Dominicana by Angie Cruz | Flatiron Books | Book Review

book review of Dominicana by Angie Cruz

Dominicana by Angie Cruz

Book Summary:

“Fifteen-year-old Ana Cancion never dreamed of moving to America, the way the girls she grew up within the Dominican countryside did. But when Juan Ruiz proposes and promises to take her to New York City, she has to say yes. It doesn’t matter that he is twice her age, that there is no love between them. Their marriage is an opportunity for her entire close-knit family to eventually immigrate. So on New Year’s Day, 1965, Ana leaves behind everything she knows and becomes Ana Ruiz, a wife confined to a cold six-floor walk-up in Washington Heights. Lonely and miserable, Ana hatches a reckless plan to escape. But at the bus terminal, she is stopped by Cesar, Juan’s free-spirited younger brother, who convinces her to stay.

As the Dominican Republic slides into political turmoil, Juan returns to protect his family’s assets, leaving Cesar to take care of Ana. Suddenly, Ana is free to take English lessons at a local church, lie on the beach at Coney Island, see a movie at Radio City Music Hall, go dancing with Cesar, and imagine the possibility of a different kind of life in America. When Juan returns, Ana must decide once again between her heart and her duty to her family.

In bright, musical prose that reflects the energy of New York City, Angie Cruz’s Dominicana is a vital portrait of the immigrant experience and the timeless coming-of-age story of a young woman finding her voice in the world.”

Publication Date:

September 3rd, 2019

book review of Dominicana by Angie Cruz

(I bought my own hard copy from Book of The Month and as it was available early through their August 2019 book selections. You can get your first Book of the Month book for FREE by using my referral link HERE.)

Genre:

Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction, Immigrant Fiction & Coming of Age Fiction

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

My Review:

Dominicana is a coming of age story that is set in NYC in the turbulent and bustling 1960s. Angie Cruz shares a remarkable story about a young girl named Ana. At 15, Ana was forced to marry a man twice her age and move from the Dominican Republic to America…with her family’s hope, she could achieve the “American Dream”.

Upon her arrival, Ana ends up finding herself isolated from her family and at the mercy of a husband who neither seems to care for her or her needs. While this was a heartbreaking story in many ways, it was also a tale of strength, persistence, and resilience.

I loved that Cruz chose to share this story from the point of view of Ana. While it was very clear she was a teenager in many ways, she has this introspection that made her wise beyond her years. I loved watching her learn how to exert her own independence in difficult situations when the hits just kept on coming. The connection between Ana and her doll Dominicana was just so beautiful and heartbreaking and added so much to the story for me.

This book follows her as blooms both literally and figuratively into the self-assured women she was meant to become. She is able to find joy in the darkest times and I loved the feeling of lightness she was able to find when she spent time with her brother in law. Ana was able to just be without the constraints of other’s expectations or the brutal reality of her marriage to Juan.

This was one of those books that I enjoyed reading but found it even more thought-provoking and powerful once I finished and reflected upon it. I think it would make a wonderful book club selection and I look forward to following more of Angie Cruz’ writing in the future.

Thank you to NetGalley and Flatiron Books for an advanced ebook copy of this book.

 

2019 Summer Reading | New & Upcoming Book Releases

2019 Summer Reading!

2019 summer reading

Transitioning to “summer mode”

Today is our first (unofficial) day of summer. Our boys finished school on Friday and today we are starting off on our new summer routine. I get a lot of apprehension before big transitions but then usually do just fine once we are in the swing of things. Does this happen to anyone else?

I love summer so much but there is a lack of routines and consistency that as a someone who thrives offs that stuff, well…it can be a bit of struggle. I know I am not alone in this feeling which helps, and whenever I start feeling this way I think about all the wonderful things about summer, like all the new books!!!

ALL the books

I don’t know if I am just noticing it more this year but this spring/summer has the most unbelievable amount of new releases from so many of my favorite authors! Every week another great book is released, and I have met some new to me authors along the way too.

Organizing when life feels chaotic…

Last week I was organizing all the things. In between my last week of solo working and the end of the year school activities, I decided I should work on getting my life together, ha! I have done this since I was a child, and I find it incredibly calming. Amidst the chaos, finding peace through organizing can be quite helpful when you get to worrying.

Summer Book Stack

On our last official day of “freedom” (AKA the last half day of school), I decided to find all our favorite spring and summer reads that Kristy and I have collected together and photograph them. I am sure this was a super great use of my time, but it did pay off for sharing on here!

