Thursday, May 23, 2019

Have You Seen Luis Velez? - Fiction Review

Goodreads:  Have You Seen Luis Velez? by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Rating: Loved It!
Source:  Publicist

Description:  Raymond Jaffe feels like he doesn’t belong. Not with his mother’s new family. Not as a weekend guest with his father and his father’s wife. Not at school, where he’s an outcast. After his best friend moves away, Raymond has only two real connections: to the feral cat he’s tamed and to a blind ninety-two-year-old woman in his building who’s introduced herself with a curious question: Have you seen Luis Velez?

Mildred Gutermann, a German Jew who narrowly escaped the Holocaust, has been alone since her caretaker disappeared. She turns to Raymond for help, and as he tries to track Luis down, a deep and unexpected friendship blossoms between the two.

Despondent at the loss of Luis, Mildred isolates herself further from a neighborhood devolving into bigotry and fear. Determined not to let her give up, Raymond helps her see that for every terrible act the world delivers, there is a mirror image of deep kindness, and Mildred helps Raymond see that there’s hope if you have someone to hold on to.

Genre: Fiction

Why I Picked This Book:  I really enjoyed a previous book by this author and have really been wanting to read more from her.

My Impression:  I think I fell in love with this one about 20 pages or so in when Raymond takes some food to a stray cat he's been caring for.  It's such a sweet and honest moment that broke my heart and made me feel a bit warm fuzzy at the same time.  Raymond is in some ways a typical teenager.  He's uncomfortable and awkward and desperately wants to fit in somewhere but is so insecure about just where that place might be.  But that need to fit in makes him pay attention to those that need help - to that stray cat and finally to the lonely elderly woman in the hallway.

This book is powerful in its simplicity.  Two people with seemingly nothing in common are united on the surface by the search for Luis Velez but more importantly by the need to have someone to connect with and to care for.  This book is heartwarming and poignant and I loved it.  These are people that I'm grateful to have met and spent time with and that I miss now that I've finished the book.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Absolutely!  I really enjoyed the last book I read by her and this one was simply wonderful.

Would I Recommend this Book?  Without a doubt!  If you are in the mood for a heartwarming book with wonderful characters this is a wonderful choice.

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  As always my opinions and impressions are completely my own. *


  1. I've seen a few reviews now for this book, and everyone seems to love it. I really need to read it!

  2. Awww, this sounds really sweet. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

  3. Delighted to see you loved it, it was so affirming of people and life, we need books like that every so often in todays world.

  4. YES! I loved this so much and felt it really was relevant for today's headlines. I am eager to read more from this author.

  5. It sounds both sad and heartwarming all at once. Glad you highlighted this book.

  6. I am definitely reading this next! I love stories with friendships between young and old(er) people. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this one. 👍✨

  7. This is on my TBR b/c of Kathryn.