Outstanding New Novel by Catherine Ryan Hyde
Have you seen Luis Velez?, is a thoughtful, heartfelt, and moving story.
Most of the time, seventeen-year-old Raymond Jaffe felt like an outcast. But, when Raymond met his 92-year-old blind neighbor and befriended her; tormenting thoughts of being different or invisible, no longer concerned him. At first, Raymond assisted the elderly woman out of kindness, but Raymond quickly discovered, that he enjoyed her company. With Mrs. G, Raymond felt for the first time by an adult, understood. And because of his fondness for his neighbor, Raymond was determined to relieve her of her main worry. He wanted to find Luis Velez; Mrs. G’s dearest friend and caretaker. Mrs. G feared that something awful had happened to Luis. Unfortunately, she was right.
Although Raymond learned some painful life lessons; he also discovered the healing balm of acceptance. It was while he was stepping out of his comfort zone, to help another, that self-confidence took root. And, while empathizing with Mrs. G, Raymond found that he was able to stand up for what was right, without fear. But, what surprised Raymond, the most was, that he no longer, felt invisible, especially around his family.
Although unkindness is rampant in the world, there is also a lot of good. Sometimes grief and hardship overshadow what is positive in life. This book reminds us that although life is difficult, love and kindness can be found everywhere. Raymond thought of himself as unimportant. But, to Mrs. G, Raymond was a hero. He literally changed her life, and in doing so, transformed his own. Have You Seen Luis Velez?, is a heartwarming, quality novel. It’s a story you won’t want to miss.
Thank you, Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
~5 out of 5 stars~
Bio (from author’s page on Amazon)
Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author of more than 35 published and forthcoming books, including JUST AFTER MIDNIGHT, HEAVEN ADJACENT, THE WAKE UP, ALLIE AND BEA, SAY GOODBYE FOR NOW, LEAVING BLYTHE RIVER, ASK HIM WHY, WORTHY, THE LANGUAGE OF HOOFBEATS, TAKE ME WITH YOU, WHEN I FOUND YOU, WALK ME HOME, and DON’T LET ME GO.
An avid hiker, traveler, equestrian, and amateur photographer, she has released her first book of photos, 365 DAYS OF GRATITUDE: PHOTOS FROM A BEAUTIFUL WORLD.
She is co-author, with fellow author and publishing industry blogger Anne R. Allen, of HOW TO BE A WRITER IN THE E-AGE: A SELF-HELP GUIDE.
Her novel PAY IT FORWARD was adapted into a major motion picture, chosen by the American Library Association for its Best Books for Young Adults list, and translated into more than 23 languages for distribution in over 30 countries. The paperback was released in October 2000 by Pocket Books and quickly became a national bestseller. Simon & Schuster released PAY IT FORWARD: YOUNG READERS’ EDITION in August of ’14. It is suitable for kids as young as eight. A special Fifteenth Anniversary Edition of the original PAY IT FORWARD was released in December of ’14
LOVE IN THE PRESENT TENSE enjoyed bestseller status in the UK, where it broke the top ten, spent five weeks on the bestseller lists, was reviewed on a major TV book club, and shortlisted for a Best Read of the Year award at the British Book Awards. Both BECOMING CHLOE and JUMPSTART THE WORLD were included on the ALA’s Rainbow List, and JUMPSTART THE WORLD was a finalist for two Lambda Literary Awards. WHERE WE BELONG won two Rainbow Awards in 2013 and THE LANGUAGE OF HOOFBEATS won a Rainbow Award in 2015.
New Kindle editions of her backlist titles FUNERALS FOR HORSES, EARTHQUAKE WEATHER AND OTHER STORIES, ELECTRIC GOD, and WALTER’S PURPLE HEART are now available. Also available is THE LONG, STEEP PATH: EVERYDAY INSPIRATION FROM THE AUTHOR OF PAY IT FORWARD, her first book-length creative nonfiction.
More than 50 of her short stories have been published in The Antioch Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train and many other journals, and in the anthologies Santa Barbara Stories and California Shorts and the bestselling anthology Dog is my Co-Pilot. Her stories have been honored in the Raymond Carver Short Story Contest and the Tobias Wolff Award and nominated for Best American Short Stories, the O’Henry Award, and the Pushcart Prize. Three have been cited in Best American Short Stories.
She is founder and former president (2000-2009) of the Pay It Forward Foundation, and still serves on its board of directors. As a professional public speaker she has addressed the National Conference on Education, twice spoken at Cornell University, met with Americorps members at the White House and shared a dais with Bill Clinton.
For more information and book club questions, please visit the author at catherineryanhyde.com