Customer Reviews for

Caramelo

Average Rating 4
( 30 )
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5 Star

(15)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 31 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted June 6, 2009

    Finding Yourself As a Female

    This book was very enjoyable for me. It was at times slow but all in all I found there was a lot I could relate to in Celaya's story. As a Hispanic-American living with her mother, father, seven brothers, and eventually "The Awful Grandmother" she has a lot to deal with. I believe Celaya wants to know herself and the strong female she can be and that this is what drives her to search out advice through the stories of her Awful Grandmother and other females in her life. I found myself feeling deeply for Celaya throughout the story. I was left satisfied at the end when, even though she was still unsure of who she was, she had heard and learned enough from her Grandmother, Mother, and Aunt's past experiences with love, relationships, and family hardships to be able to succeed in life and understand what she herself had experienced. Cisneros is wonderful at helping you to almost taste the scene as you are reading and her character's emotions and personalities are captured wonderfully.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 11, 2010

    Great Book!

    This story is told by LaLa Reyes, a young girl who's childhood is spent traveling back and fourth fourth from her home in Chicago to her grandparents home in Mexico City. LaLa dreads the trip every year and calls her grandmother ,"the awful Grandmother." One of the main themes in the story is how Mexican women are portrayed. They have to meet the expectation on what society wants them to be When deep down inside these women are miserable. They are hidden from the reality and when it hits them they are helpless to what they should do. LaLa needs to tell the truth from the lies and stories told to find out the family background. The authors writing style is easy to understand and a lot of the things she wrote about i would find myself relating to the same things. LaLa comes off with a strong personality to her mother an grandmother for simply being herself. This is a really great book to read even if your not a reader it will keep you wanting to read more!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2009

    Slow slow start

    I have a really hard time reading Sandra Cisneros' books. They all start off so slow. I enjoy the storyline, but they are slow reads for me. I didn't like how much she mixed English and Spanish words and the form that she chose to do it. I speak both languages and I think she did a bad job with this book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2009

    hannahisastud-WinL 3rd

    Caramelo was originally an assigned reading; however, it is a book I would have gladly read for personal enjoyment. Cisneros writes in a very down-to-earth, relatable way that makes even the slow parts of the novel seem interesting. There are three things I like most about this novel. First, the character developement is phenomenal. By the end, Celaya's family could have lived next door to me my whole life and I would not have known them any better. Inocencio is clearly the old school, hard working, doting father and husband. Celaya's mom is very much the fiery tempered but loving mother and wife. And the Awful Grandmother is just as horrible as her name suggests; that is, until you get to know her story. Which leads me to my second favorite thing, the mixing of generations to creat one combined plot. The reader jumps from Celaya's story to that of the Awful Grandmother to that of Inocencio with a clarity not often found in this type of book. Such a multigenerational story is not only a good read, providing many plot twists; but it lends to better cultural understanding and character understanding. Thirdly, I enjoyed how the supernatural was worked into the story without creating a fuss. For instance, Celaya talks with the Awful Grandmother after she (the Awful Grandmother) has died to bargain for the life of Inocencio. Not many authors are able to mix the supernatural with real life so easily and without overdoing it. All in all, I very much enjoyed this book, and think it should be at the top of everyone's book list.

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  • Posted May 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    finally a book for me

    I am an avid reader and this is honestly the first book that I can relate to being a mexican american. So many latino books deal with gangs or drugs or barrios that only relate to a small amount of latinos. For mexican americans there is not much literature out there. I understood so much of the characters and the story under the surface about class differences and the color of your skin that is not easily understood outside of the latino culture. Great book and i will keep it for my daughter when she gets older.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2009

    Didn't deliver

    I loved Women of Hollering Creek and waited for this much celebrated book Caramelo expecting the same from Cisneos. However, I tried reading it 2 times and each time I felt it was very rough at the beginning. A friend said the ending was great but I never was able to get that far. I abandoned this book after 2 tries. I am an avid reader and it is rare that I ever abandon a book. I am sorry to say that Caramelo has great details, but the transitions are very rough. I think Cisneros is more a short story writer than a novelist. Waiting for more from her later.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2008

