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Book Review for: Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno Garcia is the kind of book that could easily give you nightmares.

The book is about a girl called Noemi living her best life in the 1950’s in Mexico City, until one day her father gives her a task to save her cousin from her allegedly abusive in-laws from a dead town far away from home. She hesitated until she was given an offer she couldn’t miss out – an opportunity to continue her education further instead of being married away. Little did she know when taking the task what kinds of troubles and adversities she’d have to face in a haunted mansion to save her sister.

Spoiler Alert!! Spoiler Alert!!

Mexican Gothic gave me the vibes of a classic novel – it was THAT well written, it took me to haunted towns and creaky mansions, told me how glamorous Mexico City was, but the book was also dark, and SICK – so freakin’ SICK. I was bracing myself for the latter point, but even the trigger warnings weren’t a warning big enough to stop me from reading it. They should’ve written ‘unsuitable for children of ALL ages unless you have the stomach for it’ at the beginning of the book because I almost couldn’t stomach it.

The main lead – Noemi, was super chilled out and fun in many chapters of the book – a girl from the 50’s who would never take nonsense from anyone – and would drive to places and dress up at parties as she wished, and I found that so endearing for that era! Plus, I am an anxious soul, so it felt good to read about someone who was naturally chilled out.

But, she was a smoker, and I think, smoking shouldn’t really be normalized, but in a way, the book did that, by showing that the main lead smokes without guilt. Apart from that, I liked her very much.

The author kept describing how a character - Francis - seemed highly unattractive to Noemi - the main lead, and kept emphasizing on this fact rather frequently to a point where it seemed a tad bit mean. However, as I kept reading, I genuinely started liking Francis mostly for his kind and understanding nature, and it made me realize what a brave step the author had taken by not describing the love interest as ‘handsome’.

Readers don’t like reading about the protagonist if they’re not good looking - at least that’s what a lot of publishers tell authors when they’re writing a book, and yet Silvia wrote about a character, expressed how he’s not what we would call attractive, and still made us love his kind and timid personality, and I, as a reader, appreciated the step she dared to take.

After a lot of thought, I have decided to give this book a 4.5/5 stars as even though it was dark and also sick - the author did warn us about it, she told us to be careful because it’s going to be a stomach twister - it did look up to its expectations. Mexican Gothic was indeed gothic.

Please keep in mind the Trigger warnings before you choose to read this book: Violence, Rape, Incest.

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