pick one of their books to read, and Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera was the one that stood out to me.
I recently wrote about The Education of Margot Sanchez and how amazing the cover is, and Juliet Takes a Breath is a book with another eye-catching cover and after reading the blurb on the back, I knew it was the one.
Following Bronxite Juliet, an undergrad who, after reading fictional hippie feminist Harlowe Brisbane’s Raging Flower” Empowering Your Pussy by Empowering Your Mind, decides to move across the country to Portland to intern for her new hero. But not before coming out to her family and leaving them to deal with the news.
What I enjoyed most about this novel is Juliet’s transformation. We see her with a tough exterior that I’m sure many of us who have grown up here will recognize, but she is incredibly vulnerable and unsure of herself, trying to figure out who she is. I also enjoyed Rivera’s use of language. Juliet does not mince words and her personality comes through in the way she mixes her growing knowledge of feminism and intersectionality with the slang she has learned growing up here in the Bronx.
Definitely something to take along with you as you head to Orchard this summer!