    Cisneros has a unique style

    I have never read another author that writes like Sandra Cisneros. Her style is unique. She doesn¿t use quotation marks which is something I haven¿t seen before. Instead she uses ¿¿¿ at the beginning of the quote or dialogue. This helps make the novel more interesting by making it more unique. At times it can be confusing though because you don¿t know if someone is still talking or if it is Celaya, or Lala as she is sometimes called, narrating the book. For example, at one point in the story the author writes, ¿¿I told you, Baby says to Fat-Face. ¿ I told you he wouldn¿t like it, but who listens to me?¿'pg. 291' You have to think about if for a while whether Lala says the ¿but who listens to me?¿ part or if Baby says this. After the first hundred pages or so you start to get used to her writing and knowing the difference between quotes and the narrator is easy. I love how Cisneros uses Spanish in Caramelo as well. I take Spanish in school and it is fun to apply what I have learned to the book. Even if you don¿t know any Spanish, Cisneros translates a lot of it into English right after it is said. You will have a few new Spanish words to add to your vocabulary after reading this book. Because the setting of the story is often in Mexico and deals with many events from the Mexico¿s history, Cisneros put little notes at the end of each chapter to explain events, phrases, or people she uses. Sometimes she even explains a little something extra about a character that was not revealed in the current topic of the story. At one point Lala explains while telling a story about her grandmother, ¿At times she would say, I am sad. Is my father perhaps sad and thinking of me at this moment too? Or, I am hungry and cold. Perhaps my father is hungry and cold at this very moment.*¿ then at the end of the chapter a ¿*¿ would be next to the explanation that, ¿Later she will learn there is no home to go back to¿¿ 'pg. 101' Cisneros explains that the Mexican Revolution began and there were several explanations about what happened to Soledad¿s father. The little explanations can help readers understand the story better. Cisneros definitely deserves credit for being original. Like I said before, I have never read another book by an author like Cisneros. The characters in the story are very original and believable. When the family gets together at the Awful Grandmother¿s house, and the author describes all of the aunts, uncles and cousins, the reader can find many characters in the book that remind them of someone in their family. The reader can easily picture the fights and conversations between the family members and laugh because they have been there before. Of course there is the annoying suck-up cousin that everyone knows and the bold cousin that leads all of the games between the cousins. Don¿t forget the grandpa that secretly gives you special treatment like allowing you to not finish your dinner because it ¿made needles on your tongue¿ even though your grandma said you had to or you got no dessert 'pg. 55'. The story is unlike any I have ever read and it is not likely I will find one that even comes close to it. It shows you a different perspective on life you may not have pictured before. I would probably read another book written by this author. I enjoyed her unique writing style and originality.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2008

    Book Review: Caramelo

    Sandra Cisneros¿ book ¿Caramelo¿ would definitely get a 5 star rating from me. She grabs the reader¿s attention from the very beginning of the novel and keeps it until the last word. Anyone reading this book can easily relate to Lala¿s life and her family even if they have never experienced anything like it. Her style of writing draws the reader into the story and makes them feel what Lala is feeling. For example when she first introduces her family members, the nicknames she has for them like ¿Awful Grandmother¿ ¿Aunty Light-Skin¿ and ¿Uncle Fat Face¿ gives a mental picture of each one that stays with you throughout the entire novel. They become very believable people the minute Lala introduces each one and the chaos that ensues while taking the photograph on the beach in Acapulco. Her style was a very unique blend of English and Spanish. The main character and narrator Lala, was of Hispanic decent, so this type of writing makes sense. Cisneros uses English for the majority of the book, but in many of the sentences she throws in a Spanish word or two for effect and authenticity. This was an impressive part of her writing because even if the reader doesn¿t know what was being said in Spanish, the many things it could be flow through the mind of the reader. Nowhere in the book was there a place at which the reader could get completely confused by the Spanish, Cisneros did a fine job at finding that balance. Not only were the transitions from English to Spanish smooth and easy to follow, the way Cisneros added footnotes of Mexican culture was also an added touch. I enjoy reading works by an author who is able to entice me to read to the next chapter. I don¿t like to force myself to have to keep trudging through a book page by page and Cisneros doesn¿t do that at all. You will find that her style of writing makes you want to read on to find out what happens next as the characters develop and grow until you reach the point at which you feel like you know that character and can relate to them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2008

    Excelent Book!

