Throw: A Novel (Review)

Throw: A Novel (Review)

“If I’m going to tell you the story of how I lost two people who were closer than blood to me, I have to begin here in Dennett, Texas, during the summer between the sophomore and junior years of my life. This story begins as it ends, with me, Cirilo Izquierdo, waiting for what all of us spend our whole lives waiting for: not to be alone anymore.”

Throw: A Novel, by Rubén Degollado

I recently reviewed Rubén Degollado’s debut novel, Throw, for The Common Online, and if I could reach through your screen to hand you this indie gem, I would.

Degollado, who has worked as a teacher, principal, and district administrator, has said he aimed to write “a modern Chicano Outsiders,” a novel that would speak to his young Latinx students. But Throw has just as much to offer to adult readers of literary fiction.

It’s a beautifully written, thoughtful foray into the inner life of a teenage boy living just north of the U.S.-Mexico border, near McAllen, Texas. The dialogue is nimble and searing and moves with the energy of lightning over water. And amidst the dramas of high schoolers fighting and flirting, fueling rumors and throwing shade and roaming lowrider car shows, it has a deeply contemplative heart. That feels especially important at this moment in American history, which is so often short on empathy and listening and wisdom. Cirilo Izquierdo doing the hard work of adolescence, questioning the world around him and figuring out who he is going to be. We get to listen. What a gift.

You can read the review here (FYI: it’s under my married name, in case you’re wondering what’s up with the byline), or go ahead and buy the book here. And while you’re at it, give Rubén a follow on Twitter.



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