I will be honest and say that I didn't think this would be good. An entire book told from one person's POV over the phone? Please. BUT IT WAS FANTASTIC! Through phone calls to her big sister, Mari, who is at college, Luciana, shares the drama that comes from being in an immigrant family dealing a health crisis, family secrets, and that sense of being "left behind" as the younger, not as accomplished, sister. You will ping pong between loving and being frustrated by Luciana. As the eldest of three sisters in an immigrant family, this would be a good book to share with my sisters and see how each view the book.
"Oye" by Melissa Mogollon took me on a wild ride through the highs and lows of a young queer Colombian American teen's last year of high school. The unique narrative presentation, structured as one-sided phone conversations, initially had me questioning its approach, but as I delved deeper, I found it to be a compelling and refreshing storytelling device.
The novel follows Luciana Domínguez as she confronts a hurricane and navigates a family health crisis, all through phone conversations with her sister, Mari, who is away at college.
The vibrant voice of Luciana, the protagonist, made the emotions palpable, and the layers of family dynamics were peeled back gradually, revealing a coming-of-age story that resonates across generations and cultures.
This book was super funny, like stumbling on a telenovela! I really enjoyed it, it all seemed very loud!
This story wasn’t just one point of view, it was literally just one half of a conversation… thoughts, speaking, and texting but all from just one person. Very weird but it worked well and made the story more interesting. Good story as well, gotta love family drama but I love it even more when it’s a feisty old grandmother because those older generations have done so much more than we realize!
Ok I just love this book. I love the epistolary style it’s told in. I love the voice of our main characters and how we grow to fully love and root for her. I was sobbing by the end of this. I can’t wait for this to be an audio book, because the narration will add a level to this story that will be amazing.
This was a very impressive debut
with such an interesting style of book. Telling a series of events via one way phone call transcripts that contain so much drama it was telenovela. It was a bit hard for me to get into at first but I got hooked and really attached to Luciana and her family.
The growth that Nana goes through while her family is going through the wringer of cancer and generational trauma is truly admirable.
This book was sooooo confusing. I knew it was phone conversations but I didn’t realize until way to far into the book that we were only getting one side of the conversation with text messages (at least I think because surely people don’t say LOL while talking) sprinkled in. Once I figured this out, it started to make a little more sense. It took me way to long to read this due to the confusion and person reasons of me relating the sick grandmother to my my mom getting sick again when I started this book.
But I enjoyed the second half of the book, I felt like I got a better sense of the two main characters and everything started coming together. Overall it was touching with humor strewed in.
Hopefully once the book is published they will have more clear indicators that it’s a one sided conversation and add in punctuation or headers for what is going on.
Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for this ARC.
3.5 Stars out of 5.
First of all, thank you NetGalley and Hogarth Press for giving me the opportunity to read this ARC in exchange for my honest review.
This is a very different coming to age novel, the premise is very unique from any other one that I had seen before. This book is full of drama and at the center of it all it is Abue (Grandma) which is an amazing character. Please make sure you pick up a copy of this on its release day, May 14th, 2024
A touching coming of age story between sisters.
I think that that it was very interesting that the book is written where we only get one side of a telephone conversation. It took some time to get used to, but once you figure out the format, this book really flies!
This ended up being a cozy read with lots of heartwarming moments and some good chisme.
Many thanks to NetGalley and RandomHouse Publishing for the ARC.
Fantastic, witty, and heartwarming. I loved Abue and thought she was wonderful.
Many thanks to Random House and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have mixed feelings about this one. The story was good, and I thought the choice to tell the story through one side of a series of phone calls was really cool and interesting. However, for me, the formatting made it really difficult to catch on to the flow of the writing and differentiate between the phone calls and the flashback moments. The italics helped, but it was so back and forth that I struggled for a bit to get into the flow of it every time I picked the book up. That may just be a me problem personally though
This is a uniquely written book told through phone conversations from Luciana to her sister, Mari. The main focus is about Luciana’s relationship with her grandmother and learning more about her past.
The format took me a bit to get used to but once I got it I was fine. I enjoyed seeing Luciana come into herself as she navigates her family’s drama. It made me tear up in the end. Also loved all the chapter titles!
