"Lozada-Oliva’s imagination draws upon an inventive mix of narrative traditions — from melodrama to zombie horror to slacker comedy . . . a soapy, apocalyptic picaresque."—Tracy O'Neill, The New York Times Book Review
"Lozada-Oliva's apocalyptic debut novel in prose is an ode to complicated family dynamics, the overwhelming ways love can consume and eat us alive."
—Pamela Avila, USA Today
"Equal parts poignant, hilarious and horrific, this novel is a macabre feast for the senses—try a taste if you dare.
—Katherine Ouellette, WBUR
"Bonkers . . . the author's funhouse visions are hard to turn away from."
"Melissa can turn a person into a hero, a cryptid, and someone closer than family in the space of a page. She lives in a world that’s just as flawed and messy and gross as ours, but sees the beautiful, dark magic that the rest of us keep missing — probably because she’s harnessed it so perfectly here. Candelaria is a masterpiece from a writer destined to produce many."
—Jamie Loftus, author of Raw Dog
"Candelaria is a thrilling ride. Melissa Lozada-Oliva captures with deft humor the lives of a matriarch and her brood of daughters and granddaughters as they survive addiction, patriarchy, capitalism, natural disasters, and zombies. Reading Lozada-Oliva's work is like attending a family reunion, one where you hang in the backyard smoking a joint with your favorite cousin. Melissa is a smart, compassionate, and hilarious writer. I will read anything she writes."
—Alejandro Varela, author of the 2022 National Book Award finalist The Town of Babylon
"Electric from the first page, Lozada-Oliva's story of high-octane family dynamics and transformation is swiftly paced and deliciously vivid. Sparkling with character and dialogue, Candelaria is not only a novel, but a multisensory experience."
—Amanda Montell, author of Cultish and Wordslut
"‘What’s the point of lying at the end of the world?’ In the cataclysms holding the center of her wild and exuberant novel, Melissa Lozada-Oliva shows our willingness to still keep big secrets and hide hard truths, our everyday fears always greater than the chaos of a world on the brink. Candelaria goes for broke and why not? 'Names erode,' we are warned. But good stories? Never."
—Manuel Muñoz, author of The Consequences
"Melissa takes us on an intense journey about the end of days, showing us that family might be the only thing that will save us, all while throwing in some Stephen King-level horror that’ll make your heart race. This ride's a wild one – and you're gonna wanna be on it."
—Oz Rodriguez, director of Vampires Vs. the Bronx
“Buckle up—Candelaria is a literary ride unlike any other. A wild journey through generational trauma, untold truths, sibling rivalry and intimacy via backroads lined with cinema, cult fitness and the supernatural. Fear not, though the landscape Lozada-Oliva creates is utterly original and chaotic at times, she is a masterful guide whom I would follow anywhere. Heartbreaking, hilarious and absurd in the very best way, Candelaria sticks to your soul and leaves you seeing the world and the people in it a bit differently."
—Xochitl Gonzalez, Pulitzer Prize Finalist and author of Olga Dies Dreaming