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CriticasMexican author Velasco (Cecilia, Doble A, 1994) set out to create "an intense piece of writing" in this latest novel, winning this year's coveted Premio Afaguara de Novela. Fast paced and energetic, the novel centers on the lives of two hedonistic, reclusive characters: 15-year-old Violetta and Pig, a middle-aged Mexican journalist who later becomes her guardian devil. Tired of living the life of a modern Mexico City Cinderella, the ever restless Violetta runs away to New York City, taking with her more than $100,000 she has stolen from her parents, a couple of white-collar criminals who in turn snatched it from the Red Cross. Chronicling debaucheries, the novel's chapters alternate between Violetta's and Pig's separate but equally excessive, self-destructive life, leading up to Violetta's less than triumphant return to Mexico, where their two worlds collide. Velasco shifts perspectives but is at his best when taking on the voice of Violetta. Her fresh, vibrant language highlights the richness of both Mexican and English slang, often fusing the two unapologet-ically. "Era yo una naca en upgrade process" ("I was a 'ghetto' girl in upgrade process"), says Violetta at her mildest, and at her foulest she spews out obscenities as fast as she can spend thousands of dollars in shopping sprees at Saks Fifth Avenue. Although Violetta's antics become tiresome at times, Velasco's quick and urgent style drives readers toward a powerful conclusion. Dark and humorous, this novel is highly recommended for all public libraries and bookstores.
—Cesar Cazales, Osseo, MN Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.