Have You Seen Luis Velez?
From New York Times bestselling author Catherine Ryan Hyde comes a moving novel about two strangers who find that kindness is a powerful antidote to fear. Raymond Jaffe feels like he doesn’t belong. Not with his mother’s new family. Not as a weekend guest with his father and his father’s wife. Not at school, where he’s an outcast. After his best friend moves away, Raymond has only two real connections: to the feral cat he’s tamed and to a blind ninety-two-year-old woman in his building who’s introduced herself with a curious question: Have you seen Luis Velez?Mildred Gutermann, a German Jew who narrowly escaped the Holocaust, has been alone since her caretaker disappeared. She turns to Raymond for help, and as he tries to track Luis down, a deep and unexpected friendship blossoms between the two.Despondent at the loss of Luis, Mildred isolates herself further from a neighborhood devolving into bigotry and fear. Determined not to let her give up, Raymond helps her see that for every terrible act the world delivers, there is a mirror image of deep kindness, and Mildred helps Raymond see that there’s hope if you have someone to hold on to.

Have You Seen Luis Velez? Details

TitleHave You Seen Luis Velez?
Author
ReleaseMay 21st, 2019
PublisherLake Union Publishing
Rating
GenreFiction, Contemporary

Have You Seen Luis Velez? Review

  • marilyn
    January 1, 1970
    "Have You Seen Luis Velez?" will encourage you to look outside of yourself and see what is really around you, who is really around you. To try to put yourself into the shoes of those not like yourself, so you can understand how others might think and feel. This book is full of heart and feeling and left me knowing there is always something I can do to make this world a better place. Raymond is a 16 year old black young man who feels like he belongs nowhere. His lives with his white mom, white st "Have You Seen Luis Velez?" will encourage you to look outside of yourself and see what is really around you, who is really around you. To try to put yourself into the shoes of those not like yourself, so you can understand how others might think and feel. This book is full of heart and feeling and left me knowing there is always something I can do to make this world a better place. Raymond is a 16 year old black young man who feels like he belongs nowhere. His lives with his white mom, white step father and 3 step sisters (the only one he feels like he connect with is the four year old) and knows he doesn't fit into this family. His father is married to a woman just eight years older than Raymond, who resents Raymond's presence and makes it hard for Raymond to spend time with is dad. One day Raymond meets 92 year old Mildred, a blind woman living alone, in Raymond's apartment building. Luis Velez had been watching over Mildred for the last four years, taking her to the bank and the grocery store three times a week but he suddenly stopped coming three weeks earlier and Mildred is worried about him and has no way to find out what happened to him. Not only that, she is down to her last half can of soup. Raymond wants to and does help Mildred, not only stepping into the shoes of Luis, to make sure Mildred is cared for but also Raymond wants to find Luis for Mildred, despite the fact that Raymond is extremely shy and uncomfortable with people. Despite his discomfort, Raymond is willing to call strangers and even travel to dangerous areas of town, to talk to strangers, all for Mildred, a woman who he respects not only for her age but for her knowledge, wisdom, and kindness. This is a story full of love, kindness, and compassion, despite the very sad things that happen in the lives of the characters in the story. We see everything through Raymond's eyes, as he learns to see things through Mildred's blind eyes and the eyes of others. We need more Raymonds in the world and more Mildreds in the world, people who are willing to reach out to others and share in ways that matter. Thank you to Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for this ARC.
