Review: Love in LA (Short Story)

A 4 star review of Love in L.A, a short story by Dagoberto Gilb

By Dagoberto Gilb

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

This short story seems surface level at first, but its themes become more complex the longer you think about it.

Love in LA is about a man named Jake who is driving on a weekday morning.  Unlike most commuters, Jake isn’t going to work.  Instead, he is driving and thinking about the glamorous lifestyle that he wants to live.  Because of that, he ends up getting into a car accident with a beautiful woman named Mariana…. and it goes from there.

Mariana is essentially the opposite of Jake.  Where he is ungrateful for what he has, but doesn’t want to work for it, she is going to work every day but still lives with her parents.  Where he is a liar and a cheat, she is trusting and earnest.  This creates an interesting dynamic that progresses as the story goes on.

Before you start thinking about an amazing love story, let me just tell you that what happens is not what you will expect.  The author writes this in a way so that as you read, you become increasingly shocked by the main character.  He is characterized throughout the story so that it is not until the very last paragraph that you get a full vision of who he is.  Because of that, I would highly recommend a second read-through (it’s only a couple pages long) in order to pick up on the little details that you may have missed the first time.  Gilb does a great job of adding those small details that make the story much clearer the more you read it.

Another thing that I love about the story is that there are many different layers to the meaning, so you pick up on new pieces the longer that you think about it.  This story has themes about wealth, hard work, and relationships (If you pick up on any more let me know).

What I believe Gilb did best is that if you told the story from Mariana’s perspective instead of Jake’s it would be COMPLETELY different.  It is ironic thinking about this fact, and it makes you question other interactions that you have had with people in your life, and their validity.  I think this is really cool, becauses it creates an emphasis on the main conflict of the story (trying to write this without giving anything away).

I would recommend this story to anyone, both male or female, middle school to adult.  It is an interesting, enjoyable read whether you are looking to dissect literary elements or not.

Have you read this or another story by Dagoberto Gilb? Let us know your thoughts below!

 

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Review: Revelation (Short Story)

A 5 star review of Revelation, by Flannery O’connor

by Flannery O’Connor

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

This short story is about a woman, named Mrs.Turpin, and her thoughts and feelings over the course of a day.  The main setting is a doctor’s waiting room, where Mrs.Turpin goes because of her husband, Claud.  Mrs.Turpin is instantly judgemental, thinking about the different classes each person in the waiting room falls into, and how she is better than the majority of people on Earth.  Then comes Mary Grace, an “ugly” overweight, acne covered girl who sits there, glaring at Mrs.Turpin and reading a book.  Mrs.Turpin, being the way that she is, doesn’t exceptionally like Mary Grace… and it goes from there.

This is a classic Flannery O’Connor short story whose theme relates good-from-bad, and right-from-wrong.  It has a great plot, and it leaves you filled with emotions about each of the main characters.  It should only take about 20 minutes to read, so it is great for if you, like Mrs.Turpin, are stuck in a waiting room.  Even though it is short, the themes and the thoughts which it provokes will stick with you for much longer.  I found myself judging Mrs.Turpin, and then wondering if I was just like her, and panicking (you’ll understand if you read the book) and then going back to wondering just what the author was trying to convey.

For the most part, it is entirely realistic even if, like me, you are not a devout Catholic.  The only part where I found it to be a bit too dramatic was the very end.  O’Connor added this part, as it was not originally included, and in my opinion I feel as though she should have just left it out entirely.  It became very religious, god comes back to Earth feel, which I personally didn’t like.  That being said, it is only for the very last paragraph of the story so by all means do not let that discourage you.

The book is filled with the in depth thoughts of Mrs.Turpin, and her descriptions of the people around her, but there are also some very comical moments interspersed, allowing you to become even more involved in what you are reading.  This is a great short story, and I would highly recommend to anyone looking for a short yet thought provoking next read.

Have you read this or any of Flannery O’Connor’s other short stories? What did you think? Let us know, comment below!