Book Review: Towelhead by Alicia Erian

Towelhead

I’m just going to say it.  I love this book.  It’s old news, I know.  It originally came out in 2005, but I really do not care. I am going to recommend it anyway.

There are very few books that will torment me during the moments when I am not reading them.  Towelhead is one of those books that you will want to read cover to cover without putting it down.  And when I was finished, I was thoroughly satisfied yet disappointed the story had ended. Towelhead is absolutely hilarious and heartbreaking at the same time.  The main character, Jasira, a 13 year old girl, faces unimaginable abuse, yet I am laughing my a** off at her antics.

What makes this book fabulous, is its use of language.    You are in the mind of a 13 year old girl.  Her thoughts, feelings, actions, and emotional immaturity are captured in Erian’s use of 13 year old girl language.  The book is written in Jasira’s voice. Erian has drawn a beautifully round character who readers can see in her most intimate, and private moments.

What I love about this book, is that readers can clearly see every thing that is wrong with this little girl’s life, but the little girl is clueless in regards to the ways in which she’s being hurt.  Without spoiling the book, I offer just one example: Whenever Jasira affectionately refers to her father as “Daddy,” I just want to cry.  I can hear her cries for love (that she doesn’t even realize she’s making) in page after page.

Furthermore, Erian does a wonderful job of creating inter-character relationships.  I believed every moment. There is no need to skip the boring descriptions to get straight to the action.  Readers love dialog and Erian offers plenty of it.

Overall, this is a wonderful book that I suggest reading if you haven’t already.  The bestsellers may be checked out, but this one probably won’t be. Pick up Towelhead at your local bookstore or library.  It’s in paperback and is a New York Times Notable Book.   It’s the perfect read for spring break.

Title: Towelhead
Author: Alica Erian
Publisher: Simon & Schuster 2005
Pages: 319
ISBN-13: 9780743285124
List Price: $12.00

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