Arc Review – Ordinary Girls by Jaquira Diaz

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June 19, 2020 by ceresbooksworld


Ordinary Girls by Jaquira Diaz


Publisher : Algonquin Books

Publication date : June 16th, 2020

Source : eArc from the publisher

Rating : 3 hearts




“There is more life packed on each page of Ordinary Girls than some lives hold in a lifetime.” —Julia Alvarez

Ordinary Girls is a fierce, beautiful, and unflinching memoir from a wildly talented debut author. While growing up in housing projects in Puerto Rico and Miami Beach, Jaquira Díaz found herself caught between extremes: as her family split apart and her mother battled schizophrenia, she was surrounded by the love of her friends; as she longed for a family and home, she found instead a life upended by violence. From her own struggles with depression and sexual assault to Puerto Rico’s history of colonialism, every page of Ordinary Girls vibrates with music and lyricism. Díaz triumphantly maps a way out of despair toward love and hope to become her version of the girl she always wanted to be.

With a story reminiscent of Tara Westover’s Educated, Roxane Gay’s Hunger, and Terese Marie Mailhot’s Heart Berries, Jaquira Díaz delivers a memoir that reads as electrically as a novel.


This book is a memoir about Jaquira Diaz’s childhood and adolescence in Puerto Rico and Miami Beach. her story is one of survival, violence, and trauma.

Jaquira told us about the life she lives, the beatings and abuse, and especially of the neglect. This young woman is a user of drugs and alcohol and she is left to run the streets at all hours with her group of girlfriends. She is repeatedly in trouble with the law and juvenile court.

Jaquira’s life was full of sexual violence, drug, alcohol, abuse, a mentally ill mother, an absent father and arrest but Jaquira is a survivor, there is no doubt about that and she is telling us her story.

Jaquira’s have a loyal group of friends, the ordinary girls, she can count on them and they helped her to get through the day when she couldn’t do it on her own.

I find this book nice, she will make it out of this life, but sadly Jaquira doesn’t tell us much about how she make it. Jaquira Diaz is a very strong woman who take her own life in her own hand and she did it, She get out of the street, she is a great woman and she tells us her story with so much force.

About the author

Jaquira Díaz was born in Puerto Rico and raised in Miami. She is the author of Ordinary Girls: A Memoir, winner of a Whiting Award, a Florida Book Awards Gold Medal, and a Lambda Literary Awards finalist. Ordinary Girls was a Summer/Fall 2019 Indies Introduce Selection, a Fall 2019 Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Notable Selection, a November 2019 Indie Next Pick, and a Library Reads October pick. Díaz’s work has been published in The Guardian, The Fader, Conde Nast Traveler, T: The New York Times Style Magazine, and The Best American Essays 2016, among other publications. She is the recipient of two Pushcart Prizes, an Elizabeth George Foundation grant, and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Kenyon Review, and the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. A former Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s MFA Program in Creative Writing, and Consulting Editor at the Kenyon Review, she splits her time between Montréal and Miami Beach, with her partner, the writer Lars Horn.


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