I adored this book. So many stories about queer kids are about discovering sexualities and learning how to be proud and open about them, but Juliet Takes a Breath instead focuses on another hugely crucial experience for queer teens. Much like elements of my own experiences, Juliet struggles with finding queer mentors, adults that understand what she’s going through and that she can learn how to be healthily queer and healthily a woman of color. So much of queer history has been erased, either deliberately or due to the AIDS crisis, and so learning about your queer history isn’t necessarily easy, double so when you’re also a brown woman. I loved watching Juliet learn more about the cultures she knows she’s a part of and figuring out exactly where she fits in.— Rachel R.
“Thank the goddesses that Gabby Rivera has written a novel! Juliet Takes a Breath introduces Juliet Milagros Palante, a Puerto Rican baby dyke from the Bronx, as she dives into the coming out process. Full of the complexities of what it means to be 19, how to navigate the modern language of sexual identity, who gets to claim the feminist label, and so much more, this is the book to read for every young person with a question about their sexual or racial identity or who just wants to think about their place in today’s world.”
— Lisa Swayze, Buffalo Street Books, Ithaca, NY
A People magazine Best Book of Fall 2019
An Amazon Best Young Adult Book of 2019
F--king outstanding. (Roxane Gay, New York Times best-selling author)
Juliet Milagros Palante is a self-proclaimed closeted Puerto-Rican baby dyke from the Bronx. Only, she's not so closeted anymore. Not after coming out to her family the night before flying to Portland, Oregon, to intern with her favorite feminist writer - what's sure to be a life-changing experience. And when Juliet's coming out crashes and burns, she's not sure her mom will ever speak to her again.
But Juliet has a plan - sort of. Her internship with legendary author Harlowe Brisbane, the ultimate authority on feminism, women's bodies, and other gay-sounding stuff, is sure to help her figure out this whole Puerto Rican lesbian thing. Except Harlowe's white. And not from the Bronx. And she definitely doesn't have all the answers....
In a summer bursting with queer brown dance parties, a sexy fling with a motorcycling librarian, and intense explorations of race and identity, Juliet learns what it means to come out - to the world, to her family, to herself.