Under the Mesquite, by Guadalupe Garcia McCall
Reviewed by Isabella, age 15, New Jersey
Sweet Designs Featured Writer
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.