Coconut Versus. By Daniel Jose Ruiz. Edited by Leyla Namazie. ISBN: 978-1540806307 364 pages. $24.95
Fiction / Hispanic & Latino, Chicano literature, Latino literature, Hispanic literature, Latinos--Social life and customs Fiction, Barrio life Fiction
This book is published by Floricanto Press.
In Arizona, heâ€™s a brown boy in an upper-class, white neighborhood. He has no real friends as no one there seems to understand how someone could be brown without being poor. He spends most of his time alone or playing video games with his little brother Angel, yet Angel is already starting to excel past Miguel in all areas in which children are judged. Miguel falls in love for the first time, and he falls in love with a sport that provides an outlet for his growing anger, but then his growing anger is part of the problem.
In Los Angeles, heâ€™s a fake Mexican that speaks too good. He finds love, and he finds his place in high school as the guardian of the outcasts, but his desire to be a defender and alpha male simply causes more problems. In Irvine, CA, heâ€™s a punk rock kid in a suburban paradise. His mother has also taken a position at the same college, and Miguel attempts to reconcile his working-class mythos with his parentsâ€™ expectations. In the Inland Empire, CA, he is best friends with a local legend, Scott, and Miguel meets the love of his young life, Sunshine. Scott also loves her, and Miguel must navigate his feelings but also the realities of the ownership inherent to the worldâ€™s accepted definition of love. Miguel builds a life there, one that is defined by himself rather than others.