Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun by Jonny Garza Villa

Growing up in Texas with a strict, close-minded father, Julián Luna had spent most of his life hiding who he truly was. His life plan was to graduate high school and go to college in Los Angeles so he could finally live his life authentically. Then one night after partying a little too hard, a reckless tweet sends his entire life into a spiral. On the bright side, he finally gets to stop hiding who he is and he meets Mat, his Twitter crush who slides into his DMs and makes Jules feel like he can tell him anything. It’s a shame Mat lives fifteen hundred miles away though, especially when some of the fears Jules had about coming out start to come true. Will Jules be able to fulfill his dream of getting out of Texas and starting a new life in LA? A plan that’s even more important now that the boy he’s fallen in love with is also there.

This was such a sweet story. It captured all the best, and worst, parts of growing up, graduating and starting your life as a young adult. With the added pressure of being a young, gay Latinx man and the trauma that all too often goes along with that. This book certainly had its hard parts, parts that may be very difficult for some readers, but it was also filled with so much joy and love and in the end, it was just a hopeful and beautiful story.

Poor Jules was thrust out of the closet before he was ready to be but I thought he showed such great bravery and strength as he faced his new reality. It helped that he had an amazing group of friends, who supported and loved him. He also had some great family members, which thankfully outweighed the truly awful family members. Then there was his relationship with Mat, which was just the sweetest. Despite all the support he had around him in Texas, I think having Mat there to talk through things with made all the difference in Jules’ journey. Sometimes you just need someone who’s been through something similar to help you through. We had the bonus of watching these two adorable boys fall in love as well. They were just the cutest. There’s just something so special and pure about first love.

I enjoyed this story. It was uplifting, funny, sweet, and important. My only complaint is that I wish there was an epilogue, I would have loved even the tiniest glimpse into Jules’ new life!

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