Frankie Towers is an awkward and self-conscious guy who’s low on the social ladder, unlike his older brother Steve. That’s why Frankie looks up to Steve so much; Steve seems to have it all: popularity, girls, a soccer scholarship, even respect from the dangerous cholos. Unfortunately, Steve doesn’t have time for his brother Frankie anymore with his current image to uphold. But when Frankie makes an enemy of rich white boy John Dalton, Steve steps in to help his brother. Although Frankie’s social status is raised with the help of his brother Steve, landing him a date with his dream girl, sometimes Frankie feels that his brother is a complete stranger to him. He finds himself wondering why he has to lie all the time for Steve and just how far Steve plans on taking the conflict with Dalton. In this beautifully written coming-of-age story, Voorhees explores the bonds of brotherhood and friendship and the importance of thinking for yourself.
I’m not kidding when I say that The Brothers Torres is an incredibly written and amazing story. Frankie’s character is so well-developed that I was sucked into his story even when I felt like criticizing him for being a jerk. Even though I’ve never been to anyplace from Frankie’s New Mexican hometown Borges, everything from the limited date spots to the potential threat of the cholos felt completely natural. There’s something so honest and profound about Voorhees’ writing that leaves room for other laughs and life lessons. I was a little irritated that I couldn’t understand all of the Spanish phrases with my limited Spanish skills, but that’s where my negative comments about his novel end. The Brothers Torres has culture, an exciting plot, believable characters, and a meaningful moral.
I came away from reading this novel thinking, “wow” in a slightly stunned way. I don’t think I expected this novel to be this good. The Brothers Torres is a definite must-read. I look forward to more wonderfully-written novels from Voorhees in the hopefully near future.
Review copy from author Coert Voorhees