Love from the Barricade portrays the growth of potentially ‘skugly’ boyband fangirl Aijae into a ‘gorgeous’ young woman who must mosh her way through her chosen music scene to embrace the destiny of love and fulfillment that she craves.
Through a montage of entries that span more than a decade, the first-person account of Aijae (pronounced AJ) teems with texture that enlivens the characters and scenes of the novel. I enjoyed traveling alongside Aijae as she fought herself and others to reach the barricade between the musicians she idolizes and the throng from which she seeks to distinguish herself.
In the process, Aijae must also face another kind of barricade that not only separates her from her family, her friends, and her Mexican heritage, but even more dramatically, her imagined self from the emerging music journalist who wants to take center stage in her own life.
Ashley Jean Granillo has crafted a superbly readable novel. Her nimble negotiation of Aijae’s internal and external landscapes delivers sting when necessary and soothes as suited. She has also quite seamlessly added a refrain about writing into her novelized mix that engaged the writer in me.
I wholeheartedly recommend this novel for a variety of readers, whether you like coming-of-age stories, accounts about music scenes, or works more literary in scope.
Read more about Love from the Barricade at AshleyJeanGranillo.com