We Light Up the Sky

Forthcoming October 2021!

Pedro, Luna, and Rafa may attend Fairfax High School together in Los Angeles, but they run in separate spheres. Pedro is often told that he’s “too much” and seeks refuge from his home life in a local drag bar. Luna is pretending to go along with the popular crowd but is still grieving the unexpected passing of her beloved cousin Tasha. Then there’s Rafa, the quiet new kid who is hiding the fact that his family is homeless.

But Pedro, Luna, and Rafa find themselves thrown together when an extraterrestrial visitor lands in their city and takes the form of Luna’s cousin Tasha. As the Visitor causes destruction wherever it goes, the three teens struggle to survive and warn others of what’s coming–because this Visitor is only the first of many. But who is their true enemy–this alien, or their fellow humans? Can Pedro, Luna, and Rafa find a way to save a world that has repeatedly proven it doesn’t want to save them?

Pura Belpré Honor-winning author Lilliam Rivera examines the days before a War of the Worlds-inspired alien invasion in this captivating and chilling new novel.


"An engrossing and exceptionally relevant pre-apocalyptic tale that begs for a sequel."

Kirkus, Starred Review!

"Sharp social commentary, on-point humor (“I’m not mentally prepared for this part of the dystopia”), and a tender exploration of grief add heart and depth to a novel that’s just right for fans of Attack the Block."

Publishers Weekly

“We Light Up the Sky is an unflinching look at a Los Angeles that already feels dystopian to marginalized communities. Rivera’s expert hand guides science-fiction and the contemporary lives of three teens in a race for survival.”

Zoraida Córdova, award-winning author of Labyrinth Lost

“Intense Angeleno realism all of a sudden morphs into even more intense science fiction, and you will read as fast as you can to see how these great young people deal with it. A marvelous story about how we are all being flung into the future unprepared, and have to hang together as best we can.”

Kim Stanley Robinson, author of the Mars trilogy

Awards & Accolades


YA Editor's Pick for Publisher's Weekly U.S. Book Show