Las Hermanas by Raedene Jeannette Melin
5 Stars: City or Jungle?
I can easily connect "Las Hermanas by Raedene Jeannette Melin" to today's political climate, but sometimes relating books or movies to "the now" makes them dated years later, which would be a disservice to the author and book. In the opening pages of "Las Hermanas" deep in a South American jungle, it grips you with fast pace passages of Adelita Alvarez or Adi for short survival to not be murdered and her fierce protection of her brother Benito to not end up a victim like the countless of bodies litter throughout this story. In our reality where we remain clueless or apathetic of places like this, and the people that yearn to escape the violence are not giving a platform to plead for our understanding; they stay nameless so easily discarded like the victims that die around Adi, this book provides you clarity.
Running from gun-wielding psycho from forgotten wars and confusing objectives, Adi runs to the city to her family because that is what kids do, as kids we don't know the politics of family or pettiness, in extreme danger we run to familiarity. Some of us can attest to the fact as kids we are held accountable for our parent's decisions, Adi's aunt holds her accountable, "She sighed deeply. “I told your mother what would happen if she went into the jungle,” she said, more to herself than to Adi. She turned her attention back to her. “Actions have consequences. You can’t run off playing revolutionary without expecting repercussions.” Adi runs after being rejected by "family" realistic writing with heart-pounding moments; I stressed Adi's missteps, and run-ins with the dangerous concrete jungle I was even a little disappointed at her choices, but Adi is a child. In the city, she runs into some of society's throwaway "youths" Adi starts to gain some street smarts joins up with some of them a band of brothers and sisters, expressions of loyalty and friendship levels the sadness of youthful survival.
Eventually, the story leads back into the real jungle, Adi is truly tested, hard choices are made by those in her camp just trying to survive. "Raedene Jeannette Melin," writes excellent action moments but also touches them with heartfelt scenes, "Las Hermanas" exposes the good and evil nature of humanity.