Genre: Horror, Fiction
Please note in an exchange for an honest review, I received a copy from NetGalley. Thank you!
The Haunting of Alejandra follows the titular character, Alejandra, who struggles with depression. On her road to become the idealistic wife, mother, and daughter, she found that she lost herself on the way.
Alejandra's depression has caused her to not only think of horrible intrusive things but also she began to see a woman dressed in white. Or so she thinks. In reality, a generation cursed that haunts the woman and feeds of their misery has taken its hold on her.
Will she be able to overcome what has been haunting her family through generations or will she be the one to finally put an end to it?
The depiction of depression was well done. I definitely found myself empathizing for Alejandra. V. Castro did such a wonderful job describing and "getting into the thoughts" of someone feeling so hopeless that I found myself crying! The only thing that bothered me is that it could be interpreted that her depression could be attributed due to the curse and it seems like ridding of this curse would be the cure all for her depression. Some people might be bothered by that idea but I do think it was a clever way to physically embody such a negative emotion.
The Mexican Culture Representation was respectful. I have Mexican heritage from one of my parents and it was nice to read something that read so authentic. Lately, I feel some people are taking advantage of the culture due to it being popular. Yet V. Castro really did her research in Mexican folklore. La Llorana is an infamous story that many try to tackle but don't quiet do it justice. Yet, this is the first time I really felt like this was the tale that I grew up with. Not only with that but other ideas like curanderos/curanderas were treated with respect and not made be silly things.
Actually scary! Without spoiling it, this actually creeped me out a few times. I immediately stopped reading the moment my husband went to bed just because I know I'm scared easily and get nightmares just as easily!
Things ended too perfectly. Perhaps I'm a bit of an edgy bitch but towards the end, I feel like things went by too fast and ended in such a "happy ever after" sort of way. While I understand that therapy is a great resource, Alejandra's acceptance and quick personality change was perhaps a bit too fast for me. I'm not quiet sure if there was time passage but it felt like Alejandra went to therapy twice and it felt she was doing so much progress in such a short time that it felt a bit unbelievable.
V. Castro created a wonderful character with Alejandra. It is easy to relate to her character's depression even if you are not in her particular situation. The author was able to put into words how someone in this state can feel.
Horror aside, I strongly recommend this book for anyone that is interested in reading about a woman who is trying to find herself again.
Admittedly since it deals with the story of La Llorona, I do think some people will find this book a bit too dark. If you are not a fan of horror (or the story of the La Llorona), you should skip this book. The horror is more psychological but some descriptions are rather graphic and can unsettle those that are easily disturbed.