Sabrina & Corina

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 03 Jun 2019

Member Reviews

An easy to read but sometimes very sad book about abandonment in all its senses. Painful at times but also really beautifully written.
Was this review helpful?
Sabrina & Corina is a beautifully written short story collection focusing on trials faced by Latin women. While the focus is on women in the Denver area. Some of these stories are heartbreaking, but each took my breath away. I look forward to future works from Kali Fajardo-Anstine. Thank you NetGalley and One World for the advance readers copy in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
This book is one of those dazzling ones, the ones that keep you enthralled with tight structure and the bright petals of atmospheric sentences and characters you care about immediately. Every story in here was a hit for me. Kali Fajardo-Anstine has created something gorgeous. These stories center Indigenous and Chicanx women, lovingly rendered and living their complicated, varied lives in present-day white supremacist America, often building up, laughing with, helping, and loving each other, in families and friendships. They mostly take place in Colorado, and the landscape is a constant presence, which the characters have mixed feelings about but for the reader it feels very grounding. These stories feel like perfect gems, both in craft and in content. Definitely don’t sleep on this one! Can’t wait to read more from this author.
Was this review helpful?
I love short stories, there is a very specific art to be able to bring forth all the elements of a story into a compressed form. Kali Fajardo-Anstine does a wonderful job of telling such powerful stories. I liked that she did not hesitate to tell some stories for what they were stories filled with sadness and silence. Thoughtful read and very much a must.
Was this review helpful?
This collection of beautiful short stories about Indigenous Latina women in Colorado was absolutely heartbreaking and yet, extremely hopeful. I felt a kinship with these women/children and their plights. I found myself thinking about these stories long after I had read them, they are the kind that stick with you and make you think about them over and over. The way trauma is described and dealt with is hard hitting and an important discussion topic. I hope to read more of Fajardo-Anstine's work in the future. I particularly enjoyed 'Sugar Babies' and 'Tomi', these two really stuck out to me in terms of pacing and writing. 


Thanks to Random House and NetGalley, for this e-ARC copy in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
This novel was beautiful and transformative.   Through eleven short stories, Fajardo-Anstine examines indigenous women and how their lives are influenced by crime, poverty and violence. 

Corina and Sabrina are cousinsm whose lives on taken different paths. The stories revolve around these two women and how these different experiences influence their lives. 

Fajardo-Anstine has firmly planted herself as a writer in the literary world with this novel.  One of the best I've this year.
Was this review helpful?
I thought these stories were brilliant. They all fit together so well and gave a sharp glimpse into the lives of mostly Midwestern Hispanic women. One story easily flowed into the next, and I basically read this in one sitting. I highly recommend it.
Was this review helpful?
This is an amazing collection. I'm reminded of Interpreter of Maladies, in that I deeply cared about the characters, despite the quick clip of short stories.
Was this review helpful?
My Takeaway
"Sometimes a person's unhappiness can make them forget they are a part of something bigger, something like a family, a people, even a tribe."
Kali Fajardo-Anstine, Sabrina & Karina

I LOVED THIS BOOK! Fajardo-Anstine is a magnificent and wondrous composer, and her stories were music to my ears. I hope she is working on her next book. Also, can we stop and goo-goo-gaga over the cover? Isn't it just incredible? I fell head over heels in love with the stunning cover. 😍 I mean guao (wow). The stories were about Latina women of indigenous descent from all walks of life and with a plethora of calamities. Most of the stories featured some melancholy, but with Fajardo-Anstine's touch, the women's tragedies were humane and perceivable. Two stories which stood out to me were Sabrina & Corina, cousins raised together who end up on drastically different paths. In addition, the story Remedies because when I was in the second grade, there was a lice epidemic at school and I became one of its unlucky hosts. My lice dilemma became legendary in my family. My mom tried all kinds of over the counter products, but the lice refused to hit the road! My mom's pride and joy was my hair and cutting it was simply never an option! Incredibly not one thing worked until she prepared a natural remedy (and a few prayers). I highly recommend this fantastic collection even if you're not into short stories. The characters and stories will stay with you long after you're done reading this gem.

Thank you to NetGalley and One World for an advanced copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. You already know I purchased my copy!
Was this review helpful?
The stories in this collection that were previously published are smart, sophisticated, prosaic, and painful. Truly brilliant pieces. Those that were unpublished prior to this book were less interesting, often meandering or lacking urgency. Overall, a strong collection.
Was this review helpful?
A wonderful collection of short stories.  Each story takes place in Colorado and is about different women in difficult situations who reflect on their past to guide them in the present and future.  Hispanic and Native culture is woven throughout the stories.  

The namesake story, Sabrina and Corina, is about two cousins who were once close but drifted apart as their lives took different paths.  One is murdered and one has to come to terms with it.
Was this review helpful?
I was first drawn to the cover — it’s gorgeous! Then to the synopsis. I was really drawn to reading a collection of stories about the lives of women in the Southwest (hi, I’m from New Mexico!) 

Each of the stories are beautifully written, Kali’s prose is so lyrical and haunting, some thoughtful, and others laugh out loud funny:

“...There was a mass of a gray clouds. They spread evenly over the land like a patchwork of fog. ‘Look,’ I whispered. ‘even the sky is sad for you.’”

“ One thing Perla was certain of. She was ashamed that even in her old age, she wanted to live more than die.”

“‘Let’s get something straight, Tomás Manuel Morales. One, I was not goth. I just liked purple lip liner. Two, I wasn’t that fat. And three, I wasn’t a cokehead. If I was, I would have been skinny. Everybody knows that.’”

My only qualm was that some of the stories felt unfinished... unless the point was to get glimpses into the stories of these women. 

