Today’s Katie’s Pick is a two-fer! When Francisco X. Stork released Disappeared in 2017, it was one of the first American YA books to talk about the mass disappearances of young women in Cuidad Juarez. Sara Zapata is a reporter and her best friend has gone missing. When she doggedly follows any lead she can, Sara finds herself being targeted by a violent cartel and officials who want to keep the disappearances quiet. At the same time, her brother Emiliano, is getting a taste of what it would be like to travel in the same circles as the important and connected people in Juarez. But the life he would be going after puts him on a crash course with the justice Sara is pursuing.
A taut thriller, the end of Disappeared could be taken as a completed tale or something begging for a sequel. This month we finally got the conclusion of Sara and Emiliano’s story in Illegal. Author Stork has talked about how the past few years have changed his approach to the Zapata siblings stories. Illegal is a similarly thrilling and terrifying look at what it means to try to find a new home, when there is definitely no going back to the one you left.