    more
  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    Such a beautiful story! Grab this one my friends and make sure the tea is hot, the cats are purring and that you have a great stock of tissue paper( Kleenex) on hand. When Raymond, an African American teenager befriends the elderly blind woman in his apartment building to help her find a friend, Luis Velez, a tale of friendship, family, and forgiveness begins. I absolutely adored this book and I cannot wait to hear from other readers about their own reactions to it. But I am also feeling fierce Such a beautiful story! Grab this one my friends and make sure the tea is hot, the cats are purring and that you have a great stock of tissue paper( Kleenex) on hand. When Raymond, an African American teenager befriends the elderly blind woman in his apartment building to help her find a friend, Luis Velez, a tale of friendship, family, and forgiveness begins. I absolutely adored this book and I cannot wait to hear from other readers about their own reactions to it. But I am also feeling fiercely protective , because I won't be able to hear a harsh word about it. This is a similar reaction to my reading of Dancing on Broken Glass which I still believe is one of the best women's fiction books. There is just much love in this one too that my heart just soars. Raymond and Mrs. G reminded me of the 1971 film Harold and Maude , in each case you have a younger man forming this relationship with an older woman and those around them cannot understand it. Although I should probably reassure everyone now that Raymond and Mrs G are strictly a grandson/grandmother type of story. The journey they take to try and find Luis was completely compelling and I felt really sad to close the door as the two characters faded into the literary sunset. I may just have to crown this book a favorite of 2019 Thanks to Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing for a digital galley in exchange for an honest review.Goodreads review published 19/05/19 Expected publication 21/05/19
    more
  • Christine
    January 1, 1970
    5 starsCatherine Ryan Hyde is an author I have been eyeing for years, and I have about a half dozen of her novels downloaded on my kindle. Finally, after seeing some superb reviews for Have You Seen Luis Velez? I decided to finally dive in and read one of her books. This is a shining little gem. It is simply written, but laden with wisdom and life-affirming inspiration. It’s a tale about Raymond, a 16-year-old boy with an unhappy home life (“I just don’t fit in”), and his 92-year-old neighbor Mi 5 starsCatherine Ryan Hyde is an author I have been eyeing for years, and I have about a half dozen of her novels downloaded on my kindle. Finally, after seeing some superb reviews for Have You Seen Luis Velez? I decided to finally dive in and read one of her books. This is a shining little gem. It is simply written, but laden with wisdom and life-affirming inspiration. It’s a tale about Raymond, a 16-year-old boy with an unhappy home life (“I just don’t fit in”), and his 92-year-old neighbor Mildred Gutermann (Mrs. G), whose helper of four years, Luis Velez, has disappeared. Raymond and Mrs. G meet serendipitously at just the right time for them both. This is their story, and I will leave it to you, dear reader, to discover it on your own. Just know that even though it will impact teenagers, it is not too late for anyone to learn from these two special people.This book teaches us that though we all have burdens to bear, this is not a reason to give up. Life is messy. It is difficult, it is heartbreaking, it can be seemingly unbearable. But it is also beautiful, glorious, and absolutely a gift to hang on to for as long as we can. Take this journey with Raymond and Mrs. G and see how together they find their way.I just have to mention this. Books get extra credit from me if they teach me something. This book taught me several things, but the most remarkable is how a major societal ill can be explained by quantum physics. No kidding. And Ms. Ryan tells us very clearly how this works.If you are looking for a quick read with all the feelings and lessons to share, this is the book for you.Thank you Net Galley, Lake Union Publishing, and Ms. Catherine Ryan Hyde for an advanced review copy of this book. Opinions are mine alone and are not biased in any way. Thanks also to Erin, Erin C, Sherri and Aga for your awesome reviews that led me to choose this book.
    more
  • Carolyn
    January 1, 1970
    This is a wonderful, heart warming book which I feel sure many different readers will enjoy!When 16 year Raymond meets Millie, a 92 year old blind woman who lives in his apartment block, she is outside her apartment looking for Luis Velez, a young man who has been coming weekly for the last four years to take her to the bank and the shops. It's been more than two weeks since he last visited and Millie is worried something bad has happened to him - and she's down to her last can of soup. Raymond This is a wonderful, heart warming book which I feel sure many different readers will enjoy!When 16 year Raymond meets Millie, a 92 year old blind woman who lives in his apartment block, she is outside her apartment looking for Luis Velez, a young man who has been coming weekly for the last four years to take her to the bank and the shops. It's been more than two weeks since he last visited and Millie is worried something bad has happened to him - and she's down to her last can of soup. Raymond not only takes over Luis' role in helping Millie with her shopping but starts to look for Luis. Raymond is the mixed race son of divorced parents, his mother white and his father African American. He lives with his mother and her new (white) husband and three step sisters but feels he doesn't fit in there. Although he gets on well with his father, his new wife resents him and he doesn't feel welcome when he visits. He's also a bit of a loner at school and his only friend has just moved interstate. In Millie he finds a new friend, someone who is non-judgemental and sees him for who he is. Through his search for Luis Velez, Raymond meets other people who become his friends and see him for the kind and thoughtful boy that he is and he becomes a catalyst for others to do good deeds. His friendship with Millie is beautiful as she becomes the kind and wise older person that has been missing from his life and Luis realises that family does not have to be restricted to those you are related to. Although there are some sad events in the book (view spoiler)[as an Aussie I found the result of the court case inexplicable (hide spoiler)], this is ultimately a very uplifting, life-affirming story.With thanks to Netgalley and Lake Union for a digital ARC to read.
