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Summary: Great work
Review: I enjoyed Yo! more than I did How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent. Julia Alvarez does such a great job of developing each point of view on Yolanda Garcia, that by the end of the novel you feel as if you personally know this character. She brings to life her central character through the stories of those who were a part of her life and she does this so skilfully, with each character given its own writing style and voice, so it is as if each person was telling you a story about Yolanda and informing you about their involvement in her life. And no you do not need to read How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent to read this. Julia Alavrez fills the reader in on everything, although nothing much is missed. But, if you have read the Garcia Girls, you'll find yourself saying, "Oh I remember that!" and such. If you haven't read it, read it and you will see how each is inter-related. But, you do not need to read Garcia Girls to get this book, it stands alone. Definitely recommend all her books!
Summary: !Yo! By Julia Alvarez
Review: I read a book called !Yo! by the Hispanic author Julia Alvarez. Each chapter of the book is about an author named Yolanda Garcia, told by a different person in her life. The people in Yo's life do not always enjoy her stories that she writes, but they learn to accept her for who she is and love her in the end. I enjoyed this book and would like to share a summary of it.
Yolanda Garcia is from the Dominican Republic and her family moves to the United States when she is a young girl. She is one of four daughters. Her sisters were Sandi, Fifi, and Carla. Their parents, Carlos and Laura Garcia, decided to flee from the Dominican Republic to get away from the terrible island that they had called home. Many terrible things occurred on the island; homes raided, people taken from their homes, torture chambers, electric prods, attacks by dogs, and more. They wanted to gain freedom and raise their daughters without terror.
There are several chapters in this book, each is from a different character's view point. Throughout the changing view points, the story of Yo's life is told. Yo wants to be a writer when she grows older, but her family does not appreciate her story telling. Yo has several boyfriends throughout her life before finding the right man, which was her third and final husband, Douglas Manley. She spent every summer at a relative's mountain home in the Dominican Republic, where she was friends with the caretakers and gave a job to a poor farmer as the night watchman. She taught a young man how to use his writing skills to create interesting stories while she was a college professor. Yo helped her landlady to realize that the only way of saving her family from her abusive husband was to force him to move out of the house. She also was able to make her father understand that writing and telling stories was her destiny.
I enjoyed this book and am glad that I was exposed to a different style of writing. I have never read a book with more than one view point and I believe that it is an interesting way to tell a story. This book was humorous, yet sad, and turned out to be an excellent reading experience. I would recommend this book to other people. It contained information about culture, although not a detailed description and it helped me to understand what immigrants experience when they move to the United States.
In conclusion, I believe that this assignment was better than I had ever expected. I agree with the Chicago Tribune that this book was "Exhilarating". I think that others would agree with me that this was a great book. So if you are looking for a good book, I suggest !Yo! By Julia Alvarez. You will not be disappointed.
Summary: my review
Review: I really enjoyed reading this book. I honestly was unsure at frist and i didnt think that i was going to enjoy a spanish based book, but i did. It had a lot of stuyff in it that interested me in real life. I thought that some part where a little bit slow, or uninteresting, but over all it was a good read. There where some parts of the book that i loved, for example, yo was almost always in the back round when it came to boys and socialising, and her sister would always be the one that had to boys asking her out. Now yo is the center of attention.
This book started out when Yolanda and her family where younger Yo enjoyed doing things such as writing poetry and she really never had a boyfriend. She finally got one when she was older, YO and her sister almost battled each other when it came to boys. Yo finally got someone, as they grew older together, Yo was realizing that he was bad news, he was turning into a pothead and was never there for her as much as he should have been. Now other guys where looking at Yo, and wanted to know about her. In the end she finds she can count on her family.
I think that the book was at times confusing, but i would recommend it to any one that likes a read that is always filled with action. There was occational swearing but it as an excellent book.
Summary: Vivid, emotional and compelling character study
Review: I thoroughly enjoyed this well-written and entertaining novel about Yolanda Garcia, a Dominican-American author and her family. This is the first Julia Alvarez book I've read, so I cannot compare it to her other work, but "Yo!" certainly is capable of standing on its own as a work of fiction. Nor did I feel that I ought to have read "How the Garcia Girls..." first to fully appreciate the novel(although I now would like to, since I enjoyed this book so much). I particularly liked the novel's Rashomon-like technique of telling Yo's story in bits and pieces, through the perspective of the people who have come in and out of her life. Each chapter is written from a different person's point of view (skillfully rendered) and casts a different light on Yo's character and life. We meet her nearest and dearest - sister, cousin, best friend - as well as more tangential characters - the caretaker on her uncle's estate, a former student. Each person tells us something about Yo's character and about events in her life, and just as in real life, the picture we get of Yo isn't always 100 percent consistent. My only criticism is that I felt that one of the novel's key themes --how an author mines her own life for material, and the effect this process has on those close to her -- wasn't fully realized in the book, taking a backseat to the portrait of Yo that is fleshed out chapter by chapter, person by person. But there's a lot to like in "Yo!": clear and vivid writing, great characterization, emotional impact, a fascinating immigration story, and cleverly shifting points of view.
