Grades 7-12
Sunday, December 25, 2011
by: Dr. Jennifer Battle

Section: Young Adult Book Reviews

Fall/Winter 2011

Reviewed by Dr. Jennifer Battle, Professor, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Texas State University-San Marcos.

Consuela (which authentically should be Consuelo), the Mexican American protagonist who in the real world is overweight and insecure, finds herself in a parallel world (the Flow) where she discovers her strengths in helping people about to die. With creativity, Metcalf’s book contains a bizarre, action-filled plot in the high fantasy genre involving other teens that have the same altruistic purpose,  yet the author incorporates a definite emphasis on disturbingly dark, strange, and grotesque elements including several murders. While the author selects a Mexican cultural icon – the skeleton – as Consuela’s Flow identity, and includes quotations from literary giant Octavio Paz to introduce each chapter, Consuela’s cultural authenticity as a Latina remains completely undeveloped and elicits little sympathy from the reader. Not recommended.

Dawn Metcalf. New York: Dutton Books, 2011. 367pp. $17.99 (Hardcover). ISBN: 978-0-525-42247-1. Grades 7-12. English

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