The Voting Booth After Dark: Despicable. Embarrassing. Repulsive.
by Vanessa Libertad Garcia
reviewed by Bradley Wonder
Fear. Humiliation. Anxiety. Lament. These are a few of the chapter titles within the book, and they give a good sense of the overall feel. Have you ever felt that everyone else has it all figured out while you're failing to even go through the motions?
Vanessa Libertad Garcia takes full advantage of form by utilizing poetry, prose, and even online chat dialogue. Throughout the book, Garcia chooses her words so carefully and elegantly that even the prose reads like poetry. Reading this aloud will add to the experience and it won't take long. In a mere seventy pages, Garcia packs power into each page, line, and word.
The book follows a group of gay and lesbian Latino club kids in LA, each with his or her own problems and addictions, each with a desire to do more, juxtaposed with politics, the 2008 elections and literary and art references.
Gritty, dark, and tragic but with hints of liberation and redemption, this is a book that everyone can appreciate. It's witty, both in content and form.
Humiliating moments that—whether you've lived them or merely read them—make you want to crawl into a hole where butterflies go to die.
I haven't lived the lives of these character, I've merely read them. Garcia writes them so well that you may get the feeling of wanting to crawl into that hole. Thankfully, even the darkness is illuminating, and there are also moments of light.