This book is a DNF for me because of the animal cruelty:
“I glued my fingers so many times that they were raw and bloody. I probably bled as much for her Deathday as the sacrificial dove. If I think on it, I can see Lula [her sister’s] slender hands holding the dove, red dots smattered all over her perfectly calm face.”
– Main character, Alejandra, on her sister’s coming of age brjua party.
Her sister, Lula, is a main character. A “good witch” — rather, bruja. The fact she would sacrifice a dove took me so aback…
It is sick and normalizes animal cruelty. How many teens are going to think that good brujas do that? Are going to try that? Blood magic is usually associated with dark magic — with evil. Sure, in the book there are jars of eyeballs and tongues but you never know where they come from. You can assume that the characters are carnists, which is the default across cultures, but to sacrifice just for the sake of death is beyond vile.
I was really looking forward to a LGBTQ positive YA read, but this just glazes over the topic of animal cruelty so offensively that I couldn’t respect it or read more.