Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Review: PURA VIDA by Annette Montez Kolda

The Lopez family has a lot on its plate - war, death, drugs, undocumented immigration, deportation, teenage pregnancy, and now international terrorism.

Sister Bridget is the Miss Marple of East Austin's Latino community, but she might be in over her head this time. Terrorists have snuck into the country. She and fifteen-year-old Miguel Lopez must race against the clock to stop them.

Meanwhile, Miguel's mother must journey deep into Mexico to find her missing husband and tell him that their oldest son has died.

Eventually, the two storylines intersect.

Reviewed by: Sandra
Rating: 4 stars


Review: "Pura vida, pure life. In her country, it mean living one's life con gusto, with pleasure, appreciation, and gratefulness, even through adversity." (78)

This book centers on the complicated lives of somber and genuine characters―Perla, a Mexican mother of two struggling to find answers to her husband's disappearance; Miguel, Perla's troubled 15-year old son, who only strives to make it while looking after his pregnant sister; and Sister Bridget, an atypical, not-so-average nun, who keeps the word of God in her heart and often finds herself in "sticky" situations.

While Perla flees in the dead of night to Mexico in search of her husband, Miguel somehow stumbles on the schematics of a bomb. A bomb mean to kill Jews and Latinos? All this becomes overwhelming for Miguel, especially since his brother, Andres, was killed by a bomb in Afghanistan. Needless to say, this was a very bad time for his mom to leave as Miguel wouldn't even know how what to do about this. But perhaps Sister Bridget could be the answer to his prayers?

The characters take on a nefarious journey through the dark depths of the seedy underworld. Fear and trepidation trail them as they relentlessly continue their efforts. And when danger arises, they see a brief glimpse of Andres, the fallen soldier, beloved son and brother, and, apparently, a guardian angel.

Story had that vibrant chicano vibe and that refreshing barrio dialect. Well-versed and enriching, Pura Vida captures the soul, delighting readers with its stirring ambiance and endearing characters. The author speaks with such a reverent and poetic stride, depicting the Spanish culture in its raw beauty.

Sister Bridget is a tough chica―crafty, intuitive, and brave. She is just the right nun that would be able to stop a terrorist attack, save the country, and reunite a broken family.

The whole thing was just a fast ride of drama and excitement.

An enjoyable read!

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