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Lyra, Glossopdale School

Saint Death

Saint Death is an eye-catching book which attracts you as soon as you see the cover. Personally, I wasn’t keen on the book but I’m sure others would be. The book tells a powerful story of poverty, drugs and gangs – the unfortunate truth of part of today’s society.

The story is set in Anapra which is one of the poorest neighbourhoods in the city of Juarez, Mexico. Twenty metres outside town lies a fence, and after it lies America. Faustino is trapped trying to escape from a gang with a pile of money he was supposed to be hiding and is now on the run. They have to replace the missing money with only 36 hours to do it. Faustino and his friend, Arturo, are on a mission while Saint Death (or Santissima Muerte) is watching over them. Will they restore the money and save Faustino’s life, or will death shadow
them?

I found the plot and the structure of the book very confusing. The cause of this was the text that often appeared between chapters and a lot of words in Spanish that I did not understand. Also there is not much information about the drowned girl at the begging of the novel. Sedgwick puts a different aspect on gang situations. He shows how easy it is to fall into a gang culture situation. The characters, who both believe they are acting with the greater good, do some bad things. In my opinion this book suggests that the reader should consider the lives of poor people forced into gangs.

My favourite character in this book was Arturo as he went to every effort to replace the money by playing a risky game - ‘calavera’ - where they could either win or loose money. Although the reader was slightly distant from him, he still really stood out to me from the beginning when he was introduced as very isolated.

My least favourite character was Faustino. This was because he dragged Arturo into his trouble and this made many scarifies for both characters. We don’t see much of Faustino, but what we do see is that he tries to make his bad decision for the greater good. Nevertheless, he still has been swept by his own choices and is now paying the price for his own greed.

Overall, I did not enjoy this book as it was confusing and difficult to understand. Therefore, I would give this book a 2 out of 5 stars and advise any young adults to read this book and make up their own mind.

Posted on: 29th April 2018 at 09:04 pm

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