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Sunday, July 23, 2017

The Gallery of Unfinished Girls by Lauren Karcz

Publication Date: 25th July 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
My Goodreads Rating: 4/5
Source: Publisher (Through Edelweiss)

Mercedes Moreno is an award-winning artist- who hasn't been able to paint anything decent for over a year. Her painting Food Poisoning #1 won her first place at the County Art Festival, but since then she's had a lack of inspiration.

This could be because her Puerto Rican grandmother is comatose after suffering a stroke. It could also be because she is in love with her best friend Victoria, but is too afraid to tell her.

Regardless of her struggles, art worms its way into Mercedes' life. A piano shows up on her doorstep one day, and a mysterious artist moves in next door. She gets invited to the Red Mangrove Estate.

At the Estate, Mercedes paints and creates like never before. The only problem is that she can't take her work, emotions or "newfound clarity" outside the Estate. As she struggles to deal with her life, Mercedes must choose between her Utopian Estate or her current life.

Mercedes' character struggles with the same problems as many teenagers. Do I think college is the right path? Are my creations only meaningful to me? Am I too scared to admit my feelings? Lauren Karcz drawns on these questions and expands on them throughout the book as Mercedes grows as a person. 

Her younger sister, Angelina, discovers her artistic inclination through the novel. However, while Mercedes feels lost, Angelina recognizes her artistic identity quite quickly. This sudden turning of the tables leaves both the characters unsure of where they stand. 

Overall, I really enjoyed the book. I thought that the writing reflected the struggles of a teenager and that the plot held some aspects of fantasy while maintaining realism. The novelty of the concept struck me with almost each turn of the page!

This is definitely a book for artistically inclined people- who also happen to read YA. I think that even though it draws on the art aspect quite a bit, readers who are more logically inclined will definitely enjoy this as a flight read.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 
I received no other compensation for this post.


  1. I have seen this book, but haven't heard much about it. Your review makes me intrigued to maybe pick it up. Great review, glad you enjoyed it!

    1. I hadn't really read any reviews of the book either- but I'd seen it on quite a few weekly update posts.

  2. This sounds so good. I'm already drawn to Mercedes as a character and I love that the author contrasts her journey with her sister's. What an interesting sounding read!

    1. It really was- I love how similar yet different to the summary the book was!

      Have a great week Alicia!


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