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Ordinary Girls

A Memoir
Narrated by: Almarie Guerra
Length: 10 hrs and 8 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (29 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A fierce, beautiful, and unflinching memoir from a wildly talented debut author

While growing up in housing projects in Puerto Rico and Miami Beach, Jaquira Diaz found herself caught between extremes: as her family split apart and her mother battled schizophrenia, she was surrounded by the love of her friends; as she longed for a family and home, she found instead a life upended by violence. From her own struggles with depression and sexual assault to Puerto Rico's history of colonialism, Ordinary Girls vibrates with music and lyricism. Diaz triumphantly maps a way out of despair toward love and hope to become her version of the girl she always wanted to be.

©2019 Jaquira Díaz (P)2019 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

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A Powerful Memoir

ORDINARY GIRLS is a memoir of Jaquira Diaz's life. Born in Puerto Rico's El Caserio Padre Rivera housing project and growing up in Miami Beach, Florida, Diaz's is a life of struggle. A struggle with family, poverty, drug addiction, violence, mental illness, and her own sexual identity. Diaz writes with searing honesty, not shying away from the more troubling events of her life. This is a hard book to listen to, it's a real gut-punch! You will be shocked, disturbed, saddened but also inspired. There is strong love, hope, and triumph throughout the book.

What makes ORDINARY GIRLS so powerful and compelling is that it's not just about the author. It's about her mom, her dad, her grandmothers; it's about her her neighbors, her community, and Puerto Rico; and it's about all other ordinary girls. Diaz uses her memoir to shine light on communities that deserve our attention.

The book is structured as a collection of essays about different times, events, or people in her life. Unlike a typical memoir the format is non-linear, within one essay the timeline will often jump between the past, present and future. I really appreciated this structure and found it created a very interesting and unique type of storytelling.

ORDINARY GIRLS is proof that the best, most compelling stories are true. From the first paragraph to the last, I was completely enthralled with Diaz's story, her life, and her heart. Do yourself a favor: RUN, DON'T WALK to listen to ORDINARY GIRLS!!!

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Fantastic, touching, insightful memoir.

This is a fantastic, touching, insightful memoir of a vital, critical element of America. As a non-Spanish speaker, wish there were translations of the Spanish words and phrases. Format was a little awkward in how it jumped around and changed POV, felt like compilation of separate yet connected essays (perhaps it is? perhaps easier in print?). sometimes the historical references felt disjointed. Narrator's tone was incredible.