Ordinary Girls

Y’all all I can say is ORDINARY GIRLS is THAT book! Why am I not seeing it everywhere?! Don’t think for a second that I would let 2019 end without absolutely screaming about this powerhouse memoir! In case it’s not clear, y’all need to put down the book you’re currently reading and get into ORDINARY GIRLS!

ORDINARY GIRLS is a memoir of Jaquira Diaz’s life. Born in Puerto Rico’s El Caserio Padre Rivera housing project and growing up in Miami Beach, Florida, Diaz’s is a life of struggle. A struggle with family, poverty, drug addiction, violence, mental illness, and her own sexual identity. Diaz writes with searing honesty, not shying away from the more troubling events of her life. This is a hard book to read, it’s a real gut-punch! You will be shocked, disturbed, saddened but also inspired. There is strong love, hope, and triumph throughout the book.

What makes ORDINARY GIRLS so powerful and compelling is that it’s not just about the author. It’s about her mom, her dad, her grandmothers; it’s about her her neighbors, her community, and Puerto Rico; and it’s about all other ordinary girls. Diaz uses her memoir to shine light on communities that deserve our attention.

The book is structured as a collection of essays about different times, events, or people in her life. Unlike a typical memoir the format is non-linear, within one essay the timeline will often jump between the past, present and future. I really appreciated this structure and found it created a very interesting and unique type of storytelling.

ORDINARY GIRLS is proof that the best, most compelling stories are true. From the first paragraph to the last, I was completely enthralled with Diaz’s story, her life, and her heart. Do yourself a favor: RUN, DON’T WALK to read ORDINARY GIRLS!!!

** Algonquin Books provided the book for honest review


  • Title: Ordinary Girls
  • Author: Jaquira Diaz
  • Published: October 29, 2019 (Algonquin Books)
  • Genre: Memoir, Nonfiction, LGBT
  • Booky Nooky Rating: * * * * *

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