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Blondie and Read

The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao - Junot Diaz This book was handed to me by one of my co-workers after we talked about a different book my Diaz. We talked about it at work, then when I went to her house the next day, she had it waiting for me. Yes, please. Thank you.

This book. It's one thing to hear awesome things about a book. Sometimes you go in with super high expectations and sometimes you go in wanting to hate the book because of the high praise. I tried to keep myself neutral, but after seeing all my friends that had read it and rated it pretty high on goodreads, I had slightly higher than normal expectations.

My expectations were not unwarranted. The insane mix of Spanglish, lore, and nerdom references was just superb. Next time you see Diaz, give him a high five for me. Actually, he deserves more than that. Give him a hug.. and a cupcake..and an autograph for me.

While we're following Oscar for the duration of the book, we're given background on the mother, sister, roommate, and other awesome minor characters that turn out to play huge roles in Oscar's life. The narration choice is just so on-point for me. It's not the typical first person or the typical omnipresent. I love it! It's one of many, many reasons why this book will stand out for me.

Something I noticed right away and wasn't sure I would like is that Diaz uses footnotes. I have an issue with footnotes - ever since I read "The Love Song of J. Alred Proofrock" by T.S. Eliot. To me, footnotes are a way for the author to rub in your face just how smart they are. It's their way of saying: Oh, you have no idea what big word or obscure reference I'm making? Don't worry, I dumb it down right here. Diaz's aren't like that. It's hard to explain. Yes, he does go into detail about some of the lore and references to people or wars that I have no idea what he's talking about. BUUUUT it stays in the laid-back style of his writing. It's not all pretentious. So... I'm okie with it. Maybe it was the fact that there was a footnote all about Mordor...

I fell in love with every single character. They are all beautifully flawed and have something that you can grasp on as redeeming qualities. (Can we all just hug? It's a very huggy day today.)

My rating and why: I gave this book four stars! I read it and instantly fell in love with the writing style, the characters, and couldn't help but swoon at the Spanglish. Love, love, love!