THE GALLERY OF UNFINISHED GIRLS BY LAUREN KARCZ
Published July 25th 2017 by Katherine Tegen Books
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Mercedes Moreno is an artist. At least, she thinks she could be, even though she hasn’t been able to paint anything worthwhile since her award-winning piece Food Poisoning #1 last year.
Her lack of inspiration might be because her abuela is lying comatose in faraway Puerto Rico after suffering a stroke. Or the fact that Mercedes is in love with her best friend, Victoria, but is too afraid to admit her true feelings.
Despite Mercedes’s creative block, art starts to show up in unexpected ways. A piano appears on her front lawn one morning, and a mysterious new neighbor invites Mercedes to paint with her at the Red Mangrove Estate.
At the Estate, Mercedes can create in ways she never has before. She can share her deepest secrets and feel safe. But Mercedes can’t take anything out of the Estate, including her new-found clarity. As her life continues to crumble around her, the Estate offers more solace than she could hope for. But Mercedes can’t live both lives forever, and ultimately she must choose between this perfect world of art and truth and a much messier reality.
Thank you, HarperCollins and Edelweiss, for sending me an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This book kind of threw me off at first, but as I got to read it, and as the story progressed it grew on me. I love it!
Mercedes Moreno is in an art slump. Her abuela is dying, her best friend still doesn’t know Mercedes is in love with her, and her art teacher has high expectations of her after her winning piece at the last art show. She then discovers the estate, a magical building that just keeps your creative juices flowing. A place where art flows freely through you and being able to express yourself was so easy. The catch? You couldn’t take anything out of the estate even if you tried.
So this book is a coming of age story which discusses family, relationships, love, but also passion. Passion for one’s craft, and how to keep the fire going in you.
I love how it talked about the art block and how it was described perfectly. It’s something I could relate to on a personal level – the feelings of helplessness, wanting to create but COULDN’T, like having something trying to break free from within and you can’t help it and you can feel it dying.
The characters were amazing as well, and the writing style was just so captivating. It was perfect and overall I loved it. This is definitely something I recommend, so go check this one out!