Summary: memoir masquerading as fiction
Review: I've never known anyone (clearly Julia Alvarez is writing about herself in this book, maximizing on the genre of creative nonfiction and morphing it into Fiction) with such an ability to see oneself as others see one. I've written a memoir myself (Baby Catcher: Chronicles of a Modern Midwife) about my 15 years as a homebirth midwife in Berkeley, and I could never come close to Ms. Alvarez's unflinching self-analysis through the eyes of others. Cudos to this prolific, entertaining, and self-revealing author. I have met her at bookstore reading events, and she is as delightful in person as she is in print. Write on!
Summary: Hit and miss
Review: Interesting format, where everyone in Yolanda's life has his or her day in court. The chapter structure (Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry, Resolution, Setting, Tone, etc.) is also quite attractive, if nothing else because of its novelty. Some chapters are rather beautiful, like The Teacher. Julia does a very good job exploring the pain that the teacher feels after the death of his lover. She is also quite good at describing the hypocrisy and double-standards that exist in Latino culture, where the women must be pure and virginal while the men will be boys... She was right on regarding this topic. Unfortunately, other chapters border on the contrived, like The Student. I know he was a football player, but to root for Mailer or Updike like they were going for a touchdown is a little far fetched, no matter how well they write. Also, to assume that people in Spain will think of you as a savage if you are from the Dominican Republic is an offensive stretch. There is a sense of hit and miss in her writing that left me a little unfulfilled.
Summary: Great book!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Review: Julia Alvarez is definitely a gifted writer, I have read before "In the time of the butterflies" and "In the name of Salome", both great books, and they were the whole reason I decided to buy "Yo", without knowing that I should have read first "How the Garcia sisters lost their accent", but anyway, this one is a great book, I really liked Yolanda García, I have to admit that in the preface I didn't like her, but as I kept on reading Yo started to grow in me...
I liked all the chapters; it is incredible how someone can touch through out an entire life so much people without even knowing. I think Yo was a good person, it seems to me that she just wanted to be accepted and loved by the family she adored and some reassurance that writing was her destiny, and her father gave her that by blessing her with both hands in her head in the last chapter.
"The Stalker" was the one chapter I didn't like; it took me days just to finish it... The others were amazing, specially "The wedding guests", I loved the way every invited guest gave their opinion about the others and talk about how their lives have being touched by Yo. Others chapters like "The father" were just a pleasure to read.
This is a very good book by a very good writer and I highly recommend it. Now I am going to buy her other novels, in particular "How the Garcia sisters..." and "Before we were free". It is always going to be a pleasure to read one of Julia Alvarez books...
Summary: A great Read!
Review: Julia Alvarez' writing is characterized by her impeccable ability to create convincing characters whose travails and disappointments, joys and triumphs, the reader inevitably experiences as though he were an integral part of the book. In this, the sequel to How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, Alvarez once again has taken us in a wild ride that reverberates with the sound of truth. Amazingly, we re-acquaint ourselves with the Garcia sisters, and especially with Yolanda (Yo), while at the same time we meet a whole new procession of characters who--at one time or another--have had an impact in Yo's life. This novel works so well because even though each chapter is told from a different point of view (so that at the end we're looking at a composite picture of Yolanda as seen by these narrators), Alvarez has successfully endowed each narrator with a distinctive, entirely credible voice. As usual, the stories are alternately poignant and hilarious, ponderous and lighthearted, yet regardless of the tone, Alvarez masterfully compels the reader to look at life in a different light, because love, death, failures, triumphs, and dreams is what human existence is all about. In short, a triumph!
Review: On my daily treks to my local library, I searched for a novel by Isabel Allende. Once I found the desired Allende work, I noticed another name that sounded intriguing : Julia Alvarez. Hmm, that's a pretty cover. (Yes,it's true for me) This work didn't fail to please me. Reading this novel proved to be a delicious experience.
Summary: well written, but at times a little gratuitous
Review: The book is arranged in 16 chapters, each one told from the point of view of another character. Yolanda "Yo" Garcia, from the Dominican Republic, is central to each of these chapters, but always through the eyes of someone else.
There's the story of the maid in the Garcia household, Yo's professor at college who urges her get a doctorate, Yo's best woman friend who attends a therapy group with her, her landlady who is abused by her husband and a student whose story she plagiarizes. I felt the best chapters were the ones set in the Dominican Republic, where Yo returns each summer to write. There's the old woman who asks Yo to write a letter for her, there are the caretakers on the estate, there's the night watchman who can't read or write, and there's a chapter where one of Yo's suitors joins her in the family compound during the time that Yo's uncle is running for president of the country.
The book is the strongest when it contrasts the servant class with the privileged class. However, all the supporting characters are much better developed than the central character, Yo. Also, there weren't any real facts about the Dominican Republic so that I could see the story in context of history. And Yo herself never really emerged with the deep characterization the author intended. I wasn't drawn into her personality or her complexities. The book was fast pleasant reading, but I yearned for more depth.
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