Book Review: 'The Domino Effect' by Andrew Cotto.

Andrew Cotto has to be one of my favourite writers. I absolutely adored his book 'Cucina Tipica', so I was very much looking forward to diving into 'The Domino Effect.' 


The Domino Effect is the story of Danny Rorro, a charismatic kid from Queens poisoned by the past. A series of painful defeats have left him scarred and isolated from his neighborhood, his parents, and – most significantly – the benevolent ways of his childhood when he was known as “Domino.” With great insight, imagery and wit, Danny recalls his past in Queens and his coming-of-age at Hamden Academy. This fast paced and powerful story is rich with conflict, humor, tenderness and music—just like life, especially when coming of age

My Review

To be honest, I don't really know where to start with this review because I just loved the book so much and truly wish I had the right words to describe and explain it. Andrew writes in such a way that makes me feel so giddy and excited when reading his books; it's like with every sentence i'm just in awe of his writing style and wish I could write like him. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the narrative of Danny. I was mesmerized by the way he spoke and felt like I could just sit and listen to his story all day. I could feel all his emotions and felt like I was right next to him as he went through the ups and downs of figuring out who he was and what he believed in; when to stand up for himself and when to let things go and surrender to 'life' and it's injustices. 

I was enamored by the love story between Danny and Brenda for there was an innocence to it of being young and so in love that was beautiful. I loved how Danny spoke of her and considered her, it was that old fashioned seeing someone and your heart immediately feeling that deep love for them, that they are the most beautiful person in the world, followed by that all encompassing can't be without them love; that essence of she's 'my girl' that tugged at my heart strings. Of course, being so in love with someone and being young brings the ups and downs of being silly and naive and not doing things right. Danny had lots to learn but I liked that he wasn't about to give up on his love. It was really very sweet. And, I think Brenda was such a kick butt, awesome and endearing character, I liked her a lot. 

Getting to step inside an American campus was something that intrigued me and drew my interest. I loved the history that poured from the pages. I could picture the grounds, the breakfast rooms and dorms and if it wasn't for the wrestling team, it all sounded like so much fun; a place full of rich learning tools and interesting classes. But my goodness, the wrestling team, I got so mad at them and the way they got away with everything, I wanted to stand up for Danny myself. How he handled the situation gave me pause for thought, on the one hand he tried so hard to 'be good' and let things go and then on the other hand 'he was wrong' and fought back. Right and wrong get turned on their head and it's something I found very compelling and thought provoking. I was proud for Danny at the end of the book. You'll have to read it and let me know your thoughts on this. 

I also, thoroughly enjoyed the Italian/American family aspect of the book that Andrew just captures so wonderfully. This spoke to me and made me smile; that closeness, those family bonds and traditions, they are just so special and ring true for me coming from an Italian/English family, so I loved every minute of reading about it. Furthermore, the friendships, the navigating life as a teenager were all just written with so much heart. There were times when Danny came across wiser beyond his years and I thought his speech to Terence at the end was rather touching. It made me smile that he looked up to his Dad and knew to 'be good' to everyone and accept everyone from all walks of life. 

This is another brilliant read from Andrew Cotto. I highly recommend picking up a copy of 'The Domino Effect' today! 

Happy reading.


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