We Light Up the Sky: Book summary and reviews of We Light Up the Sky by Lilliam Rivera

We Light Up the Sky

by Lilliam Rivera

We Light Up the Sky by Lilliam Rivera X
We Light Up the Sky by Lilliam Rivera
Buy This Book

About this book

Book Summary

Award-winning author Lilliam Rivera explores the haunting story of an alien invasion from the perspective of three Latinx teens.

Should you save a world that doesn't want to save you?

Pedro, Luna, and Rafa may attend Fairfax High School together in Los Angeles, but they run in separate spheres. Pedro is often told that he's "too much" and seeks refuge from his home life in a local drag bar. Luna is pretending to go along with the popular crowd but is still grieving the unexpected passing of her beloved cousin Tasha. Then there's Rafa, the quiet new kid who is hiding the fact that his family is homeless.

But Pedro, Luna, and Rafa find themselves thrown together when an extraterrestrial visitor lands in their city and takes the form of Luna's cousin Tasha. As the Visitor causes destruction wherever it goes, the three teens struggle to survive and warn others of what's coming--because this Visitor is only the first of many. But who is their true enemy--this alien, or their fellow humans?

Pura Belpré Honor-winning author Lilliam Rivera examines the days before a War of the Worlds-inspired alien invasion in this captivating and chilling new novel.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

"Rivera offers an eerie, immersive page-turner that immediately grips readers in large part because of her skilled characterization that adds emotional richness to an engaging extraterrestrial mystery...An engrossing and exceptionally relevant pre-apocalyptic tale that begs for a sequel." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"[A] thought-provoking, genre-savvy work of speculative fiction...Sharp social commentary, on-point humor, and a tender exploration of grief add heart and depth to a novel that's just right for fans of Attack the Block." - Publishers Weekly

"Rivera portrays contemporary teenage life with empathy, using a mix of pop culture and social-justice politics to flesh out her characters." - Booklist

"More than just a riveting alien-invasion story, though, this novel deftly weaves commentary on colonialism, police violence, and racial injustice into the chaos, leaving the main characters to wonder if the only people worth saving may be one another. Early threads of friendship, meanwhile, bind the story, ultimately becoming the trio's salvation. The novel's end chooses hope and a moment of calm over easy human victory and aliens routed." - Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"We Light Up the Sky is an unflinching look at a Los Angeles that already feels dystopian to marginalized communities. Rivera's expert hand guides science fiction and the contemporary lives of three teens in a race for survival." - Zoraida Córdova, award-winning author of Labyrinth Lost

"A marvelous story about how we are all being flung into the future unprepared, and have to hang together as best we can." - Kim Stanley Robinson, New York Times bestselling author

"Skillfully crafted and absorbing, We Light Up the Sky is a fresh, complex take on the alien invasion story. Deeply poignant, and not to be missed." - Amy Tintera, New York Times bestselling author

This information about We Light Up the Sky shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. 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 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.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Author Information

Lilliam Rivera

Lilliam Rivera is an award-winning writer and author of the young adult novels Never Look Back, a Pura Belpré Honor winner; Dealing in Dreams, and The Education of Margot Sanchez, as well as the middle grade Goldie Vance series. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Times, and Elle, to name a few. Lilliam grew up in the Bronx and currently lives in Los Angeles.

More Author Information

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

More Recommendations

Readers Also Browsed . . .

more YA fantasy, sci-fi, speculative, alt. history...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Find out more


Today's Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Lightning Strike
    Lightning Strike
    by William Kent Krueger
    It is the summer of 1963 in Tamarack County, Minnesota. Just outside the small town of Aurora, ...
  • Book Jacket: Skinship
    Skinship
    by Yoon Choi
    The fine thing about short stories in general is their way of following characters through ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Last Mona Lisa
    by Jonathan Santlofer
    In 1911, the Mona Lisa disappeared from its home at the Louvre in Paris. It took two years for the ...
  • Book Jacket: The Women of Troy
    The Women of Troy
    by Pat Barker
    Set in the liminal days following the Trojan War, The Women of Troy follows Briseis, who the reader ...

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
Morningside Heights
by Joshua Henkin
A tender and big-hearted novel about love in the face of loss, from the award-winning author of The World Without You.

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Flesh & Blood
    by N. West Moss

    This beautifully written memoir offers insight, understanding, and joy.

Win This Book!
Win Sisters of the Great War

Sisters of the Great War by Suzanne Feldman

A powerful novel of two unconventional American sisters who volunteer at the front during World War I.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

Y A B Up T W T

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.