I haven't read as distinct a voice in quite some time. Lopera breathes such life into these characters, you can hear them simultaneously praising Jesucristo and cursing the puta in a low-cut shirt in the pew next to you. I will always stan rebellious queer Christian content. -JR
Lit by the hormonal neon glow of Miami, this heady, multilingual debut novel follows a Colombian teenager’s coming-of-age and coming out as she plunges headfirst into lust and evangelism.
Uprooted from her comfortable life in Bogotá, Colombia, into an ant-infested Miami townhouse, fifteen-year-old Francisca is miserable and friendless in her strange new city. Her alienation grows when her mother is swept up into an evangelical church, replete with Christian salsa, abstinent young dancers, and baptisms for the dead.
But there, Francisca also meets the magnetic Carmen: opinionated and charismatic, head of the youth group, and the pastor’s daughter. As her mother’s mental health deteriorates and her grandmother descends into alcoholism, Francisca falls more and more intensely in love with Carmen. To get closer to her, Francisca turns to Jesus to be saved, even as their relationship hurtles toward a shattering conclusion.