Three Things Five Midnights by Ann Dávila Cardinal Got Wrong About Puerto Rico

Hola, mi gente! I am back. Sorry I didn’t post in the last two weeks even though I said I was back for good. It was a really busy two weeks which had me too tired to write BUT I’m going to try to be back for good.

37828814._SY475_Today I’m going to talk about my most disappointing read of the year so far which I am almost 100% sure that nothing will top. If you read my Mid-Year Freak Out Tag you already know which book I’m talking if not, how dare you? JK, but you should totally check it out, the title spoils it. Five Midnights by Ann Dávila Cardinal was so disappointing it hurts. When we finally have a book with Puerto Rican main characters, by a Puerto Rican author, set in Puerto Rico it turns out to be, well, not good. The more I think about it, the more I hate this book.

  • Independentista aren’t hate-filled people that can’t stand gringos. 

Yes, many independentista blame gringos for the gentrification that’s going on but I studied in a university where most people were independentista and I can tell you that they don’t hate gringos. They just believe in the separation of Puerto Rico from the United States of America aka the independence of Puerto Rico. Actually, a lot of their leaders did their postgraduate studies in the mainland.

  • That’s not how we Puerto Rican born, raised and currently living in Puerto Rico are.

That’s not how we are, that’s not how we act, we (or most Puerto Ricans) aren’t religious enough to be doing the sign of the cross every five minutes, and that’s not the Puerto Rican version of Spanglish.

And now to the ones that truly, truly pissed me off.

3) We don’t hate mixed (half gringos half Puerto Rican) Puerto Ricans

There’s a scene on this book where a character makes hate-filled comments aimed at Lupe because she’s half white. This character made it very clear that he believed that Puerto Ricans and gringos shouldn’t mix. I’m pretty sure that if he could, he would make it illegal.

2) There’s no racism towards white people (especially gringos) or Puerto Ricans born in the mainland

This is the stupidest part of the story. This story makes Lupe an outsider just because she’s white-passing and does not live on the island. The characters of the story are constantly pushing her away because of it. A character even *slight spoiler ahead* tried to start a fight with her because of her skin color and how she was not Puerto Rican but a gringa because of it. *spoiler over.* All of it because apparently being white takes away your Puerto Rican blood. The male main character even commented on how he’s more Puerto Rican than her because he’s not white.

This is wrong on so many levels. First of all, we have zero problems with gringos. Unless they’re racist, they’re usually nice enough for us to like them PLUS a big part of our economy is based on tourism and a big group of these are gringos. We also have white-passing Puerto Ricans born, raised, and living in Puerto Rico with their roots here. After all, we have Spanish blood. AND if you are born and raised here, and enjoy the culture and the language, we consider you Puerto Rican, not caring if you don’t have Puerto Rican parents. But again, being white or half white—not Puerto Rican slight tanned white but white-passing white— and/or being born and raised on the mainland doesn’t take away the fact that you’re Puerto Rican. We still consider you Puerto Rican.

Hopefully, no one feels offended because I’m calling them gringos.

And the last thing, the thing that fills me with rage, with hate and a need to burn every copy I find of this books.

1. The “real Puerto Rico” isn’t the crime-filled part.

The female main character literally says that she wants to see the real Puerto Rico referring to the crime-filled part of the island—no, I am not kidding. Yes, high criminality in here is a real thing but it isn’t bad enough for it to be considered “the real Puerto Rico”. The real Puerto Rico is its warm-hearted, loving people; the real Puerto Rico is its culture; its salsa, bomba, reggaeton, and plena dances; it’s our food, which she tried to add but at the most awkward moments; our parties; our tight-knit families; our Christmas that is one of the longest, if not the longest, in the world… The crime-filled part of Puerto Rico IS NOT “the real Puerto Rico.”

_____

Well, that was the 3 things, plus two bonus ones, that Five Midnight got wrong about Puerto Rico. Have you read this book? If so, what are your thoughts? Did I miss something? If you haven’t will you read it or have I turned you off from it? Leave your comments down below.

Thank you for reading and

Happy Reading!

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