Ofrenda - Celia C. Perez

Ever since I was in high school, I have had an interest in zines. I love these so much for so many reasons, but mainly how people express themselves, and the words that they choose to use. These are basically a memoir of the author's life because, no matter what subject they choose, a part of them is still always in it. But it's beyond a memoir. It's like an art journal, a diary, a memoir, a conversation with a close friend - the inside of their mind, including their thoughts, their loves, their hates - all rolled into one. It is them, but on sheets of paper instead of flesh and blood.


As you read a collection of these, like this anthology, you see their life over a period of time stretch out before your eyes. You watch them grow and become something different than what they began as.


When I was offered the chance to read this book, I couldn't wait. I don't know the author, but that was part of the fun in it. I wanted to see what she had to offer - the part of her that she chose to show the world through these pieces - her heart.


The cover is gorgeous, and as I opened the pages, I found that the beauty continues throughout each one. Not only the words, but in the other ways she chose to fill the pages. It is beautifully done, and I love the way it's put together. As you go through the zines that are included, you see her life unfold before you, and it was really neat to see.


The author really seems like an amazing person, though I noticed that the way she sees herself is not the way I see her by the time the book has ended. And, at the end, I feel like I really did know her, like her and I could be friends in real life. We have a lot in common, and see a lot of things in the same way.


And, on a personal note, I want to thank her. Yes, you read that right. Reading this book, she taught me some stuff about myself, and brought out more emotion than I could have ever imagined. As I stood at the bus stop the other day, reading her words, her thoughts on her little box made me think of the one I have and all the things I keep inside of it. The way she speaks of her father, now long since passed, made me think of my own father, and of other people who are no longer in my life, for one reason or another. She did an amazing job with these and I hope that she touches others the way that she touched me.


"So I make zines. I make them to write about what little I know of my parents. I make them to reveal myself in ways I may not reveal myself in person. I make them to document the exciting and the mundane things that make up my life. I write them to remember, so that my stories are on paper. I write them so that if I never tell you, you may still know."