I really enjoyed Andrea Beatriz Arango’s modernized take on “A Christmas Carol,” and I was eager to read anything else I could get my hands on, enough to read a little out of my comfort zone. And I’m glad I took a chance on this, it’s completely unlike any other supernatural-themed YA I’ve read.
The “big bad” draws on a folklore tradition that is not at all overexposed. No vamps or werewoofs here. The characters were believable, likably flawed, and oh yes, multicultural. The language is a bit saltier than a lot of the YA I’ve read, and there’s a lot of moral complexity.
Like Arango’s other story, there are a lot of fun pop culture references, and knowing a bit of Spanish won’t hurt. (One little detail I really liked, actually, is that some of the characters don’t speak Spanish, so if you don’t understand every line of dialogue, you’re sharing an experience with the character – but also, there’s always Google Translate if you need it. And I did, a few times.)
I would welcome a sequel, but I’m also happy to meet whatever other characters Arango wants to introduce me to.