Thirty Talks Weird Love


Product Details

$18.95  $17.62
Cinco Puntos Press
Publish Date
5.8 X 8.82 X 0.79 inches | 0.86 pounds

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About the Author

Alessandra Narváez Varela was born and raised in Ciudad Juárez, México. She earned a B.S. in Biology and a Bilingual M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Texas at El Paso, where she now teaches. Thirty Talks Weird Love is her debut novel. She lives in El Paso, Texas. Visit her website at https: //


* "Poignant. . . Anamaria experiments with poetry structures and formats as she explores young womanhood and self-love, composing sentimental letters to her current and older selves and salvaging friendships gone sour. As readers meet her parents, friends, and other allies, she opens up about serious mental-health concerns and personal trauma, all conveyed through her relatable persona. Fans of The House on Mango Street or The House of the Spirits will be riveted." -- Booklist, starred review

* "This is a moving story of a girl on the cusp of womanhood who learns to empathize with others' sadness and finally to care for herself. A must for every library given its timely themes, international setting, and authentic protagonist voice." -- School Library Journal, starred review

"In bold and gorgeous verse, Varela crafts a deeply moving and evocative story that grapples unflinchingly with issues of mental health. This is a book our young people need. Alessandra Narvaez Varela is a fresh new voice, and I can't wait to see what she writes next." -- Jasmine Warga, Newbery Honor-award winning author of Other Words For Home and My Heart and Other Black Holes

"A lyrical, deeply-felt portrayal of a young woman's love for a broken city and a broken self, and the hard-won emergence of hope." -- Francisco X. Stork, author of The Memory of Light

"Devastatingly profound, at once exuberant and heartbreaking, Thirty Talks Weird Love, is filled with linguistic pyrotechnics and an expansive heart. Cd. Juárez/El Paso del Norte is elevated, and celebrated by Alessandra Narváez Varela, with a deep ferocity of understanding, mercy, and love. She holds the pulse of Border life powerfully in her hands. Healer she has become through her words." -- Denise Chavez, bookseller, activist, and author of Loving Pedro Infante

"Narváez Varela weaves a story of a girl on the edge: on the edge of womanhood, on the edge due to fear, on the edge with her friends, and on the edge of deciding what she wants from life. With shape poems and blackout poetry adding variety, the author tackles classism and colorism in Mexican culture, the community's collective anxiety around the missing girls, and internal fears brought about by social and academic stress. . . A gritty and absorbing tale of learning to love oneself and one's roots, warts and all." -- Kirkus Reviews

"Using a mixture of structures and styles (including free verse, prose, erasure, and concrete poems) that both keep the narrative fresh and express Anamaria's innermost thoughts, Narváez Varela fashions a thoughtful and candid portrait of a girl battling depression in a 'red cruel beautiful mother beast' of a city. Much like plumbing the contents of a poet's composition notebook, this layered story rewards multiple reads." -- Publishers Weekly

"The adult-you premise is a risky one but it works here in Narváez Varela's adroit free verse narration, which puts readers right in the head of a girl who has let her smarts outsmart her and who doesn't see how close she is to the edge; her playscript dialogue with Thirty is percussive and often hilarious. . . Anamaria's compelling, clever voice will make her friends and endear her to those who feel her strains." -- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"Thirty Talks Weird Love is an inventive, time-shifting novel-in-verse about El Paso's border with Juárez and how thirteen-year-old Anamaria displays the wonders of her mind and fights the most important battle we all face, against ourselves." -- Sergio Troncoso, author of Nobody's Pilgrims and A Peculiar Kind of Immigrant's Son

RISE: A Feminist Book Project, American Library Association (ALA)

Southwest Book Awards, Border Regional Library Association