mixdmedia (mixdmedia) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

I didn't do the challenge in 2010, but I'm back for 2011! Starting with

The Dirty Girls Social Club by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez

which I devoured. It's about 6 Latinas who graduated from the same school 10 years before the beginning of the novel. They call themselves sucias (trans: "dirty girls") and meet semi-annually to gossip and catch up.

I appreciated Valdes-Rodriguez's determination to show the diversity of Latina women, but overall the book felt like it was pasted together from the best bits of 6 different books. The women are painstakingly differentiated from each other, but by trying to juggle 6 POVs, none of them are as developed as they could be. I also disliked missing out on what might be considered important parts of people's lives: when one character falls in love with a new man, for instance, much of the relationship development takes place off stage while Valdes-Rodriguez switches to a different sucia. It also bugged me that for being friends and theoretically an ensemble, the 6 women had very minimal interaction with each other: each woman faced a conflict, but each conflict rarely asked a fellow sucia to play a pivotal role.

Still, the conflicts themselves were engaging enough (otherwise, I wouldn't have enjoyed reading it so much). Recommended reading for those who want light chick-lit and a glimpse into the lives of Latina-Americans.

Currently Reading: They Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
Tags: chicklit, race

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