The Border – By Steve Schafer

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Goodreads Synopsis: One moment changed their lives forever.

A band plays, glasses clink, and four teens sneak into the Mexican desert, the hum of celebration receding behind them.
Crack. Crack. Crack.

Not fireworks–gunshots. The music stops. And Pato, Arbo, Marcos, and Gladys are powerless as the lives they once knew are taken from them.

Then they are seen by the gunmen. They run. Except they have nowhere to go. The narcos responsible for their families’ murders have put out a reward for the teens’ capture. Staying in Mexico is certain death, but attempting to cross the border through an unforgiving desert may be as deadly as the secrets they are trying to escape…

Find on Goodreads and Amazon.

Thank you so much to Netgalley for giving me a copy of this book.

As I think back on this book and remember the story and the characters my overall feeling is one of ambivalence. The first chapter is really well written, it’s vivid, it hurts to read and you automatically get attached to the characters. From there though the story starts to get slow, although the characters weren’t terrible. I liked the subplot with Pato and Arbo’s fathers, it gave insight into how life can be very gray at times.

On the one hand this story is really heartbreaking and realistic and I really appreciated that.  On the other hand I disliked that the story only had one female character and her sole purpose was just there to be inspiration for the main character. *Spoiler* She even ends up dying and there’s literately no point to her death other than to move the main character to finish the story, and this really pissed me off. *End Spoiler* As far as the Bechdel test goes this book completely fails, and really it’s 2018 why is this still happening?

In all I thought that it wasn’t a terrible book, I thought that it followed an important story, but it could have been written better. I gave it three stars.

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