Hello awesome readers. Today I am reviewing a book that is soon to be released, When Life Gives You Mangos by Kereen Getten. This was a really enjoyable read and one of the books I enjoyed the most this year. This is one I would recommend to people of all ages. You’ll be transported to a tropical island and experience small town life from the perspective of a child with mysterious memory loss. This book is full of surprises so I hope you’ll check it out and be sure to comment and let me know what you think of it!
As an added bonus this book meets the requirement for #8 on the “CELEBRATION OF COLOR” CHALLENGE hosted by Rae at PowerfulWomenReaders. I have completed #2 and #8 now, fortunately this is a challenge that you can do out of order! More reviews to come soon, see my goal books for the Celebration of Color Challenge here.
There are options to pre-order now and the US release is expected in October!
First, let’s admire the gorgeous cover. Do you see the little fish down there in the corner? Next, I have the book blurb and my very quick review! Hope you enjoy and be sure to share your thoughts on When Life Gives You Mangos!
Genres/Categories/Triggers: Drama, MG, Middle Grade Fiction, Jamaican Fiction, Family Life, Magical Realism, Mental Health, Paranormal, Suspense, Friendship, Diverse Representation, Grief and Loss, Tropical Storms
Suitable for: All ages, ideal for ages 8+
My Rating: 5 Stars
Format Read for Review: eARC courtesy of Netgalley and Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Number of pages: 208
Twelve-year-old Clara lives on an island that visitors call exotic. But there’s nothing exotic about it to Clara. She loves eating ripe mangos off the ground, running outside in the rain with her Papa during rainy season, and going to her secret hideout with Gaynah—even though lately she’s not acting like a best friend.
The only thing out of the ordinary for Clara is that something happened to her memory that made her forget everything that happened last summer after a hurricane hit. Sometimes things come back to her in drips like a tap that hasn’t been turned off properly. Other times her Mama fills in the blanks…only she knows those aren’t her memories and it is hard feeling like she is not like everybody else.
But this summer is going to be different for Clara. Everyone is buzzing with excitement over a new girl in the village who is not like other visitors. She is about to make big waves on the island—and give Clara a summer she won’t forget.
This was one of my most enjoyable reads of the year. It’s a top book for me even though I don’t generally like sad books and this one made me both sad-cry and happy-cry. It was an emotional story for sure, but not too painful to endure. It explored loss, the highs and lows of friendship, and the consequences of gossip, even for adults. There is also a lot of beauty and joy to this story and a happy ending that will leave you feeling refreshed. Even though this roller coaster of a journey centers around a youthful cast of characters I wouldn’t say this book is only for a Middle Grade audience. I would recommend it to people of all ages.
I think the blurb covers it pretty well and I don’t want to spoil the awesome story line so instead I’ll just highlight some of the features of this book:
- A mysterious tragic event that the main character has no memory of
- Best friends falling out, and new friendships blossoming
- Small town charms and quirks on a beautiful tropical island
- The suspense and intrigue of a ghost story
- The peril and destruction of hurricanes, and the support of close-knit communities
- Coming to terms with loss and learning to accept others for their differences
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