    more
  • Sherri Thacker
    January 1, 1970
    5 stars ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ What do you get when the main characters are a 92 year old woman and a 17 year old boy? A fabulous book about 2 people - Mildred and Raymond. Just a wonderful “feel good” book. I loved the characters, I loved the storyline, loved the whole thing! Of course, I love everything that Catherine Ryan Hyde writes!! Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me this book for my honest review. This book is due to be published in May 2019. 5 stars ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ What do you get when the main characters are a 92 year old woman and a 17 year old boy? A fabulous book about 2 people - Mildred and Raymond. Just a wonderful “feel good” book. I loved the characters, I loved the storyline, loved the whole thing! Of course, I love everything that Catherine Ryan Hyde writes!! Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me this book for my honest review. This book is due to be published in May 2019.
    more
  • Erin Clemence
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for a free, electronic ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review. “Have You Seen Luis Velez?” is the question that starts it all. Raymond Jaffe is a teenager, who doesn’t fit in with his family and is trying to deal with his best friend moving away, when an elderly blind woman asks him about Luis Velez. Soon, Raymond is not only helping the elderly woman with her weekly errands, but he also takes on the mystery himself and is soon searching throug Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for a free, electronic ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review. “Have You Seen Luis Velez?” is the question that starts it all. Raymond Jaffe is a teenager, who doesn’t fit in with his family and is trying to deal with his best friend moving away, when an elderly blind woman asks him about Luis Velez. Soon, Raymond is not only helping the elderly woman with her weekly errands, but he also takes on the mystery himself and is soon searching throughout the city for the stranger named Luis. As he searches, Raymond is confronted with the best (and the worst) parts of society, all the while making friends in strange places, and finally finding a place to belong. A beautiful story by Catherine Ryan Hyde, “Luis Velez” has the powerful, thoughtful messaging familiar to fans of Backman Fredrick or Mitch Albom. Young Raymond is an unassuming protagonist, and in every unexpected way he abashedly becomes a hero. Discarded by his father and ignored by his mother, this coming-of-age story finds Raymond understanding himself in new ways, with the help of some new (also slightly unexpected) friends. There are powerful messages for life in this novel, many poignant tenets of love, relationships, and understanding ourselves and our fellow man. Through Mrs. G (the elderly woman who seeks the mysterious Luis), a reader is humbled, awed and inspired. “Luis Velez” is an easy read, with a creative storyline and charming characters. Each chapter is specifically singled out to tell a certain part of the story, and the storyline is told in order (which is always a plus for me), while we get to learn a little bit about each character. Although the major plot questions of this novel were resolved, I was not entirely satisfied with the ending. Bittersweet and beautiful yes, but I found disappointment in that I wanted to know more about where the relationship between Mrs. G and Raymond went after the last page. I can presume, obviously, and perhaps that is the intention, but I desperately wanted more about their fate in a more concrete way. Perhaps this speaks to how well the novel was written. A delightfully charming novel that will stick with you, I was surprised and charmed by “Have You Seen Luis Velez?” Catherine Ryan Hyde’s novel will definitely leave you thinking outside the box, and examining the relationship you have with yourself, and with others around you. Powerful, sweet and endearing, this was quite the surprising little treat!
    more
  • ʚϊɞ Shelley ʚϊɞ
    January 1, 1970
    It struck him odd that he’d had to come to the home of a blind woman to be seen clearly. Catherine Ryan Hyde has been one of my favourite go to authors since she came out with Pay it Forward in 1999. Have You Seen Luis Velez? just proves it is always smart to read a new book by a beloved writer. The beginning of this book made me think of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, because it has a child searching for something throughout New York, but that is where the similarities end. For me - this It struck him odd that he’d had to come to the home of a blind woman to be seen clearly. Catherine Ryan Hyde has been one of my favourite go to authors since she came out with Pay it Forward in 1999. Have You Seen Luis Velez? just proves it is always smart to read a new book by a beloved writer. The beginning of this book made me think of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, because it has a child searching for something throughout New York, but that is where the similarities end. For me - this is a perfect book. The setting and characters are so richly drawn that you will escape. There is enough plot to keep things moving but I didn't even need much plot here. It was beautifully written with complex characters - wonderful themes about religion, honesty, hypocrisy, racisim and love. I adored the main character, Raymond - he is so vividly drawn I remember him as if he were a real person. The author wrote with wonderful imagery throughout the novel and the reader felt as if she was right there. The story keeps the reader engaged with Raymond and Millie's adventures. I think this is one of the most powerful books I have ever read. I was touched by this book. This book is to be read and enjoyed for the pain, values, and message that is spoken/unspoken in several difficult situations. Some of the most eloquent ideas about friendship, bullying, love, etc. I know not everyone has the same taste in literature, but I don't think you will be disappointed if you were to read this book.Thank you NetGalley, Lake Union Publishing and Catherine Ryan Hyde for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an impartial review; all opinions are my own.#HaveYouSeenLuisVelez #NetGalleyAll my reviews can be found on my blog: https://shelleyann01.blogspot.com/
    more
  • Karren Sandercock
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to NetGalley, Lake Union Publishing and Catherine Ryan Hyde for my advanced copy of Have You Seen Luis Velez.What a brilliant book and I loved it.Raymond Jaffe is a mixed race 16 year old young man he lives with his mum, step father and three younger sisters. His father has married again, he stays with them every second weekend and his fathers new wife can't be bothered with him. He feels unwanted, unloved and a burden to everyone. Raymond struggles to fit in at school, he has one friend Thanks to NetGalley, Lake Union Publishing and Catherine Ryan Hyde for my advanced copy of Have You Seen Luis Velez.What a brilliant book and I loved it.Raymond Jaffe is a mixed race 16 year old young man he lives with his mum, step father and three younger sisters. His father has married again, he stays with them every second weekend and his fathers new wife can't be bothered with him. He feels unwanted, unloved and a burden to everyone. Raymond struggles to fit in at school, he has one friend who's moving away and he's resigned to the fact that he will be alone.One day on his way to school his elderly neighbor Mildred Gutermann is standing out the front of her apartment trying to get someone to help her, she's 92, house bound, blind and desperate.Her friend Luis has assisted her for 4 years but for some reason Luis Velez hasn't been to visit her and he hasn't called her to tell her why? Luis provided support for her go to the bank, pay her bills, go food shopping and he was her only link to the world outside of her apartment.After a couple of weeks she is getting very desperate and is down to her last half a can of soup.Raymond decides to help his neighbor with her errands and also solve the mystery of what happened to Luis Velez?Along the way he saves an abandoned kitten, meets some very interesting people, makes new friends and eventually he finds out what happened to Luis.Have You Seen Luis Velez is a beautiful book it's about relationships, compassion, kindness, justice and it's about a young man finding his way in life and his unique relationship with his 92 year old neighbor.I loved the book, it takes you back to being an insecure teenager and I gave it 5 stars.
    more
  • Judy Collins
    January 1, 1970
    🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩 Top Books of 2019!!!!! Top Audiobook of 2019!!!! I adore all Catherine Ryan Hyde books but HAVE YOU SEEN LUIS VELEZ is my absolute favorite since Take Me With You. The narrator Michael Crouch was award-winning! EXTRAORDINARY. LOVED❤ Timely. Inspiring. Captivating. More coming when back to my computer. Every person in this world needs to read this book and our world would be a much better place. TOPS!!!! 10 stars. 🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩 Top Books of 2019!!!!! Top Audiobook of 2019!!!! I adore all Catherine Ryan Hyde books but HAVE YOU SEEN LUIS VELEZ is my absolute favorite since Take Me With You. The narrator Michael Crouch was award-winning! EXTRAORDINARY. LOVED❤️ Timely. Inspiring. Captivating. More coming when back to my computer. Every person in this world needs to read this book and our world would be a much better place. TOPS!!!! 10 stars.
