Five Things About... Ogla Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez

I learned so much about Puerto Rico and now feel compelled to learn even more. 

There are way, way, way too many subplots in the text. I’m all for complexity,  but I think trying to incorporate so many storylines skews the balance away from quality towards quantity. I would have rather Gonzalez focus more on deepening some of the characters or focusing more on their relationships.

The wedding planner angle was a great way to examine the different sides of Olga- her Ivy League education compared to her working-class roots, her clientele being so different from her family, and her tendency to distance herself from romance, when her business was love (well, in theory). Fun fact: this would have been an alternate career for me, since I love logistics and planning so much.

There is a ton of background information and context, which isn’t integrated very naturally. The writing at times felt a bit clunky (same with the dialogue).

Despite the flaws in structure and style, I really did find myself rooting for Olga, her relationship with Matteo, her brother Prieto, and Puerto Rico as a whole. I was also entertained and was interested in the story’s outcome from start to finish. 

Bonus: the cover is so fun

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