Under the Mesquite, by Guadalupe Garcia McCall

Reviewed by Isabella, age 15, New Jersey
Sweet Designs Featured Writer

Featured Gold Star Writer Bio

Lupita is a budding actress and poet in a close-knit Mexican immigrant family, and her future stretches out brightly before her. That is, until her mother contracts cancer and everything falls apart. Lupita and her siblings' college savings are all decimated to pay for the medical bills, and suddenly children cannot be children anymore. She has to grow up, and fast.

Under the Mesquite is written in verse, and McCall's poetry here was impeccable. With sparse but seamless writing, she wove a tale out of a mere handful of words on each page. This book is short at 144 pages, but the story is painted in broad brush strokes and conveys the powerful emotion and resilience of Lupita during her mother's struggle with cancer.

However, there's a downside to the broadness of the story as well. Many smaller plot points were barely touched upon and lacked development that would have truly propelled the novel. Verse novels often have a fine balance between too little and too much detail, but in this case it rested firmly in "too little." While intense emotion was definitely present, it was difficult to truly connect with the characters.

All in all, Under the Mesquite is a lovely little verse novel with beautiful writing but not enough story development. The author clearly demonstrates a talent for poetry with some turns of phrase that resound across the pages, so while I would not necessarily recommend this particular book, I look forward to other novels by her. I give this book 3 out of 5 stars.

What did you think about this article? Tell us!

First Name:
Email or MySpace:

Sweet Advice
Reader Feedback

February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
- The last of the cold (hopefully) (fashion)
- A month full of love
- Ten tips for successful airline travel
- Reasons I love writing for SDM
- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
- Isn't it funny (original poetry)
- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
- Beastly, by Alex Flinn (book review)
- I don't care (poetry)
- Together, alone (poetry)

Sweet Designs Magazine
The Magazine You Can Write For
The Voice of a New Generation


Your Ad Here