The Outsiders meets Mad Max: Fury Road in this fast-paced dystopian novel about sisterhood and the cruel choices people are forced to make in order to survive.
At night, Las Mal Criadas own these streets.
Sixteen-year-old Nalah leads the fiercest all-girl crew in Mega City. That role brings with it violent throwdowns and access to the hottest boydega clubs, but Nala quickly grows weary of her questionable lifestyle. Her dream is to get off the streets and make a home in the exclusive Mega Towers, in which only a chosen few get to live. To make it to the Mega Towers, Nalah must prove her loyalty to the city’s benevolent founder and cross the border in a search of the mysterious gang the Ashé Riders. Led by a reluctant guide, Nalah battles crews and her own doubts but the closer she gets to her goal the more she loses sight of everything—and everyone—she cares about.
Nalah must choose whether or not she’s willing to do the unspeakable to get what she wants. Can she discover that home is not where you live but whom you chose to protect before she loses the family she’s created for good?
Lilliam Rivera is the author of The Education of Margot Sanchez and is a 2016 Pushcart Prize winner. She is a freelance writer with work in Tin House, the Los Angeles Times, and Latina, among others. Originally from the Bronx, New York, Lilliam now lives in Los Angeles with her family. Visit her at LilliamRivera.com.
“ESPECTACULAR. I read this riveting revolutionary tale in a day because I could not pull away from the adventures of the legendary luchadoras Latinas, Las Mal Criadas. Chief Rocka is a powerhouse, the worldbuilding is sensational, and the themes are resoundingly relevant. The LMC has carved a permanent home in my heart."
– Romina Russell,, author of the New York Times Best-Selling Zodiac Quartet
"As brutal as it is beautiful, Dealing in Dreams pulls no punches, launching us on a wild, relentless ride through the cutthroat streets of this brilliantly-realized dystopian world, where hard choices can tear even the closest allies apart and danger lurks around every corner. This book will have you up late, turning pages frantically to find out what happens next. It is a marvelous achievement."
– Daniel José Older,, author of the New York Times Best-Selling series, Shadowshaper Cypher
"In Dealing in Dreams, Rivera sharply etches a world rooted in Latin culture where violence is the most common language, and belief in equality is a soul-stirring, revolutionary act."
– Ryan Gattis, author of Kung Fu High School
"Lilliam Rivera has really stepped her game up. All the voice and verve that made The Education of Margot Sanchez such an unforgettable debut are on full display here, but now she's added an incredible science fiction future that can stand proudly beside Scott Westerfeld at his best."
– Sam J. Miller,, award-winning author of The Art of Starving
"Dealing in Dreams is yet another smart, rich, fulfilling read from Lilliam Rivera, who has, through her last two books, solidified herself as one of today's boldest YA writers. It's one of those books where, as you find yourself sprinting toward the final pages, you're at once enthralled (because it's so gripping) and terrified (because you know soon you're going to be sucked up out of the world that Lilliam has built and dropped down back into the actual real world)."
– Shea Serrano,, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Basketball (And Other Things) and The Rap Year Book
“Lilliam Rivera is quickly carving out her own territory in the world of fiction that thrills the heart and enriches the soul. DEALING IN DREAMS is a book only she could write, daring and dramatic, and fiercely beautiful at its core.”
– Victor LaValle,, author of The Changeling
* "Taking cues from Judge Dredd, Mad Max, and The Hunger Games, Rivera...has created a uniquely brutal hellscape...Readers are left with a more ambiguous—and ambitious—tale that will have them questioning what kinds of people they’d be if freed from society’s mores."
– Booklist - Starred Review, December 1, 2018
"Rivera (The Education of Margot Sanchez, 2017) crafts a feminist, futurist Latinx dystopia."
– Kirkus Reviews, December 2018
* "There is plenty of gritty action to propel readers through the plot, but it is Chief Rocka’s internal struggles and vulnerabilities that are the most compelling and memorable. Rivera effectively presents the complexity of female relationships, which will resonate strongly with readers....A novel exploration of societal roles, gender, and equality through the eyes of captivating lead.."
– School Library Journal - starred review, January 2019
"Rivera showcases multiple intricate character arcs and details several societies through impressive worldbuilding; young readers drawn to complex action novels that challenge conventions will find this read rewarding."
– Publisher's Weekly, January 21, 2019
"A dystopian mixtape of boldness, sisterhood, and questioning the status quo, channeling the ethos of the novel and film The Warriors and the comic mini-series Curb Stomp, this book leaves readers wanting more of Nalah and Las Mal Criadas."
– The Horn Book, March/April 2019
"This is no gender-reversed utopia but a female-cast totalitarian dystopia that’s compelling in its treatment of how things can go very, very wrong."
Get our latest book recommendations, author news, and competitions right to your inbox.
More books from this author: Lilliam Rivera
Thank you for signing up, fellow book lover!
Tell us what you like, so we can send you books you'll love.