Nubes de tiza is a contemporary novel that fluctuates between the world of adult and teen angst in today’s human and technological jungle. The plot seems straightforward in the early chapters only to take on a different spin as the story progresses. The initial conflict is never fully explained and, while the author neatly concludes one of the plot lines, he leaves the reader in the dark regarding other – equally important – issues presented midway through the novel.
The overall idea of the book is not new. It presents teens struggling to fit in while simultaneously eluding and deluding authority. On the other hand, the adult characters are forever trying to make sense out of their own daily lives. The author does not bring any original spin to the plot. Characters are predictable and the use of social media to bring resolution to the conflict is not new.
“Clouds of Chalk” Nubes de tiza takes place in a high school populated mostly by immigrant and ‘at risk’ youth. The adult characters are school personnel (administrators and teachers) and parents of the students. Students display some or little academic interest and a fair to high disposition towards sex, drugs, alcohol, and cyberspace.