Dreaming of You

A Novel in Verse
Astra House. Oct. 2021. 192p. ISBN 9781662600593. $23. POETRY
In Lozada-Oliva’s vervy debut, a young Latina poet named Melissa so identifies with murdered singer/songwriter Selena Quintanilla that she brings her back from the dead. Initially, Melissa-as-speaker relates stumbling through young adulthood—rotten relationships, rotten feelings, multiple roommates—while recalling how Selena shaped her life (“It’s like I can see her./ It’s like she’s talking to me”). Resurrecting her heroine through a persuasively detailed ritual proves exciting (“I want to touch her hand but…/ Would I be electrocuted?”), and if finally “No one could handle the drama,” it’s been a wild and illuminating ride.

VERDICT Crackly and energetic, with poignancy beneath; for Latinx and millennial readers, plus poetry lovers interested in new voices.
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