Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Mariposa Club Rigoberto Gonzalez

The Mariposa Club by Rigoberto Gonzalez
Its the senior year of high school for four openly gay friends. Mauricio (Maui) Trini, Isaac, and Liberace. That's his real name, but he goes by Lib. The four call themselves The Firece Foursome.

Maui is the narrator, he is our guide into the Fierce Foursome. When the school year begins the four friends want to start a GLBT club in their high school. Though this story is mainly about "the girls" (what they call each other), their friendships, family relationships and their Mexican communities lack of acceptance for their sexual orientation.

The Mariposa Club works very well on so many levels. I loved the dialogue and characters. Gonzalez created four characters with distinct personalities. Maui, Trini, Isaac and Lib all have their own coming out story. Some of the parents are more accepting.

Some novels teach more then others. A story about four gay male teens in a small Mexican community is one of those stories. I now know that in Mexico sometimes gay men are refered to as fluttering butterflies. Mariposa is butterfly in Spanish.

It could've been really easy for the author to cross the line into too much this is what the reader should know territory and not enough story. However Gonzalez finds a wonderful balance. He makes the reader care about the four friends and their friendships.

Jodie's review @ Book Gazing
A review @ Queer YA


rhapsodyinbooks said...

I didn't know that Mexicans use "mariposa" for gay. This sounds like a good find!

Doret said...

Jill - If you get a second, you should check out Jodie's review. Its really good and its what put The Mariposa Club on my radar.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a winner! Adding it to my list!

Jodie said...

I told you I just finished Down to the Bone right? (must review). Well I found it so interesting that mariposita is used as a lovely compliment towards Laura, but it's this horrible, derogatory term when used towards latino men. I think they'd make complimentary book partners - especially as you say 'The Mariposa Club' teaches quite a bit and I think 'Down to the Bone' does too.

Yay glad you liked it and will link your review on my post. There's a sequel coming out possibly next year I think.

Doret said...

Jodie - I loved Down to the Bone - I read it before I started blogging, so I never got a chance to review. Though I am really tempted to reread, so I can review it.

Its been awhile since I read Down to the Bone, so I don't remember how mariposita was used. But maybe Dole's characters were reclaming the word.

Or maybe it's seen as compliment for Laura because its okay for woman to be seen as butterflies.

Though my money is on my first gess