Yo! Review
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Yolanda Garcia has a talent for telling stories—she’s done it ever since she was just a small girl, living with her extended family in the Dominican Republic. Even after her family fled to New York—through her life in boarding school, three marriages, her teaching career, and her travels—she always held on to her love of telling stories.

Her latest book, however, is causing problems. Yo has told her family and her students, “Writers write what they know,” but she hits a little too close to home when her family members begin to recognize themselves in Yo’s stories. Before long, Yo’s sisters won’t speak to her, and her mom’s threatening to sue.

That’s when Yo’s victims get their turn. Yo! is a collection of stories about Yo’s life—as told by the people whose lives she (and her storytelling) affected. Each one is told in a clearly distinct voice—from the illiterate night watchman in the Dominican Republic to the southern ex-boyfriend to the stalker—and it’s often hard to believe that the stories were all written by the same woman.

Slowly, story by story, readers get to know Yo. It’s a good story, but there isn’t really a lot of action. It’s a slower read than most of the books I’ve read lately. Still, it’s worth a read—especially if you’re a writer (or any artist, struggling to be yourself). But be warned—it helps if you understand a little Spanish. The Spanish words pop up from time to time, and I was thankful for my three years of Spanish classes.

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