Love from the Barricade - Book Review

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Book Review of :  Love from the Barricade


Ashley Jean Granillo pens a wonderful coming of age novel titled Love from the Barricade. It is about a girl named Aijae Cruz, a young woman immersed in the music scene.  Aijae dreams that she will be the girlfriend or wife of some famous band member. She has created her fantasy lover named, Caleb Woodman of the Sync Street Band, who’s a man who would respect, admire, adore and love her. He is kind and gentle, but the real band members she meets don’t always live up to her fantasy lover described in her “Caleb notebook.” Aijae is a very attractive teenage Latino girl growing up in Los Angeles. She attracts the attention of guys from different bands. In fact, there is a  John, a Martin, and a Frank that she has crushes on or maybe even something more serious.

One of her biggest crushes is on a Memorable Editions’ band member named Martin who Aijae and her friends adore. She is able to establish a relationship with him consisting of text messages and finally an actual encounter in his hotel room. All her friends can’t believe that she was able to get an invite to his hotel room, but it’s real.  She hopes the experience will be like a romantic scene from her “Caleb notebook.”

Sex is a big thing to Aijae, because she doesn’t want to get pregnant.  She doesn’t want to be like her cousin: a teen mom, writing algebraic equations in one hand, and feeding the baby in another.

In  Aijae’s imagination sex was supposed to last for hours. Especially the first time. But to her dismay it doesn’t, in fact, it lasted but moments. Aijae describes the end of her first encounter, “He was done in a matter of moments. His body collapsed next to mine, eyes gazing at the ceiling. What happened next? Did we begin forever?”

Aijae loves writing steamy fan fiction.  She explores all the feelings of a teenager. She loves music, mosh pits and waiting with her friends at the barricades for their favorite bands. But she doesn’t like being thought of as a groupie.  All the while, Aijae is hoping to find real long lasting “forever” love with a band member. 

Granillo shows us how caustic the relationship between Band members and the girls who worship them can be. Her Young Adult novel is one of the trials of adolescence, disappointment of first love, a compelling exploration of teenage growth and of young love. Love from the Barricade is an edgy tale of the sometimes cloudy road to adulthood.

About Ashley Jean Granillo


Ashley Jean Granillo is an Instructor of English at College of the Canyons. She has her BA and MA in Creative Writing from California State University Northridge. For a time, she was also a freelance music journalist and editor for a small, LA-based publishing company. When she isn't writing, Ashley Jean likes to refine her craft in graphic design and singing. She is also known to be an extreme waffle and coffee enthusiast.


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