My Heart Underwater: Book summary and reviews of My Heart Underwater by Laurel Flores Fantauzzo

My Heart Underwater

by Laurel Flores Fantauzzo

My Heart Underwater by Laurel Flores Fantauzzo X
My Heart Underwater by Laurel Flores Fantauzzo
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Book Summary

Fans of Adib Khorram and Randy Ribay will love this coming-of-age debut about a Filipina American teen drowning under pressure and learning to trust her heart.

Corazon Tagubio is an outcast at the Catholic school she attends on scholarship. Her crush on her teacher, Ms. Holden, doesn't help. At home, Cory worries that less-than-perfect grades aren't good enough for her parents, who already work overtime to support her distant half-brother in the Philippines.

After an accident leaves her dad comatose, Cory feels like Ms. Holden is the only person who really understands her. But when a crush turns into something more and the secret gets out, Cory is sent to her relatives in Manila. She's not prepared to face strangers in an unfamiliar place, but she discovers how the country that shaped her past might also redefine her future.

This #ownvoices novel takes readers on a journey across the world as Cory comes to understand her family, her relationships, and ultimately, herself.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Tagalog and Taglish are interlaced throughout, adding an atmospheric texture that refreshingly lends rarely depicted insights into authentic Filipino humor, conflict, and expressions of love. A (home)coming out story that rides a deep undercurrent of love." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"This emotionally powerful YA debut sensitively portrays the tension between Cory's American upbringing and attempts to stay true to her cultural roots. A first-person narrative peppered with largely untranslated Tagalog and Taglish adds a refreshing authenticity to Fantauzzo's richly textured world." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"The emotional connection to a homeland, language, and family is demonstrated by the use of Tagalog in dialogue, and lush imagery of bustling cities and mountainous terrain. The book also incorporates political history effortlessly ... Built on character and relationships, Fantauzzo's young adult debut is not to be missed." - School Library Journal

"My Heart Underwater is a lovely, magnificent wonder of a novel that will leave you with the rarest of tender heartaches: life-affirming, life-inspiring, life-loving; a heartache of joy and becoming. You won't walk freely, or willingly, from these pages." - Marjorie Liu, New York Times bestselling author

"Beautifully unsettling and deeply satisfying, My Heart Underwater should be read by all—and it's a gift to any community, not just the YA community, that such a heartfelt, literary novel is now in our hands." - Gina Apostol, author of Gun Dealers' Daughter, PEN/Open Book Award winner

"A wise, complex exploration of a young person on the cusp of adulthood as she navigates the in-between: being Filipinx in America and American in the Philippines. Readers who yearn for stories closer to the nuances, contradictions, and messiness of real life will love Cory and root for her." - Grace Talusan, author of The Body Papers, winner of the Restless Books Prize

The information about My Heart Underwater shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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Author Information

Laurel Flores Fantauzzo

Laurel Flores Fantauzzo grew up in Thousand Oaks, CA, and graduated from a private Catholic high school. She lived in Teachers Village in the Philippines for many years and is the author of The First Impulse, a nonfiction love story and mystery set in Metro Manila. She lives between Honolulu and Metro Manila with her wife. My Heart Underwater is her debut YA novel.

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