Wednesday 8 February 2012

Review: The Earthquake Machine by Mary Pauline Lowry

Product Details:
Pages: 328 Paperback
Publisher: AuthorHouse Publishing
Source: Review Copy

Goodreads Summary:
The Earthquake Machine tells the story of 14 year-old Rhonda. On the outside, everything looks perfect in Rhonda's world but at home Rhonda has to deal with a manipulative father who keeps her mentally ill mother hooked on pharmaceuticals. The only reliable person in Rhonda's life is her family's Mexican yardman, Jesύs. But when the INS deports Jesύs back to his home state of Oaxaca, Rhonda is left alone with her increasingly painful family situation. Determined to find her friend Jesύs, Rhonda seizes an opportunity to run away during a camping trip with friends. She swims to the Mexican side of the Rio Grande and makes her way to the border town of Boquillas, Mexico. There a peyote-addled bartender convinces her she won't be safe traveling alone into the country's interior. So with the bartender's help, Rhonda cuts her hair and assumes the identity of a Mexican boy named Angel. She then sets off on a burro across the desert to look for Jesύs.

Thus begins a wild adventure that explores the borders between the United States and Mexico, adolescence and adulthood, male and female, English and Spanish, and adult coming-of-age and Young Adult novels.

My Review:
The Earthquake Machine is what I call a Roller-coaster read. You have your ups, your downs, your crazy loop de loop and some of those quick twists and turns that you didn’t see coming. The writing is fantastic and the story is completely unique and unforgettable.

The Earthquake Machine tells the story of fourteen year old Rhonda, whose life is pretty messed up. Not wanting to continue living life with her father, Rhonda escapes to Mexico in order to find her former yardman, Jesύs.

Rhonda changes her identity to one of a Mexican boy named Angel and begins her crazy quest to find Jesύs.

Rhonda is an incredible protagonist. She has a huge amount of strength and courage and I highly enjoyed reading about her physical and emotional journey. I think a lot of teen girls will be able to relate to some of the feelings that Rhonda has and will understand the things she is going through. The characters she meets along the way are fantastic and they each add a great aspect to the overall story.

The Earthquake Machine is highly focused on the sexual coming-of-age of a teenage girl. I love books that deal with topics that everyone can relate to in some way and I think that this book deals with sexual awakening perfectly and has a great feminist tone to it (Go Girl Power!).

I’ll admit it; I got a little bit emotional reading this one! It’s not often that I get teary during a book but Rhonda certainly doesn’t have an easy journey, so keep those tissues handy when reading!

I think this is an amazing coming-of-age story that will be loved as much by adults as it will be by teens. It’s a book that I certainly won’t forget about in a hurry!

Royal Rating:


  1. Dear Katie,

    Thanks so much for taking the time to read and review The Earthquake Machine! I'm glad you enjoyed my wild little novel.

    xo Mary

  2. Great review! I was lucky to have Mary do a guest post on my blog :) Glad to see people are enjoying it!!! I know I was certainly intrigued by the blurb.

  3. Great review! New follower :)

    Books Ahoy

  4. I am going to review this too. I am glad to see it so highly regarded. Awesome review. Cute blog. New follower :)


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