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Book Review of Little Altars Everywhere (Ya Yas, Bk 1)

Little Altars Everywhere (Ya Yas, Bk 1)
demiducky25 avatar reviewed on + 161 more book reviews

This is the first book in the "Ya-Yas Series," the most famous of which being "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood." Serving as a prequel to "Divine Secrets...," "Little Altars Everywhere" is split into two parts and every chapter is told from the perspective of a different character in the Walker family (with a few exceptions). The first half of the book focuses on the 1960s and is written in a relatively light tone for the most part. The chapters from the children especially focus on how life was so exciting living with Vivi Walker as their mother because things were never boring. The second half of the book is much darker, takes place primarily in the 1990s, and explores how growing up with eccentric, alcoholic Vivi has impacted her children into adulthood.

I enjoyed the first half of the book more than the second half of the book. I understand that the second half shows how the craziness of Vivi impacted her children later on in life, but certain parts really bothered me. I was left feeling frustrated that there was no effective help for Vivi (medical or otherwise) or the children in the 1960s, unlike today where Social Services would have intervened. Vivi was painted to be much more of a monster in this book than the sympathetic character she is in the two sequels. I read this book first and definitely like "Divine Secrets" much, much better. Reading this first, though, does help explain certain character traits in the later books so it's not a total waste of time, but I think that "Divine Secrets" can totally be enjoyed without reading this one if you'd rather be left with a "feel good" feeling instead of feeling frustrated and helpless to help the characters, then annoyed when certain instances from the book are altered or deleted from the sequels since it changes how you feel about Vivi ultimately.