- Author: Elizabeth Acevedo | Hardcover : 432 pages | ISBN-13 : 978-0062882769
Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people…
In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal’s office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash.
Separated by distance—and Papi’s secrets—the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered.
And then, when it seems like they’ve lost everything of their father, they learn of each other.
This book is written in a poetic form that makes it more enjoyable as you go through it. The only challenge is to know who’s who as chapters are told in the first person. But that’s okay. It’s a story of two girls, Camino and Yahaira, who have never met, never heard of each other’s existence. But after their father dies in a plane crash, life and circumstances force them to find each other. Each girl had her own life and they all loved their father so dearly. After their father’s death they had to discover each other and grow to know more about themselves. One of the things that they discovered, which I think is what the story revolves around, is the true identity of their father. Though he was a loving caring father, he was not a good husband and partner.
One of the things that I loved about this book is how it brought to light issues that we most of the time ignore. Family secrets when discovered by children rather than parents telling them can hurt them and affect them as they adult. Teenagers are sexually harassed and because of how rather than inviting them for a discussion on the matter, adults mainly parents tend to blame them for such incidences. Another theme that the book covers is how while covering tragedies, the media only focuses on the big headlines and others are left to be grieved only by those directly affected. The rest of the world goes on as normal, not seeing the pain inflicted on the community in question.
This is a book I highly recommend 1) to anyone who lives in foreign land and doesn’t feel like they have anywhere to belong; 2) to teenagers discovering themselves and 3) to anyone who likes to discover new cultures.