Thursday, December 10, 2015

[Review] We Never Asked for Wings by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

We Never Asked for Wings by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publishing Date: Aug. 18, 2015
320 Pages
Format: ARC, hardcover
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Goodreads rating: 5 stars


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 Review

I LOVED this book! I thought it was so, so good! I read Diffenbaugh's first book, The Language of Flowers, earlier this year for my book club and fell in love with Diffenbaugh's writing style. That book was so original and full of emotions; I knew I needed to get her next book. When I started reading We Never Asked for Wings, I was immediately hooked. I finished it in three days while traveling to and from Chicago for the weekend. I never wanted to put this book down. 

Letty is a young mother of two children; she got pregnant at 17 and wasn't ready for motherhood. As a result, her mother raised her two children until one day, her mother and father leave California to return to Mexico. Letty's forced to grow up and start caring for her children. It definitely isn't smooth sailing and they have a lot of issues. But what I loved so much was watching as Letty grew up, matured, and became the mother that her children needed. It's a lot of trial and error with Letty, her son Alex, and her daughter Luna. Alex is a young, high school kid trying to find his way in the world, and Luna is a spunky 6 year old who loves her mother unconditionally. Things don't go perfect, but they are a family and learn to work things out together. This is another really great book by Diffenbaugh; so original and thought-provoking. I really loved Letty and Alex as characters and I couldn't wait to keep reading their story. I wish it didn't have to end! 

I know this book was just released, but I seriously can't wait until Diffenbaugh writes something else! She's easily a favorite author of mine!

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