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Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite
The Free Spirit of Virtue: Sometimes College is a Fight for Survival by Carlos Aguila is a beautiful story that will most certainly resonate with readers who have been to college, an unconventional coming-of-age tale with compelling characters and interesting episodes, and well-written scenes. Meet two young lads who are from two different backgrounds — a Dominican American from Brooklyn and an Irish lad from South Boston — and who find themselves as roommates while looking forward to completing their last year in college. In a community with racist overtones, crazy politics, and rampant sex, can these young people find the friendship they need to grow and the strength to deal with the social evils that punctuate the life that stares at them?
This is a character-driven story that explores the dynamics of college life and the not-so-obvious pain that students experience. We are introduced to a powerful cast of characters, and right from the beginning of the story, the reader is keen to listen to the conversation between Remy and Rucker, two characters that introduce the story and leave the reader with many questions on their mind. The writing is flawless and I enjoyed how the author uses dialogue to advance the story and build character. In the beginning, one might feel as if the pacing is slow, but the story gains momentum and the reader is quickly absorbed in Carlos Aguila’s exploration of the emotional depths of the characters and the conflict. The Free Spirit of Virtue: Sometimes College is a Fight for Survival is an interesting story with great lessons. I loved the realism in the narrative and the appeal of the characters.