Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Book Review: Death, Dickinson, and the Demented Life of Frenchie Garcia by Jenny Torres Sanchez

Rated 3.5 out of 5.

Meet Frenchie Garcia, a character who loves Emily Dickinson, spends her time in a cemetary, and who's secretly dealing with grief after Andy Cooper, a boy she's been in love with for four years, commits suicide.

The story takes place the summer after her senior year of high school a few months after the suicide. Life is bleak for Frenchie. She doesn't get accepted to the art school in Chicago that she's applied to, her best friend is focused on his girlfriend, and her other friend is convinced that all she needs is a boy to take her mind off things.

But Frenchie could care less, consumed with her fixation of death. But there's also something that Frenchie is unable to reconcile with: the last night of Andy Cooper's death. The night that she and Andy had a night of adventure that no one knows about. Thus, Frenchie attempts to relive the night in hopes of making sense of it.

This book was a quick read and enjoyable. I found Frenchie to be a great character and I like how Sanchez portrays Frenchie's grief without making it to overwhelming. It was just a nice touch. I found this book similiar to Paper Towns by John Green. However, I think the difference between the two are the little insights that Green subtly brushes into the story. Sanchez attempts this with a few Emily Dickinson poems. Green's device adds depth, whereas it's easy to glance over the Dickinson poems, making Sanchez's story more on the surface. By glance over, I mean that Dickinson's poems are amazing stand alone poems that it's too easy to keep the story and poems separate. Or at least I do anyway.

That's not to say that this book isn't amazing in itself. The writing was great, the story line interesting, but I wanted more depth in the story and the other characters, which is why I rate it a 3.5 out of 5.

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