Hey everyone! Today is another blog tour – a fantastic novel, Each of Us A Desert by Mark Oshiro. This tour is hosted by Coloured Pages and I received an Arc, but that in no way has affected my opinions on this book.
Mark Oshiro is the author of Anger is a Gift (Tor Teen), winner of the 2019 Schneider Family Book Award and nominated for a 2019 Lammy Award (in the LGBTQ Children’s/Young Adult category). Upcoming novels include Each of Us a Desert (Tor Teen), a YA Fantasy novel out September 15, 2020, and The Insiders (Harper Collins), an MG Contemporary with magical elements out Fall 2021. When they are not writing, crying on camera about fictional characters for their online Mark Does Stuff universe, or traveling, Mark is busy trying to fulfill their lifelong goal: to pet every dog in the world.
This book was very beautifully written and though I did find it a bit slow in the beginning, it did manage to capture my attention quite early on.
Although I don’t understand Spanish, it was interesting to see it being used widely. There was always some context so I could follow the story but it helped me connect with the character’s heritage in the sense that I think language is an integral part of culture and when trying to market a book to a population that may not understand the language, it is neglected. However, this book did not do so and it made a huge difference for me.
Following Xochitl, a young girl who runs from the city she live in, Empalme. In the story she tries to figure out the truth and confronts many of her prejudices and barriers. There was an immense character growth which I really appreciated.
The world building was also fantastic. I loved the descriptions and how they successfully managed to create this harsh world where water was scarce and land was burned.
I also really liked the relationship between Emilia and Xochitl and how it was more focused on the friendship than the relationship. The normalisation of queer relationships was another aspect that made me happy. They’re just so wonderful together and I loved the sweet moments of happiness that were scattered in the book.
‘Because while I missed home, I knew I had left for the most important reason of all: to become myself.’
“I believed in myself despite everything that told me not to. Is that really so bad?”
That’s it for today. Have you read this book? Have you read any other books by Mark Oshiro? What did you think of them? Let me know in the comments below!