Book Reviews and Writing Tips

Book Reviews and Writing Tips

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

BOOK REVIEW - A Band of Gypsies

A group of exchange students meet up in turbulent Spain to spend seven months working there. We get to know them as they navigate a foreign country amid all the chaos and random attacks. However we never learn the backgrounds of the other interns even though we know they are full of enthusiasm and a sense of adventure.

Jaime Aragon flees the violence of Manila only to enter another country where violence is run rampant. The picturesque city he imagined to be arriving in is anything but – full of pollution and crumbling tattered buildings, but he grows to like the place that is made even more pleasant by his new-found friends.

He must learn Spanish quickly before he takes up his new job in two weeks time. This is all prearranged for him before he arrives in Bilbao as well as his assigned apartment space that accommodates different interns from across the globe every year. He manages to learn enough of the language to get him by until he learns more and he ends up excelling in his new job.

The small town called Bilbao that he lives in temporarily is in the Spanish Basque country where everywhere there are acts of terrorism going on. This book contains lots of action while also describing local events and characters in detail. For instance, there may be an ambush at a marketplace full of party goers celebrating some event. You never know when and where disaster may strike.

Two of the people in the group, Allison and Jaime, fall in love but are afraid to let go because they both have a terrifying past where people they love have met demise. Tragedy seems to follow this couple around.

This novel is well written and intriguing with all the festivals, bombings, love and lust between the interns, etc. The book is full of captivating stories and is a fast moving tale that will keep you reading to see what happens to all the people involved. The cover is colorful and is a good match for the story being told.

Be prepared for lots of excitement and adventures as our group of interns gets into all sorts of predicaments. I think perhaps it would have been nice to know about the other intern’s backgrounds, but we do get to see the background of Jaime and Allison as the story goes on and thus know why they have a slow moving relationship.

There were many Spanish words and phrases used in this book, but it was all translated so non-Spanish speaking readers could follow the story with no problem.

This is a novel of romance written from the male perspective. Jaime is smitten with Allison but too shy to tell her so. He finds her mysterious and beautiful and she captivates him, but she always seems to be out on dates with different Spaniards he meets. When he finally makes his move, the story is written around them as they yearn to uncover each others backgrounds.

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