I love when I find a new author! I was browsing a the library & this was on display. (I fell for my own marketing tactics - both books I selected were from the display!) The title is what grabbed me. How sad, right? Anyway...
Isabel lost her boyfriend in a car accident almost a year ago. Carlos has just been dumped by his girlfriend. They meet through a new girl at school, Vanessa. So far, you’d think this was a typical girl-meets-boy book. But, it’s far from that. Isabel has some serious issues with death. She is obsessed with imagining how everyone around her will die (car wrecks, fires, plane crashes, etc.) Carlos works in a museum and eats red licorice all day. The two of them end up on a double date with Vanessa and a Carlos’s friend Snake. It looks like things may work out for them when tragedy strikes. Typically, this event would cause them to “bond,” but this is not a typical story. It has a somber mood throughout, but it’s not depressing. In the hands of a different writer, I would not have enjoyed the story at all. But the writing is so beautiful and engaging that I wanted to stay with these characters. Some scenes were so intricate that I felt like I was watching a scene in a movie. Anytime I find myself post-it-noting page after page, I know that’s some awesome writing. Here’s one of my many bookmarked snippets:
“I left Snake leaning by himself on the fence and made my way across the quad, students cutting in front of me from the left, the right. Two gulls fought on top of an empty table for a bag of potato chips, pecking and squawking and flapping their gray wings. By the time I reached Mira, the other guy was gone, the note was open in her hands. It was a long letter. So much ink it had to mean trouble.”
Don't you have a crystal clear image in your head?
But, it’s not just the writing that I admire; the characters are real, endearing, and you care about them. Highly Recommended!
I was not surprised to find out that David Hernandez is also a poet. Check out his website here. I look forward to more from him.
Here's his first novel: