My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Beautifully written book! Loved the main character and the lyrical writing style of the author. It probably helps that I am a So Cal girl so much of the ambiance of the place setting is deeply familiar to me. I could literally smell the oleander & feel the hot air from the Santa Ana winds as I read. It’s fascinating to watch Astrid grow from a young girl to a hardened young woman who somehow keeps her sense of wonder & hope barely flickering as she battered around by some of the darker sides of life in the foster care system. Since I am not one who likes only dark tales with no signs of happiness or love or hope, rest assured, this does end up in a way that is satisfying and true to the characters involved.
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Not reading this author again. Mildly entertaining mystery with heavy handed writing without creating any nuance or real interest in the characters. Just didn’t appeal to me.