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Crashboomlove: A Novel in Verse

3.47  ·  Rating details ·  78 ratings  ·  11 reviews
In this novel in verse--unprecedented in Chicano literature--renowned poet Juan Felipe Herrera illuminates the soul of a generation. Drawn from his own life as well as a lifetime of dedication to young people, CrashBoomLove helps readers understand what it is to be a teen, a migrant worker, and a boy wanting to be a boy.

Sixteen-year-old Cesar Garcia is careening. His fath

Paperback, 165 pages
Published September 1st 1999 by University of New Mexico Press
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Eva Leger
Sep 29, 2010 rated it did not like it
Recommended to Eva by: library
I feel kind of bad rating this only one star because it may not be all that bad. I only got a few pages in before I gave up though so I can't really honestly give it even two stars.
I'm somewhat picky when I read books written in verse so maybe that's my main problem here. It irked me a little with the Spanish words too. Obviously, some foreign words will add to a story like this and admittedly, they were all defined at the bottom, even the words that just about anyone would know. There were so
Pernia Hassan
It was interesting to read about the experiences of Cesar Garcia, a teenager who is struggling in his life. His father left him awhile ago and he misses him. His mother, Mama Lucy, loves him but he is embarrassed by her. He is embarrassed by being Mexican. His wild group of friends encourage fighting, doing drugs, and driving fast. He is kicked out of his high school and sent to the Continuation school. He gets in a terrible accident and slowly begins to change.

I wanted to read this because some
Age of Readership:



Novel in verse


Mexican American, mixed neighborhoods and schools

Personal response:

My first thought was the story line was like several of his other books. But I enjoyed this one a bit more because of the way the main character found music and writing as his outlet. That always strikes a nerve for me because music and writing has always been my outlet as well.

Curricular or programming connections:

A neighborhood/school filled with gang violence, broken familie
I love novels in verse. Ok, I'm slightly obsessed with them. I'll read anything in verse, just because it's in verse. And this is a good example right here. I'm not a big fan of urban fiction, and I doubt that I ever would have read this book if it weren't in verse. As far as urban fiction goes, it's a pretty good example. It just didn't do much for me, not being my genre. But I do feel like putting it in verse might miss the audience who would be most likely to enjoy it. I can just picture so m ...more
Oct 03, 2015 rated it liked it
Three and a half stars.

I feel like I'm not the right person to review this because A) high school stories don't resonate with me very often, and B) novels in verse sometimes frustrate me (I find myself wanting them to be either more like a novel or more like a regular poetry collection).

That said, there's a lot of heart in Herrera's novel, and I feel like it will be just the right book at the right time for some students.
Gina Lewis
Wonderful, strong poetry--no chopped up prose here. One first person narrator. Very contemporary , impressionist language that paint scenes, with short fragment sentences throughout. Herrera's writing creates energy that I don't think could have been generated with traditional prose. It's worth the read.
Jul 31, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who have the Grail Knight's patience. You know, from Indiana Jones.
The narration was so boring. I like when a book or a movie pulls me in and the process of learning about the world isn't a chore. In this book, the "slangy/backstory/how things are" part was impossible to wade through. It felt so perfunctory and formulaic. "Ooh, seemingly offhand exposition. I better pay extra close attention..."
Laura Leonard
Mar 14, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who liked Bronx Masquerade, Foreign Exchange & Make Lemonade.
High school can be tough, just ask Cesar. This novel written in verse tells of his struggles at school. His father left years ago and he lives with his mom. An interesting look into the life of a Mexican-American teen.

Oct 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: verse-poetry
Jagged, vivid imagery. This novel in verse tracks the uncomfortable, painful bottoming-out of Cesar Garcia and the discovery of hope for both him and his mama Lucy.
An interesting story about an Mexican American high school student who struggles with the English language, life in high school, his absent father and peer pressure.
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Juan Felipe Herrera is the only son of Lucha Quintana and Felipe Emilio Herrera; the three were campesinos living from crop to crop on the roads of the San Joaquín Valley, Southern California and the Salinas Valley. Herrera's experiences as the child of migrant farmers have strongly shaped his work, such as the children's book Calling the Doves, which won the Ezra Jack Keats award in 1997. He is a ...more

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