For a few years now, I have been saying that I want to read more books written by latine authors that feature latine main characters just living normal lives. I don’t want every book I read about latine characters to center on immigration trauma. I want to read about latine characters going to work and falling in love and having dinner with their families and arguing with their siblings and laughing about the ridiculousness of being in a family where telling their mom something means telling the entire family because gossip is life.
This book is that. It is a love letter to the beauty of close intergenerational relationships and, as someone who absolutely adores my grandparents, I loved it.
Luciana is a high schooler who lives with her parents and her grandmother, who she affectionately calls Abue. Luciana’s sister Mari has gone off to college, leaving Luciana alone in dealing with her mother’s judgmental comments and Abue’s eccentricities. When Abue is hospitalized, Luciana is thrust into the role of holding everyone together - keeping Mari informed, her mother in check, and Abue cared for. Abue returns home to her shared bedroom with Luciana and, as Abue wrestles through facing long-term illness, she begins to open up to Luciana about her life and her childhood.
The story is told through a series of phone calls between Luciana and Mari as Luciana updates Mari on what is going on at home. The format takes some getting used to and I almost put it down because I struggled to follow it at the beginning. But I am so glad I kept with it because I ended up loving it!
For my fellow latines with close-knit families, Oye is a must. And for everyone else, treat yourself to this window into the chaos and love of growing up latine with a family that doesn’t believe in personal space. It’s magical.
Luciana has a potent voice and is your best example of a young teenager in literature. It is a genuinely hilarious comedy that follows a Colombian American family's dynamics via two sisters' phone calls. Capturing a hectic time in their lives, a hurricane, and Abue's health concerns, we watch them grow closer than ever. A beautiful story that you can soar through.
The premise for this upcoming release is unique. Luciana is on the phone with her sister Mari, and all we get is Luciana’s side. Loaded with lots of family drama which centers around the matriarch of the family…Abue-grandma. Now this book has a beautiful cover and it’s what made me gravitate towards it. I wanted to love this book but it just wasn’t for me and that’s ok. If you read it and love it I would love to talk.
Thank you to
Melissa Mogollon, Random House Publishing, and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.
What a fantastic book. I like when books are written a bit differently and this one is written through phone conversations. This book has great humor as well as heart as it explores the relationships between generations of Colombian-American women. Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for this ARC.
I tried to love this book. I believe this book will and can be loved by someone but that someone is just not me. I just was not able to get into the flow of the book and conversation. This was not a common writing style for me and I loved that but I could not get into the story like I should’ve been. I hope others are able to read and love this book.
I’ll be honest, the format was REALLY difficult for me to get into. It’s more stream of consciousness than anything else, but after about a third of the book it didn’t distract me anymore. I loved this story and how is was funny and heartbreaking at the same time. Luciana gas complicated relationships with all of the women in her family, but she deeply loves each of them. Getting to watch her become a more reflective person as the story progressed was really beautiful, and a few parts made me well up with emotion.
Thank you to NetGalley and the author for this ARC in exchange for my honest review.
This book had me all over the place emotionally. It's funny, sad, heartbreaking at times, agonizing, hysterical.
The core of this book is the relationship between sisters and finding yourself. The whole book is written as if the reader is only hearing Luciana's side of a phone call with her sister, Mari. The reader gets information when Luciana responds to the unheard question by Mari or in her exposition. It's fantastic. The reader can sense the humor, frustration and sadness from both characters. Without Mari for Luciana to talk to, we wouldn't have a story or know what Luciana's relationship is with her mother and grandmother. The book starts out with Luciana and her mother evacuating Florida during Irma. When they go back home, her grandmother, Abue, is hospitalized and diagnosed with cancer that effects her liver. It all falls on Luciana to take care of her family and keep in contact with her sister, Mari who is away at school. Over almost a year, we see their relationship tense up, Luciana explode, and the slow re-building. Over this same time period, Luciana learns about her torrid family history and relays everything back to Mari, trying to understand her grandmother, and her mother.
Beautifully written, with well-thought out characters. Luciana is figuring out what to do with her life, who she is, and how to be herself despite her mother telling her not to and hiding herself from the one person she loves the most - her grandmother.
Oye is a very hilarious yet touching book.
The format is a bit weird and I will admit that by the end I was still struggling a fair bit with it. The conversations, and phone calls are all mashed together and are one sided which takes some getting used to.
Once you do however expect a funny coming-to-age novel.