• Bindle Punk Bruja

  • A Novel
  • By: Desideria Mesa
  • Narrated by: Frankie Corzo
  • Length: 14 hrs and 10 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (15 ratings)

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Bindle Punk Bruja  By  cover art

Bindle Punk Bruja

By: Desideria Mesa
Narrated by: Frankie Corzo
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Publisher's Summary

Boardwalk Empire meets The Vanishing Half with a touch of earth magic in this sexy and action-packed historical fantasy set in the luminous Golden Twenties from debut author Desideria Mesa, where a part-time reporter and club owner takes on crooked city councilmen, mysterious and deadly mobsters, and society’s deeply rooted sexism and racism, all while keeping her true identity and magical abilities hidden—inspired by an ancient Mexican folktale.

Yo soy quien soy. I am who I am.

Luna—or depending on who’s asking, Rose—is the White-passing daughter of an immigrant mother who has seen what happens to people from her culture. This world is prejudicial, and she must hide her identity in pursuit of owning an illegal jazz club. Using her cunning powers, Rose negotiates with dangerous criminals as she climbs up Kansas City’s bootlegging ladder. Luna, however, runs the risk of losing everything if the crooked city councilmen and ruthless mobsters discover her ties to an immigrant boxcar community that secretly houses witches. Last thing she wants is to put her entire family in danger.

But this bruja with ever-growing magical abilities can never resist a good fight. With her new identity, Rose, an unabashed flapper, defies societal expectations all the while struggling to keep her true self and witchcraft in check. However, the harder she tries to avoid scrutiny, the more her efforts eventually capture unwanted attention. Soon, she finds herself surrounded by greed and every brand of bigotry—from local gangsters who want a piece of the action and businessmen who hate her diverse staff to the Ku Klux Klan and Al Capone. Will her earth magic be enough to save her friends and family? As much as she hates to admit it, she may need to learn to have faith in others—and learning to trust may prove to be her biggest ambition yet.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.  

©2022 Desideria Mesa (P)2022 HarperCollins Publishers

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You MUST read this book!

I’ll admit - I was a bit nervous starting this book: new author, new (to me anyway) narrator, and it’s outside my comfort zone in that I normally listen to sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. What intrigued me was the title, the fact that new author is Latinx and a woman, and that she wrote a book based on our shared cultural mythology. Latinx characters are far too underrepresented, as are Latinx authors, in my opinion.
Colour me extremely glad I read this book. Mesa does a fantastic job relaying Rose’s story and her struggles of trying to fit in to an extremely sexist and blatantly racist society. Rose struggles with her very concept of self throughout, forced to hide the truth of who and what she is. And through it all, she must dance her way through a minefield of men who are determined to strip her of literally everything- including the very things that make her HER. This book is a brutal and unapologetic look at some of the history they don’t teach in school - the way women, immigrants, and non-heterosexuals were (and, sadly, might be again) treated by a world ruled by white men steeped in puritanical upbringings. Frankie Corzo (Mexican Gothic) does a fantastic job bringing these characters to life, especially Rose. This book is an absolute must read - both for a glimpse at the past, and at what the creeping return of fascism could bring us back to. Plus it’s just a good story.

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Sadly the title is the best part

solid premise, amazing title, terrible book. I wanted to love it- magical realism? historical fiction? gangsters, flappers, speaks and zesty 1920s slang? gay characters? all things I love. The writing is bad: plotting, dialogue (YOWZA that dialogue), prose, the whole shebang. Worse, it commits the unforgivable sin of being BORING. Cringey I can take as long as it's interesting.