• Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun

  • A Novel
  • By: Jonny Garza Villa
  • Narrated by: Avi Roque
  • Length: 10 hrs and 37 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (143 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A poignant, funny, openhearted novel about coming out, first love, and being your one and only best and true self.

Julián Luna has a plan for his life: Graduate. Get into UCLA. And have the chance to move away from Corpus Christi, Texas, and the suffocating expectations of others that have forced Jules into an inauthentic life. 

Then in one reckless moment, with one impulsive tweet, his plans for a low-key nine months are thrown - literally - out the closet. The downside: the whole world knows, and Jules has to prepare for rejection. The upside: Jules now has the opportunity to be his real self. 

Then Mat, a cute, empathetic Twitter crush from Los Angeles, slides into Jules’s DMs. Jules can tell him anything. Mat makes the world seem conquerable. But when Jules’s fears about coming out come true, the person he needs most is fifteen hundred miles away. Jules has to face them alone.

Jules accidentally propelled himself into the life he’s always dreamed of. And now that he’s in control of it, what he does next is up to him.

©2021 Jonathon A. Garza. (P)2021 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

“Narrator Avi Roque's light, husky voice brings both warmth and gravity to Jules's first-person narration, keeping listeners invested even when times get tough. Roque also displays vocal versatility, particularly during conversations among Jules and his friends wherein each character's voice is recognizable amid exclamations, pop-culture references, and casual switches between English and Spanish. Altogether, it's a moving and genuine listening experience.”AudioFile Magazine

“Garza Villa’s debut is buoyed by tenderness and humor amid moments of deep pain…An open-hearted expression of love in its many forms.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review) 

“Although parts of the story are heartbreaking and heavy, they are balanced with humor and hope, giving queer teens of color opportunities to see joy and love reflected back to them. Tender, touching, hopeful, and hilarious; enthusiastically recommended for all collections.”School Library Journal (starred review) 

What listeners say about Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun

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Favorite book of the year!

This is such a beautifully written book, it deals with heavy subjects like homophobia and lack of acceptance from parents but in a way that doesn’t bring you down, even through all there’s this element of hope carrying Julian, this sense of found family and love.
I think it does portray very well how Mexicans are (mostly) regarding toxic masculinity and colorism.
And then the romance was very well done too Julian and Matt were super cute together, and very realistic I think in how online relationships are more possible now than ever.
And the friends are the best! Lu specially was super funny.
And the narrator was outstanding!!!

2 people found this helpful

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Best bilingual audiobook so far!!

Well written and good performed. Looking forward to a part 2. 5 stars all around.

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A beautiful YA Romance

This book is so beautiful and heart warming. it made me cry. I highly recommend it.

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Fifteen Hundred Miles From the Sun

Trigger Warnings: Catholic school, homophobia, toxic masculinity, slurs, underage drinking, child abuse, coming out, deceased parent off page, hate crime, vandalism, internalized homophobia, cursing, parental rejection, sex

Representation: Gay, Mexican, Vegetarian, Vietnamese, Lesbian, Bisexual, Pansexual

Fifteen Hundred Miles From the Sun is the story of Jules, a high school senior, excited to leave for college next year and finally be his true self. One night after too much to drink, Jules outs himself accidentally. The story follows the aftermath of this mistake.

Overall, I felt this was a great book! Very inspiring and although the main character has to put up with way more than he should, his strength is abundantly clear. His character is flawed like anyone else, but his love for his friends is amazing. I loved how others had to continuously point out how strong he is. I also loved the name dropping! This was such a great book for fans of Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera! I got some serious Arthur from Here’s to Us vibes!

I loved all of the feelings that this story evoked. I was happy, sad, angry, laughing, crying all in one book! I thought the idea of meeting someone online and then dating them was a crazy concept, but it really has become so much more common. I could relate to this as someone who met her girlfriend on an app and did the long distance thing for a while. I also just loved how much love existed in this story! The characters showed romantic love, love for friends and family, and love for oneself. This was such an empowering part of the book!