    more
  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    If you’re searching for a book to give you all the feels and one that will also restore your faith in humanity my friends then look no further. I’ve become a super fan of CRH over the past few years and this is my favorite of hers to date. Well, of the ones I’ve actually read because have you seen her backlist?! Impressive. But seriously, this is a special book and one that I won’t soon forget.The driving force behind what makes a CRH fantastic is the incredible characterization, no doubt about If you’re searching for a book to give you all the feels and one that will also restore your faith in humanity my friends then look no further. I’ve become a super fan of CRH over the past few years and this is my favorite of hers to date. Well, of the ones I’ve actually read because have you seen her backlist?! Impressive. But seriously, this is a special book and one that I won’t soon forget.The driving force behind what makes a CRH fantastic is the incredible characterization, no doubt about it. She also has an incredible knack for telling stories about unlikely friendships that will tug at your heartstrings like no other and this was no exception. Raymond is a teenaged kid who I wanted to mother myself after just a few pages, this kid 😍 He is not your typical boy, he’s more mature and self aware than many adults, the kind of kid that would make every parent extremely proud, except for his own parents, which is such a shame. Millie lives in the same building as Raymond and the relationship between these two was beautiful and just so so special. What could a ninety year old and a sixteen year old possibly have in common? You’ll have to read yourself to truly understand, but the short answer is they have just enough in common to forge an amazing bond.Yet another one of my favorite things about CRH is her ability to address current societal issues head on, but at the same time she’s not pushing a personal agenda or shoving things in the readers face. She’s exploring problematic issues in a sensitive and respectful manner and she always makes me think. As always this would be ideal for a book club or a buddy read, there is much to discuss, I know I’ve been dying to talk about this one with someone since I’ve finished! (If you’ve read it please let me know) Highly recommended by me, really to anyone who just likes a really well written and engaging story!Have You Seen Luis Velez? in three words: Moving, Encouraging and Special.
    more
  • Carole
    January 1, 1970
    I won this book from the author on her blog! I encourage you to get a copy of this thoughtful & inspirational story. I loved Ramon, a 17 year old boy who feels like no one listens or understands him. He meets Mildred or “Mrs G”, a 92 year old, blind woman who lives in his building. She needs help getting to the bank and grocery store because her friend Luis Velez has disappeared. Ramon & Mrs G form a friendship that is unlikely but so special. I felt so inspired and encouraged by this up I won this book from the author on her blog! I encourage you to get a copy of this thoughtful & inspirational story. I loved Ramon, a 17 year old boy who feels like no one listens or understands him. He meets Mildred or “Mrs G”, a 92 year old, blind woman who lives in his building. She needs help getting to the bank and grocery store because her friend Luis Velez has disappeared. Ramon & Mrs G form a friendship that is unlikely but so special. I felt so inspired and encouraged by this uplifting book. It’s another hit by one of my favorite authors. Thank you very much Catherine for another story with amazing characters and a heartfelt message filled with wisdom.
    more
  • The Cats Mother
    January 1, 1970
    What a wonderful book! I have read and mostly really enjoyed a few by this author previously, so jumped at the chance of an ARC, not really worrying about what it was about. Well this is her best yet, a moving story about an unusual friendship between two very special characters. Raymond, a sixteen year old from New York who feels he doesn’t fit in with his new family after his parents’ divorce, meets an elderly lady, Millie, who lives in the same building and is asking passing strangers whether What a wonderful book! I have read and mostly really enjoyed a few by this author previously, so jumped at the chance of an ARC, not really worrying about what it was about. Well this is her best yet, a moving story about an unusual friendship between two very special characters. Raymond, a sixteen year old from New York who feels he doesn’t fit in with his new family after his parents’ divorce, meets an elderly lady, Millie, who lives in the same building and is asking passing strangers whether they have seen her friend Luis. Discovering that she is blind and near starvation because she has been unable to get out to the bank and shops since Luis disappeared, kind-hearted Raymond steps in to help, and decides to track down the missing man, without telling her, meeting a series of remarkable people who will each help him in unexpected ways.This was a hugely emotional read, the kind that makes one question what we would do in each situation. Raymond seemed almost too good to be true - we know from the start when he rescues a kitten and readily gives up his food, time and money to help others that he is almost preternaturally kind, but others can sense it too, as strangers help him on his quest. The contrast between the ultimate antagonist, who is portrayed by the prejudiced society they live in as a “good person”, is cleverly done - I don’t want to spoil it by explaining. Some might find it overly sentimental but I loved it.Ryan Hyde is a brilliant storyteller even though the writing is so simple - it really is all about the characters, from wise old Millie living the life she thought she didn’t deserve, to Raymond’s mother, battling to keep her family straight while not understanding her son at all, to the cynical but kind-hearted lawyers who want to see justice done in spite of an innately biased system. There’s friendship, generosity, family love and quantum physics, as well as sadness, unfairness and racism, but in the end it’s hope and kindness that win.My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the arc which allowed me to give an honest review. Have you seen Luis Velez is available now.
