Blog Tour for Marcus Vega Doesn’t Speak Spanish by Pablo Cartaya (review)


Marcus Vega Blog Tour


Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Marcus Vega Doesn’t Speak Spanish by Pablo Cartaya.  This tour is being hosted by Penguin Teen (Viking).


Marcus Vega Doesn’t Speak Spanish by Pablo Cartaya

Publication:  August 21, 2018 by Viking

Purchase on Amazon






One boy’s search for his father leads him to Puerto Rico in this moving middle grade novel, for fans of Ghost and See You in the Cosmos.

Marcus Vega is six feet tall, 180 pounds, and the owner of a premature mustache. When you look like this and you’re only in the eighth grade, you’re both a threat and a target.

After a fight at school leaves Marcus facing suspension, Marcus’s mom decides it’s time for a change of environment. She takes Marcus and his younger brother to Puerto Rico to spend a week with relatives they don’t remember or have never met. But Marcus can’t focus knowing that his father–who walked out of their lives ten years ago–is somewhere on the island.

So begins Marcus’s incredible journey, a series of misadventures that take him all over Puerto Rico in search of his elusive namesake. Marcus doesn’t know if he’ll ever find his father, but what he ultimately discovers changes his life. And he even learns a bit of Spanish along the way.



My Review:


Marcus Vega Doesn’t Speak Spanish was such a touching book.

Marcus looks much older than a typical eighth grader. He’s 6 feet tail, 180 pounds, and has a mustache growing in. Because of this, he’s been made fun of in school, but is also looked at as a bully because of his size. Marcus uses this to his advantage though. He comes up with all these little cash side businesses. One is walking kids to and from school. He does this to help out his family. Marcus lives in Springfield, PA with his mom and brother Charlie. Charlie is younger and has down syndrome. One day at school, the real school bully calls Charlie the R word. Marcus snaps and hits him. Marcus and his mom end up in the principal’s office with Stephan, the bully, and his parents. The principal suggests putting Charlie into another school, but it’s expensive and there are none close by. The family barely gets by as it is with Marcus’s mom working a lot of hours.

While trying to figure out what to do about school, their mom suggests going on a trip. She works at an airline and can get them free flights. Marcus had been thinking about his absent father and they decide to go to Puerto Rico, where Marcus was born. His mom really wants nothing to do with her ex husband, but she wants to see the family and enjoy their time together.

There is so much family in Puerto Rico. Marcus is obsessed with finding his dad. Even though the family doesn’t really agree, they do help him out. They do try to prepare Marcus. There is a reason why his dad has been absent for the past ten years. During this trip, Marcus learns so much about life and family. It was the trip that they all needed even though it was full of crazy, not planned adventures.

I adored Marcus and his entire family. The stories in Puerto Rico just made me want to visit even more than I already did. I loved reading about the culture and language. The extended family was incredible and there were a lot of touching moments. I loved how close they were. I also enjoyed Marcus’s growth while on the short trip. His relationship with Charlie was probably my favorite thing though. Charlie was adorable and I loved his obsession with Willy Wonka.

I gave this book 4 1/2 stars (rounded up to 5). Thank you to Viking/Penguin Young Readers for my physical copy for review. I hope everyone picks up this wonderful book.







Pablo Cartaya’s novels explore identity, place, and the spaces in-between. His debut novel about a boy standing up for his community, The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora, received three starred reviews. When Pablo isn’t writing, he’s spending time with his family or dreaming of his next visit to Puerto Rico. Learn more about Pablo at and follow him on Twitter @phcartaya.



Follow The Tour:



August 13 – The Alexander Times – Review

August 14 – Candid Ceillie – Author Guest Post: What Media (Books, Movies, Tv Shows) inspired him to be a writer and why?

August 15 – RhythmicBooktrovert – Review

August 16 – Serial Bibliophile – Listicle


August 20 – LA Bookworm – Review

August 21 – Confessions of a YA Reader – Author Guest Post: 10 Favorite Things about Puerto Rico August 22 – Mundo de Pepita – Review + Quote

August 23 – Ms. Yingling Reads – Review



***I was supposed to have the guest post mentioned above, but didn’t receive it in time.  If I get it, I will either edit this and add it or I’ll make a second post to share it.***



Thank you all for stopping by today!  I hope you pick up and enjoy Marcus Vega Doesn’t Speak Spanish! 




Author: confessionsofayareader

I'm Kristi. I'm a wife, mom, and grandma. I have been breeding leopard geckos for ten years. I love to read and have been trying to review more books (the reason for this blog besides wanting to talk about books with everyone). I also love music and going to concerts, mostly punk and pop punk.

6 thoughts on “Blog Tour for Marcus Vega Doesn’t Speak Spanish by Pablo Cartaya (review)”

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