Latinx Book Club discussion

American Street
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2020 Reading > February 2020 - American Street

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message 1: by jocelyn (last edited Jan 24, 2020 11:19AM) (new)

jocelyn (yogiwithabook) | 8 comments Mod
Celebrate Black History Month with the Latinx Book Club as we read American Street by Ibi Zoboi!

As people will be reading at their own paces, please keep spoilers under the spoiler tag (for full help on html code, please see Goodreads' tips).

At the end of the month, we will have a full spoilery discussion on Twitter. Follow along with the #LatinxBookClub hashtag!


Cande (iamrainbou) | 12 comments Mod
Hi friends!

If you’re into audiobook, I highly recommend this one! I listened to it last year and it made my experience so much better. Robin Miles is one of my favorite narrators


message 3: by Natalia (new)

Natalia    (mode2geek) | 2 comments Yeah I'm reading the e-book along with the audiobook! It is amazing:)


message 4: by jocelyn (new)

jocelyn (yogiwithabook) | 8 comments Mod
I'm going to be (finally) picking up my audiobook tomorrow on my commute. I'm glad to hear others have liked it as well!


Sofia (Bookish Wanderess) (sofia-bookishwanderess) | 6 comments Mod
I finally started this book today! It's a bit late but I'm excited and I'm really impressed with the first few pages.

Have you started it yet? How far along are you? Has anyone finish it already?


BookishBoricua | 8 comments I just finished it....I did not enjoy it. I will hold off on my commentary until everyone is done so there aren't any spoilers. Really looking forward to hearing everyone's thoughts.


Alicia (A Kernel of Nonsense) (akernelofnonsense) | 15 comments Mod
I finished my reread of American Street a couple of weeks ago and actually liked it better the second time around. If anyone wants to discuss things they liked or dislike about the novel, let's get things started!


Cande (iamrainbou) | 12 comments Mod
We can start with the things I did like haha it’s such a great representation of what it means to be an immigrant in this country, the dread and excitement and all the pain of leaving behind your life. Plus the learning about high school and american culture and how it leads you to some complicated and funny situations sometimes.


Alicia (A Kernel of Nonsense) (akernelofnonsense) | 15 comments Mod
Cande wrote: "We can start with the things I did like haha it’s such a great representation of what it means to be an immigrant in this country, the dread and excitement and all the pain of leaving behind your l..."

Yes, I think Ibi Zoboi really captured what culture shock is like. You really feel how disconcerting this new world is for Fabiola and how even family can feel foreign to you.


message 10: by BookishBoricua (last edited Feb 25, 2020 07:35AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

BookishBoricua | 8 comments Things I liked: I appreciated an immigrant story written by an Own voice; I enjoyed the magical realism of Papa Legba/ old man on the corner; I appreciated a book approaching Hatian Vodou in a respectful manner. so often religions outside the big three are sensationalized and misrepresented.

Things I didn't like: I was bored guys, I'm sorry, but I could not get invested in these characters. I recently read Zoboi's "My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich " and the main character in that is still on my mind weeks later. She was interesting and memorable. All of the characters in "American Street" are forgettable to me. I know she tackled some really serious topics here from culture shock to police violence to young love, but it all felt surface level and the ending was way too rushed for me.


Cande (iamrainbou) | 12 comments Mod
I agree about the ending!! So much was happening in there and like the characters didn’t even get time to process it? Or maybe it was me who didn’t have time to process it. It was very frustrating. The story had so much heart and then?? it ends so abruptly??


message 12: by BookishBoricua (last edited Feb 25, 2020 07:38AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

BookishBoricua | 8 comments Cande wrote: "I agree about the ending!! So much was happening in there and like the characters didn’t even get time to process it? Or maybe it was me who didn’t have time to process it. It was very frustrating...."

I felt as though the author wanted to incorporate a police shooting because it's topical and obviously it's a very real problem across the country, but it really did come out of nowhere. I mean, maybe that's the point she was trying to make? That violence is senseless and happens so quickly without warning. I just found it to be very unsatisfying.


BookishBoricua | 8 comments Alicia (A Kernel of Nonsense) wrote: "I finished my reread of American Street a couple of weeks ago and actually liked it better the second time around. If anyone wants to discuss things they liked or dislike about the novel, let's get..."

I'm wondering what you didn't like during the first reading that improved during the second? I do not foresee my self ever reading this again.


Sofia (Bookish Wanderess) (sofia-bookishwanderess) | 6 comments Mod
I haven't finished the book but I'm struggling so much to read it because I don't like the main character. I find her kind of naive, irritating and judgemental (I'm trying to give her a pass for that last one because I think it has to do with the cultural shock). Again, I'm just having a hard time reading this book.

The main reason I'm not DNFing this is because I want to find out more about the cousins and even the aunt, I feel like they have a lot of secrets and I want to know what they are


Alicia (A Kernel of Nonsense) (akernelofnonsense) | 15 comments Mod
BookishBoricua wrote: "Alicia (A Kernel of Nonsense) wrote: "I finished my reread of American Street a couple of weeks ago and actually liked it better the second time around. If anyone wants to discuss things they liked..."

It's been a couple of years but I remember the pacing felt a little off to me. I also wanted to spend more time with Fabiola's cousins. We like her are dropped into this world and it felt a little frustrating having to figure out who they were without getting a ton of background. I loved those little snippets we got into each of their lives, but I wanted more.

That being said, this time around I found myself really drawn in to the family dynamics. The line "shit you do for fam" hit differently this time around. Fabiola's story is brutal and heartbreaking, but the folding of her into her aunt's family, even with all the mistakes that were made, affected me on a real emotional level.


message 16: by vic (new) - rated it 3 stars

vic (goodreadscomcarolina_victoria) | 5 comments Mod
Hi friends! I have finally finished the book and I don't even know how to properly feel yet. I actually really enjoyed the family dynamics and loved the relationship Fabiola had with her cousins. It was also a great story about the hardships faced in America and how the US treats POC so badly. I really appreciated the fact that it was so steeped in Haitian culture and traditions and was infused with a bit of magical realism, and how it dismantled the taboo surrounding voodoo practices, which deserve as much respect as any other. However, I did feel like the pacing kind of fell apart as the story fell apart, plus I recognize that this may not be for everybody as it technically doesn't have a plot and is purely character-driven. I personally connected with them, but not enough to call this a new favorite.


Cande (iamrainbou) | 12 comments Mod
Carolina wrote: "Hi friends! I have finally finished the book and I don't even know how to properly feel yet. I actually really enjoyed the family dynamics and loved the relationship Fabiola had with her cousins. I..."

I agree, Caro! It's not a book for everyone. I usually love character-driven stories but I felt so cheated on with that ending, how Fabiola isn't allowed to process what's happening that I didn't end up with a good feeling for the book. The pacing is... strange. It helped that I listened to the audio


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