    more
  • Jean
    January 1, 1970
    I loved everything about this book! The young man's compassion for the olderneighbor is something very rare. I enjoyed it so much. I also loved the lessonshe learned as he completed task after task for his blind neighbor. I loved the hurdleshe goes through for her. Also, this is a beautiful story about life, love, and family. Especially family that is no blood relation.The book flows well and keeps your attention page after page. I loved the characters,I didn't want to see the book come to an en I loved everything about this book! The young man's compassion for the olderneighbor is something very rare. I enjoyed it so much. I also loved the lessonshe learned as he completed task after task for his blind neighbor. I loved the hurdleshe goes through for her. Also, this is a beautiful story about life, love, and family. Especially family that is no blood relation.The book flows well and keeps your attention page after page. I loved the characters,I didn't want to see the book come to an end. Even though the ending was beautiful aswell. This is only the second book I have read by this writer, I have loved both of them!
    more
  • Kathryn
    January 1, 1970
    If you need an uplifting book, that invites you to reflect on life and your role in it, then pick this one up.I thoroughly enjoyed the story of Raymond who feels as a sixteen year old like a bit of a misfit in his family. His step Dad doesn't really accept him, his mother listens then forgets and his Dad  has a new wife that doesn't really like Raymond's Dad paying any attention to him.How Raymond turned out like he has is beyond me because he has the kindest of hearts. And one day he is rewarde If you need an uplifting book, that invites you to reflect on life and your role in it, then pick this one up.I thoroughly enjoyed the story of Raymond who feels as a sixteen year old like a bit of a misfit in his family. His step Dad doesn't really accept him, his mother listens then forgets and his Dad  has a new wife that doesn't really like Raymond's Dad paying any attention to him.How Raymond turned out like he has is beyond me because he has the kindest of hearts. And one day he is rewarded because an older woman of ninety or so "sees" him. She is blind but when she calls out a question, Raymond stops  to check on what that's all about. How many people would stop and check? Too few most likely.And so begins an unusual relationship between Raymond and Mrs G. At first I thought everyone needs a Raymond in their world. But then... a Luis Velez is good too and really Mrs G. is just so full of wisdom. So they all enriched me and each other.This is really a very heart warming book, it speaks to what is wrong in our world today in so many ways. Life can be hard and challenging, people experience prejudice, hate, loneliness, helplessness, injustice and racial non acceptance. What is the answer? Well Raymond and Luis are answers. And they invite you and me to be answers.
    more
  • Carmen Blankenship
    January 1, 1970
    Yes! Yes yes yes. An amazingly uplifting and timely story about humanity. That's the bare bones of but it was filled with so much heart. I adored the main character by the end of the first chapter. An awkward and sensitive young man who seems painfully lonely. Until he meets an elderly women who lives in his building. Their meeting changes both of theirs and I never wanted to stop reading about them. A magnificent story and one that will resonate for quite sometime.
    more
  • Siobhan
    January 1, 1970
    Have You Seen Luis Velez? surprised me in the best of ways. I was interested by the idea of the story but did not imagine myself becoming as invested in it as I did. Add in the fact I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump and have not been wowed for a while, and this one gripped me good.Have You Seen Luis Velez? sucked me in from the very first page. I found myself hooked and powered through the book in a single sitting as I needed to see how everything came together. There were plenty of aspects Have You Seen Luis Velez? surprised me in the best of ways. I was interested by the idea of the story but did not imagine myself becoming as invested in it as I did. Add in the fact I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump and have not been wowed for a while, and this one gripped me good.Have You Seen Luis Velez? sucked me in from the very first page. I found myself hooked and powered through the book in a single sitting as I needed to see how everything came together. There were plenty of aspects introduced throughout, and each time something new came up I found myself sucked in ever deeper. It dealt with much more than I’d expected, pulled out more emotions than I’d imagined, and I could not get enough of this book.It’s a simply written story, but the messages within are not simple. It makes you look at yourself and the world around you, it makes you stop to consider the way in which we’re all connected, and it leaves you more aware of the world upon finishing. It’s an easy story to read, but it has a big impact.Without a doubt, Have You Seen Luis Velez? is well worth the read.
