Second Book for the day.
So listen, there is a lot to unpack for this book and I really just didn’t go into it. There is two parts to the controversy for this book. One is that this book had a seven company bidding war as well as a large number payment for the book deal. The fact that this book also got on Oprah’s Book Club, is also to be considered. These two facts tied on to the fact that the author has no experience for what is told in this novel outside of research, is enough to cause a controversy. This is an issue primarily for POC authors who have been trying to write similar stories. This is a publication controversy. That’s only the first half.
I was almost tempted to not post this review, because I feel rather naive about the controversy about this book for the second half of it. The second half of the controversy comes from how the characters were portrayed in this novel, the content controversy, being called stereotypes amongst other things. With all the reviews I read, I understand it is clear that Lydia comes across as an American tourist more than a Mexican woman. Additionally people cite how not much happens in character arcs but trauma, which I can agree with in a look back. The characters change because of trauma, and not much else growth. There are a few other things that I would recommend looking up for yourself.
I feel odd rating this book well because I don’t think it was horribly written and it did make me feel things and care. But rating it horribly seems like a cop out because I don’t hate this book, even with my research.
I think that this book can be used as a talking ground on why this (the situation regarding the publication of the book and book portrayal itself) isn’t okay, and also to speak on refugee situations. It is for that reason that I am posting this review at all.
Additionally, this review is pretty gutted when compared to my standard for reviews. Part of this has to do with the medium of reading. I was reading this book on my ipad while on trains. This means I reread a lot because I can’t focus on digital versions of books. Please note that this review was written before I did a lot more research for this specific book and topic, stuff I wanted to know for book club. I did more after book club as well. As such I mention wanting to do more research a bit, and that is a past thought.Continue reading “American Dirt Review”