I first learned about this book’s author, Myriam Gurba. She was railing against the immigration porn book, American Dirt, in social media. There she was, a small-framed, tattoo-laden Latina. And, she was calling out the publishing industry and the Oprah influencing machine. She blew me away. Intrigued, I decided to read Gurba’s book Mean instead. I am glad I did.

Mean is a memoir and a quick read. In fact, you can read this book so quickly that I had to force myself to read it slowly and contemplatively. In it, Gurba tells us of growing up in California. She recounts stories of her family and youth. She shares the story of her sexual assault. She explains the connections created between her and the other victims of the serial rapist that attacked her. She opens up about the fact that she refused to testify against him. She helps the reader understand her apprehension. She makes you feel.

While this book review makes it sound as though you are going to read a sad book, that would be wrong. This book has a strong, funny core despite addressing heavy topics. This book even inspired some writing for me. It is a well-written book that actually tells a real immigrant story. I highly recommend it and its’ author. She will blow you away.

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