Today I have a review of Ordinary Girls. Thank you to Algonquin Books for the stunning copies. For a chance to win an ARC copy, please visit my instagram page.
About the Book:
“There is more life packed on each page of Ordinary Girls than some lives hold in a lifetime.” —Julia Alvarez
Ordinary Girls is a fierce, beautiful, and unflinching memoir from a wildly talented debut author. While growing up in housing projects in Puerto Rico and Miami Beach, Jaquira Díaz found herself caught between extremes: as her family split apart and her mother battled schizophrenia, she was surrounded by the love of her friends; as she longed for a family and home, she found instead a life upended by violence. From her own struggles with depression and sexual assault to Puerto Rico’s history of colonialism, every page of Ordinary Girls vibrates with music and lyricism. Díaz triumphantly maps a way out of despair toward love and hope to become her version of the girl she always wanted to be.
With a story reminiscent of Tara Westover’s Educated, Roxane Gay’s Hunger, and Terese Marie Mailhot’s Heart Berries, Jaquira Díaz delivers a memoir that reads as electrically as a novel.
I won a copy of the ARC of this gorgeous book, and then I was sent a stunning finished copy. The best kind of kismet because this is exactly my type of book. Jaquira Diaz writes from her heart, and this is her story to tell. The best kind of nonfiction reads as fiction, and Ordinary Girls is just that.
Jaquira Diaz grows up in the housing projects of Puerto Rico and Miami. Her family is broken, and her mother is diagnosed with schizophrenia. Jaquira is seeking stability and some semblance of family. For comfort, she has the immense love her friends.
Jaquira shares her own personal battles with mental health and healing from sexual assault. The history and hurt of Puerto Rico is conveyed, and I learned so much from the deeply entrenched history of colonialism.
Don’t worry about Jaquira, though. With all the hardships she endures, she’s determined to come out on top.
Ordinary Girls is a stunningly-written, honest portrayal of Jaquira’s life. She offers insights and perspectives we don’t hear from often enough. There’s so much here to discuss, to think over, and also just to feel and connect to. I promise you, you will never regret picking this book up, and you’ll be changed forever by reading it.
I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.
About the Author:
Jaquira Díaz is the author of ORDINARY GIRLS, a memoir, and I AM DELIBERATE, a novel, both forthcoming from Algonquin Books. She’s the recipient of two Pushcart Prizes, an Elizabeth George Foundation Grant, and fellowships from the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, Kenyon Review, and The MacDowell Colony. Her work appears in The Best American Essays, Rolling Stone, The Guardian, The FADER, Longreads, T: The New York Times Style Magazine, and others. She teaches at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s MFA Program in Creative Writing and is a Consulting Editor at the Kenyon Review.
Have you read Ordinary Girls, or is it on your TBR? Happy Reading! ~ Jennifer THR