    The novel Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros is a thrilling story of a young girl who grows up with family difficulties. The problems in the novel can relate to the problems one has. Some of the poblems include the family not getting along, fights here and, and also economic issues. Also, it is very easy to relate to a character in the story because the characteristics of a character in the novel can be alike to one's self. One time I felt like I was Lala she was on her way to Mexico! Lala Reyes,the main charater, has demonstrate that life is not easy, but that everything happends for a reason. My favorite part of the novel is when Reyes family takes a trip to Acapulco. The details Cisneros gives about the beaches are so vivid...when I read them I wanted to take a plane and relax under the beautiful sun with the Reyes family. Lala has hated her awful grandmother, Soledad, for a very long time for her rudeness. Grandmother Soledad has brought so many problems to the Reyes family all in the Reyes family hate her, except for her son, Lala's father. The difficulties that she brings the family are pages and pages long, but but the results of them are unexpected and jaw-dropping. When Lala's father is in the hospital, everything seems to fall in place. Awful grandmother finally reveals her feelings for the Reyes family and the family seems to smile again. Overall, with the twist and turns, Cisneros brings to life the beautiful Mexican culture through the Reyes family. This phenomenal novel is a story never to be forgotten.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2006

    A wholesome book I couldn't put down

    I enjoyed this book because it was so easy to understand and relate to. I literally spent hours redaing it. It also gives interesting tidbits of information tthroughout the story found at the end of end chapter that really make me think. I love the point of view that the story is told from, a child who grows up into becoming an adolescent. The narrator tells the story, but also tells the facts of life we all hate to face, but by her putting things out in the open, she clears the air.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2006

    Great Details, Slow Plot

    I love Sandra Cisneros and was a big fan of 'Woman Hollering Creek,' but somewhat disappointed when it came to the pace of 'Caramelo.' Cisneros has an amazing control of language and I loved the quick-witted switch between English and Spanish in 'Caramelo.' Unfortunately at over 450 pages, the family saga Cisneros recounts in a spliced fashion is too broken up to have any real momentum.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2005

    Lucky

    I was lucky enought to see and hear the author read excerpts from this book. Just from that one experience I recommend this book to anyone and everyone. The images she created were so vivid they remineded me of going to Mexico.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2004

    Caramelo is a Magical Epic

    All I can say is this book is shere perfection. My life shimmered while I read it. This is the author's piece-de-resistance.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2004

    A book worth reading.

    Without a doubt in my mind, Caramelo is a vivid novel that falls nothing short of a masterpiece. Sandra Cisneros has truly outdone herself with this story of a Mexican- American family that lives neither here nor on the other side of the border. This story takes place in two main places, Chicago and Mexico city. The narrator of this story is named Celaya, Lala for short, she tells this story with such emotion and adventure, it¿s hard to really put this book down. Not only does this book take place in two cities, it also takes place in different decades, era¿s, and even centuries. This book has made it¿s mark on not only me, but also large number of other people who have already read this book. Cisneros writes this book so intensely that you almost feels as though it¿s her own story, and not Lala¿s. Cisneros writing is so captivating and realistic that it only mesmerizes the reader, and draws them more into the book. Her use of Spanish words with English word, can only be categorized as brilliant, and charming. Not only does the reader get to enjoy a magnificent work of art, they also get a mini Spanish course along with the novel; if you ask me, that¿s getting two things for the price of one. This book is so well written that it interlaces history with romance, and conflict, and disappointment, and desire that it only takes your breath away, and only makes the reader marvel at her work with admiration. Caramelo, is a best seller for a reason, and until now has been praised and admired, here and down south, passing the border. This novel is crammed with humor, symbolism, and memories, that only boost the richness of the novel. I feel that Sandra Cisneros has achieved her purpose in writing this story, by making the reader have an idea of being someone who is an outsider, someone looking into the world; of being from neither here, nor there. This book, I would recommend to anyone, especially those who can understand Spanish, it¿s worth reading, definitely .

