Teenager Raymond Jaffe will end up spending a considerable amount of time trying to track down the eponymous Luiz Velez, in an effort to help his blind, elderly neighbour, Mildred Gutermann. Mildred's caregiver Luis has gone AWOL and when disaffected Raymond steps into the breach, a whole new world opens up for these two vulnerable characters.
Set in a challenging New York neighbourhood, this is a captivating story of unexpected friendship, the balm of burdens shared and the ability of kindness and connection to counter loss and regret.
A gentle novel of compassion, kindness and understanding. Enjoyed by everyone in our book club. The rare friendships across 'usual' boundaries are meaningful, and thought-provoking.
A gentle book, easy to read, bringing up multiple themes pertaining to everyday life. We questioned the ease which allowed Raymond to embark on his search, (visiting city suburbs without parental knowledge, securing exemption from school, attending a gun trial by jury), following the chance encounter with Millie. The group felt they had been on a course of psychology majoring in social justice. After lively discussion, and a review of other titles written by this author, we concluded she had a stake in showing us our world and trying to bring back human kindness.
This book is the story of a 16 year old Hispanic boy who is a loner from a split family. He befriends a 90 year old blind woman in their apartment block and they get on very nicely. It deals with issues such as race, privilege, and gun violence. It is a little contrived in places but we all thought it was a great book and very easy to read. Very uplifting.
We all loved this book, it was deeply touching and unique. A favourite this year.
Generally enjoyed. Interesting depiction of life in New York, with varied social issues interwoven throughout the book and different perspectives presented. US gun law hard to fathom! Several members commented that the author targeted YA audience.
We all loved this book. Simple but profound story.
The group loved this book. It portrayed several issues - age, disability, racism and hope, and overall was an uplifting story.
This book was liked by all of us. A lovely story and so well constructed. A lesson for thinking of others. A tour of New York. Enjoyed!
Much enjoyed by all. A 'feel good' gentle read despite featuring a brutal killing. Cleverly constructed by the author to focus on a range of themes in a unique way.
Our entire group was unanimous in their enjoyment of 'Have You Seen Luis Velez'. They found it a simple, yet complex book with the odd 'twist' in it.
Surprisingly, we really enjoyed this book - some wonderful quotes about life/dying. Good discussion.
Group loved this book.
We all enjoyed this book. Great in depth development of characters. Interesting themes. Highly recommended.
All the group really enjoyed this book and felt that there are many aspects that encourage discussion in it.
Mixed reviews from everyone. Several likened it to reading a parable. Easy read. Quite sad in places.
9/10 felt the book was somewhat simplistic in its presentation of the issues. All agreed that the issues raised were worthy of discussion, but felt that character development could have been better. One person really enjoyed the book, and it was an easy read.
All our group enjoyed this book. It had heart and special messages and meanings for us all. We found Raymond an interesting character and became involved in his journey to help Mrs G find Luis Velez, a journey which led him to find out more about himself and become more comfortable with who he was. Mrs G gave this unhappy, lonely boy a purpose in life and as he met different Luis Velez and their families he grew into a likeable young man with a renewed appetite for life. Mrs G had lessons for us all on life, chance, prejudice and happiness.
Very mixed response. 5 members found it to be very good with interesting characters. Some of us found it to be very moralising and sentimental. We had a really interesting discussion.
This was a popular read with the group. The story is full of interest - plot, characters, and contemporary issues raised are all engrossing. It's an easy ready too - we thought it probably a YA book, but none the worse for that.
Lots of thought provoking issues - (war; religion; race; sexuality) and stigmas. Author makes you think and raises awareness of these while keeping you in your comfort zone. Good generational issues and different perspectives.. Learning and growth and lots of symbolism. Life is grey, and not black and white!
This book was an enjoyable read for us all. The wisdom and empathy of Mrs G. was a lesson not only to Raymond, but to us all. Could the trial result happen here in NZ We did not think so. The highlight was the trip to hear the cello player. This book had many contrasts.
Very readable, great plot and characterisation. Enjoyed by group.