Review | All of Us With Wings by Michelle Ruiz Keil | magic realism that isn’t for me



Publishing Date: June 18, 2019

Publisher: Soho Press

Genre: Fantasy Young Adult, LGBT

Format: eBook (Adobe Digital Editions)

Pages: 360

Goodreads Rating: 4.06

My Rating: 2.7

“You’re family now. Whether you live here or not, you’re stuck with us.”



Michelle Ruiz Keil’s YA fantasy debut about love, found family, and healing is an ode to post-punk San Francisco through the eyes of a Mexican-American girl.

Seventeen-year-old Xochi is alone in San Francisco, running from her painful past: the mother who abandoned her, the man who betrayed her. Then one day, she meets Pallas, a precocious twelve-year-old who lives with her rockstar family in one of the city’s storybook Victorians. Xochi accepts a position as Pallas’s live-in governess and quickly finds her place in their household, which is relaxed and happy despite the band’s larger-than-life fame.

But on the night of the Vernal Equinox, as a concert afterparty rages in the house below, Xochi and Pallas accidentally summon a pair of ancient creatures devoted to avenging the wrongs of Xochi’s adolescence. She would do anything to preserve her new life, but with the creatures determined to exact vengeance on those who’ve hurt her, no one is safe—not the family she’s chosen, nor the one she left behind.






As a musician myself, I like how there were parts of the story that were crafted around music and gave the readers a bit of an inside experience to what that was like.

The characters bordered on what I would say is whimsical because of the magical realism of the story and their dialogue… like a whimsical personality, if that makes sense. Like that was the vibe I was getting from them. Though, there were times when it got a bit dark and whenever the topics shifted to drug usage, it just did not work out for me. They were interesting enough to keep me but there was still not a lot of things happening in the plot that interested me,… a lot seemed to have happened by the end of the book… but I just did not like what the plot went through.


It was a more adult read than I expected going in (especially for one that is sold as YA) and it was not a plot I was necessarily a fan of. It was a slow start and even though it was not the worst writing, I couldn’t get myself invested into it.

The book is diverse, which gives it some plus points, and if you don’t mind reading about the use of drugs and child abandonment then you may want to try this book out. I liked that the author took a risk with this story but I have to put it out there that this might not be a story for everyone so watch out for something that you think might trigger you going in.








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