Juliet Takes A Breath

Juliet Takes A Breath

Book - 2019
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"Juliet, a self-identified queer, Bronx-born Puerto Rican-American, comes out to her family to disastrous results the night before flying to Portland to intern with her feminist author icon--whom Juliet soon realizes has a problematic definition of feminism that excludes women of color."--
Publisher: New York :, Dial Books,, [2019]
ISBN: 9780593108178
Branch Call Number: TEEN RIV
Characteristics: 304 pages ; 22 cm
Alternative Title: Staff picks


From Library Staff

Great for Grades 8+

Juliet is a college student from the Bronx, who moves to Portland in the summer of 2003 to intern with a famous (white) feminist author. Just before leaving home, Juliet comes out as a lesbian to her somewhat conservative Puerto-Rican family, who do not embrace the news. Juliet’s time in Oregon c... Read More »

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
ArapahoeElena Mar 01, 2021

Juliet Takes a Breath follows our heroine from U.S. coast to U.S. coast, finding heartbreak, disappointment, new love interests, and a whole lot of self-discovery along the way. I love this story because it's as much about code switching as it is about any of those other things. We learn along with Juliet that while everyone (including the reader) may expect her to be a different way or a different person, she doesn't owe them that satisfaction. And if she tries to contort herself to provide that satisfaction she will never be happy.
It's a big concept to take on, and Gabby Rivera is absolutely up to the challenge. Her writing is smart and full of heart and humor, without sacrificing impact. I saw myself and my experience in this book, in a way that I hadn't seen myself in a book in a long time, and I am profoundly grateful that Gabby Rivera chose to share it with the world.

IndyPL_KaseyP Aug 19, 2020

Bronx, NYC born Juliet Milagros Palante finds herself in Portland, OR for an internship during the summer of 2003. She also finds herself coming out to her family, meeting her hero, questioning her hero, confronting heartbreak and racism, and seeking her own place within a feminist culture that is largely whitewashed. This book could also fittingly be called Juliet finds herself. This story is so beautifully human. It makes the reader question the world through Juliet's coming of age. A wonderful read for teens and adults across all spectrums.

ArapahoeJennieB Aug 09, 2020

This book intersects issues of race, feminism and queerness along with the realization that your hero isn't everything you imagined, in fact she's kinda problematic. Ultimately, this is Juliet's journey of self discovery and acceptance, as she learns to embrace her queer Puerto-Rican self.

Dec 08, 2019

Juliet Takes a Breath is a coming of age story about a Latina lesbian from the Bronx who travels to Portland for the summer to intern with a feminist writer who she admires and idolizes. Juliet's exuberant voice engages the reader immediately, and we watch her navigate coming out as a lesbian, discovering the LGBTQ community, family, relationships, feminism, and issues of race and privilege. It is a character and issue driven book rather than being heavy on plot.
I'm worried this book will be pigeonholed as an LGBTQ and/or Latin book (which it is, of course), and readers who don't belong to these groups won't pick it up. Fundamentally, this book is very human and explores big issues like learning who you are, the consequences of making assumptions about others, respect for others and yourself, and establishing boundaries. We can all take something away from this book whether we are Juliet's age or much older.

JessicaGma Nov 26, 2019

It's a really interesting take on meeting your heroes, and Juliet is a great character to follow as she learns more about the wider world and how people can let you down, but also how much she herself has to offer as well. She's such a strong queer voice, and it was a delight to follow her journey.

Jul 18, 2017

I couldn't believe how much Juliet's life paralleled my own. I credit the author for this because she painted a very vid picture with words. I loved this book.

Jan 31, 2017

I was sucked into Juliet Takes a Breath right from the first page. The story opens on Juliet’s letter to her hero, who is a famous feminist writer. It is a heart-felt outpouring, and it is the missive that scored her the internship in Portland. By the end of those five pages, I was already in love with Juliet’s voice, as well as her passion and curiosity about the world beyond the place where she grew up. Her character really is the linchpin of the story, and her voice kept me with her even through some of the slower parts of the book. Rivera has crammed a lot of information into the book, and some sections can get a little bit didactic. However, integrating this material into a story will be far more accessible for many people than a Women’s Studies text book.
Full review: https://shayshortt.com/2017/01/31/juliet-takes-a-breath/

LPL_ShirleyB Jan 11, 2017

I can't wait to read this powerful-thoughtful coming of age story of moving away from home and self-discovery.


Add a Summary
Jan 31, 2017

Juliet Palante has just come home to the Bronx from her first year at college, and she is trying to figure out how to come out to her Puerto Rican family before she moves across the country for a summer internship. She will be spending the summer in Portland working for Harlowe Brisbane, author of Raging Flower, the book that sparked Juliet’s feminist awakening. But when she arrives in Portland, Juliet quickly feels out of her depth. Her girlfriend Lainie isn’t returning her calls, Harlowe doesn’t seem to have a clear plan for her internship, and everything is unfamiliar. The longer she is in Portland, the less sure Juliet is about Harlowe’s brand of feminism. But the summer nevertheless introduces her to people and experiences that will open her mind in ways she never expected.


Add a Quote
Jan 31, 2017

If you don’t know my life and my struggle, can we be sisters? Can a badass white lady like you make room for me?

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at WVML

To Top