Middle grade isn’t normally my thing but When Life Gives You Mangoes is a heartwarming, authentic story about friendship, family, loss and grief. UK people better mark 1st October 2020 in their calendars because this special book deserves to be pre-ordered right now. Also, doesn’t it have the cutest cover? (P.S I think it releases in the U.S on September 15th…go,go,go!
Star rating: 4 stars
Clara is 12. She used to love the sea and surfing, but now she can’t even step in the water. She can’t remember last summer at all, and is acting out of character. This summer, Clara wants to have the best time with her friend Gaynah, and maybe get to know the new girl Rudy. Clara goes on such a journey in this book, having to come to terms with her trauma. What she goes through at 12 is so tough, and I love that her parents stand by her when some of the other people in the village are critical of her behaviour. I also really like Rudy’s character – she was such a fun, unique girl with great style, and I think she was such a good friend for Clara.
I loved Sycamore, the imagery Kereen Getten gave me from her writing was spectacular, with mango trees and Clara’s Uncle’s home being standouts.
The ending is super sweet and it definitely made me tear up a bit. Sometimes that happy sadness feeling is a great feeling, you know? Anyway, I’m really glad I gave this a go because it was nice to be transported back to the life of a 12 year old, and it really gave me a feel for Sycamore. Thanks Pushkin Press for the eARC.
Will you be reading When Life Gives You Mangoes? I highly recommend it for all ages as it’s a complex story with a wonderful central character that you can’t help but want to protect.