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Lilliam Rivera Books In Order

Publication Order of Goldie Vance Books

The Hotel Whodunit (2020) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Education of Margot Sanchez (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Dealing in Dreams (2019) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Never Look Back (2020) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Lilliam Rivera is an American award-winning author of contemporary, young adult and fantasy novels popularly known for her two novels, The Education of Margot Sanchez and Dealing in Dreams. Her young adult novel, Dealing in Dreams has been featured in PBS Books, Bustle, Teen Vogue, Los Angeles Times and has received starred reviews by Booklist and the School Library Journal.

Her debut novel, The Education of Margot Sanchez has been nominated for two awards. They include Best Fiction for Young Adult Award in 2017 and Rhode Island Teen Book Award in 2019. The novel has also been featured in Teen Vogue, New York Magazine and New York Times Book Review. Lilliam also won the 2016 Pushcart Prize. She lives in Los Angeles with her family.

Dealing in Dreams

Nalah is almost getting herself and her other four friends, of the alleys into The Towers, where the selected few live with Deesse, the leader of Mega City. In her childhood, Nalah desperately watched her family; father and sisters desert her for Cemi Territory, a brutal land outside Mega-City perimeters and also witnessed her mother perish at the hands of poverty and drugs. Deesse has become her idol and a savior, and when she assigns Nalah to travel to Cemi Territory and find a notorious gang, she doesn’t hesitate. She believes that this is her only chance into the Towers, and therefore she takes her crew members on an epic journey where she comes to discover the truth about the world she lives in the society that Deesse has built.

Lilliam Rivera has deeply explored gender in ways you’ve never seen before in any young adult novel. Mega City is a society where women dominate while men are seen as the rag of the society and are taught to fear women. Their leader, Deesse has created a society where gender is mainly seen as a binary, and hence there’s no room for fluidity and ambiguity.

Female empowerment is prioritized at the cost of other identities, and the author presents the question of what it truly means to have freedom. Are we actually free if other people are not? How can we fight for our freedom without destroying others freedom? Is it possible to establish a resistance that fights for freedom for all? As the heroine travels to Cemi Territory, she meets all sort of people, and she begins to question of Deesse rules and how she’s allowed some people to Mega City and denied other the chance.

Dealing in Dreams is a story that forces the readers to involve themselves in awkward and uncomfortable personal conversations about gender and the rigid rules that Mega-City upholds.

There is a threat of description in the world building and how Megacity is ruled. The strict guidelines set forth extend before beyond gender, beyond the borders and security of the space. Las Mal Criadas and her girl gangs are assigned with one job, to protect the city borders and keep away the outsiders. Deesse often casts out those who don’t fit her vision and creates new cycles of consumerism, violence, and drugs that keep the rest of the population powerless. Like all the other girls in the city, Nalah sees Deesse as a savior, but as she slowly learns the real truth behind her leadership, she must also understand the price to pay to level herself with the powerful.

Nalah is a brave young girl hardened by the ways of life in Mega-City and Deesse’s vision for the female gender. She is strong for her age but also has dreams of a brighter future and dark haunting past. There’s a strong bond between her and her crew despite each having their unique personalities. Dealing in Dreams has both speculative and dystopian themes, making it quite different from Lilliam Rivera debut novel, The Education of Margot Sanchez but retains her distinctive writing style throughout the story. This novel is a great recommendation for the fans of Marie Lu’s Legend, The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, or Kiera Cass’s The Selection series.

The Education of Margot Sanchez

Lilliam Rivera’s debut novel, The Education of Margot Sanchez is a compelling coming of age story that has a bit of everything. With compelling characters, cultural diversity, complex family dynamics, and a storyline that any reader can relate to in one way or the other. The story features a young Latina coping with two masks. She wears one mask when she attends Somerset Prep and its plush, wealthy crowd and the other she wears around her family, her best friend and Moises, the guy who locks her heart down without her permission.

In addition to dealing with typical teenage situations, this novel also deals a lot with family situations. Margot family plays a key role in the story, and the greater part of Margot’s education revolves around her family and the situations they are going through.

Lilliam Rivera has done a fantastic job in creating a coming of age story that the readers can relate to. The heroine is someone that every reader can also relate to. She is at that stage in her life where she thinks life will roll out as per expectations. She knows the guy she is destined to be with. She knows that the crucial thing is being accepted by her friends, and she also knows that she is too to relate with some people. She thinks that’s how life going to roll out for her until she discovers that she doesn’t know anything at all. Watching her transform into a young woman who views the world differently is a satisfying experience.

The author has true way with words. She’s able to create a cast complex cast and place them in realistic situations. She draws you in the story and lets you experience everything along with the characters. Lilliam has also created a diverse cast of characters, some you’ll wish to meet them in real life and others you’ll love to hate them and wish they were real people so you could scream at them.

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