Friendship can be complicated. Especially if your best friend suddenly turned into an amateur ghost hunter with prophetic dreams while you were being held captive by the child-killing ghost La Llorona. Sure, it kind of sucks that you missed out on the adventure, but now you’re reunited and nothing will come between you and your bestie again. Right?
Proud Rainbow Rogue
Emma gained a brand-new lease on life after Pao rescued her from La Llorona, finding the courage and support from her friends to officially come out as queer to the rest of the world. And she’s totally thriving with her new friends, the Rainbow Rogues, Silver Springs Middle School’s LGBTQIA+ club. Unfortunately, Pao has never been much of a social butterfly. The two friends are currently kinda-sorta-maybe-just-a-little estranged for the moment. Turns out that fighting supernatural monsters is actually much easier than overcoming angsty, hormone-fueled middle school drama. Are you really that surprised?
Privilege as a Superpower
Pao has also always felt a little jealous about Emma’s . . . unspoken life advantages. Let’s just say that law enforcement has an easier time trusting the words of an affluent white girl than those of her darker-skinned friend from the other side of town. Now that she’s a little older, Emma is beginning to recognize how the rest of the world perceives her, and she has vowed to use her privilege for good. It comes in handy more often than you may realize.
The Girl in the Chair
We love Emma, but even we can admit she’s not exactly the adventurer-type. Leave the big-picture, world-saving quest stuff to Pao and Dante (if he stops brooding long enough to get his head in the game). Emma is content to stay home, watch over Abuela Mata, and offer Pao support over the phone. All while also covering for Pao and Dante’s absence. Honestly, we might prefer venturing into the Forest of Nightmares over having to come up with another story for Mrs. Santiago as to why her daughter is missing . . . again.
A New Responsibility
What are friends for if not to watch over your household pets while you’re away? Looking after a cockapoo is one thing. A Chupacabra puppy, on the other hand, is a little harder to take for a walk without raising a few suspicions. At least he’s easy to feed. According to Pao, all Bruto needs is a yellow Starburst every now and then.
Maybe she should talk to a veterinarian about that . . .
Want to see more of Emma and Bruto? Be sure to pick up Paolo Santiago and the Forest of Nightmares, on sale 8/3!