Author: Mary Pauline Lowry
Publish Date: September 2011
Source: I received a copy from the author; however, this did not affect my review.
Why You're Reading This Book:
- You're a young adult fiction fan.
- You don't mind heavy topics.
From Goodreads.com: "The Earthquake Machine tells the story of 14 year-old Rhonda. On the outside, everything looks perfect in Rhonda's world but at home Rhonda has to deal with a manipulative father who keeps her mentally ill mother hooked on pharmaceuticals. The only reliable person in Rhonda's life is her family's Mexican yardman, Jesús. But when the INS deports Jesús back to his home state of Oaxaca, Rhonda is left alone with her increasingly painful family situation.
Determined to find her friend Jesús, Rhonda seizes an opportunity to run away during a camping trip with friends. She swims to the Mexican side of the Rio Grande and makes her way to the border town of Boquillas, Mexico. There a peyote-addled bartender convinces her she won't be safe traveling alone into the country's interior. So with the bartender's help, Rhonda cuts her hair and assumes the identity of a Mexican boy named Angel. She then sets off on a burro across the desert to look for Jesús.
Thus begins a wild adventure that explores the borders between the United States and Mexico, adolescence and adulthood, male and female, English and Spanish, and adult coming-of-age and Young Adult novels."
My Two Cents:
Overall, I liked this book okay. I really felt for the main character, Rhonda. She really defines the idea of lost. She has a pretty bad home life and she is going through the period in time that so many teenagers go through where you're trying to contend with all of the changes you're going through while trying to figure out who you are. It's a really tough period in everyone's life. In most cases, people have someone to guide them through everything that's going on. In Rhonda's case, she really doesn't have anyone. I found myself pulling for her throughout the book. You just really, really want everything to work out even though I found myself a little bit
A couple things that you should know before reading this book:
- The cover makes this book look like a fantasy. It's not.
- This book covers some pretty heavy topics such as sexuality and may not be appropriate for younger Young Adult readers (the treatment of this subject in the book was not my favorite; I think that it was a lot heavier than it needed to be for a young adult book).