All in all, a gorgeous collection of stories.
Was this review helpful?
3.5+ star.
There is a depth of sadness in these stories, lightened at times by connections with others or by a slight acknowledgement or recognition that maybe there is a way forward. Children, mostly young girls, being left behind by their mothers and sometimes their fathers by death, by being left willfully, or by abandonment even before they have left is a recurring theme in a number of these stories. They all take place in or around Denver, Colorado where Latina women struggle with physical violence, drugs, financial problems, and loss. One of the most affecting stories is “Julian Plaza” where two young girls are dealing with their mother’s illness as she is dying of cancer and the family struggles to care for her. “Tomi” is another that I found especially moving, one with a glimmer of hope where an eight year old boy connects with his ex-con aunt who is trying to find her own way, after his mother leaves. I can’t say I enjoyed all of the stories equally. At the end of a few I was left hanging and didn’t feel there was any closure for the characters, but mainly not for me. However, the majority of the stories are well written, thought provoking and emotionally captivating.

I received an advanced copy of this book from Random House through NetGalley.
Was this review helpful?
Kali Fajardo-Anstine has a stunning talent for character-crafting. Her adoration and respect for her characters and their lives is palpable—this is especially powerful, given the cycles of disrespect we see throughout the collection: gendered violence and gentrification. As with nearly any collection of stories, not every story will land with every reader—a couple felt a bit slow or fell a little flat, while the rest easily held my attention easily. Fajardo-Anstine never fails to use rich, sensory details to make her characters, their homes, and their families alive on the page. I look forward to her next book.
Was this review helpful?
I received an Advanced Review Copy of Sabrina & Corina by Kali Fajadaro-Anstine from the Publisher Random House  through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

What It’s About: This is a story collection that follows indigenous Latina women from Colorado, each story is unique. 

What I Loved: I loved every single story, the stories are intriguing and pull you in and are perfect short-stories. The author's writing is wonderful and she creates characters that are both realistic and flawed but likeable at the same time. If you are looking for a diverse story collection with perspectives that you likely haven't read before, pick this up. I felt connected to these characters in the stories: there were stories where I cried, laughed, and got angry. This collection is just lovely. 

Who Should Read It: People who love short story collections. People who love wonderful writing. People who want diverse books. 

General Summary: A wonderfully written short-story collection with diverse characters.
Was this review helpful?
I loved this book, and it's probably at the top of my list for 2019 so far. Sabrina & Corina: Stories is a great debut short story collection by Kali Fajardo-Anstine. Usually in a short story collection there's one or two duds or a work that doesn't fit in with the rest of the stories. However, that's not true for Sabrina & Corina: Stories. It's a very well-rounded, cohesive collection about Indigenous and Latina women around Denver and its outskirts. The stories, particularly the violence against women, are brutal at times, but Fajardo-Anstine treats her characters with dignity. "Tomi", "Sugar Babies" and "Any Further West" are the stand outs in my opinion.  If this Fajardo-Anstine's debut collection, I cannot wait to see what she does next.

I received a copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Although the subject matter of "Sabrina & Corina" is often bleak and depressing, this collection of short stories filled my heart with joy. Fajardo-Anstine does an incredible job examining themes of abandonment, addiction, and violence against women, all while conveying the soaring spirits of her female characters. Set around Denver, Colorado, these stories all share commonalities of how we are truly affected by our ancestry (in this case, of indigenous nature), none more than our immediate family. For better or worse, we are direct products of our environments. I was completely taken by Fajardo-Anstine's writing style, and I was saddened each time a story ended - I could have stayed with all of these characters so much longer! I am ecstatic to see what this writer does next - we certainly need her valued perspective of diverse and strong women - and I'll be happily recommending this collection to everyone I know!
Was this review helpful?
“Sometimes a persons unhappiness can make them forget they are part of something bigger, something like a family, a people, a tribe.”

It’s early in the year, but I’m prepared to say that this might be one of my favorite reads of 2019. Sabrina & Corina is a collection of eleven short stories about Latin American women of Indigenous descent in Denver and southern Colorado. In each of these skillfully written tales, Fajardo-Anstine bears witness to the lives of these women that both reflect the normalcy—the Americanness—of their lives, as well as the means of their inter-generational survival and perseverance.

A word I would use to describe her style is organic—in that the stories were unique and rooted in earthy reality. I was especially blown away by the title story “Sabrina & Corina,” as well as “Sugar Babies,” “Sisters,” well . . . all of them were a joy to read. I expect to see one of these in an American Lit class in the future and can't wait to read a full novel by her one day.

(Thank you Net Galley for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review).
Was this review helpful?
Sabrina & Corina is a beautifully written short story collection about young Latina women of indigenous descent living in Denver. The stories are about families -- the ways they can hurt you, how they can protect you, and how your parents often aren't who you want or need them to be. Many of them are also about the violence visited upon women by men. All of the stories were wonderful, but I think my favorites were Sugar Babies (a girl grapples with her absent mom returning home), Sabrina & Corina (a woman deals with her cousin's murder), Tomi (a woman, newly released from prison, bonds with her nephew), and Ghost Sickness (a young woman tries to pass her Western History class). Honestly, though, they were all so good and my synopses don't do them justice. Highly recommended.
Was this review helpful?
Breathtakingly beautiful and heartbreaking stories about some of the hardships Latina  and Indigenous women go through in life that will bring tears to your eyes. I felt each story. I don’t normally read short stories but this one I highly recommend.  I could easily see all of these stories turned into full novels I would love to own. My favorites in the collections were: 

•Sabrina & Corina: The books namesake about two cousins and the different paths they take.  

•Remedies: The consequences of trying to do the right thing or to make up for someone else’s bad decisions.  Made me smile. 

•Ghost Sickness: Bittersweet ending to a great collection.

{eARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review}
Was this review helpful?