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2004

    A stroll through Mexican life

    Caremelo is a novel written literally by Sandra Cisneros, however the narrator is a young girl who tells family stories, with the help of her grandmother and her imagination. She tells of her family¿s countless summer trips across the border to Mexico, she talks of the time when her father is put in the situation of either choosing his wife or his mother, she tells the story of when they gave her a really bad haircut and she even talks about the time when her grandparents where young kids. Basically Caramelo is full of Mexican stories and legends. This book is not like any other novel that flows in chronological order, Cisneros writes Caramelo in a way that makes you want to keep reading. It bounces back and forth, which not all readers may enjoy, but personally I like this writing method because it keeps me anxious, which in turn makes me want to keep reading in order to find out what happens next. Another thing I also enjoyed about the way Caramelo is written is that it has Spanish references, like for example some Spanish words are used to add sizzle to the stories. I enjoyed this because I not only read and speak Spanish but I was also raised in a Mexican-American home, which greatly helped to understand these references. Basically I really enjoyed Caramelo and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading cultural stories.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2004

    Chicano Literature at its Best

    This book is wonderful. Any chicano could relate to the characters, the family members and their histories, querks, personalities, flaws, and loveable qualities. Celaya is an articulate narrator throughout the novel even when her character seems to be a small child. I especially enjoyed the theme of Destiny throughout the novel. The phrase 'El Destino Es el Destino' (which is the name of a chapter) could easily be the subject of entire literary essays because in Spanish, Destino, could have two interpretations: destiny or destination. These two interpretations of the spanish word give the previously mentioned phrase so much weight. Clearly, I thoroghly enjoyed this novel and recommend it highly.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2003

    Great Audiobook, excellent story!!

    Sandra Cisneros is one of the most interesting readers for an audiobook I have heard. She has a clear, truly unique voice, and the ability to make many characters distinctive. The story itself is a fascinating odyssey from Chicago to Mexico and back and forth and down to Texas and in and out of her imagination. I loved the story and the reading and highly recommend it especially for a long trip.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2003

    A Great Novel

    This is a wonderful novel from a very gifted writer! I urge everyone to read this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2003

    READ IT

    As a Latina from Texas who was raised in California and only been back to Texas once, I found this book taking me back. I didn't want to leave the characters 3/4 of the way through the book! I will buy this for all my neices!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2002

    A MUST HEAR FROM A CONTEMPORARY SHEHERAZADE

    Author Sandra Cisneros gives resonant voice to her first novel since the widely acclaimed "The House On Mango Street." Her articulation brings these fictional characters to vibrant life and adds an unexpected richness to her story of Mexican/American culture. We return to Chicago's Mexican/American community and the family of Lala Reyes, a generous and vital woman. She comes from a clan of shawl makers, and now owns the caramelo, a beautiful striped rebozo which symbolizes history and the meaning of blood ties. A gifted and intriguing story teller, Cisneros holds nothing back as she paints fully realized human beings with all their flaws, foibles, and goodness. Her story begins with the Reyes' family's annual trek from Chicago to Mexico City, which is where Lala hears the stories of her forebears and their sometimes hard scrabble lives in San Antonio, Texas and Mexico. Stories may be true or they may be embroidered - but there is always something to learn. Caramelo is a saga replete with life, love and laughter told by a natural weaver of tales. This is a must-hear from a contemporary Sheherazade.

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