Puerto Rican girls are brought up to want one thing: true love. Yet they are raised by women whose lives are marked by broken promises, grief, and betrayal. This collection documents how these “love wars” break out across generations as individuals find themselves caught in the crosshairs of romance, expectations, and community.
Rodriguez’s women (and one boy) are complex, well-wrought ... These nine stories present a complex, multifaceted, and somewhat connected narrative of Puerto Rican life ... Rodriguez writes about obsession, depression, and the harm we do to ourselves better than most. She also writes about the balancing acts many of us have to perform between cultures ... 'Love War Stories' is the final piece in the collection and beautifully sums up so many themes: love as battlefield, as belief, as impossible expectation ... Throughout this collection Rodriguez writes brilliantly of love, life, and loss.
...a bold collection that marks the shortfall between romantic illusions and reality ... Here, love involves a challenging negotiation between what Latinx culture fosters and what individuals want to believe. Rodriguez deftly portrays this tension before her characters reach their decisive moments ... In a refreshing twist, despite bitterness or betrayal, believing in love becomes less naïve than singularly hard-won.
...[an] uneven debut ... though ambitious, the conceit isn’t carried all the way through ... Other stories feel underdeveloped, and though the collection is only somewhat successful as a whole, Rodriguez’s best stories are both heartbreaking and insightful.