Representation matters so [expletive] much. The small things relevant to particular communities — like Adobo, sazon — add a touch or semblance of realism that connect diverse readers to the story.@Marsha Reads BooksTweet
I finished “A Lot Like Adiós” by Alexis Daria, the bestselling author of “You Had Me At Hola,” and she did it again. “A Lot Like Adiós” was fun, easy to fall into, and had great characters.
Synopsis: Gabriel Aguilar left the Bronx for California while dreaming of independence from his demanding parents. He also left behind his childhood best friend, Michelle Amato, who also grew up next door. For years, Michelle wondered what would make Gabe go, abandoning their friendship and his family. It all comes crashing down when 10 years later, Gabe is on the verge of opening his second gym location in NYC, and his partner emails one of the best marketing consultants in the game: Michelle. The two almost immediately start back where they left off and more. It’s almost too good to be true, yet perfect.
My favorite part about this book was the authenticity of the cultural identities of each character. Gabriel Aguilar is Puerto Rican and Mexican American; Michelle Amato is Puerto Rican and Italian American; Fabian Charles is Haitian American. Both Gabe and Michelle were born and raised in the Bronx, and the author makes a point to highlight the outer boroughs, writing that many neighborhoods outside of the island of Manhattan are suburban. There are buildings AND houses with yards—an image not usually associated with New York City.
The author wove genuineness into the fibers of the story using Spanish. No translations, but actual lines of Spanish spoken between characters as natural as people talk. It’s such a distinctive way to incorporate cultural essences without going overboard. ¿Comprender?
The story is easy to follow, and the characters are well developed, particularly Gabe’s dad. It was enjoyable and, overall, a solid summer read.
“A Lot Like Adiós” is the second installation in Alexis Daria’s Primas of Power series. I’m looking forward to the next book.
4.5 stars. Why? There are tons of X-rated scenes, a little too much at times. I enjoyed them, but less is more.
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