Motif By Tanya

Book Review: Five Midnights by Ann Dávila Cardinal

Tor Teen
TBP: : June 4th 2019
304 Pages

If Lupe Dávila and Javier Utierre can survive each other’s company, together they can solve a series of grisly murders sweeping though Puerto Rico. But the clues lead them out of the real world and into the realm of myths and legends.

And if they want to catch the killer, they’ll have to step into the shadows to see what’s lurking there—murderer, or monster?- Goodreads

*cracks knuckles* Let’s jump right into this.

Lupe Dávila was a trash character that had no respect for anyone and put her needs and her feminist ideas above everyone including those that she loved.

Lupe is Puerto Rican and white. She looks more white than Puerto Rican, which is why everyone on the island views her as white. But my issue with her is very simple. Every single person that either calls her gringa or makes a general statement about white people, she screams at them. Just let’s completely loose on them.

She doesn’t have any respect, especially for elders or any adult figure. She spent most of this book complaining about how she is feminist can do things by herself (although Javier saved her life and she didn’t even say thank you) and complaining about how she is Puerto Rican.

My issue on the last part is that it came off that she identifies herself as Puerto Rican because her mother left her and her father. Lupe wanting to be part of this world did not come off as if she wanted to identify a part of heritage but that she was doing it because it was all she had.

Lupe was prideful, extremely prideful and I did not like anything about her. Javier, on the other hand was a way better character to read.

I actually wish Cardinal (the author) would have dug deeper into Javier. Not only was he likeable, his struggle was real and powerful. But not only would have I wanted more Javier, I would have wanted more about Puerto Rico and the environment Cardinal set up.

And oddly enough, the way that she tied the horror/mythology into this book was perfect. Everything was answered, everything made sense and it creeped me out. There are things that are passed down generation to generation and they vary by culture, but what makes this book different in how Cardinal presents this folklore and how she makes it present in the modern world. I loved the creativity of this.

It took a while for the book to keep my interest. Lupe was a huge factor as to why it took a little less than halfway through the book for me to be at the edge of my seat. But once the ball was really rolling, I had to finish it.

I would like to note that this is a sad read as much as it is a horror read. Cardinal adds a lot to this book that if you are not really reading you won’t even see what she is trying to do. And what she is trying to do is tell two different stories. The one about the five and the other about Puerto Rico.

I recommend this read. It is told through different point of views, which adds another layer to the novel. i enjoyed reading this and want to read more from this author.

Overall,

3 Pickles

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