I was in a bit of a reading slump. I had just finished reading “Aces of Spades” and so I just wanted to read something so that I didn’t lose my momentum but it just wasn’t happening. I was also stressed out about my life (she this post on why) and I just couldn’t focus. When that happened last time, I picked up Elizabeth Acevedo’s other book “The Poet X“. I figured this would help me with my slump and y’all…I devoured this book in a weekend. I’ve been seeing this book for months and I’ve always wanted to read it and I’m embarrassed that it took me this long to read it. Did this stand up to the hype? Read on to find out.
Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people…In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal’s office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash. Separated by distance—and Papi’s secrets—the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered. And then, when it seems like they’ve lost everything of their father, they learn of each other.
Amazing. I wanted to cry. I had such a goofy smile on my face. It was a beautiful book of loss and finding love and reasons to smile again. The Acevedo did such a great job at describing the Dominican Republic (the DR) and it really felt like I was there. It was really interesting the see just how different both girls lives were compared to the other and how their perception of each other were built around that. For example, Camino lived on the island and they really relied on the money that her dad would send her. They had certain indulgences like a generator when the power went out, wifi, and a floor. They were better off than their neighbors but they clearly needed the help plus Camino went to a private school. Whereas Yahaira lived in an apartment bought by their dad and didn’t really need to worry about where their next meal was coming from. Camino had a wall built up because she thought her sister would treat her poorly and Yahaira had to deal with the fact that her dad had this whole separate life.
When their dad died (don’t worry it’s not a spoiler), all the secrets came out and its always the adults thats in on the secretes while trying to shield the girls from the truth as if they wouldn’t be able to handle it. Maybe they wouldn’t have. Maybe they would’ve but it shouldn’t have been up to the grown ups to let the girls know. I get it. I understand what it’s like for your family to lie to you to protect you but it always hurts in the end. It should be up to us to make up our mind about a person or situation and we won’t feel embarrassed or hurt.
This book made me want to feel connected to my own culture. Yahaira had never really been to the DR and so when she saw the opportunity, she decided to go and it was painted beautifully. I loved how Acevedo described being there and the struggle of not having enough money and wanting a better life for yourself to like discovering your roots and who you are and reconcile that to the person you want to be and the life that you want to live. This book is truly beautiful!
I read it to help me out my reading slump and omg I’m truly blown away. Acevedo has done it again! Beautiful book and story on finding hope and happiness agree loss and betrayal. Beautiful
I give this book 5 stars! Amazing. You can find this plus her other works here. Have you read this book? What book do you recommend I check out soon?