Juliet Takes A Breath by Gabby Rivera *Spoiler Free* Review

*I was provided with a e-book of this book by the publisher via NetGalley, but my review is all my own opinion and thoughts* 

Juliet Takes A Breath


Young Adult, LBTQIA and feminism.


““Even if Holden Caulfield was born in the Bronx in the 1980s, he could never be this awesome.”
Inga Muscio, author of Cunt

Juliet Milagros Palante is leaving the Bronx and headed to Portland, Oregon. She just came out to her family and isn’t sure if her mom will ever speak to her again. But Juliet has a plan, sort of, one that’s going to help her figure out this whole “Puerto Rican lesbian” thing. She’s interning with the author of her favorite book: Harlowe Brisbane, the ultimate authority on feminism, women’s bodies, and other gay-sounding stuff.

Will Juliet be able to figure out her life over the course of one magical summer? Is that even possible? Or is she running away from all the problems that seem too big to handle?

With more questions than answers, Juliet takes on Portland, Harlowe, and most importantly, herself.”


I am only going to talk about the main character and that is Juliet. Juliet is a brown, chubby girl who lives in Bronx. Her origins are Puerto Rican and she identifies as one as well. She also believes in God. And one more thing, Juliet is gay, she has a relationship with a girl from her college, Laine. Her family doesn’t know that she is gay, and she is terrified to tell this to them. But she has made the decision to do it the day she leaves for her internship.

During the internship Juliet learns a lot, about life style, how people can identify but also what is important to her in live. She learns more about her background and she start to learn more on what it means to be her. In this book Juliet starts to discover herself, while asking questions to other people she knows and gets to know. She learns what racism does to you when it happens and who to deal with it.

I really enjoyed Juliet her character. The cluelessness of the world around you and other world within this world are new discoveries. In that way I did identify with her, the wonder and not knowing of certain obvious things. Of course I am white, so I don’t know what it is like to be a person of color, but the way the story was told, did give me more insight in what it would be like. I loved Juliet her voice in this novel.


The writing was sometimes a bit confusing for me, because there were terms used I didn’t understand or slay was used. I did have to get used to it, but after a while I understood it. The writing is very flowing, I kept reading and reading. And even though this isn’t an action pact novel, I was kept engaged in everything that was happening and would happen.

I also loved this way family was written. I could feel the strong bond Juliet has with her family and her little brother, the way they interacted with each other felt is authentic, it was like watching an everyday family interact and love and care for each other.


The ending was very satisfying. The way everything resolves and wraps up was good and it felt great. There isn’t much more I can say to that than this, because this review is spoiler free. But to be honest, the ending wasn’t that important to me, the way of getting there was so great and felt more important to me than the end result.


Overall I real loved this book, it is really divers and it touch upon subjects not every writer dares to touch upon. We need more books and writers like this and I would love to read more books like this. This is also a story about self-discovery, Juliet learns a lot about her background and who she is and what she stands for. She goes on a journey to find out what it means to be queer, a feminist and a black feminist.

I think this is a book everyone should and can read, I definitely recommend it. Everyone can take something from this book and it is divers. I think almost everyone can find someone to identify with when it comes to Juliet.


  • Queer, chubby, Puerto Rican, Asthmatic main character
  • Feminism
  • Authentic family bond
  • Talk about sex and period


  • Drugs use (weed), this is not something everyone would mind, but I do to be honest

Overall rating: 4/5 stars

Have you read Juliet Takes A Breath, and what was your opinion? Or will you be reading it?


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