fifteen hundred miles from the sun – jonny garza villa | arc review

Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun by Jonny Garza Villa


Standalone
Expected publication: June 8th 2021 by Skyscape
Age Range: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, LGBT
Representation: Gay Mexican-American MC, gay Vietnamese-American LI, gay, lesbian, bi & pan SCs, Black SC

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Synopsis:

A poignant, funny, openhearted novel about coming out, first love, and being your one and only best and true self.

Julián Luna has a plan for his life: Graduate. Get into UCLA. And have the chance to move away from Corpus Christi, Texas, and the suffocating expectations of others that have forced Jules into an inauthentic life.

Then in one reckless moment, with one impulsive tweet, his plans for a low-key nine months are thrown—literally—out the closet. The downside: the whole world knows, and Jules has to prepare for rejection. The upside: Jules now has the opportunity to be his real self.

Then Mat, a cute, empathetic Twitter crush from Los Angeles, slides into Jules’s DMs. Jules can tell him anything. Mat makes the world seem conquerable. But when Jules’s fears about coming out come true, the person he needs most is fifteen hundred miles away. Jules has to face them alone.

Jules accidentally propelled himself into the life he’s always dreamed of. And now that he’s in control of it, what he does next is up to him. 


☀☀☀☀☀

trigger and content warnings:

Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun was a gut-wrenching yet hopeful story about a young man who just wanted to be himself. Falling in love with his Twitter crush, Mat, was out of Jules’s expectations. Having a homophobic and abusive father, Jules has always feared anyone finding out that he’s gay. This shaped Jules’s mindset about the world and himself.

In essence, Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun is an adorable long-distance relationship between a Mexican-American and a Vietnamese-American that started with a slide in the DMs. The yearning to close that fifteen hundred miles distance is painful and worsened every time something bad happened. If you’re wondering if they ever met, don’t you worry, they do and it’s amazing. The romance is tender and soft and fluffy. Jules found solace and comfort from Mat even though the latter is on the other side of the country.

“Anh yêu em, Moonlight.”
“También te amo, Sunshine.”

Jonny Garza Villa captured the foundations and mindsets of the teens really well. The group of friends is a hilarious bunch. When Jules came out, his friends showered him with love but also, gave him space when he needed it. I loved that for Jules.

More than just a romance contemporary, it’s about teenagers grappling with moving on to the next phase of their lives even when that meant putting distance between one another. The worries that they had were real and earnest. But there’s a hint of excitement that lingers in the air when they talk about their future.

As for family relationships, I loved Mat’s. With his older siblings identifying as LGBT, it was hilarious whenever they shoved them a bag of condoms knowing what will happen when they leave two teenage boys together. Mat’s parents warmly welcomed Jules with open arms as well. Despite not having his father’s support, Jules finds that with Xochi, his older sister. Though Xo was absent for almost a decade in Jules’s life, the things that Xo sacrificed and her unconditional love showed comforted him a lot.

“And that all we want is for you to know love in this life. The gravest sin of all would be to keep you from experiencing the fullness of this life. As long as whoever you give your heart to is good to you and for you and doesn’t put ketchup on his tamales, then bueno.”

Follow Jules’s journey in facing one of the most daunting moments of his life, meeting and falling for an awesome person on the Internet, and exploring who he wants to be in Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun. The Mexican culture is prevalent and deeply incorporated in the book through the writing and the food! Jonny Garza Villa writes simplistically but within is packed with lots of feelings.

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