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Emotional and uplifting book for queer teens.

I loved this book! I think this book will really resonate with queer kids who may be stuck in a family situation where they do not feel safe coming out (I hope they can safely read this!) and adults who were able to be themselves once they left home. I loved the sweet and protective group of friends Julián had and the portrayal of the long distance/online relationship was very timely. This book funny, sad, emotional, and felt real. It really seemed to be specifically written for this current generation of teens, but I was able to enjoy it even with my teen years many decades behind me. It was a sex positive book with discussion between the main characters, and trusted adults in their life, about consent and safe sex.

I listened to the audiobook and while I don’t always love this narrator’s delivery, the way they did all the characters’ voices was so good.

TW: homophobia, child abuse

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Please let there be a sequel

Lose yourself in a cast of intoxicatingly fun, loving, engaging and intelligent characters who are going places, knowing those places will put distance in their relationships but for the main characters might alleviate the distance between them. It's beautiful.

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Wonderful LGBTQ coming of age story

I'm so happy that this book was brought up in a book club I'm in. It's not a book that was on my radar, but it's a book that I think everyone should read or listen to. It's a coming of age story for a Hispanic LGBTQ boy living in Texas that has not come out to the ones he is closest with. But there are many reasons he hasn't been able to be his true self. And at the top of the list is fear of acceptance.

Julián aka Jules has been brought up without his mother. It's been him and his dad for as long as he can remember. He has an amazing sister, but she's quite a bit older and doesn't live at home. It's just him and his dad. His dad is a firm believer in being a "macho" man. It's a part of their culture to be that way. To be feminine or to be soft is not what he wants for his son. It's wrong and he will do anything to have Jules "be a man." But at what cost?

Oh how I loved Jules and his growth in this story. His friends were AMAZING and the support they showed throughout his journey is what you would want for your own child. This isn't just a story of coming out and growing up, it's a story of friendship, love, family and finding your own family along with the ones you care about and those feelings being reciprocated.

From Jules friends in Texas, to the boy (Mat) he connects with on Twitter who lives in LA, to his sister, Jules is surrounded by love. It was pretty special to see. It's just the one person he wants to accept him that brings him down for the most part of his journey. But that's what makes this story a bit more believable. It wasn't all sunshine and roses, but shows that life isn't always perfect. And the way Julián handles his lack of acceptance brought tears to my eyes.

I hope that readers/listeners will give Fifteen Hundred Miles From the Sun a chance. It made me feel for Jules and made me absolutely fall for Mat. I loved their friendship and the way they built their relationship online first. It's so relevant and now for the ages. You can't help but love all of Jules' friends. They made his life positive and easier to handle. AND can I talk about the narrator?? He was fabulous! He captured all the characters with precision and brought the story alive. I felt the journey for this young man and everything he went through. Definitely a story you should check out if you are interested in a coming of age YA book that is real and full of life and love and ups and downs.

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Lovely!

Great growing up, coming out, sweet and adorable book! Great narration! Kept me listening and having fun! :)

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Happy

This book is so beautiful, I'd have liked to read this book when I a teenager.

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spoilers

I loved this both from start to finish. There are emotional and physical abuse so just be advised. It is an amazing coming out story

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  • EatSleepRugbyXV
  • 08-05-21

Excellent book

A superb coming of age story in a genre I have not read enough of.

This is the story of Jules whose father wants to stereotype him into a heterosexual lifestyle. However this doesn’t fit his narrative or feelings.

Some people seem to have struggled with how his peers were and acted towards him when he accidentally came out. I felt it was an honest representation of society. Some people just getting on with it. Some people pretending to be ok and over time getting used to it and sadly some people just not tolerating his homosexuality at all.

A superbly written book and one I will recommend. Well written Jonny Garza Villa.