ARC REVIEW: Just Your Local Bisexual Disaster

JYLBD8

Just Your Local Bisexual Disaster
by Andrea Mosqueda
Published by Feiwel & Friends
Releasing on May 24th, 2022
YOUNG ADULT FICTION—Contemporary, Romance

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In this voice-driven young adult debut by Andrea Mosqueda, Maggie Gonzalez needs a date to her sister’s quinceañera – and fast.

Growing up in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley, Maggie Gonzalez has always been a little messy, but she’s okay with that. After all, she has a great family, a goofy group of friends, a rocky romantic history, and dreams of being a music photographer. Tasked with picking an escort for her little sister’s quinceañera, Maggie has to face the truth: that her feelings about her friends—and her future—aren’t as simple as she’d once believed.

As Maggie’s search for the perfect escort continues, she’s forced to confront new (and old) feelings for three of her friends: Amanda, her best friend and first-ever crush; Matthew, her ex-boyfriend twice-over who refuses to stop flirting with her, and Dani, the new girl who has romantic baggage of her own. On top of this romantic disaster, she can’t stop thinking about the uncertainty of her own plans for the future and what that means for the people she loves.

As the weeks wind down and the boundaries between friendship and love become hazy, Maggie finds herself more and more confused with each photo. When her tried-and-true medium causes more chaos than calm, Maggie needs to figure out how to avoid certain disaster—or be brave enough to dive right into it.

6

*I was provided a digital galley via Edelweiss+ in return for my honest review. This does not affect my opinion*

Just Your Local Bisexual Disaster will touch your heart in more ways than one. I felt seen, I felt represented, and I felt touched on every single page of this book. Andrea Mosqueda took my heart and broke it into a thousand pieces, and then stitched them all back together. If there was one book I would die for, it would be Just Your Local Bisexual Disaster.

Characters –

Mosqueda allowed her characters to make mistakes. In their development, she made them imperfectly perfect. Magdalena, or “Maggie,” is the main character, and she is put through quite a bit of emotional turmoil and tough decisions. It was clear that Mosqueda did what she could to get across that Maggie is a teenager, and teenagers make decisions that seem silly or stupid. Teenagers are stubborn, too, and Maggie was. I loved that Mosqueda was obvious in how much she pushed through Maggie to teach readers that mistakes are inevitable–it’s how you fix and make up for them that determines your outcome.

When it came to the side characters, I loved them just as much. Alyssa and Veronica were the sisters I never had, the sisters I wish I had in my life. They were by Maggie’s side, even when she was at fault, and they pushed her to be a better person. They contributed so much to the story that, without them involved, I feel like this book wouldn’t have been what it is.

Matthew was a bit difficult for me to like, and for good reason. He’s Maggie’s ex-boyfriend, so I feel like that’s a bit explainable in and of itself. But he’s a messy character. He has a lot of flaws, and he’s starting to realize it. He leaned on Maggie as a friend, even when he reminisced on them as a pair. I especially adored his development, even when I thought he was a horrible match-up for Maggie.

And Amanda was the person I easily pictured her to be. Amanda is Maggie’s best friend, but she’s given our main character so many signals that she might not be as straight as she’s claimed to be. Her character was one I could easily picture in people I’d previously had in my life–ones who were still learning what the difference between loving someone as a friend and loving someone as a significant other was all about.

And then there was Dani. Dani who was hurt in the past, Dani who was scared to open up to something new, Dani who knew she had a problem she needed to work on but was still stuck in a bad habit. Dani who I rooted so much for and was happy to see get the development I knew Mosqueda would deliver. Her character was truly one I think a lot of people can see themselves as, even as a side character. She wasn’t fragile, but she was scared–and so was Maggie.

Overall, I couldn’t speak any higher about the character development, that as I read, I loved more and more.

Plot –

It was easily noticeable just how well thought out and hard-worked on this plot was. Even the smallest of details became recognizable, and it was made to feel like you’re watching a movie. The scenes played out so easily in my head with little static or fog, and I kept yearning for more. There were no inconsistencies, no backtrack-wayward throws. Everything meshed into the story so well that it was hard to let go by the ending.

Writing Style –

Andrea Mosqueda’s writing style feels like that “welcome home” you’ve been waiting to hear. It comes with the warm, fuzzy feeling, and she knows just how to enrapture her readers with her words. I found myself completely immersed and entranced into the the book within the first few paragraphs, and I fell more in love as the book went out. The emotions and feelings she was able to portray through her writing felt as real as they would be if you were experiencing them for yourself, in person.

World Building –

Like I’ve mentioned in previous reviews, I normally don’t touch on world building in non-fantasy novels. But in the case of Just Your Local Bisexual Disaster, Mosqueda built for us a place that we could picture, touch and feel all within the confines of our imagination and her provided detailing. I felt like I was physically following Maggie into her family’s little store–doubling as a home, and I could fully picture the town that she and her family lived in and frequented. Mosqueda’s attention to detail, even in the smallest ones, was there and obvious on page, and it made the reading experience all the more special.

Overall –

I adored and loved this book with every fiber of my being. Maggie was the perfect main character for this story, and I loved being able to follow her through her trials of love and learned lessons. You could truly tell that Andrea Mosqueda wrote this for the bisexual teens–or even the bisexual adults who struggled during their teens–that needed this story. I needed this story, and I’m so honored to have had the chance to read it. For that, I rate this book 5 stars. I highly recommend this novel, and I look forward to reading more from Mosqueda in the future.

4

*The following quotes were taken from unpublished and unedited material (digital galley). Please keep in mind that they may not be available in the finished edition*

I genuinely felt like I was highlighting so much of this book. My poor iPad struggled to keep up with me and was refusing to work with me for some of them. Out of the many quotes I highlighted throughout the book, here are my five favorites.

I don’t know, but the mind is a powerful thing.” He poked my temple. “Or whatever it is you have in there that seems to be just bisexual flags and emo music.

Andrea, please just call me out next time.

But maybe that was all a dream was sometimes: a ghost of a memory, haunting your sleep with what could’ve been and what never would be.

This quote stuck in my head for DAYS after I read it, so much so I made an entire TikTok for it! You can check it out here!

My mind was reeling. All those photos I took of the group, at Jordan’s concerts and outside of that… could they really help me figure out what I was really feeling? Was I really considering using a school project to understand my love life?

Maggie, trust me. We’ve all had some form of this situation before. Especially for those of us who are into creative writing–it was inevitable.

I’m bisexual. In case you couldn’t tell by the cuffed jeans and the flannel.

ANDREA. Again, please just @ me next time!!

The news said it was dangerous, that we were dangerous, but the Valley had always been my home. I had lived alongside “danger” my whole life but never felt its sting until there were white billionaires and rich politicians, who had never set foot here, telling me to be afraid of the only place in the world that was safe for people like me.

Books that feature quotes like these are so important. There are thousands of kids that can relate to what Maggie has said here, and even though I’m not one of them, it reminds me of and tells me to recheck my privilege and how I will never fully understand what teens like Maggie and their families have been subjected to time and time again. But the least I can do is listen and learn how to be better and help, so that we can avoid future generations being told by white figureheads that their community is a dangerous place just based on the color of their skin.

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JYLBDAndrea Mosqueda is a Chicana writer. She was born and raised in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley. She currently lives in Brooklyn with her partner and works in the publishing industry as an assistant editor. When she’s not writing or editing, she can be found doing her makeup, drinking too much coffee, and angsting over children’s media. Just Your Local Bisexual Disaster is her first book.


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