Lilliam Rivera

Lilliam Rivera is the author of the young adult novel The Education of Margot Sanchez.

Praise for dealing in dreams


Dealing In Dreams named one of the “Best Post-Apocalyptic Books of 2019” by Book Riot

“Rivera's novel exposes a world filled with exquisite, unflinching brutality, but also offers a real tenderness toward its young characters, many of whom are doing the best they can as they rapidly lose faith in the people and institutions they thought were supposed to protect them.” - Nylon

“That sense of scarcity in the face of resources became an inspiration behind her new novel Dealing in Dreams, in which the projects of Rivera's childhood become the "Mega Towers," and the borough is a dystopian "Mega City," rebuilt by women in the aftermath of a man-made catastrophe and now patrolled by all-Latina gangs.” - Interview with cultural critic Rebecca Carroll on WNYC

“West Bronx native Lilliam Rivera’s latest novel, ‘Dealing in Dreams,’ is a fast-paced dystopian novel depicting sisterhood and the cruel choices people are forced to make for survival.” - Interview in Bronx Times

Featured as “55 New Books To Read this Memorial Day” - Bustle

“Rivera weaves a story of self-discovery, blood relations and chosen families, substance addiction, and race into her sci-fi tale, including details from Afro and Indigenous Caribbean culture and history, showing resistance and survival — and blasting it to the future.” - Review in Horn Book Magazine

“Lilliam Rivera likes writing the stories of young, strong Latinas in her novels.” - Interviewed in Los Angeles Times for the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books

Live Interview at AWP for PBS Books

“Dealing In Dreams explores violence, privilege and the complicated nature of power, and what it means when the future of a community rests in the hands of history’s most fearless radicals: young people.” - Interviewed by Electric Literature

Dealing in Dreams is a ferocious young adult novel about the violence done to us and the violence we do to others.” - Review in

“At the book launch, Rivera discusses magical realism (“Ghost stories? That’s just family showing up!”), state violence, the power of chosen family, and always having to defend and explain the Bronx.” - Dealing In Dreams Bronx book launch featured in Teen Vogue

“The store was filled to the brim for its first author event which featured an energetic Q&A session with Lilliam Rivera and ‘All American Boys’ author Jason Reynolds,” featured in Bronx Times

“Placing my fiction in a futuristic or horror setting is my way of making sense of real horrors,” PEN 10 Interview in PEN America

Teen Vogue live streamed the Dealing In Dreams Bronx launch party with author Jason Reynolds at The Lit. Bar

“Everyone loves this idea that to make it in America all you need is to work hard to be successful.” - Interview in Lightspeed Magazine

“Lilliam Rivera is a rising star in the world of YA fiction,” interviewed by Remezcla

“Nuyorican journalist-turned-YA author Lilliam Rivera offers up a Latinx MC-heavy playlist with songs that inspired her new book, Dealing in Dreams,” featured in Tidal

“There is this idea of losing your innocence and just encasing your whole body with violence and hardness as a way of life… I’m not, in any way, Nalah but I can relate to trying to protect yourself, and being both hard and soft.” - Interview by The Rumpus

“A novel about girl gangs in a crumbling future? Yes!” - featured as one of the ten best YA novels of March on Paste

“Doña Chela offers a toothless grin when the mandatory bell rings the rank of our crew. Only the top-five gangs gain VIP entrance to this particular club.” - EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT available on Bustle

“These are Seventeen’s picks for the best books of 2019 (so far)...” - featured in Seventeen

33 New Books Coming Out In March 2019 To Add To Your Spring Reading List,” featured in Bustle

“Read a book with a protagonist who will do anything to get what she wants, like Dealing in Dreams (March 5, Simon & Schuster) by Lilliam Rivera,” - March 2019 Horoscopes and Book Recommendations by Book Riot

“I wanted to write a book that I would have loved to have read when I was young. It’s the truth—I wanted that action-packed book that’s about girls being violent." - In conversation with author Nikki Darling for Lit Hub

“I grew up reading so many science fiction and fantasy novels (Ray Bradbury, George Orwell…) and didn’t see any of my people in them. Where were the Puerto Rican girls from the Bronx crushing monsters?” -Interviewed by MiTu

“13 Latina Fantasy Books For the Sci-Fi Lover in Your Life,” featured in MiTu

“8 Books by Latinx Authors That Should be On your Reading List This Year,“ featured in Remezcla

“Romance, Revenge, and Revolutions in This Winter’s Upcoming Young Adult SFF,” featured in Tor

“Rivera certainly proved she had a capital-v Voice with her debut, The Education of Margot Sanchez, and she’s about to hammer it home with her sophomore, about a girl named Nalah who leads a fierce all-girl crew,” featured in BNTeenblog

“What to Read When 2019 is Just Around the Corner,” selected by The Rumpus editors

“48 Books by Woman and Nonbinary Authors of Color to Read in 2019,” selected by author R.O. Kwon for Electric Literature

STARRED REVIEW: “There is plenty of gritty action to propel readers through the plot, but it is Chief Rocka’s internal struggles and vulnerabilities that are the most compelling and memorable. Rivera effectively presents the complexity of female relationships, which will resonate strongly with readers…A novel exploration of societal roles, gender, equality through the eyes of the captivating lead.” School Library Journal

STARRED REVIEW: “Taking cues from Judge DreddMad Max, and The Hunger Games, Rivera (The Education of Margot Sanchez2017) has created a uniquely brutal hellscape… readers are left with a more ambiguous—and ambitious—tale that will have them questioning what kinds of people they’d be if freed from society’s mores.” - Booklist, starred review

“Rivera showcases multiple intricate character arcs and details several societies through impressive worldbuilding; young readers drawn to complex action novels that challenge conventions will find this read rewarding." Publishers Weekly

“As brutal as it is beautiful, Dealing in Dreams pulls no punches, launching us on a wild, relentless ride… It is a marvelous achievement.” - Daniel José Older, author of New York Times bestselling series, Shadowshaper Cypher

“Lilliam Rivera is quickly carving out her own territory in the world of fiction that thrills the heart and enriches the soul. Dealing in Dreams is a book only she could write, daring and dramatic, and fiercely beautiful at its core” - Victor LaValle, author of The Changeling

“Espectacular… The worldbuilding is sensational, and the themes are resoundingly relevant. The LMC has carved a permanent home in my heart.” - Romina Russell, author of the New York Times bestselling Zodiac Quartet

Dealing in Dreams is yet another smart, rich, fulfilling read from Lilliam Rivera, who has, through her last two books solidified herself as one of today’s boldest YA writers.” - Shea Serrano, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Basketball (And Other Things) and The Rap Year Book

“Lilliam Rivera has really stepped her game up… An incredible science-fiction future that can stand proudly beside Scott Westerfield at his best.” - Sam J. Miller, award-winning author of The Art of Starving

"In Dealing in Dreams, girls run the crews, boys soothe at boydegas, and anything can happen at any time. Lilliam Rivera's novel about struggle, courage and family crackles with energy and fresh imagination, with characters you're rooting for so much that you can't stop reading." - Tananarive Due, American Book Award winner

“In Dealing In Dreams, Rivera sharply etches a world rooted in Latin culture where violence is the most common language, and belief in equality is a soul-stirring revolutionary act.” - Ryan Gattis, author of Kung Fu High School