Sabrina & Corina by Kali Fajardo-Anstine
Hi, I am Sarah. I am fourteen years old and an avid reader; it is one of my favorite things to do. Inspired by authors’ creations of magnificent places and surprising havens built by simple letters, I aspire to be an author and, meanwhile, nurture the love to write.
What makes a story? The characters? The setting? The writing? The plot? Of course, it is a combination of all of this and more, but never has it been more apparent and worked so well together than in Sabrina & Corina, a collection of short stories by Kali Fajardo Anstine.
Each of these stories reaches a certain level of vibrancy in only twenty or so pages and strikes so deeply. Most are set in Denver, Colorado, and explore often-buried themes of heritage and identity. ‘Sugar Babies’ is about an eighth grader, Sierra, dealing with the absence of her mother through both a school project and an archeological dig site that connects to her roots. ‘Sisters’ explores social norms of relationships, and grapples with the violence within them. ‘Galapago’ brings forth a sense of place and belonging in the face of time and gentrification.
But really, that’s just the bare bones. Summaries don’t do justice to the beautiful and conjuring descriptions, the structure and subtle pauses somehow woven in that tell more of the story. It does not illustrate how it feels to read each story, to have connected with these characters and their unique experiences, and to feel a sense of completion, but somehow know that, much like us, their lives go on—because their stories do.