Hi friends! I’m super excited to share my thoughts on a book that I’ve been HIGHLY anticipating! Anyways, let’s get started, because I have many words to fling into the void.
TW/CW: Heavy grief, attempted assault, mentions of cheating/infidelity
A huge thank you to Harper Teen for the e-ARC through Edelweiss! Quotes may not appear in final copy.
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.
Elizabeth Acedevo is a word wizard and no one can convince me otherwise. With The Fire On High was one of my favorite reads of last year, but surprisingly I haven’t gotten to read The Poet X yet. So this is my first novel by her in verse, and just…wow.
Camino and Yahaira are both incredible characters. Both are Dominican, and Camino’s best friend is Haitian. Yahaira’s girlfriend is black. It was really cool seeing Spanish interspersed with English, especially in Camino’s chapters. Both girls are unique in their own way. Camino wants to be a doctor, but she grew up very poor in the Dominican Republic. Yahaira used to do chess, but stopped. Each girl has their own dreams and hopes, and I adored reading about their sister relationship especially!
also the PROSE.
Books written in verse just hit differently. Elizabeth Acedevo is clearly brilliant at it, somehow managing to paint an entire world, entire personalities, in perfect clarity, in fewer words than most other people could ever imagine.
“I’ve always loved that phrase for birthing
dando a luz
giving to light.
I was my mother’s gift to the sun of her life.”
I don’t want to say too much about this beautiful, heartwrenching story, because the less you know, the more powerful it is. In a way, it is a quiet tale. But it’s also a story twisting with grief and love and loss and family. You can feel the author’s genuine love for her culture in every small detail, even the title. It’s rare to read a book so raw, so real, yet so hopeful. And in such a poetic way!
In conclusion, I really, really loved this book. Definitely check it out if you’re a fan of contemporary, or novels written in verse such as Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds. Elizabeth Acevedo has officially made it onto my favorite authors list! Tell me:
Have you read any of her previous books?
What’s one of your favorite hard-hitting contemporaries?