September Teen Book of the Month – The Luis Ortega Survival Club

The Luis Ortega Survival Club

Grades 9+

320 pages

Ariana Ruiz is under a curse: she can't talk. Well… she can talk, just not in public. Or around people she's not comfortable with. Which is everyone except her family, since not talking makes it a little tough to make friends.

Being autistic and selectively mute has made it hard for Ariana to get noticed, regardless of her efforts to express herself through fashion. Until one day, when suave, popular boy Luis Ortega decides to make friends with her in spite of her silence. Ari is over the moon at first—but when he makes a move on her at a party and they have sex, she is left feeling disgusted and horrified. She didn't exactly say no

But she also didn't say yes.

When rumors start flooding the school about Ari's promiscuity, she feels pressured into lying about what happened that night, which only makes things worse. Ari is miserable and alone, ostracized even further—until at last someone reaches out. A mysterious note of support appears in her locker, with only a Tumblr handle by way of a signature: "TLOSC". Ari tentatively messages the account, and soon finds herself embraced by not one person, but a whole group: the Luis Ortega Survival Club.

Each of them has been taken advantage of and hung out to dry by Luis, who, behind his handsome face and charming words, is a serial sexual predator. The club welcomes Ari into their ranks and introduces her to the plan: get revenge. Alone, they are powerless—but together, they are unstoppable. Together, they will take the untouchable Luis Ortega down once and for all, so he can never hurt anyone ever again.

This story covers some heavy topics, including discussion of off-page sexual assaults. Please read the author's content warning at the beginning of the book.

Teens Read Pick of the Month


Every month the SCCLD Teen Librarians choose one book as a great read from the library's Teen collection. This is the list of the latest picks of the month.

View Full List