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Gabby Rivera – Juliet Takes a Breath

Posted in Book reviews, and Fiction

Here’s this time of the year again. Time that comes to a standstill and the same time that travels with speed of light. There are way too many things to do, little time, people are frustrated, in a rush, but also happy, enjoying small moments meaning so much. I found myself caught in the same mood. My reading is more fitful than past months – some days I can read 150 pages and following next two days don’t touch the book at all. It is unexpected and it does weird me out a little bit, but presumably that’s the way things are now. Same applies to the blog, hence fewer blog posts being published. For how long? Let’s see. The good thing is, I have some lovely books to read and also some to write about. Today it is about Juliet Takes a Breath, an honest novel about coming out, race, feminism and relationships.

The main character is Juliet, of Puerto Rican descent and living in Bronx, little bit chubby girl who is dating the first proper love of her life, who happens to be another girl. Unfortunately, first relationships work in mysterious ways, and same applies to the one Juliet has. But she has her own idol, feminist author Harlowe Brisbane who seems to know everything about female power, lesbian issues and lives in the world Juliet gets a chance to get to know. Juliet Takes a Breath follows Juliet on her road from Bronx, from loving, but confused family about her sexuality to unknown, weird Portland, where everyone seems being queer, behaves cool and have the most incredible circle of friends possible. Of course, Juliet’s trip doesn’t have only one meaning, and her return home just two months later is marked by new experiences and relationships. I guess I won’t speak for myself only when I say we all have had such milestones in our teenage/early twenties, and I loved to come back to these memories and reflect on their effect on my current physical and psychical whereabouts.

My only complaint would be some dialogues, which were way too didactic. Recently, I came across a book where characters were mocking academics for speaking the way no one else could understand, like they have lost their ability to speak in fewer terms and complicated sentences. Being aware of this topic and related issues, it was much easier to understand what Gabby wanted to say, however, as long as I’m concerned, this book is intended for young adults, presumably dealing with own coming out. By that time there is so much to be dealt with, and I personally wouldn’t bother with complicating things. That could be maybe a good idea for a second sequel, which I think would be terrific.

If you know about any girl going through coming out, this book may be the one which will help her on the route to the self-discovery, forgiveness and strength.


Note: I received this book in NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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