I was pretty excited to read this book. It was recommended by a friend. I typically do not read award winning books without hearing about them from friends. Just cause it won awards doesn't mean I'll like it.
I was enthralled by the first chapter. I knew people like Oscar. Occasionally I felt like Oscar. But then we switched to his sister, then his mother, then his grandfather, then his friend, Yunior. I liked hearing Oscar's story more or less from his own mouth.
I struggled with the paragraph sized footnotes towards the beginning of the book. I felt like I was reading a text book. I felt like I needed a Spanish dictionary to understand some of the converstations. Toward the middle of the book, I was just reading to finish it.
The writing is beautiful and you feel like you are in a different place. Diaz paints a stunningly real picture of these people's lives. I went into the book wanting to hear about Oscar and heard more about his family than I wanted. I know sometimes hearing the past can help you understand the future or the present but I felt like there were a couple of different books rivaling each other. It felt like too much and Oscar's story was lost along the way.
I'm sad that I did not enjoy this book more.