Author: Guadalupe McCall
Publisher: Tu Books
Release Date: October 1, 2012
Genre: Mexican- American Retelling of The Odyssey
"Fifteen-year-old Odilia and her younger sisters embark on a journey to return a dead man to his family in Mexico, and must outwit monsters and witches to make it back home again. "
The Summer of Mariposas is a Mexican-American Retelling of the Odyssey. It was about this insane quest that entailed returning the dead body of a middle-aged Mexican man to his family. This meant Odilia and her sisters had to cross the border to Mexica all while evading the police for running away and deling with mystical creatures. On top of that was the question on all the girls minds. Why did their dad leave them? And did they even want him back?
The Odyssey is such a good story, so when I heard there was a retelling of it for young adults I jumped at the chance to read it. Boosting my excitement was that it was a Mexican- American
retelling of the Odyssey. I loved all the culture that added to the story. It also didn't hurt that that
meant the setting took place in both America and Mexico.
Another thing that I felt added to the story was it's lack of romance. That might be suprising but the story didn't need it. The story had so much going for it and if a romantic relationship had been factored in it just would've affected it negatively. The relationships of the sisters and their mother was probably the most important part of the story.
The sisters thought of themselves as forever bonded. Their relationship was so deep. Their love for eachother meant everything. But things happened to cause that bond to falter and begin to break. The epic journey they went on helped to bring that sense of closeness back. It also helped them to recognize things about both their other and their father that they may have not wanted to recognize before. The journey ended up changing their lives as dramatically as it did for the hero in the Odyssey.
The writing style was very different to me. It was written so that Spanish words were thrown in here and there. They never confused me, they only drew me deeper into the story. However, if you might find that confusing ther's a glossary of Spanish words located conviently at the end of the book. Another thing I liked abou the story was the way it was narrated. It was never narrated too emotionaly but it was emotional enough to make certain that I cared about the characters and their quest.
There was one thing that bugged me about the story. It was divided into three parts and before each part it gave a summary of what happens. I fell for it every time so that I always knew what was going to happen. I just couldn't seem to stop myself from reading it. So if you want to read this book remember to skip over those parts.
The story definitely had a lot of action in it due to it's relations to the Odyssey. At the same time, it was also about about a journey which meant that it had many factors of a contemporary novel too. It consisted of drama, family ties, betrayals, mystical beings, and monsters (both human and paranormal). These characteristics made for a good read and I am on the look out for Guadalupe McCall's next books. Because of that I would recommend this story to fans of road trips, family relationships (not in the romantic way!), and, of course, the Odyssey.
4/5 mugs of pipimg hot chocolate