Book Review: The Radius of Us by Marie Marquardt

Title: The Radius of Us

Author: Marie Marquardt

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Series: Standalone

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 289

Format: Hardcover

Review also posted on: Goodreads

Book Synopsis: 

What happens when you fall in love with someone everyone seems determined to fear?

Ninety seconds can change a life ― not just daily routine, but who you are as a person. Gretchen Asher knows this, because that’s how long a stranger held her body to the ground. When a car sped toward them and Gretchen’s attacker told her to run, she recognized a surprising terror in his eyes. And now she doesn’t even recognize herself.

Ninety seconds can change a life ― not just the place you live, but the person others think you are. Phoenix Flores Flores knows this, because months after setting off toward the U.S. / Mexico border in search of safety for his brother, he finally walked out of detention. But Phoenix didn’t just trade a perilous barrio in El Salvador for a leafy suburb in Atlanta. He became that person ― the one his new neighbors crossed the street to avoid.

Ninety seconds can change a life ― so how will the ninety seconds of Gretchen and Phoenix’s first encounter change theirs?

Told in alternating first person points of view, The Radius of Us is a story of love, sacrifice, and the journey from victim to survivor. It offers an intimate glimpse into the causes and devastating impact of Latino gang violence, both in the U.S. and in Central America, and explores the risks that victims take when they try to start over. Most importantly, Marie Marquardt’s The Radius of Us shows how people struggling to overcome trauma can find healing in love.

This Book is about:

A girl and a boy, both faced traumatic experiences in their lives and finds comfort with each other’s company. Poor Gretchen was assaulted by a gang member leaving her aching in pain on the sidewalk. Which is what traumatized her up to this day.  And one day while she was at the “Place without a soul”, she sees a boy who apparently looks like the gang member that assaulted her, and she fled the park and had a panic attack afterwards. The boy she saw though was Phoenix and he thought that he did something wrong to make her flee like that where in fact he was just walking Amanda’s fancy dog. Phoenix is currently living with a lesbian couple that takes care of him like he’s their own child. He has a brother named Ari who’s currently locked up in a facility, since both of them crossed the Mexican border. You’ll follow Gretchen’s slow recovery from the traumatic event she experienced with the help of Phoenix. And you’ll also find out what happened to Phoenix and Ari at Mexico that made them risk their lives just to cross the border… and find out that even in a 20 mile radius you’d still find a person to love.

My Review:

Note: This book was sent to me by the Author herself in exchange for an honest review.

I found out about The Radius of Us via Booktube on Christine Riccio a.k.a. Polandbananasbooks and I was curious as to why it’s called the “Radius” of us and also the synopsis is quite engaging for me. 

The book cover is really cute and you get a cute love story vibe from it and it just looks perfect for me.

The Radius of Us has a good plot, has a different approach in telling the story (specifically the last few chapters), and it also has some delightfully good illustrations. The story was really good, but I guess having exams and projects hindered me from enjoying the book. While reading the book I kept on asking why Gretchen is so jumpy and have these panic attacks. And why Phoenix is under the care of strangers… and why is it called the freaking “Radius” of us? But after reading it and finding out why it’s called that way was quite satisfying and urged me to find out what happens after Gretchen find’s out Phoenix’s past. I quite liked how vulnerable the two characters were at the begging and slowly start trusting each other and become a little more outgoing.

Dialogues: were good, since one of the main character is from Mexico you’ll find some Spanish words every now and then, some are explained some aren’t. I really like how Phoenix reacts with Spanish lingo. I didn’t find any typos and the dialogues weren’t confusing at all.

Characters:  I really like Phoenix’s character, he doesn’t abuse the kindness of his guardians. He’s loving and caring. I like how he slowly opens up to the possibility that he and Gretchen could be together despite his current situation. I also liked Gretchen’s development in the book, from being a total wreck after the traumatic assault she experienced into a girl that’s brave enough to follow he heart. I really like most of the characters they’re just so warm, welcoming and treats outsiders like family.

Plot: I quite like it, from having a traumatic experience, illegally crossing boarders and finally finding love when you least expect it… it just sucks you in.

Flow of the Story: was still good, the transition from one character to the other wasn’t confusing and everything was just right.

Detailing: was Excellent! Since the book has some illustrations it just adds to the book’s charms and the illustration’s details and even the description of the things they see, eat and touch was really good.

Overall a really good book, it’ll make you smile when you read it and interesting illustrations which is quite relevant to the plot of the story. This book though isn’t the favorite book of 2017 type but more of a book that I’ll pick up when I’m in a reading slump or if I want to refresh my memory of its sweet story.



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