“You shouldn’t let people make you so angry…if they make you angry, then they’ve won.”

Genre: Middle Grade Fiction
Pages: 224
Publisher: Pushkin Press
Published: 1st October, 2020
Rate: 3.5 ⭐⭐⭐

Goodreads Synopsis

For fans of deeply poignant middle grade about friendship and loss like The Thing About Jellyfish, comes the story about a young girl who can’t remember anything from her previous summer after a hurricane.

Twelve-year-old Clara lives on an island that visitors call exotic. But there’s nothing exotic about it to Clara. She loves eating ripe mangos off the ground, running outside in the rain with her Papa during rainy season, and going to her secret hideout with Gaynah–even though lately she’s not acting like a best friend.

The only thing out of the ordinary for Clara is that something happened to her memory that made her forget everything that happened last summer after a hurricane hit. Sometimes things come back to her in drips like a tap that hasn’t been turned off properly. Other times her Mama fills in the blanks…only she knows those aren’t her memories and it is hard feeling like she is not like everybody else.

But this summer is going to be different for Clara. Everyone is buzzing with excitement over a new girl in the village who is not like other visitors. She is about to make big waves on the island–and give Clara a summer she won’t forget.

Disclaimer: I received a galley of the copy for review though all thoughts & opinions are honest & my own.

My Take
When Life Gives You Mangoes took me back to my childhood years from the friendship arguments to the make believe games, I felt right at home. Kereen Getten writes beautifully about the island girl, Clara, her family and their home in Sycamore. A place where everyone knows everyone, and their business. I love how she brought about friendships and healing, how Clara struggles with being present and what she needed to make it all right. It’s a process which hit me hard and had me taking a step back and thinking more on it.

The book is big on community, and there’s this sense of togetherness that I really loved. The characters are relatable, almost real. I’d get angry at some and feel sorry for others that I had to remind myself its just a story, no need to get worked up.

“I’m sure you heard more than that, but yes, I do like solitude. One cannot go wrong with his own company.”

My favourite part had to be the twist that I definitely didn’t see coming. The book flows easily with a plot that draws you in and takes you on a rich story along the Caribbean. I loved it.

Happy release date to When Life Gives You Mangoes. It’s a book that can be read by anyone and you’ll thoroughly enjoy. Get yourself a copy.