When college freshman Kat Fields receives a mysterious email urging her to visit a relatively unknown Texas town with a history of witchcraft, strange sightings, and “devil lights”—glowing red stars that appear above the town’s hills every night—she ditches her plans for spring break and takes a solo road trip to Estrella Roja to investigate for her podcast, Paranormal Texas, catchphrase: “Y’all stay spooky!”
Meanwhile, Marisol “Mari” Castillo, is also headed for Estrella Roja to attend the funeral for her abuela whom she hasn’t seen since childhood, when her mom cut ties with the family and left town. Feeling lost and bored, she decides to help Kat after a chance meeting at the local diner—and, okay, it doesn’t hurt that Kat is super cute.
As the two girls grow closer not only to each other, but to uncovering the dark legacy that the town was built on, they discover that something hungry lurks beneath the strange stars and that in the hills of Estrella Roja, some secrets should stay buried.
Notes on This Title
One of the focal characters of this title is a queer Latina teen girl. A supporting character is Black and nonbinary, and there is a very minor supporting character that is a gay man.
There are depictions of blood and some light body horror, but this title is not otherwise gory.
Starred Review: “Franklin (Fruiting Bodies, for adults) expertly captures the spirit of campy paranormal mysteries in this queer supernatural graphic novel interpretation of Latinx folklore.” (Source: Publishers Weekly)
“A queer graphic horror with an upbeat vibe.” (Source: Kirkus Reviews)
“The Hills of Estrella Roja playfully demonstrates that monsters can be both unsettling and empowering, while queerness can be both wholesome and strange.” (Source: WWAC)