This was such a powerful book. Focusing on Juliet, a 19 year Latina from the Bronx, the story follows her as she tried to figure out who she is and what she wants out of life. I personally loved that Juliet is both completely sure of who she is, and also totally confused by what that means for her. The book opens with her cold emailing the author (Harlowe) of her favorite book and remarkably getting a response and an offer to be Harlowe's summer intern. Taking a giant leap of faith Juliet come's out to her family and then promptly flies across the country to take the opportunity of a lifetime.
Harlowe's world in Portland, OR is a far cry from Juliet's in NY and author Gabby Rivera does a phenomenal job weaving the stories of all the people Juliet meets together to create a tapestry of humanity that allows the reader to look at the world we live in.
My only negative for this book is that the world Juliet is thrust into is full of new worlds and acronymns (like poly for instance). Initially Juliet doesn't want to admit that she doesn't know what all these things mean, afraid to look stupid in front of someone she looks up to. However, Juliet's lack of understanding can also represent the readers lack of understanding. While I was able to follow the vast majority of what was being referred to, there were still moments that I had to step away from the story to look something up, which killed the momentum of the story.
That aside, this book is such a worthy read and provides a look at what it's like to trust yourself and take a chance on a life you might never have experienced otherwise. That's a message that goes beyond the protagonist and her story and everyone can relate to.
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by: Chester Nez
The first and only memoir by one of the original Navajo code talkers of WWII-includes the actual Navajo Code and rare photos. Although more than 400 Navajos served in the military during World War II as top-secret code talkers, even those fighting shoulder to shoulder with them were not told of their covert function. And, after the war, the Navajos were forbidden to speak of their service until 1968, when the code was finally declassified. Of the original twenty- nine Navajo code talkers, only two are still alive. Chester Nez is one of them.
In this memoir, the eighty-nine-year-old Nez chronicles both his war years and his life growing up on the Checkerboard Area of the Navajo Reservation-the hard life that gave him the strength, both physical and mental, to become a Marine. His story puts a living face on the legendary men who developed what is still the only unbroken code in modern warfare.