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Blondie and Read

Into the Beautiful North

Into the Beautiful North - Luis Alberto Urrea, Susan Ericksen I snagged this book as an audio for my car. I was standing in the library and in need of something to listen to in my car. My co-worker recommended this. She said there's some Spanish in it and warned me that the voice actor isn't the best. I'm inclined to agree. I'm more than inclined - I fell off the lazy boy toward she's not the best.

This is the time where I usually rave and bow down before the voice actor, but Ericksen should not have been the choice for this book. Yes, she has a beautiful voice, but she's not a native Spanish speaker nor has she studied it extensively. How do I know this? She mispronounced several many words wrong. I speak Spanish, but I wouldn't say that I'm fluent or anything close to it. There are a ton of phrases and terminologies that I just don't know. That being said, I shouldn't be chosen for this audiobook and neither should Ericksen. When the main characters (almost all of the characters) are from Mexico, when the punchline of jokes are in Spanish, when there's Spanglish peppered in throughout the book, I would think that the voice actor should be a Spanish-speaking voice actor. Were there none that were around? Was this a choice by Urrea? Was this a publisher choice and they had a budget or were running out of time and Ericksen was down he hall? I don't know, but I do know she wasn't the best.

Ok. Let me breathe for a second.

Moving on to more positive news. Urrea is a great writer; the way he goes back and forth between English and Spanish is flawless. I loved it. The idea of the story is hilarious as well. The whole concept of bringing Mexicans back home to fight the bandidos. There were several instances when La Osa would say something that we, as Americans, have said about Mexicans. I'm not sure the line exactly (*shakes fist at audiobook), but it was something about other nationalities coming in and taking their jobs or taking their cultures or SOMETHING like that. I giggled.

The characters a beautiful. They could be actual people. Their characteristics were seamless and beautifully flawed as well. Coming from broken families, broken village, poor neighborhoods - it all adds up to some amazing characters. Their willful and somehow still very innocent and pure (for the most part).

I did have an issue though. There was (I wanna say) nine discs, and by disc eight there was still a ton of stuff that needed to be wrapped up. I had no idea if this was a series that I was unaware of or what. The resolution was very fast and super rushed. I wanted it to be drawn out more. With that huge journey the girls go on, they deserve more than what was written as a resolution. Alas, that's the way it is.

My rating and why: I gave this book three stars! I read it and it was ooook. While the story idea is just what I wanted, it fell short in other aspects. I wanted more from Ericksen. I wanted more of a wrap-up. Meh. Maybe I would have liked it more if I read a physical copy - another jab at Ericksen.