TITLE: Things That Happened Before the Earthquake
AUTHOR: Chiara Barzini
PUBLICATION DATE: August 15, 2017
PUBLISHER: Doubleday Books
PAGES: 320 pages
Mere weeks after the 1992 riots that laid waste to Los Angeles, Eugenia, a typical Italian teenager, is rudely yanked from her privileged Roman milieu by her hippieish filmmaker parents and transplanted to the strange suburban world of the San Fernando Valley. With only the Virgin Mary to call on for guidance as her parents struggle to make it big, Hollywood fashion, she must navigate her huge new public high school, complete with Crips and Bloods and Persian gang members, and a car-based environment of 99-cent stores and obscure fast-food franchises and all-night raves. She forges friendships with Henry, who runs his mother’s movie memorabilia store, and the bewitching Deva, who introduces her to the alternate cultural universe that is Topanga Canyon. And then the 1994 earthquake rocks the foundations not only of Eugenia’s home but of the future she’d been imagining for herself. (courtesy of Goodreads.com)
I have read bunch of books before and Things That Happened Before the Earthquake is one of those books I enjoyed reading; a very intriguing story of a young girl Eugenia. For me reading this book is such an extraordinary experience. It talks about different topics which I think really diverse; social differences, families, friends and self-finding. There is something with the first chapter that got me hooked with the whole story, I mean, Eugenia is such an interesting character! She was careless for the world was cruel for her. They moved to LA and everything in her life started to change. Her personality and her story is something that everyone should know. She is the BEST representation for those teens who lost their way in our society, those who tries to find themselves and wants to express who they really are. At the same time, she seeks attention and love from the people around her specially from her own family. What makes me cry is when the time she asked, why can’t her family be like the other families? It really hurts like hell for me at that point; I felt all the emotions of the character.
There is some point in this book that you will feel down, happy, angry and so many other emotions. The author’s way of describing each scene is really vivid and the characters are really amazing. I love how the author makes everything in this book so natural in real life which you will find so relatable and will keep you reading it until the end. I have learned so much from this book about friendships, family values, happiness; self-finding which Eugenia often struggles about. I know she’s not that perfect character for everyone but her story is worth reading! There are lot of lessons in life here. I love how imperfect each character is and how they find happiness out of those flaws they have; this reminds us to love ourselves infinitely.
One thing I slightly dislike about the book is that it took time before the earthquake happened. (lol) but anyway I love everything that happened after that EARTHQUAKE, it was so perfect. Those parts really mark on my mind and makes me realize many things like we take things for granted most of the time. We humans only see the value of a thing/ when it’s already gone; this book reminds us to be intact with our family. Their return to their home country signifies “THERE IS NO PLACE LIKE HOME” we may find ourselves happy in a strange place, there will always a time you’ll find yourself longing for HOME.
All in all, I love this book. I highly recommend it to all