John's Reviews > Made in the U.S.A

Made in the U.S.A by Billie Letts
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's review
Jul 08, 2008

liked it
bookshelves: audiobook, audible
Recommended for: YA genre fans
Read in July, 2008

I'd describe this book as two stories, clumsily grafted together to form a (sort of) whole. Without re-hashing much plot, or giving outright spoilers, here goes with an explanation of my impressions ...
Part One concerns the kids' experiences with their (common law) step-mother's death, and their subsequent road trip to Vegas. Part Two is the story of their far-from-idyllic time in that city, until a crisis hits. Part Three introduces a new character, becoming his story, with the Lutie and Fate's future taking on more of an unresolved subplot aspect. I kept on 'til the end for the kids' story; the "other" aspect bored me silly.
Cassandra Morris does a terrific jobs with the voices of the kids, and the folks in Vegas, but for the final section, not so much; many of the characters are Mexican-Americans who have been in the States for years, and she overdoes the accents to a painful degree - moreover, they sound more Italian than Spanish! I hesitate to recommend the audio; I wanted to drop the narration after the pivot and read (skim) the print version for the conclusion, but my library has a queue on this book. So, I'm left all conflicted about how to recommend the book, leaving it up to you to decide. I'm not sorry I spent an Audible credit on it, but I doubt I'll ever read another by this author.

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