Blog Tour + Review: Queen of Corona

7:30 AM

Gather 'round, ladies and gentlemen. It's that time again! That time being a blog tour of an awesome, slightly new (December 15th, 2017, saw its publication), NA novel: Queen of Corona. Massive (and maybe a bit belated) congratulations are in order. As part of the blog tour, I'm here to set you up with a sweet deal--that's right, it's giveaway time! 

For more information about Queen of Corona, and my review, you know what to do! Follow the cut.

   REVIEW ★★★☆☆ (3.5)

The first thing that comes to mind when I think of Queen of Corona is raw. It's honest; to the point. It's bare. It's coherent, intelligent and has a lot of depth packed into a relatively short page count. I feel like this is the most important part of Queen of Corona--the prose, the honesty, the way it makes you feel. 

Have you ever read a book that--in spite of some shakier moments--you just want to highlight or mark your favourite passages and quotes? Queen of Corona is one of those books. 

It's a strong quality in this case.

One of the most important things to note about the novel is that it's not distinctly one genre, that it borders on a lot of topics, but its tone remains mostly the same for the duration of it. Really, it's not an easy read to describe and there's a beauty in that. That leads back to the words I used before: raw, honest, bare, coherent, intelligent. 

I don't think that any review could do it justice. 

There are just some books that are impossible to describe in the best ways imaginable. You pick it up and think, "Yes. This is why I read." To learn or to feel something. Queen of Corona is not a book one reads to pass the time with something comfortable and fluffy--Queen of Corona is the book you read to provoke thought, to get lost in a darkness.

And that makes it a novel worth reading.


Queen of Corona
Publication date: December 15th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult
Roza Esterhazy is a mixed-up kid. Eighteen years old and on the threshold of adulthood, she feels powerless in the face of a world that hasn’t adequately prepared her for adult life. She is riddled with anxiety about the world’s problems, the problems of her classmates at an inner-city high school in Corona, Queens. As an American of multicultural heritage (Polish-Jewish on her mother’s side, Venezuelan on her father’s) she struggles to find her place in society where the odds are stacked against people like her.
At the outset, she is on an airplane heading to Warsaw – the city of her ancestors, a city she’d never been to before. The city her mother had fled from in the 1980s because of an article she’d written that had offended the authorities. Roza’s voyage is a kind of reverse immigration – she’s escaping from America back to Poland because of a student protest that ended in tragedy. She alludes to the protest and its bloody end throughout the novel, with flashbacks tormenting her traumatized mind to the very end. When she arrives in Warsaw, she struggles to come to terms with what happened and what part she played in the tragedy. She grapples with the concept of guilt and blame – were the students to blame for what happened or was it the fault of overzealous police? She weighs how fear quells courage in an oppressive society. She confronts the grey reality of post-war Warsaw and realizes that there’s very little of it that she can identify with. She retraces history’s steps through the Polish capital and the former ghetto of WW2.
Her longing for home is visceral, reflected in the flashbacks of school and relationships that are woven through her daily existence. Flashbacks that reflect the absurdity of the inner-city high school experience, where kids are meant to learn an inimical thread of history that has little to do with their own reality, that places many of them in the position of the conquered and exploited.
Queen of Corona is a look into the inner life of the inner city. A foray into the mind and heart of a young woman on the cusp of adulthood, torn from her destiny because she dared to stand up and speak up for those who don’t have a voice. A glimpse inside the hopeless hallways of New York City’s failing public schools. It is a coming-of-age novel in a tumultuous time. It is a lesson on how fear is the most dangerous aspect of our Trumped-up existence.

Author Bio:
Esterhazy is a journalist, writer and translator. A native New Yorker, she holds degrees in Comparative Literature from New York University and American Studies from the University of Warsaw. Queen of Corona is her debut novel.


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