Saturday, January 23, 2016
Midnight Taxi Tango by Daniel Jose Older
Bone Street Rumba, Book 2
Look at this cover. Just look at it. Isn't it beautiful? Just ... I can't even.
Book 2 gives us a reintroduction to Kia (on the cover), the teenage girl who basically runs Baba Eddie's shop. If you fell in love with her, like I did, in book 1, this will make you an even bigger fan if possible.
First, when taking on this book, you have to take on the different points of view. At first, I was put off by it, but half way through, it was completely necessary. We get to live through Carlos, Kia, and Reza. Now ... The first book, Half-Resurrection Blues, left a lot of questions unanswered, but it was to be expected since it was book 1 in a series. Book 2 actually answers quite a few questions while asking a couple more.
First, let's talk about Reza. Let's be real, Reza is a thug. However, she's ... Exceptional. Do I have a girl crush on Reza? Possibly. Definitely. Yea. She's no nonsense but she's not apathetic. She's been through a lot having to deal with someone she loved being kidnapped and killed by the people she's now trying to get hold of.
Second, Carlos has to deal with the idea that he and Sasha created life. It's weighing him down and ruling his thoughts, and everyone around him knows something is bothering him.
Third, we get to get inside Kia's head and see what's been bothering her for basically years. Her cousin went missing after a brawl and she's finally accepted that he's gone. On top of that, she's been given a gift that she never wanted; to see ghosts.
Those 3 people fall into each others laps in the worst way. Why? Roaches. Reza's problem, turns into Kia's problem, which turns into Carlos' problem and it forges a very unlikely bond between the 3. It really was kind of amazing to see this friendship blossom when it seemed more than unlikely. Reza is a hardass. She's the type that doesn't have many friends and if she does, she's been through hell and back with these people and still may not even call them a friend. Reza finds some comfort in Carlos because he doesn't bat an eye about the woo-woo things she's seen or dealt with. Carlos, on the other hand, learns a little bit about people from Reza and how to read them. Kia, always a slightly different story, is like the glue that's holding everything and everyone together. The amount of weight she carries in this book is tremendous so she's pretty extraordinary for a teen.
I refuse to give away anything more than what the book synopsis reads so I'll leave it at that. Older has me sucked into the world he concocted and I become fully immersed. I know the smells, can feel the surroundings, and feel every emotion from each of the characters as if they were my own. I'm still upset with Sasha from book 1 so it carried over in book 2 and has grown to this resentment I have for her on behalf of Carlos. But ... There's a point where they see each other for the first time since they last did in book 1 and my chest felt so light. Carlos was smiling and my heart just sang. Only a really good writer can throw you in like that and you just ... Feel it. You know? I felt everything and loved it.
I can't stress enough how much I enjoyed this one. I was iffy with book 1 and just knew a lot would pop off in book 2 so I'm glad I was right. This makes me want to go and check out Older's other books to find out what I've been missing.
One thing I noticed ... A book written by a man has an overall different feel. All of my favorite authors are women with females leading. I think, a lot of times, female writers will guide you through the woman's emotions and her whole being while only scratching the surface of what the man feels and goes through. Older has a way of leaving no one out, no matter the gender. I appreciate that so much! And although the narrators 'voice' doesn't change, you fully understand whose eyes you're seeing through and when. Older is just that good.
I'm such a huge fan. This book cemented it.
By the way ... When you read this, please love the 'prelove' conversation as much as I did. It's basically an epic guy conversation.