Official Review: A Beautiful Mess

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Latest Review: "A Beautiful Mess" by Ali Berlinkski

Official Review: A Beautiful Mess

Post by lblack8 » 03 Apr 2013, 14:34

[Following is the official review of "A Beautiful Mess" by Ali Berlinkski.]

Ali Berlinski is of mixed heritage, most of her book is about how this affects her life and how she deals with it. She also writes about her past relationships, her career, and most of all her family. As if her heritage wasn’t confusing enough, her family is very confusing. After reading the book I am still not sure how everyone fit together as a family. In the book Ali claims to be the oldest, middle, and youngest child all at the same time.

Relationships in general seem to be problematic for Ali. All throughout the book she has issues with her mother while she hardly sees her father and her two older brothers. As for her youngest sister and brother Ali appears to be close to them at first, but when she moves to New York for college she is clearly not as close to them. As time passes Ali does seem to become closer to her father, her two older brothers, and her step-mother, but at the end of the book nothing has changed between Ali and her mother, and Ali actually decides she does not want to her mother to be a part of her life anymore. All throughout the book Ali has relationship problems with her family, as well as with her lovers up until the end of the book when she is living in Spain away from her family and not dating anyone.

Ali attended NYU where she majored in sociology and also earned a dual master’s degree in education at CUNY Brooklyn College. She taught for three years as a special education teacher but then decided she wanted to move to Spain. She is still currently living in Spain where she teaches English as a second language. As well as teaching Ali decided to write this book, which I think she did excellently. I think she has a lot of talent and should continue writing, whether it is about her life or anything else. I would love to read more from her if she decides to continue her writing.

Ali is both Polish (like her father) and Filipino (like her mother), but identifies more with her Polish family. Her parents got divorced when she was very young and as a result of this she came to consider herself bicoastal, as well as biracial. While her father decided to remain living in Jersey her mother decided to move all the way across the nation to California. Her parents’ divorce, as well as her father having two sons from a previous marriage, led to Ali having a very complicated, hard to understand family situation. At first Ali claims that her parents’ divorce had no negative effect on her, and that she actually liked it, but this changed as she got older.

Without a doubt, I loved this book. It was a short, but very entertaining book. I was constantly laughing, she left nothing out. She included her embarrassing moments, love for sex, and most of all love for food. I hope she continues to write as I would love to read more by her. In my opinion, this book is definitely a 4 out of 4.

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Post by devotedbookwormA++ » 10 Sep 2013, 18:03

I also have a mixed background and I would like to read more books on this topic. The reality is the unattainable norm that everyone strives to take part in (in some way or another however minor), seems even more distant for people with mixed cultures who are outside the norm of even having just one culture as a starting point when it comes to establishing identity... This will definitely be added to my reading list!

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