Thursday 17 March 2022

Book Review: Lulu and Milagro's Search for Clarity by Angela Velez

Lulu and Milagro's Search for Clarity by Angela Velez book cover

AD* | Overachiever Luz “Lulu” Zavala has straight As, perfect attendance, and a solid ten-year plan. First up: nail her interview for a dream internship at Stanford, the last stop on her school’s cross-country college road trip. The only flaw in her plan is Clara, her oldest sister, who went off to college and sparked a massive fight with their overprotective Peruvian mom, who is now convinced that out-of-state college will destroy their family. If Lulu can’t fix whatever went wrong between them, the whole trip - and her future - will be a waste.

Middle sister Milagro wants nothing to do with college or a nerdy class field trip. Then a spot opens up on the trip just as her own Spring Break plans (Operation: Lose Your Virginity) are thwarted, and she hops on the bus with her glittery lipsticks, more concerned about getting back at her ex than she is about schools or any family drama. But the trip opens her eyes to possibilities she’d never imagined for herself. Maybe she is more than the boy-crazy girl everyone seems to think she is.

On a journey from Baltimore all the way to San Francisco, Lulu and Milagro will become begrudging partners as they unpack weighty family expectations, uncover Clara’s secrets, and maybe even discover the true meaning of sisterhood.

Fun, quirky, and unconventional, Lulu and Milagro's Search for Clarity is a tale of two sisters on an unexpected road trip. 

The eponymous main characters are sisters Lulu and Milagro. Both are high school students - yet the similarities pretty much end there. Lulu is bookish, introverted, and laser-focused on her studies and the future she's mapped out for herself. Milagro is popular, confident, and cares more about what she's wearing to school than actually learning anything while she's there. The sisters are like chalk and cheese, yet by a sudden change of circumstances, both end up on a college trip, travelling across the country together. 

The story is told from both sisters' perspectives, alternating between Lulu and Milagro for each chapter. Both sisters have a unique voice and the writing is excellent - it's so easy to get into their heads and see things from their point of view. This also helps to show not only Lulu and Milagro's differences but their similarities too. Both are determined and headstrong in their own ways, and although they may seem completely different at first, throughout the trip, the sisters slowly start to grow closer together. 

The exploits, feelings, and innermost thoughts of both girls are laid bare in this story, exposing vulnerabilities, fear, and doubt. At its core, this is a heartfelt coming-of-age story with family at its centre. It's sincere, dynamic, and unexpectedly genuine.

Rating: 4 stars

Lulu and Milagro's Search for Clarity is available to buy now.

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* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Will you be reading the book? Let me know in the comments below! 

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