Saturday, 4 July 2020

Lilliam Rivera

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Novels | Biblio. & Rights Info
The Education of Margot Sanchez | Rights Info. & Bibliography
Dealing in Dreams
Never Look Back
Goldie Vance




“Debut novelist Rivera doesn’t sugarcoat Margot’s conflicted life … Margot makes mistakes, misplaces her trust, and gradually reestablishes who she is in an emotional story about class, race, hard work, and finding one’s place.”

Publishers Weekly

“While issues such as gentrification, family dysfunction and sexism frame the novel, there is plenty of room for Rivera’s honest and heartwarming portrayal of Margot, a girl who makes mistakes, seeks forgiveness and creates herself anew.”

The New York Times

“The vibrant storytelling is filled with amusing, lyrical language and authentic dialogue representing the South Bronx. The supporting cast is also distinctive, genuine and well-defined. Margot’s lofty attitude and personal angst are expertly done and will hook readers from the first page. A delightful read.”

RT Book Reviews
4.5 stars and a top pick!

A debut of great candor, depth, and empathy.”


“Lilliam Rivera did a wonderful job creating a cohesive debut novel. She incorporated romance but left it at appreciable levels. Her book spoke volumes about the importance of being true to yourself instead of trying to be like others around you.”

Teen Reads

“Introducing Lilliam Rivera, one of the most unique and exciting new voices in YA. THE EDUCATION OF MARGO SANCHEZ is funny, poignant, compelling and authentic. She nails the music and conflict of an evolving Bronx, New York. I adore this novel.”

—Matt de la Peña,
author of Newbery Medal-winner Last Stop on Market Street

“THE EDUCATION OF MARGO SANCHEZ shatters the myth of assimilation by exposing the loss and ache that comes with it. Instead, Lilliam Rivera tells the reader that there is nothing more powerful and beautiful than staying true to oneself.”

—Isabel Quintero,
author of Gabi: A Girl in Pieces

“In the hands of debut novelist Lilliam Rivera, Margot’s choices — which friends?  which boy?  which future? — take on a tense urgency.  Lively and telling, smart and compelling, Margot Sanchez is a character to take to your heart and Rivera a voice to remember.”

—Karen Joy Fowler,
author of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

“With a passionate voice, Lilliam Rivera weaves a layered, complex story of a girl awakening to herself and her family.”

—Cecil Castellucci,
author of Tin Star

“THE EDUCATION OF MARGO SANCHEZ feels as classic as Judy Blume and, at the same time, entirely new.  It’s a rich, page-turning tale about a teenage girl stuck between a rock and the growing-up place.”

—Veronica Chambers,
author of Mama’s Girl and The Go-Between



Rivera showcases multiple intricate character arcs and details several societies through impressive worldbuilding; young readers drawn to complex action novels that challenge conventions will find this read rewarding.

Publishers Weekly

The characters are allowed to fully embody the violent ideals of Mega City without artificial moralizing—the blurred line between hero and villain verges on nonexistent. Instead, readers are left with a more ambiguous—and ambitious—tale that will have them questioning what kinds of people they’d be if freed from society’s mores.

Starred Review!

DEALING IN DREAMS is a ferocious young adult novel about the violence done to us and the violence we do to others. It takes the all-too-real premise of a fascist leader donning the guise of democracy while presiding over a population too scared to leave but too angry to stay, then stitches it onto a story of an adolescence torn between painful truths and willful ignorance.

The narration will keep listeners enthralled as Rivera’s fast-paced story recounts the adventures of young women warriors who fight for a cause bigger than themselves.


Rivera posits whether a society can really thrive when any one group dominates another, especially through violence and deception. A novel exploration of societal roles, gender, and equality through the eyes of a captivating lead. Recommended for all young adult collections.

School Library Journal
Starred Review!

“Rivera weaves a story of self-discovery, blood relations and chosen families, substance addiction, and race into her sci-fi tale, including details from Afro and Indigenous Caribbean culture and history, show- ing resistance and survival—and blasting it to the future. A dystopian mixtape of boldness, sisterhood, and questioning the status quo, channeling the ethos of the novel and film The Warriors and the comic mini-series Curb Stomp, this book leaves readers wanting more of Nalah and Las Mal Criadas. sujei lugo.

The Horn Book Review


“…discord between ideals and ethics puts readers in a position to empathize.

The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“As brutal as it is beautiful, Dealing in Dreams pulls no punches, launching us on a wild, relentless ride through the cutthroat streets of this brilliantly-realized dystopian world, where hard choices can tear even the closest allies apart and danger lurks around every corner.”

—Daniel José Older, author of the New York Times Best-Selling series, Shadowshaper Cypher

“Dealing in Dreams is yet another smart, rich, fulfilling read from Lilliam Rivera, who has, through her last two books, solidified herself as one of today’s boldest YA writers.”

—Shea Serrano,  #1 New York Times bestselling author of Basketball (And Other Things) and The Rap Year Book

“Lilliam Rivera has really stepped her game up. All the voice and verve that made The Education of Margot Sanchez such an unforgettable debut are on full display here, but now she’s added an incredible science fiction future that can stand proudly beside Scott Westerfeld at his best.”

—Sam J Miller, award-winning author of The Art of Starving

“In Dealing in Dreams, girls run the crews, boys soothe at boydegas, and anything can happen at any time. Lilliam Rivera’s novel about struggle, courage and family crackles with energy and fresh imagination, with characters you’re rooting for so much that you can’t stop reading.”

—Tananarive Due, American Book Award winner

“ESPECTACULAR. I read this riveting revolutionary tale in a day because I could not pull away from the adventures of the legendary luchadoras Latinas, Las Mal Criadas. Chief Rocka is a powerhouse, the worldbuilding is sensational, and the themes are resoundingly relevant.”

—Romina Garber, author of the New York Times Best-Selling Zodiac Quartet


“[Rivera] showcases her masterful grasp of setting, integrating the complexities of the modern day with the gauzy haze of ancient myth through a slow, careful unveiling.


“Rivera’s complex world is well realized, and the dialogue rings true.


“A book so mesmerizing, I was completely pulled into it and had to blink a few times when I finished to reorient myself to my here and now. It’s brave, and beautifully written.”

—Bookseller, Bookworks

“A tantalizing and rich tale of love and death with musical prose and lyrical prowess. NEVER LOOK BACK hits all the right notes of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth and blends them seamlessly together with modern-day culture and magical realism. Riviera takes on trauma, depression, and anxiety with tender care and Eury’s journey brings her firmly into the spotlight where she belongs. This book is everything I wanted to read in 2020.”

—Sami Thomason, Square Books

In this fresh remix, Lilliam Rivera deftly combines original details with contemporary Afro-Latinx life in the Bronx: from the flirty bounce of bachata to the weight of Hurricane Maria and its impact on island communities and diaspora. I love how this character-driven romance humanizes Pheus and Eury—they are accessible, complex teens distinctly of our time who face an ancient and destructive threat with equal parts assuredness and fearful trepidation. A satisfyingly feminist ending rounds out this myth retextured for our modern moment. Immersive and intense, Never Look Back will make you want Lilliam Rivera to retell all of your favorite classics.”

—Niki Marion, Third Place Books

Lilliam Rivera’s NEVER LOOK BACK is an own voices, Latinx, Bronx re-imagining of the Greek myth of Eurydice and Orpheus. This fresh perspective breathes new life into the well-known tragedy, transforming the narrative from love story to a layered novel on mental health, true love, and self-confidence. This young adult novel – great for both younger and older teens alike – will have you queuing up Prince’s discography and classic bachatas, all the while reminding you  to be grateful for your support system and privileges. Perfect for fans of diverse reads and authentic voices.”

—Flyleaf Books

“Lilliam Rivera has once again created the freshest characters with a compelling summer-drenched story wrapped in myth and magic in her now trademarked beloved Bronx. You fall as madly in love with Pheus and Eury as they do with each other, while your heart beats double time during their epic journey.”

—Angela Maria Spring, Duende District Books

“Sparks fly when Pheus meets Eury, but their love is tested when mystical dangers from Eury’s past rear their ugly head. Lilliam Rivera’s inclusion of her Latinx culture with unique voices brings new life into the strong ancient myth of Orpheus and Eurydice.”

—Jen Kraar, City of Asylum Pittsburgh

“In this Bronx retelling of Orpheus and Eurydice, two teenagers fight against trauma and depression with music and their love for each other. Eury is haunted by an invisible demon—and by the horror of Hurricane Maria’s destruction of her home. Pheus was planning on a carefree summer of singing and flirting, but when he meets Eury, all he wants to do is help her. With the demon trying to drag Eury down to the underworld (literally), can Pheus and his music help her escape? Smart, lushly-described, and very romantic, this is a contemporary reworking that loses none of the original’s magic while transporting it to a whole new world.”

—Lily Tschudi-Campbell, Red Balloon Book Shop

“Haunting and richly detailed, this is a beautiful re-imagining that will hurt and heal, sometimes on the same page.”

—Mark Oshiro, Hugo-nominated author of Anger is a Gift

“A revitalized and layered retelling that expertly blends reality and fantasy to explore what’s behind love and loss, what it takes to heal.”

—Randy Ribay, author of Patron Saints of Nothing

“NEVER LOOK BACK reimagines the Orpheus myth into a bold creation that only Lilliam Rivera could breathe into life. A strange, unsettling love song of a book.”

—Elana K. Arnold, author of Red Hood and A Boy Called Brat


“Rivera’s task of bringing Goldie to a prose novel is nicely done. Readers will love Goldie, an ambitious female lead who challenges gender roles, is gay, and is not to be underestimated.”

School Library Journal

“Rivera unravels the mystery in an enjoyable romp with a large cast of quirky, lovable characters.”