Monday, March 5, 2012
The Earthquake Machine Review
Reading Level:Young Adult
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, Jesus. But when the INS deports Jesus?'s back to his home state of Oaxaca, Rhonda is left alone with her increasingly painful family situation. Determined to find her friend Jesus, 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 Jesus. 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
This wasn't what I was expecting at all. I didn't really know what it was about when I said I would review it. The first half I didn't like very much. I've never read a book that has a lot of sexuality in it. At some points it made me uncomfortable. But this is one of those book that has real life issues in it. That is something I liked about this.I think the sexuality was a little much but it was also the whole concept of the book . The second half I loved. As soon as Rhonda/Angel found Jesus I loved it. I felt like that was the whole point of the book. Once I was done with it I realized that wasn't the point at all. This was about Rhonda coming of age and growing into herself.
Rhonda is an extremely strong main character. Her courage is incredible. How she managed to survive her crazy Mexican adventure I don't know. I wouldn't have been able to do that. She never gave up. Mama and Jesus were probably my favorite part of the book. I felt so bad for Rhonda in the beginning. Her family sucked. So when Jesus and Mama became her family it made me happy. I can admit I cried. The ending was incredibly sad.
The plot was kinda slow at first but it did pick up. There were plenty of twists and turns. I had no idea what was gonna happen next throughout like the whole book. Overall I did end up liking this. I didn't think I would. I would have never picked this up on my own but I am glad I got to read it. I recommend if your looking for something different but be careful this is a little adult.3.5/5 stars