Monday, 26 December 2016

Book Review | The Radius of Us by Marie Marquardt

What happens when you fall in love with someone everyone seems determined to fear?

Ninety seconds can change a life — not just daily routine, but who you are as a person. Gretchen Asher knows this, because that’s how long a stranger held her body to the ground. When a car sped toward them and Gretchen’s attacker told her to run, she recognized a surprising terror in his eyes. And now she doesn’t even recognize herself.

Ninety seconds can change a life — not just the place you live, but the person others think you are. Phoenix Flores-Flores knows this, because months after setting off toward the U.S. / Mexico border in search of safety for his brother, he finally walked out of detention. But Phoenix didn’t just trade a perilous barrio in El Salvador for a leafy suburb in Atlanta. He became that person — the one his new neighbors crossed the street to avoid.

Ninety seconds can change a life — so how will the ninety seconds of Gretchen and Phoenix’s first encounter change theirs?

Told in alternating first person points of view, The Radius of Us is a story of love, sacrifice, and the journey from victim to survivor. It offers an intimate glimpse into the causes and devastating impact of Latino gang violence, both in the U.S. and in Central America, and explores the risks that victims take when they try to start over. Most importantly, Marie Marquardt's The Radius of Us shows how people struggling to overcome trauma can find healing in love. 

*Received via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review*

Yes. Yes. Yes. Seriously, this book didn't just live up to the hopes I had for it, which were high, it surpassed them hugely. The two main characters, who are also the narrators of his book, are simply wonderfully written. I was hooked on both of their stories, both where they joined and where they didn't. Their stories weren't just compelling because of the budding relationship between them, but also in their attempts to move past the traumas they'd both faced.
There was a really interesting dynamic between the two of them, the way that gang violence had touched their lives in different ways, but with huge implications to both of them.
At parts this book had me reaching for the tissues, while at others it had my heart melting. There really wasn't anything I didn't like about this book. Characters were great, the story was emotional and written superbly and I was drawn into their world. Truly a wonderful read.


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