Between the two of us, we have read all of these and thought they would make great summer reading recommendations stack! We read a lot of the same books and while we don’t always agree with our love for something, we agreed about these!

bookstack-1-2

Life and Other Inconveniences by Kristan Higgins

I am starting off with a book that won’t be released until the beginning of August but it is worth the wait. Kristan Higgins is one of the best summer reading authors in my opinion. Her books are unique, the characters are layered and they are always page turners and totally satisfying. You can read my full review of Life and Other Inconveniences HERE.

In the meantime, if you are looking to read some of her writing now, check these out.

On Second Thought, Good Luck with That & If You Only Knew (which also is a Kindle Deal right now!)

beach books

The Friends We Keep by Jane Green

There are certain authors I associate with summer and Jane Green is one of them. Green’s newest release brings us a book about complicated relationships in a completely engaging storyline. I love books that bring in current issues and that seems to be a great theme of 2019 reading. The Friends We Keep brings us betrayal, forgiveness, coming back “home” and a second chance at happiness.

Jennifer Weiner

Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner

I know, I need to stop talking about Mrs. Everything…but I can’t! Books affect everyone differently, which is one of my favorite parts fo reading. I just connected so much this book and it made me think, long after I had finished it. You can read my full review HERE. And if you have read Mrs. Everything already, did this touch your reading heart too?

summer reading, St. Martin's Press

Montauk by Nicola Harrison

There is nothing like finding a new author to love and Montauk did that for me! Nicola Harrison’s writing is beautiful and captivating and she drew me right in from the very first page of Montauk. The storyline was layered and the ending totally caught me off guard! You can read my full review HERE.

summer reading

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

Another new to me author is Beth O’Leary! There are a million reasons why I love being a part of Bookstagram, but one of my very favorite things is learning about books I might not have otherwise. The Flatshare came highly recommended to me by some of my favorite book reviewing friends on Instagram. I am easily persuaded by other peoples suggestions and was not disappointed by this charming and relatable novel. You can read my full review HERE.

Elin Hilderbrand

Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand 

And finally, the queen of summer reading, Elin Hilderbrand takes us back to the Summer of ’69 in her first historical novel. I am reading this right now and am just loving it. Her books rarely disappoint me and her ability to transport us back in time while still keeping her beach book vibe alive is amazing. I have never been to Nantucket but almost feel like I have been of her incredibly detailed writing. I always love her alternating narrations and storylines and I can’t wait to share my full review of this book soon.

I grabbed my copy a little early through my Book of The Month subscription but this will be released TOMORROW if you hoping to pick it up at your local book store or at your favorite online book retailer.


I hope you have enjoyed this list of recommendations and I would love to know if you have any that you would add! <3

 

The Flatshare by Beth 0’Leary | Flatiron Books | Book Review

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

summer reading

Book Summary:

“Tiffy and Leon share an apartment. Tiffy and Leon have never met.

After a bad breakup, Tiffy Moore needs a place to live. Fast. And cheap. But the apartments in her budget have her wondering if astonishingly colored mold on the walls counts as art.

Desperation makes her open-minded, so she answers an ad for a flatshare. Leon, a night shift worker, will take the apartment during the day, and Tiffy can have it nights and weekends. He’ll only ever be there when she’s at the office. In fact, they’ll never even have to meet.

Tiffy and Leon start writing each other notes – first about what day is garbage day, and politely establishing what leftovers are up for grabs, and the evergreen question of whether the toilet seat should stay up or down. Even though they are opposites, they soon become friends. And then maybe more.

But falling in love with your roommate is probably a terrible idea…especially if you’ve never met.”

Publication Date:

May 28th, 2019

Genre:

Contemporary Fiction

My Rating:

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

My Review:

The Flatshare is the debut novel by Beth O’Leary and came highly recommended from some of my book reviewing friends. I was excited to check it out as I was looking for something that was both light-hearted and engaging. The flatshare fit the bill and I was pleasantly surprised how well it balanced being a “romantic comedy” while also having enough depth. I was pleased to see that the author was able to incorporate some tougher issues in such a meaningful and powerful manner…this included both abusive relationships and prioritizing mental health. This book made me laugh and also get teary-eyed which was a great balance as a reader.

The Flatshare is told in a dual point of view, alternating between each chapter. I found the characters endearing and I enjoyed that the relationship grew slowly over time. This felt more realistic and allowed the relationship to come together in a more natural way than a lot of books seem to do in this kind of “accidental love story” situation. I loved the friendships in the Flatshare and this eccentric book is definitely one I would recommend adding to your summer reading list! I look forward to reading more of Beth O’Leary’s writing in the future.

Thank you to NetGalley and Flatiron Books for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.