Blog Tour Review: Brighter than the Sun by Daniel Aleman

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A story about family, friendship, and sacrifice

Thank you so much to TBR and Beyond Tours and Daniel Aleman for allowing me to be part of this experience and also providing me with a complimentary copy and media kit!

Book Information

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Publishing Date:
March 21, 2023

From the author of the award-winning debut novel INDIVISIBLE comes an affecting, timely, and thought-provoking story about going after your dreams, making tough choices, and learning that change gives as much as it takes.

Every morning, sixteen-year-old Sol wakes up at the break of dawn in her hometown of Tijuana, Mexico, and makes the trip across the border to go to school in the United States. Though the commute is exhausting, this is the best way to achieve her dream of becoming the first person in her family to go to college.

When her family’s restaurant starts struggling, Sol must find a part-time job in San Diego to help her dad put food on the table and pay the bills. But her complicated school and work schedules on the US side of the border mean moving in with her best friend and leaving her family behind.

With her life divided by an international border, Sol must come to terms with the loneliness she hides, the pressure she feels to succeed for her family, and the fact that the future she once dreamt of is starting to seem unattainable. Mostly, she’ll have to grapple with a secret she’s kept even from herself: that maybe she’s relieved to have escaped her difficult home life, and a part of her may never want to return.

Book Links

Content and Trigger Warnings

For a list of warnings, tropes, and representation for this series, check out

About the Author

Daniel Aleman is the award-winning author of Indivisible. He was born and raised in Mexico City. A graduate of McGill University, he is passionate about books, coffee, and dogs.

After spending time in Montreal and the New York City area, he now lives in Toronto, where he is on a never-ending search for the best tacos in the city.

His second novel, Brighter Than the Sun, will be published on March 21, 2023 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.

Author Links:

Review (no spoilers)

If you’d like to follow along with the rest of the tour, you can find the tour schedule here.

This book was a much-needed break from the tough themes that I’ve been experiencing in many of my recent reads. The book does deal with some darker themes about financial struggles, immigration, and bullying, but it never felt like it got too overwhelming.

The main plot follows a young girl named Sol who was born in the US but lives in Tijuana, Mexico. As an American citizen, she (unlike the rest of her family) is able to attend school and work in the states. In a last ditch effort to save her family’s business, Sol moves to the US to begin working there for extra income. She soon finds herself being pulled in two directions, forced to choose between her family and her future.

As someone who teaches at a community college with a predominantly Latinx student population, Sol’s character felt a lot like the students that I teach. Many of them are low-income and many of them are working full-time jobs while being college students. Watching Sol constantly struggle to maintain a healthy work-school-life balance felt like a solid way to put myself in their shoes, further allowing me to brainstorm on what other resources I could possibly offer to make their situations more manageable.

My favorite thing about this novel, by far, was the portrayal of a strong and understanding support system. Sol has a lot of issues that she’s juggling, and her family and friends stick by her side the entire time, even when she’s unable to reciprocate their feelings. They were nonjudgemental, accommodating, and ready to help at any moments notice. I really wish everyone could have the same types of positive relationships that Sol managed to cultivate throughout her youth.

All in all, I really enjoyed this novel! I’ll have to check out the author’s debut as well.


3 thoughts on “Blog Tour Review: Brighter than the Sun by Daniel Aleman

  1. aquavenatus March 26, 2023 / 5:05 pm

    I’m trying to order this book for the library where I work. It sounds like an intriguing read (for teens, too).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ratmom March 27, 2023 / 3:07 pm

    I like the sound of that. Sounds like some real world struggles that people can relate to.

    Liked by 1 person

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