Milk Blood Heat

Grove. Feb. 2021. 208p. Tr $25. ISBN 9780802158154.
A hauntingly beautiful collection of lyrical stories connected by themes of tragedy, self-actualization, and that murky time between girlhood and adulthood. Each entry is quiet yet powerful, exploring characters as they grapple with a flux in their life. Set against a Florida background, this collection focuses on Black lives and Black communities. Each story is somber in its own way, and yet also conveys strength and sometimes a glint of optimism. “The Heart of Our Enemies” explores the dynamic between mother and daughter. What starts as a story exploring the shame a young girl might feel over her mother’s indiscretions, ends in a mother’s revenge against a sexually abusive high school teacher. The content is for mature readers, containing themes of suicidal ideation, rape, sexual abuse, miscarriage, and depression. Teens will be drawn to this collection for its honest portrayal of characters and societal pressures.
VERDICT Perfect for fans of Sophia Thakur’s Somebody Give This Heart a Pen, Celeste Ng’s Everything I Never Told You, and the film Moonlight, Moniz’s debut will not disappoint.

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