Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Review: Gold Fame Citrus by Claire Vaye Watkins

Publisher: Riverhead Books
Pages: 339
Received: Received a copy from the publisher through Netgalley

Release Date: September 29, 2015
Buy From Chapters.ca / Buy From BookDepository.com

Goodreads Synopsis:

In a parched southern California of the near future, Luz, once the poster child for the country’s conservation movement, and Ray, an army deserter turned surfer, are squatting in a starlet’s abandoned mansion. Most “Mojavs,” prevented by armed vigilantes from freely crossing borders to lusher regions, have allowed themselves to be evacuated to encampments in the east. Holdouts like Ray and Luz subsist on rationed cola and water, and whatever they can loot, scavenge, and improvise.

For the moment, the couple’s fragile love, which somehow blooms in this arid place, seems enough. But when they cross paths with a mysterious child, the thirst for a better future begins.

Immensely moving, profoundly disquieting, and mind-blowingly original, Watkins’s novel explores the myths we believe about others and tell about ourselves, the double-edged power of our most cherished relationships, and the shape of hope in a precarious future that may be our own.

My Review:

This is a very difficult book to try to review, the story really captured my attention and I wanted to know more about how Luz would get through situations but at the same time I felt disconnected from the characters at times. Watkins definitely has a beautiful writing style and really details out every little thing in her story that you feel like you are in this world, and yet it also felt like so much attention was put there that her characters personalities kind of fell by the wayside.

This is definitely an original story about a very dry future where people really have to rely on themselves to get by. Everything is rationed out so everyone is very aware of what they need to survive. Ray and Luz are getting by together, until on their travels they run into a group and end up with a little child that will change their lives forever. I loved how Ray and Luz's relationship is explored throughout this book, and how Watkins shows the change when this new person joins their already troubled group.

This story definitely had me at a loss for words, I was intrigued to see how a couple like Ray and Luz would deal with the many different groups on the outside... all of which scream danger and you don't know what you are going to get. I think there was a disconnect between the different parts of the story, when Luz and Ray are travelling and readers see what the world is like and then the part where Luz has found herself a safe haven.

Luz was an interesting character, she grew up in the media and everyone watched her grow up, in this aspect Luz seems to be very naive about things and it makes her an easy target for people to use her for their own use. Honestly I am on the fence about how I feel with this book, on one hand the writing is absolutely captivating and the story is definitely unique, but on the other hand I felt that there were scenes that made me feel uncomfortable and there was a disconnect in the story that made it difficult to truly follow.

I would say give this book a try because there are some definite benefits and the story does bring out thoughts of finding hope in the darkest of times. This book will definitely be the type for some people... I did love a lot about it, and it didn't take me long to finish it because I was very invested, but I can see many people having issues.

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