    more
  • Andrea Phelps
    January 1, 1970
    I absolutely loved this book!!! Actually, I love pretty much anything by Catherine Ryan Hyde. This was a sad book at times, but it was also a book that makes you feel good inside and one of those that makes you want to be a better person.
  • Susan Crowe
    January 1, 1970
    ***I won an ARC Kindle copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway.What an absolutely wonderful book this was!Tissues absolutely needed to read. I highly recommend!!My first by this author but definitely will not be my last!
  • ☕️Kimberly
    January 1, 1970
    Filled with poignant prose you will want to reference again and again, our story begins in a high-rise apartment building located in New York City. It isn’t overly fancy and home to middle and lower-income families.Our protagonist Raymond is seventeen and of mixed race. He lives with his mother who has remarried and has two daughters with her new husband. He spends every other weekend with his father and new wife. On the day we meet Raymond, it’s the last day before his best and only friend move Filled with poignant prose you will want to reference again and again, our story begins in a high-rise apartment building located in New York City. It isn’t overly fancy and home to middle and lower-income families.Our protagonist Raymond is seventeen and of mixed race. He lives with his mother who has remarried and has two daughters with her new husband. He spends every other weekend with his father and new wife. On the day we meet Raymond, it’s the last day before his best and only friend moves to California. It is also the day he meets, Mrs. G (Mildred). A 92-year-old blind woman who lives on the fourth floor when she pokes her head out the door and asks, “Have You Seen Luis Velez?”Raymond goes back to see the woman after school and learns that a young man named Luis, stopped by a few times a week to escort her with her errands. The poor woman hasn’t seen him in almost three weeks. He discovers she has been living on a single can of soup for the last few days. Raymond befriends her and take over Luis’s tasks. It isn’t long before he sets out looking for Luis Velez. And thus our coming of age story begins.This was my first experience with Hyde and I’d love to see this book on required reading lists. The story touches on many relevant topics regarding privilege, loss, forgiveness, understanding, compassion, sexuality, perception, diversity, and community. Last but not least, it touched on friendship. The friendship that developed between this young boy and an elderly woman was remarkable, heartwarming and memorable.The topics were effortlessly woven into the tale as Raymond met different Luis Velez’s in the city. Not every encounter was friendly but a few profoundly changed the lives of Raymond and others.The story began with the friendship of Raymond and Mrs G, and his search for Luis Velez, but it grew. As their circle of friends grew and so did Raymond. I really liked Raymond. He is a fine young man, and the scenes involving a stray cat sealed the deal for me even before he helped Mrs. G. Secondary characters from the large Velez family to the widowed mother moved me and reminded me how wonderful people can be amid current events.I laughed, I cried, and I reflected on many of the issues that Hyde touched upon. This is a fantastic story for a book club. This review was originally posted at Caffeinated Reviewer
    more
  • Aga Durka
    January 1, 1970
    This was a delightful read! The unexpected friendship between a 17-year old boy and a 92-year old blind woman is so heartwarming and emotional. Reading this story makes you realize that there really is no age, gender, or social status barrier when it comes to real friendship. I really enjoyed both main characters, and I connected with each one of them even though they were so different from each other. This novel can be a great read for all ages, but I think it would be a meaningful read for you This was a delightful read! The unexpected friendship between a 17-year old boy and a 92-year old blind woman is so heartwarming and emotional. Reading this story makes you realize that there really is no age, gender, or social status barrier when it comes to real friendship. I really enjoyed both main characters, and I connected with each one of them even though they were so different from each other. This novel can be a great read for all ages, but I think it would be a meaningful read for young adults. This story will make you smile, cry, and it will make you angry at times, but that is what makes it a great story. Thank you NetGalley for great read!
