"American Dirt" by Jeanine Cummins
5 out of 5 stars
Published by Flatiron Books on January 21, 2020
Read in 6 days
Read in 3 sittings
Sat on TBR for 1 day
"Lydia Quixano Pérez lives in the Mexican city of Acapulco. She runs a bookstore. She has a son, Luca, the love of her life, and a wonderful husband who is a journalist. And while there are cracks beginning to show in Acapulco because of the drug cartels, her life is, by and large, fairly comfortable. Even though she knows they’ll never sell, Lydia stocks some of her all-time favorite books in her store. And then one day a man enters the shop to browse and comes up to the register with a few books he would like to buy—two of them her favorites. Javier is erudite. He is charming. And, unbeknownst to Lydia, he is the jefe of the newest drug cartel that has gruesomely taken over the city. When Lydia’s husband’s tell-all profile of Javier is published, none of their lives will ever be the same. Forced to flee, Lydia and eight-year-old Luca soon find themselves miles and worlds away from their comfortable middle-class existence. Instantly transformed into migrants, Lydia and Luca ride la bestia—trains that make their way north toward the United States, which is the only place Javier’s reach doesn’t extend. As they join the countless people trying to reach el norte, Lydia soon sees that everyone is running from something. But what exactly are they running to?" (Goodreads)
*I know that this book is controversial. I am basing this review on my thoughts and feels after reading the book. I have researched the problems with it and keep them in the back of my mind.*
After reading the first sentence, I couldn't put the book down. I was absolutely engaged in the story throughout the whole book. The plot takes you on a rollercoaster of emotions that leaves you needing to know what happens next. (+1)
The writing does a great job of describing the character's surroundings. It felt like I was right there with them experiencing everything. Right when the characters have a chance to catch their breath, something else happens that furthers their journey. Because of this, it was very hard for me to find a spot to put the book down for the night. (+1)
I thought the story was very organized and I was never confused. (+1)
The world that these characters live in was vividly described. The uncertainty of locations, characters, and transportation always kept me on my toes while I was reading. (+1)
The characters were loveable and engaging. I was cheering for them the whole time throughout their journey. Most of the time I just wanted to give them a hug and help them throughout the book. (+1)
My favorite part of this book was following a journey full of human spirit, love, and determination.
I didn't have a least favorite part.
I learned two things from the online discussions of this book. First, I was woken up to many aspects of immigration (from the book and outside research). Second, I was enlighted to the problems within the publishing industry itself and how some authors are granted better opportunities than others.
If you are looking for a fast-paced journey filled with family, friends, love, loss, determination, survival, and more than this book is for you.
I also encourage you to look at reviews for this book from multiple perspectives and form your own opinion.