I am so, so thrilled to be a part of the blog tour for Lobizona by Romina Garber! This book is magical, full brujas and lobizónes and even a magical school! It’s truly as stunning as the cover suggests (is anybody over that cover, I don’t think I ever will be). I’m also kind of freaking out because I had the opportunity to interview the author!!! So, welcome to my stop on this tour! Learn more about this book, see Romina answer some questions, and hopefully get as excited for this book to be out as I am!
Some people ARE illegal.
Lobizonas do NOT exist.
Both of these statements are false.
Manuela Azul has been crammed into an existence that feels too small for her. As an undocumented immigrant who’s on the run from her father’s Argentine crime-family, Manu is confined to a small apartment and a small life in Miami, Florida.
Until Manu’s protective bubble is shattered. Her surrogate grandmother is attacked, lifelong lies are exposed, and her mother is arrested by ICE. Without a home, without answers, and finally without shackles, Manu investigates the only clue she has about her past—a mysterious “Z” emblem—which leads her to a secret world buried within our own. A world connected to her dead father and his criminal past. A world straight out of Argentine folklore, where the seventh consecutive daughter is born a bruja and the seventh consecutive son is a lobizón, a werewolf. A world where her unusual eyes allow her to belong. As Manu uncovers her own story and traces her real heritage all the way back to a cursed city in Argentina, she learns it’s not just her U.S. residency that’s illegal. . . .it’s her entire existence.
If you’d like to be blown away, here’s some purchase links!
It’s also not just me that’s raving about this book, here’s some early praise:
“With vivid characters that take on a life of their own, beautiful details that peel back the curtain on Romina’s Argentinian heritage, and cutting prose that shines a light on the difficulties of being the ‘other’ in America today, Romina Garber crafts a timely tale of identity and adventure that every teenager should read.”–Tomi Adeyemi New York Times bestselling author of Children of Blood and Bone
“Romina Garber has created an enthralling young adult fantasy led by an unforgettable Latinx character Manu. In Manu we find a young girl who not only must contend with the injustice of being undocumented she also discovers a hidden world that may explain her very existence. I fell in love with this world where wolves, witches and magic thrives, all in a rich Latinx setting!” –Lilliam Rivera, author of Dealing in Dreams and The Education of Margot Sanchez
This book is filled with witches and werewolves. What drew you to write a book about them?
Like Manu, I was flipping through the pages of a newspaper when I discovered the Argentine law that inspired this story—ley de padrinazgo presidencial 20.843. It declares the President of Argentina godparent to the seventh consecutive son or daughter in a family.
When I researched the history of this law, fact and folklore seemed to blend together, and I stumbled across a curse on seventh children. It claims the last daughter in a row of seven is a bruja, and the seventh son is a lobizón. Werewolf. Naturally, I was hooked . . . .
This book has some super fun magical aspects to it, such as werewolf soccer! What is your favorite fun magical aspect and why?
Thank you! I am a huge fútbol fan, so I had an amazing time making up Septibol! I also love Flora, the teaching tree in the Everglades where the brujas have their classes. One of my favorite worlds within Flora is her living library—it births books before one’s very eyes and shuffles its shelves to recommend titles.
The cover of this book is absolutely stunning. Is there a scene in the book that you feel encapsulates everything that the cover is? If so, why?
I am obsessed with this cover! It was designed by Kerri Resnick and features art by Daria Hlazatova. It definitely makes me think of Lunaris, the supernatural realm the brujas and lobizones return to every full moon. It’s a land of magic and mist and monsters. There’s the golden grass that ticks off time by turning silver as the day ages; the black-leaved trees that can cry up storms, their dewdrop tears rolling down their barks to form rivers; the colorful waterfalls that warn onlookers of oncoming danger; the hope-sucking Sombras that dwell in darkness and attach like parasitic shadows . . . and of course, the Citadel, which is protected by spiky green vines with thorns as sharp as shark teeth.
ROMINA GARBER (pen name Romina Russell) is a New York Times and international bestselling author. Originally from Argentina, she landed her first writing gig as a teen—a weekly column for the Miami Herald that was later nationally syndicated—and she hasn’t stopped writing since. Her books include Lobizona. When she’s not working on a novel, Romina can be found producing movie trailers, taking photographs, or daydreaming about buying a new drum set. She is a graduate of Harvard College and a Virgo to the core.
Some final words from me: I adored this book. It’s magical and wonderful and all the positive adjectives that exist. I, of course, highly recommend checking it out! It comes out super soon, and I can’t wait to hug my finished copy.