Saturday, January 10, 2015

Book Review: The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros/Coming-of-Age

Hello dear Readers,

About a month ago I started watching book tube channels on You Tube. All these lovely book lovers talking about books, doing reviews, showing what books they are buying, giving recommendations. All of those things that we as readers love to know.

That is how I came across this book. It was mentioned in a few of these channels and it caught my attention. It was given positive feedback and good reviews, I felt like I needed to read it and I am glad I did. I was also fascinating to read how this book has impacted the literary world. How is used by teachers in schools and how much people like it.

I read the Spanish version of it but this did not affect my opinion and my review.

Title: The House on Mango Street
Author: Sandra Cisneros
Genre: Coming-of-Age
Publisher: Vintage
Language: English
Paperback: 110 pages

Book Description

The House on Mango Street is a 1984 coming-of-age novel by Mexican-American Sandra Cisneros. it deals with Esperanza Cordero, a young Latina girl, and her life growing up in Chicago with Chicanos  and Puerto Ricans. Esperanza is determine to say goodbye to her improverished Latino neighborhood. Major themes include her quest for a better life and the importance of her promise to come back for the ones she left behind.

My thoughts
I gave 5/5 stars on Goodreads

I am so glad I found out about this book. Is one of these books I told myself: "where have you been my whole life?". Like I said at the beginning of this post, I heard about it in book tube and was really interested on reading it.

I should start by saying, I loved the book, from the beginning to the end. For the number on pages, it was supposed to be a fast read, however, it was that good I read it slow. I wanted to enjoy every word, every page because I knew it was not that long. The author's writing style, the way the story is told, very refreshing and embracing. Made me feel so immerse in the story.

The fact it is written in "vignettes" added that "wow" factor that I usually look for in a book. Personally, I think this format gives the book a more interesting tone and shape and most of all, helps to the voice. Each vignette is an important part of the story. The story, the memories, the recollections of Esperanza. A Latina girl living in a city surrounded by poverty of which she wants to escape, with the hope of a better future and the promise to come back for the ones she will left behind.

Reading through each vignette I could notice, one aspect is developed. The one called "House on Mango Street" sets the setting of the book. The one called "Boys and Girls" tells the differences between genres. "My name", portraying Esperanza, her thoughts, what she wants, what are her hopes for the future. I think this way of telling the story is such a fantastic one. These are not mere collections of thoughts or things. These are her feelings, her memories, told in such a poetic way. She shares with us, the readers, how her life was like growing up. How she wanted to have a better life. How she dreamed of escaping that life. Not to be surrounded by poverty, live in a better environment, become a better person. And how by she doing that, she could help the other people around her. 

Another thing this book brought into my life was, I felt related to Esperanza. I was not born in the United States but I have lived here for almost two years and I half now. I was born in a country in Latin America and I was blown away by the way she tells how she wanted to leave that life which she did not like and become a better person, she always had in mind to have a better future which is what most of the people coming to America hope to do here. Our circumstances are not the same but I came here with the hopes of changing my life and experience new adventures, new things, which at the end have helped me to have a better life.

Each vignette on this book is a reminder of what we see in our society. People trying to figure out what they want in life, their dreams, their hopes for the future. How our differences play a roll in the way we live our lives. This book brings us back to reality because it deals with things we face in real life. Poverty, self discover, differences in genres, how we see ourselves. Our interactions with our families and neighbors.

The House on Mango Street, the story of Esperanza, but at the end, the story of many people, real situations, real life, which any person can understand and feel related to.

My Favorite Quote

"Eso está bonito. Es muy bueno, dijo ella con su voz cansada. Acuérdate de seguir escribiendo, Esperanza. Debes continuar escribiendo. Te hará libre, y yo dije sí, pero en ese momento no sabía lo que quería decirme."


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