Happy New Year! Real quick-like, here are the reviews for the three books I read in December:
Hillbilly Elegy by J.D.Vance
I wrote about this book recently here.
Verdict: I loved this book and appreciated how thought-provoking it was.
The Mothers by Brit Bennett
We begin the novel with Nadia, a high school student from Southern California with a bright future ahead of her, despite the fact that her mother has recently killed herself and she is feeling a little lost. Nadia ends up pregnant by Luke and decides to have an abortion, keeping the secret from her new friend Aubrey and everyone else. Nadia, Aubrey, and Luke grow older and the secrets and decisions from senior of year from high school do not grow away.
Verdict: I adored this book and applaud Bennett for handling the topic of abortion so well. We see the pro-life perspective, the pro-choice perspective, the female perspective, and the male perspective. I loved the depth of the characters, the perfection of the pace, and the writing style. I eagerly await her next efforts.
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
This series of vignettes focusing on Esperanza's life on Mango Street shows the struggles and triumphs of a young woman coming-of-age. The complexity to the simplicity of the small sketches is something many readers overlook- the reader is being made privy to small joys but to also deep, troubling concepts like sexual assault and parental abuse.
Verdict: I appreciated this book, but I honestly didn't love it. I think perhaps it was the structure; on one level I commend Cisneros for doing so much with so little, but I wasn't able to connect to characters and plot in the same way I would in a novel or even short story. Nonetheless, I still think her short text is powerful and of literary importance.