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We set the dark on fire
2019
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Summary

"We Set the Dark on Fire burns bright. It will light the way for a new generation of rebels and lovers." --NPR.org

"Mejia pens a compelling, gripping story that mirrors real world issues of immigration and equality." --Buzzfeed

Five starred reviews!!

In this daring and romantic fantasy debut perfect for fans of The Handmaid's Tale and Latinx authors Zoraida Córdova and Anna-Marie McLemore, society wife-in-training Dani has a great awakening after being recruited by rebel spies and falling for her biggest rival.

At the Medio School for Girls, distinguished young women are trained for one of two roles in their polarized society. Depending on her specialization, a graduate will one day run a husband's household or raise his children. Both paths promise a life of comfort and luxury, far from the frequent political uprisings of the lower class.

Daniela Vargas is the school's top student, but her pedigree is a lie. She must keep the truth hidden or be sent back to the fringes of society.

And school couldn't prepare her for the difficult choices she must make after graduation, especially when she is asked to spy for a resistance group desperately fighting to bring equality to Medio.

Will Dani cling to the privilege her parents fought to win for her, or will she give up everything she's strived for in pursuit of a free Medio--and a chance at a forbidden love?

Trade Reviews
School Library Journal Review
Gr 8 Up-As the top Primera of the Medio School for Girls, Dani has spent the last five years trying to forget the world her parents fought hard to leave behind-the world beyond the border wall, where people are dying of hunger and illness. Dani has learned to check her emotions and prepare to be her husband's equal, a partner who will help him in all things political. Then she is paired with longtime enemy Carmen Santos, a Segunda who, with her beauty and grace, completes the third side of the marriage triangle to Mateo. When Sota, a member of La Voz-a group seeking to bring down the government that keeps people like Dani's family in the margins-saves Dani by providing her with legitimate documents to keep the government from discovering her true origins, Dani becomes entwined in the group's goals, using her role as Mateo's wife to pass on his plans to the rebellion. As Dani becomes more involved with La Voz, she struggles to keep her feelings for Carmen at bay-emotions that, in Medio, are forbidden. Intricate mythology sets the scene for a cast of characters full of complex motivations. Readers will find themselves drawn to a richly constructed world full of fantasy and diversity, with a mystery that will keep them guessing until the very end. VERDICT A must-have fantasy filled with action and political intrigue.-Selenia Paz, Harris County Public Library, Houston, TX © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
*Starred Review* In Medio, a myth tells of the Sun God, who took two wives, one wise and loyal, the other sensual and nurturing. Now, selected young women train to become the dual wives of the nation's politicians: the Primera to be his partner in work and business, and the Segunda to run his home and family. Daniela's poor parents lied to get her into the school, hoping to secure her a better future, and indeed, Dani has become the top Primera student, keeping her emotions in check and her forged papers a secret. Mateo, her new husband, seems strangely cold and cruel, and it doesn't help that the family has chosen Dani's longtime rival, Carmen, as their Segunda. But the worst comes when Dani is contacted by a resistance group and asked to spy on Mateo and politicos like him. As she learns more about Mateo's narrow-mindedness and oppressive politics and as she and Carmen grow startlingly closer Dani's sympathy for the resistance grows, but is there even a life for her beyond this one? Like the revolution, Mejia's world is carefully built. With its achingly slow-burn romance and incisive examination of power structures, this is a masterfully constructed novel, made all the more impressive as it's a debut. This timely examination of how women move through the world is potent and precise, and readers will be eager for the sequel.--Maggie Reagan Copyright 2018 Booklist
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