Monday 12 October 2020

When Life Gives You Mangoes | Kereen Getten

When I saw this book was coming out, I was dying to read it - and luckily I got my hands on a proof PDF which, frankly, I devoured. Now I just can't wait to get my hands on the physical thing! Anyway, here's my thoughts on the gorgeous When Life Gives You Mangoes, by Kereen Getten.

Set in a small island village, the novel follows 12 year old Clara - an ordinary girl who likes eating mangoes and hanging out with her family and her best friend. She also happens to not remember anything about the previous summer - though at first, we don't know why. The island setting of the book is one that I just adored; in a year where we can't really travel, it was nice to experience a different place through the power of Kereen Getten's beautiful writing; the smells and sounds were pretty easy to imagine, which is no mean feat.

When a new girl arrives on the island, things start to change and adventure starts to bloom. This is ultimately a book about friendship and growing up, but also about memory loss and the toll that can take on someone. While Clara's mother fills in the blanks for her sometimes, the other kids (and her best friend Gaynah) tease her about not being able to remember anything, including why she now can't go near water when surfing was once one of her favourite hobbies. Nobody will tell her everything and as a reader, you can sense the impact this is having on Clara.

I loved the way Kereen wrote the story from Clara's perspective - you really step inside her mind and see things through her eyes, which isn't always easy. The character narration here is spot on and truly, this is such a lovely read. All of the main characters are Black, so if you are looking for books with Black representation (for yourself, your kid or your school library) then I would highly recommend this gorgeous read. And if you're not specifically looking for books with Black representation, read it anyway because it's fantastic.

There's a twist you won't see coming, and plenty of fun along the way. There's sadness and beauty and plenty of strange moments, and overall this is a book you won't regret reading for second.

You can buy 'When Life Gives You Mangos' on Amazon here or Waterstones here.

1 comment:

  1. I read this one just recently as well and I absolutely loved it, the ending completely blew me away!