An unforgettable YA debut about two Latina teens growing up in East Oakland as they discover that the world is brimming with messy complexities, perfect for fans of Elizabeth Acevedo and Erika L. Sánchez.
Belén Dolores Itzel del Toro wants the normal stuff: to experience love or maybe have a boyfriend or at least just lose her virginity. But nothing is normal in East Oakland. Her father left her family. She’s at risk of not graduating. And Leti, her super-Catholic, nerdy-ass best friend, is pregnant—by the boyfriend she hasn’t told her parents about, because he’s Black, and her parents are racist.
Things are hella complicated.
Weighed by a depression she can’t seem to shake, Belén helps Leti, hangs out with an older guy, and cuts a lot of class. She soon realizes, though, that distractions are only temporary. Leti is becoming a mother. Classmates are getting ready for college. But what about Belén? What future is there for girls like her?
From debut author Carolina Ixta comes a fierce, intimate examination of friendship, chosen family, and the generational cycles we must break to become our truest selves.
Carolina Ixta is a writer from Oakland, California. A daughter of Mexican immigrants, she received her BA in creative writing and Spanish language and literature at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and obtained her master’s degree in education at the University of California, Berkeley. She is currently an elementary school teacher whose pedagogy centers critical race theory at the primary education level. Shut Up, This Is Serious is her debut novel.