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Review: Olga Dies Dreaming

Title: Olga Dies Dreaming
Author: Xochitl Gonzalez
Genre: Fiction
Page Count: 384
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Date Published: January 4, 2022
You can find it here: Bookshop.org

Honestly, I just really wanted to enjoy this more than I did. From the inclusive rep, to the debut novelist, to the subject matter, and all the buzz that it’s getting, I wanted to add my voice to the praise pile. But, and this definitely could be a “me not you” situation, Olga Dies Dreaming was a rather confusing mashup between a political textbook and a romantic comedy with a story line that often … well … was boring. 

When I say this book is political, I don’t mean republican versus democratic, left versus right, or that it took on the way human rights issues are politicized. I mean, this book goes INTO IT regarding American law, policy and politics … the formation of bills, the back door deals and closed door dialogue of politicians primping their feathers. There were so many drawn on sections on political policy that were WORK to get through. Straight up, I hate politically centred storylines, so that is definitely at play here. But I also had to question the usefulness of certain, rambling, long winded chapters. 

The romantic comedy aspects were okay, I really enjoyed the central love story (that sadly gets very little page time for how important it is to the overall plot), and, as a non-American, the history of the treatment of the people of Puerto Rico along with a solid explanation of its history was profoundly enlightening. I guess, in the end, I’m glad to have read it and can commend the intelligence of the writing and poignancy of the material, but the execution missed the mark for this reader. Sadly.


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