Thomas's Reviews > Down to the Bone

Down to the Bone by Mayra Lazara Dole
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's review
Jan 10, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: lgbtq, young-adult, realistic-fiction, romance
Recommended to Thomas by: Nancy

Laura attends a Catholic high school and is almost done with her junior year; like most teenagers, she is looking forward to her summer break - where she has her family and a nice job awaiting her. Not only that, but it's almost her two year anniversary with her girlfriend, Marlena. Unfortunately, Laura is caught reading a love note from Marlena during class. Not only does her teacher confiscate it, but she also reads it aloud to her entire class. Even though Laura is mortified and almost pees her pants, she refuses to tell the administrator her girlfriend's name. This results in her immediate expulsion. When her mom finds out, she throws her out of the house and says that she will only allow Laura back when she changes her sinful ways. Luckily, Laura meets an entirely different type of family - the type that may even accept her for who she really is.

I have many mixed feelings on this book. I bounced from three stars to four, then two, then four, then three. One of the things that made this book uncomfortable reading at first was my age and gender, obviously. I don't think fourteen-year-old males are generally the target audience for this book, even if it was for teens. I was a bit... perturbed, at times. But that doesn't really have to do with the book, that's more about me specifically.

Anyway, once I removed that aspect (it didn't deduct from the rating), this was a pretty decent novel, especially for a first time author. I enjoyed the diversity of it, with all the varying sexualities as well as focusing on Cuban-Americans. Good thing I took Spanish 1 in middle school, because otherwise I might not have understood a lot of the words. There is a glossary in the back, though.

The writing was very stylistic. Dole wrote Laura as a very raw character, I pretty much felt everything she was feeling and even tasted everything she tasted. There were a lot of great descriptions in this book. Sometimes the writing was a bit awkward, like as in awkward dialogue or phrasing, but other than that the writing was great.

Plot and character wise Down to the Bone was okay. Sometimes I felt Laura's confusion over her sexuality really annoying - I understand how confusing it can be to a person, but once she fell in and out of love more than twice I started to get bothered. Also, I didn't feel a lot of development from some of the side characters. Otherwise it was a good novel and my rating shouldn't stop anyone from reading this book, especially those seeking a fresh and unique read.
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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Nancy Great review, Thomas! I'm sorry you didn't enjoy it as much as I did.

Thomas Thanks =D

I almost feel guilty for only giving it three stars. However, I think I'll recommend it to a friend of mine who will probably like it more than I did.

Nancy No need to feel guilty...I'm glad you read the book anyway. :)

I found it a very realistic view of Hispanic culture, and felt Laura's character was very spot on for someone her age.

Thomas Maybe, but I thought that the first "guy" she fell in love with was a rebound from Marlena, and that the true romance didn't really develop until way later in the book. Thus, we didn't get to see a lot of their relationship. Hopefully you know what I mean?

And yep, I am to. Out of all my glbt reads I've only read the "g" and maybe the "b", so this was a good start for the "l"s.

Nancy Now we'll have to pick out a book for the "t", though that is explored a little in Down to the Bone.

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