This young adult novel, written in a string of vignettes, is the story of a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago. The vignettes reflect all the facets of growing up. There is happiness and sadness. The implications of how the boys treat the girls throughout the vignettes are tough to read. Because of the tougher facets covered, this book was something much different than what I thought I was reading.
The language used throughout the novel is hauntingly beautiful, even when covering tough topics. Never did I question the authenticity of Esperanza and her experiences in her neighborhood. It gave me an important perspective in a culture I’m not as familiar with as I would like, and the loosely tied nature of the vignettes lends them to covering more aspects of life as a child and adolescent.
I really loved the language in the novel. Somewhat cryptic at times, the vignettes really immersed you in Esperanza’s life and her culture. It shows her hopes and her realities. Though sometimes a little too symbolic/cryptic for me, I was still able to enjoy most of the book. I read it quickly, and think it may be a better read if savored. If you’re looking for a good read, and appreciate diverse literature, this book is for you.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars