Does My Body Offend You? By Mayra Cuevas & Marie Marquardt

Published: April 5, 2022

Knopf Books for Young Readers

Pages: 419

Genre: Young Adult Fiction

KKECReads Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I received a copy of this book for free, and I leave my review voluntarily.

Mayra Cuevas was born and raised in Puerto Rico, Mayra is a professional journalist and fiction writer who prefers love stories with happy endings. Her debut fiction short story was selected by best-selling author Becky Albertalli to appear in the Foreshadow YA serial anthology in 2019. She is currently a special projects producer for CNN. She keeps her sanity by practicing Buddhist meditation and serving on the Board of Directors of Kadampa Meditation Center, Georgia. She lives with her husband, also a CNN journalist, and their cat, in the charming town of Norcross, Georgia.

Marie Marquardt is an author of young adult novels, a college professor, and an immigration advocate. Her debut novel, Dream Things True (St. Martin’s Press), was a 2015 YA BEA Buzz Panel choice praised in Kirkus as a “worthy examination of undocumented immigration in the American South through the lens of young love.” Her second novel, THE RADIUS OF US, reflects the experience of Latin American teenagers fleeing gang violence and seeking asylum in the United States. It’s an issue that Marie Marquardt cares about profoundly, and she believes that connecting to it emotionally it can be a powerful antidote to the hate, fear, and misunderstanding that plagues our society.

A timely story of two teenagers who discover the power of friendship, feminism, and standing up for what you believe in, no matter where you come from. A collaboration between two gifted authors writing from alternating perspectives, this compelling novel shines with authenticity, courage, and humor.

Malena Rosario is starting to believe that catastrophes come in threes. First, Hurricane María destroyed her home, taking her unbreakable spirit with it. Second, she and her mother are now stuck in Florida, which is nothing like her beloved Puerto Rico. And third, when she goes to school bra-less after a bad sunburn and is humiliated by the school administration into covering up, she feels like she has no choice but to comply.

Ruby McAllister has a reputation as her school’s outspoken feminist rebel. But back in Seattle, she lived under her sister’s shadow. Now her sister is teaching in underprivileged communities, and she’s in a Florida high school, unsure of what to do with her future, or if she’s even capable making a difference in the world. So when Ruby notices the new girl is being forced to cover up her chest, she is not willing to keep quiet about it.

Neither Malena nor Ruby expected to be the leaders of the school’s dress code rebellion. But the girls will have to face their own insecurities, biases, and privileges, and the ups and downs in their newfound friendship, if they want to stand up for their ideals and––ultimately––for themselves.

“Nipples and third arms shall be concealed at all times.”

Malena was born in Puerto Rico, but after hurricane Marìa ravaged her home, she found herself in Florida, fearing she would never fit in. Ruby moved from Seattle and thinks she knows best. Her intentions and good, but her methods are lacking. So what happens when two young women from different cultures come together? A revolution.

Oh, my heart. I devoured this book. It was impossible to put down from the frost chapter through the last. Everything was beautiful.

The characters were so well done. I loved the things that made them different, but also the things that united them.

I love how vastly different the two narrators were, it made their experience so much better. I enjoyed the cultural references and how inclusive this novel was.

This book will make you want to stand up and scream, break down and cry, and will make you say “me too”. The unity, the power, and the genuine desire to enact change is so inspirational and empowering.

This is an absolute must read for everyone, all ages. When we take the time to listen and make the effort to hear what is being said, we can change the world.

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