Review: The Victoria in My Head by Janelle Milanes

Posted August 18, 2017 by Minx

This review is based on a complimentary book I received from Edelweiss+. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.

Review: The Victoria in My Head by Janelle Milanes The Victoria in My Head by Janelle Milanes
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Release Date: September 19, 2017
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Format: ARC
Source: Edelweiss+
Pages: 400
ISBN: 1481480898
Purchase at: Amazon Barnes & Noble Book Depository Google Play Kobo IndieBound Books-A-Million
Minx's Rating:

Victoria Cruz inhabits two worlds: In one, she is a rock star, thrashing the stage with her husky voice and purple-streaked hair. In the other, currently serving as her reality, Victoria is a shy teenager with overprotective Cuban parents, who sleepwalks through her life at the prestigious Evanston Academy. Unable to overcome the whole paralyzing-stage-fright thing, Victoria settles for living inside her fantasies, where nothing can go wrong and everything is set to her expertly crafted music playlists.

But after a chance encounter with an unattainably gorgeous boy named Strand, whose band seeks a lead singer, Victoria is tempted to turn her fevered daydreams into reality. To do that, she must confront her insecurities and break away from the treadmill that is her life. Suddenly, Victoria is faced with the choice of staying on the path she’s always known and straying off-course to find love, adventure, and danger.

From debut author Janelle Milanes comes a hilarious and heartfelt tale of the spectacular things that can happen when you go after what you really want.


The Victoria in My Head is a laugh-out-loud debut novel that is the perfect blend of intensity, awareness, and possibilities. This story is told in the first person by Victoria, a Cuban-American who dreams of more than her boring every day existence. When suddenly she becomes, upon sight, positively smitten with a gorgeous boy, she decides that now is the moment! The moment where she does something amazing! Now is the time for her to try out for lead singer in a band.

She is indomitable in that moment until her best friend, Annie, nearly dismisses the idea. Then Victoria becomes vulnerable and not so confident. It is this type of behavior that makes this story so appealing. Victoria’s “feels” can go from invincible to insecure, isolated to connected, insignificant to significant, and every feeling in-between. As Victoria is ready to throw in the towel before she has even begun she is sabotaged by Annie and is forced to audition for the band. When she finally steps out and tries for something different, something more, she finds that truly anything can happen.

This story is really about all of Victoria’s firsts. As is typical with teenagers, all of her “firsts” happen closely to each other. Victoria’s experiences feel so important in that instance. Every emotion she feels is larger than life and all-consuming. Every moment was the most important moment, that it was going to define her life or utterly destroy it. It was just brilliant! This story will resonate with young adults and will cause older readers to become nostalgic. I know I personally enjoyed this story very much because I remembered how all my “firsts” felt and it was funny to realize that I saw some of myself in this character. Which then made me roll my eyes at my younger self.

This story made me laugh so much because it reminded me of what it felt like to be a teenager. All of the angst, wishing for more, wanting to be considered special by someone. The entire story felt authentic from start to finish. It was just heart-warming! I will leave this review with one of my favorite quotes from this story:

““I’m fine.” I twirl some overcooked spaghetti noodles around my fork and silently refuse to go into any more detail. It’s helpful to remember my Miranda rights when it comes to dinner with my family. Anything I say can and will be used against me.”

*Thank you to Edelweiss+ & Simon Pulse for this eARC of The Victoria in My Head*

About Janelle Milanes

Author Janelle Milanes

Janelle Milanes is originally from Miami, FL and received her BA in English Literature from Davidson College. A lifelong YA addict, she moved to New York for her first job as a children’s literature associate at Simon & Schuster.

For the past five years, Janelle has worked as a teacher and librarian throughout the New York City area. Her first novel reflects many of her own experiences growing up as a second-generation Latina in America.

Janelle currently lives in Brooklyn with her husband and their two cats. Her favorite Disney princess is Belle, since she was also a big book nerd.

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