ARC REVIEW : IZZY IN EL MAREO

Izzy’s trying to cope with life, love, and loneliness, but her fast life in Houston is rapidly spinning out of control.

So when the twenty-three-year-old American takes a job at an international resort in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, she hopes her old life is behind her at last—and with it, all the self-doubts and insecurities that have plagued her since childhood. She’s wondering if she’ll be able to survive in a new job in a strange country, but for now, the city’s breathtaking ocean views by day and sexy club scenes by night look like paradise.

Happy and energized by the unfamiliar sights and sounds of her surroundings, Izzy sets out to prove herself in the Spanish-speaking office. Soon she’s making strides at work, partying with new acquaintances, and all the while gaining confidence as she successfully navigates the local culture (and the men in it).

But soon the lines start to blur in paradise. Izzy misses her family and her boyfriend back home; she senses her new friends may be ignoring her; and when she travels for work, she feels insecure and out of place. Her self-esteem takes a hit. Confusion and disorientation set in. Returning to old habits—drinking, partying hard, and looking for love with strangers—Izzy is feeling more alone than ever. When an office gaffe threatens to ruin her much-anticipated trip home for Christmas, Izzy is forced to take stock: Was the whole move to Mexico a mistake? Can she find a way to get her career—and her life—back on track?


That huge blurb pretty much sums up the story.

Izzy moves to Mexico for a job. She suffers from culture shock and struggles to adjust to a new life.

This was a genuine coming-of-age story with a very real and flawed female protagonist. I could not empathize with her because of the decisions she takes and her reactions to certain situations. Izzy is immature and naive, especially when it comes to trusting people, especially men. Most of the men in this story are trash. Not that the friends are any better. Izzy really has a crappy sense of judgment. But thankfully, by the end, she finally comes on to her own. The one good thing about Izzy’s frustrating experiences were that they felt real. She is not averse to taking risks or making mistakes. While it made her a flawed character, but it was also sort of refreshing in a way.

This was a very situational story with no big twists or reversals. The flow of the story very much relied on Izzy and her experiences. I feel that the conversations and the dialogue could use more polishing. The author has definite potential as is evident in her descriptions of Izzy’s feeling of isolation and bringing to life the places and the setting. But I feel that better editing could’ve done the story wonders. Also, most of the dialogues written in Spanish are not directly translated. We get a gist of the conversation but never the exact words. As a reader who likes to take stock of the conversations and the words spoken, I was kinda annoyed.

Not a bad attempt by the author for her first book. But not a great one either.

Would I recommend it? I guess it’s worth giving the book a shot!


★★★☆☆


Publication Date: 5th March, 2019.
Source: ARC from Publisher (via Netgalley)

Links –  AmazonGoodreads | Book Depository

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