Release date: September, 2011
Publisher: Author House
Format: ebook (provided to me in exchange for an honest review)
Age Group: Young Adults
Pages: 318 (326 in ebook format/version, I think because it’s counts the title page, etc)
Source for Synopsis: Goodreads
Challenge: (personal) 2012 Reading Challenge, 50 Book Pledge
The Earthquake Machine tells the story of 14 year-old Rhonda. On the outside, everything looks perfect in Rhonda’s world but at home Rhonda has to deal with a manipulative father who keeps her mentally ill mother hooked on pharmaceuticals. The only reliable person in Rhonda’s life is her family’s Mexican yardman, Jes s. But when the INS deports Jes?’s back to his home state of Oaxaca, Rhonda is left alone with her increasingly painful family situation. Determined to find her friend Jes s, Rhonda seizes an opportunity to run away during a camping trip with friends. She swims to the Mexican side of the Rio Grande and makes her way to the border town of Boquillas, Mexico. There a peyote-addled bartender convinces her she won’t be safe traveling alone into the country’s interior. So with the bartender’s help, Rhonda cuts her hair and assumes the identity of a Mexican boy named Angel. She then sets off on a burro across the desert to look for Jes s. Thus begins a wild adventure that explores the borders between the United States and Mexico, adolescence and adulthood, male and female, English and Spanish, and adult coming-of-age and Young Adult novels.
- Some Quotes
There were more quotes that I liked, but I forgot to write them down until I was near the end of the book, since it’s an ebook, I don’t feel like skimming through them all looking for interesting quotes (this is one of the reasons why I prefer reading print books, plus they’re more comfortable to read)
“Wake up you two. You may be tired out from a night of scrogging like crazed weeds, but I got donuts.” -Page 306
Megan jumped in. “Unless you sign papers agreeing that you’ll let Rhonda live with her godmother Nina and you’ll give her money to live on and promise to pay for her to go to college and everything.”
“Trade school,” Rhonda managed to interject. “I want to design furniture and make it myself.”
“Oh yeah,” Megan continued, “And when she turns sixteen, she wants a car. And insurance.”
“It doesn’t have to be a fancy car,” Rhonda said.
“This is extortion,” her father insisted.
“I know my parents wouldn’t want to buy stuff from a pharmacist who doped his wife up with prescription drugs. I bet their friends wouldn’t either. Or anybody else in town who watches TV or reads the paper.”
“So?” Adeline demanded.
“I would be willing to negotiate.”
“My father will contact you. And remember, it’s not about negotiating. It’s about you complying or Rhonda holding a press conference about Daddy Dearest, everybody’s favourite pharmacist,” Megan said.
Isn’t that a little too much to ask, plus sixteen is too early to get your own car, I’m eighteen and I still don’t have my own car. I wonder, is her dad rich?
The first novel review in a long time (I’ve been doing a lot of manga reviews lately).
Gore: There is some, but not too much.
Romance: Yes (She mostly observes while other people are having romance, but she does have her romance, although I didn’t see much of the chemistry between her and the guy, I think it was just desire not love, since she left immediately, if you want to know what happened, then read the book and find out).
Action: (This is hard too rate, since this is supposed to be a realistic novel, at least that’s the impression I got from it)
Pacing: 3.5 stars
Plot: 4 stars
The Earthquake Machine is the story of fourteen year old girl named Rhonda, whose life is messed up, even though it doesn’t seem like it to other people. Not wanting to continue living life with her father, she escapes to Mexico in order to find her former yardman, Jesύs, who she trusts the most. Rhonda changes her identity to a Mexican boy and begins her crazy journey to find Jesύs.
Rhonda, is really brave and crazy to travel all the way to Mexico and then through Mexico all by herself, I would’t even be able to travel to another country all by myself like that (but then again, I’ve never been in the same or similar situation as she has been in, so it’s not fair to compare me with her, being so different and different situations), still, I think it’s amazing that someone so young (ok, she’s not that young from me, only four years younger) had the guts to do something like that and actually pulled it off (I know it’s fiction). I liked that she wanted to be different from other females (like I do, only people think I’m really weird, but I don’t mind, it’d great), go girl power! But I don’t like the fact that she tried to live a lie by being a boy so that no one treats her like a typical girl, the part about pretending to be a boy is ok, but the part about not eating isn’t, it’s like she was insulting God that why was she was born a girl, she should be happy with what she is, I know I am. By starving herself, she’d eventually get really sick and then die, which would be a terrible way to die, especially knowing that the reason was her own stubbornness. Plus, her obsession with reading about sex and sex in general is kind of creepy. Are there really any girls like that in real life? (whenever I read shojo mangas, some of the main character’s act like that about sex too, which is why I read mostly shonen mangas) Because I wasn’t like that and I’m still not like that (I think it’s because how I was raised), etc. I didn’t like her character at most points, sometimes I did, but mostly I didn’t. There are protagonists in books that I absolutely love and then there are some tHat I really hate, but for this book, I’m not sure, so I’ll say, around the middle.
(Sorry if that sounded like I was being mean or something, it’s just that when I review a book, I always talk about what makes the protagonist great and what makes him/her not so great).
Other girls might relate to her, having gone through similar things as her or similar feelings, and I know by reading some of the goodreads reviews about this book, but I didn’t relate to her much, at some parts I did, but mostly I didn’t.
The characters she meets along the way are awesome and were fun to read about, to be honest, I liked some of them more than Rhonda. It was a fun read and I liked many of those characters, especially those other women she met along the way (I forgot what they called their group).
I liked the journey that Rhonda takes to discover herself, and what she learns. I learned a lot of spanish words from reading this book, before this, I only knew as much spanish as I learned from when I was little and used to watch Dora the Explorer. When Rhonda sheds her old life to become a boy named Angel, she really does change. She goes from a scared little girl, to a brave young women, by the end you can tell that she grew up.
I’m wondering if this novel is set in modern times or in past, because the way Mexico is described (like, the sexist thing about boys carving and girls painting), it sounds like something from the 80s or 90s, unless Mexico is still like that. Since the country my parents were born and raised s Pakistan, it changed over the years about the sexist thing, men aren’t the only ones who still have a job there, it’s mostly men, but many women started working too.
Even though the protagonist is young, I don’t recommend this to younger teen readers, like those under maybe 15 or 16 years old, because: there is some vulgar language, lots of mentions of sex and something happens at the end that definitely not for kids.
If you want to read more reviews about this book, go to Goodreads and read the reviews in the comment section or go to other websites.
I rated this book: 3.5 stars, so no rating picture below this time. Since I didn’t make halves yet, although i will soon.
If you read this book, then tell me what you thought about it and or the series. Tell me in the comments section.