Title: We Never Asked For Wings
Author: Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Date finished: 8/22/15
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: August 18, 2015
Pages in book: 320
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: NetGalley NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.
Blurb from the cover:
From the beloved New York Times bestselling author of The Language of Flowers comes her much-anticipated new novel about young love, hard choices, and hope against all odds.
For fourteen years, Letty Espinosa has worked three jobs around San Francisco to make ends meet while her mother raised her children—Alex, now fifteen, and Luna, six—in their tiny apartment on a forgotten spit of wetlands near the bay. But now Letty’s parents are returning to Mexico, and Letty must step up and become a mother for the first time in her life.
Navigating this new terrain is challenging for Letty, especially as Luna desperately misses her grandparents and Alex, who is falling in love with a classmate, is unwilling to give his mother a chance. Letty comes up with a plan to help the family escape the dangerous neighborhood and heartbreaking injustice that have marked their lives, but one wrong move could jeopardize everything she’s worked for and her family’s fragile hopes for the future.
Vanessa Diffenbaugh blends gorgeous prose with compelling themes of motherhood, undocumented immigration, and the American Dream in a powerful and prescient story about family.
My rating: 3.0 stars out of a scale of 5
My review: This book will be counting towards my goal for ARC August reading challenge, it is #10 on list from my sign up post. I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. I have seen this book a lot in the last month or two as a must read book for summer so when I saw it was available on NetGalley I thought I would try reading it. This is the story of Letty Espinosa and her two children, Alex and Luna. Letty’s mother has raised Alex and Luna since they were babies while Letty works three jobs. But when Letty’s parents suddenly move back to Mexico, Letty is forced to face motherhood in a way that she has never had to before.
I liked this book. It had an interesting story line and was different from anything I’ve read before. There are some political commentary undercurrents about immigration towards the end but mostly I think this book is about Letty’s character growing and discovering what it means to be a mother. I didn’t end up loving this book because I had trouble forming a deep connection with the characters. It was great to see the characters evolve through the story, especially Letty, but at the same time I couldn’t form a personal connection with the story. When Letty got Alex drunk I honestly couldn’t read the book anymore that day I was so disturbed. I loved how supportive Rick’s character was though, he was like a constant pillar of strength. And Luna is just a little cutie. I couldn’t understand how Letty’s parents could leave them so suddenly but its probably better that they did, it forced Letty to stand on her own two feet. While there were pieces of this story I didn’t love, I liked the book overall.
The bottom line: I thought this story had a sweet ending even if I did get a bit freaked out along the way. It was interesting to see the characters grow through the story. I would recommend!