Genres: Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Publication Date: March 5, 2019 by Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books
Format: Audiobook, eARC
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Source: Publisher via Netgalley
In the tradition of Jason Reynolds and Matt de la Peña, this heartbreaking, no-holds-barred debut novel told from three points of view explores how difficult it is to make it in life when you—your life, brown lives—don’t matter.
Juan has plans. He’s going to get out of El Paso, Texas, on a basketball scholarship and make something of himself—or at least find something better than his mom Fabi’s cruddy apartment, her string of loser boyfriends, and a dead dad. Basketball is going to be his ticket out, his ticket up. He just needs to make it happen.
His best friend JD has plans, too. He’s going to be a filmmaker one day, like Quinten Tarantino or Guillermo del Toro (NOT Steven Spielberg). He’s got a camera and he’s got passion—what else could he need?
Fabi doesn’t have a plan anymore. When you get pregnant at sixteen and have been stuck bartending to make ends meet for the past seventeen years, you realize plans don’t always pan out, and that there some things you just can’t plan for…
Like Juan’s run-in with the police, like a sprained ankle, and a tanking math grade that will likely ruin his chance at a scholarship. Like JD causing the implosion of his family. Like letters from a man named Mando on death row. Like finding out this man could be the father your mother said was dead.
Soon Juan and JD are embarking on a Thelma and Louise–like road trip to visit Mando. Juan will finally meet his dad, JD has a perfect subject for his documentary, and Fabi is desperate to stop them. But, as we already know, there are some things you just can’t plan for…
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I’m excited to bring another review to you, this time I’m doing things a little differently and listing five reasons why you should read Barely Missing Everything. I started reading an eARC for this, but also had the opportunity to listen to the audiobook as well, so one of my recommendations is for the narration.
- Great narration – This book has three POVs and each is voiced by a different person. All three narrators did such a great job telling the story.
- So quotable – I enjoyed so many quotes in this novel. Honestly there was probably a quote or paragraph I enjoyed on almost every single page of this story. There were quotes that were just beautifully written, and others just just made me have to pause and think before I could continue on with the story.
- Emotional – Honestly I was surprised at how emotional this book was and how emotional it made me. The premise sounded amazing, but it didn’t sound ~too sad~, but holy wow I had so many feelings.
- Latinx representation – There was so much great own voices representation in this novel. All the characters are Mexican and live in the border town of El Paso. One thing I really love in stories is when characters speak a different language, but don’t include a translation. I love this because it makes the story feel more natural instead of having pauses in the story that at times can take me out of the flow. If you don’t speak Spanish no worries, the phrases are here and there and mostly nicknames and short phrases.
- Important commentary about class – I knew this would be part of the book based on where it was set and politics. discussion on class in this book is done in such a natural way that doesn’t feel preachy, but may give individuals who aren’t from a low SES household or area a look at the struggles people face. It’s also intersectional in that it’s people of color from a low income area and the struggles they endure.
Overall this is an amazing book and I highly recommend it to everyone. I you have a chance to listen to the audiobook I recommend that as well because there’s something about the audio that helped me connect more with the characters.