The Lost Dreamer by Lizz Huerta is a beautifully imagined YA fantasy inspired by ancient Mesoamerica. The story follows two girls, both blessed with the ability to access the Dream, or the spirit realm. The girls, Indir and Saya, embark on a spiritual and at times physical journey to harness their full power and connection to the Dream. Their paths do eventually intersect, but not quite in the way that readers may think. Huerta’s writing is lush and draws you into Indir and Saya’s gorgeous
While I am not of Hispanic or Latinx descent, many of the students I serve claim that heritage. I was personally drawn to this book because of its setting in ancient Mesoamerica and its Latinx characters. The Lost Dreamer addresses issues of the dangers of toxic patriarchy, female friendships and sisterhood, and the powerful bonds of family, which are issues that are relevant to my students locally and the world at large. I also quite enjoyed the use of magic in this story and the ways the girls could access the spirit world, which is a large part of many modern Hispanic and Latinx cultures to this day. While the book is easy to read, occasionally I found myself getting annoyed because the writing was so choppy and simple at times.
While this title is not on any best-of book lists and has not won any awards (yet), I believe The Lost Dreamer is a timely and touching tale of two young girls trying to make sense of their world. The students I serve are predominantly Hispanic and Latinx, and this book would be a wonderful mirror book that might reflect their history and traditions. Kirkus books called it a “sensual fantasy with a feminine gaze and intimate worldbuilding” (2022). I couldn’t agree more! Overall, this book was a good read and I would absolutely read another book by Lizz Huerta. I would definitely recommend The Lost Dreamer to fantasy lovers of all ages.