    more
  • Melanie
    January 1, 1970
    "Have You Seen Luis Velez?" is such a beautiful and wonderful read! Millie, her wise and powerful words, and her patient and kind personality, is very similar to that of Ove in "A Man Called Ove", which I also loved. I absolutely adore this woman and I really took the time to let her words sink in and think about them for a while. She truly is the type of person I would love to be like, and hope that I can impact others lives such as she has and does. Yes, I do understand that she is a fictional "Have You Seen Luis Velez?" is such a beautiful and wonderful read! Millie, her wise and powerful words, and her patient and kind personality, is very similar to that of Ove in "A Man Called Ove", which I also loved. I absolutely adore this woman and I really took the time to let her words sink in and think about them for a while. She truly is the type of person I would love to be like, and hope that I can impact others lives such as she has and does. Yes, I do understand that she is a fictional character, but I would rather think of her as real. While reading this book, which I did in one single day, I grew to really become fond of her, and of Raymond, and I hated for the book to end because I did not want to stop reading about them! She had a way about her and with the words she said and the ones that were unsaid, that affected Raymond in the deepest way, and had him thinking differently about himself, about life, and about those around him. There were so many scenes throughout this book that were so insightful, that were so profound, and so telling about how people think, react, and speak, both consciously and subconsciously. THIS IS A MUST READ FOR EVERYONE! I think this will be a book that will receive multiple awards and will be discussed all over the globe. Please read this book.
    more
  • Linda Zagon
    January 1, 1970
    Lindas Book Obsession Reviews "Have You Seen Luis Velez?" by Catherine Ryan Hyde, May 2019Catherine Ryan Hyde, Author of "Have You Seen Luis Velez" has written a unique, enthralling, emotional, intriguing, captivating and heartwarming novel.  The Genre for this story is Fiction. This is also a Beautiful Coming of Age Story.  I love everything about this wonderful book. Catherine Ryan Hyde is an amazing storyteller, and her vivid and colorful descriptions of her characters and the landscape are s Lindas Book Obsession Reviews "Have You Seen Luis Velez?" by Catherine Ryan Hyde, May 2019Catherine Ryan Hyde, Author of "Have You Seen Luis Velez" has written a unique, enthralling, emotional, intriguing, captivating and heartwarming novel.  The Genre for this story is Fiction. This is also a Beautiful Coming of Age Story.  I love everything about this wonderful book. Catherine Ryan Hyde is an amazing storyteller, and her vivid and colorful descriptions of her characters and the landscape are so realistic. The story takes place in and around New York City. The author describes her dramatic characters as complex and complicated.Raymond Jaffe, 17 years old feels like an outcast in his family.  His best friend is moving away, and his other friend is a kitten that he rescues. He is in his building when an older woman asks him if he or anyone has seen Luis Velez? As Raymond is speaking to Mildred Gutermann, who is 92 years old and blind, he realizes she has no caretaker. Raymond starts helping Mildred and is looking for Luis Velez, who had been helping Mildred. Meanwhile, Raymond and Mildred are becoming good friends.It seems there are a number of  Luis Velez's' in the phone book. Raymond goes and visits some of them. There are some interesting encounters, but Raymond has yet to find the correct Luis Velez.I appreciate that Catherine Ryan Hyde discusses the importance of kindness and friendship. Also discussed are the different prejudices and biases that are based on wealth and poverty, and religion and race.  The author writes about love, acceptance, friendship, family, kindness, love, and hope. I highly recommend this amazing book.
    more
  • Frosty61
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC of this book - a breath of fresh air for me.This is a heartwarming, inspiring book. It's a story of a young teen trying to find connections in the mostly negative world he lives in. He's unsure of himself, his worth, and his purpose.. Rather than retreat within himself or give in to despair, he takes a risk and tries to help an elderly blind woman in his apartment building. The story is rich with emotion. The characters' interactions restore on Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an ARC of this book - a breath of fresh air for me.This is a heartwarming, inspiring book. It's a story of a young teen trying to find connections in the mostly negative world he lives in. He's unsure of himself, his worth, and his purpose.. Rather than retreat within himself or give in to despair, he takes a risk and tries to help an elderly blind woman in his apartment building. The story is rich with emotion. The characters' interactions restore one's faith in basic human kindness. There are many nuggets of wisdom sprinkled throughout that reiterate the fact that, though horrible things happen to all of us, there is more good in the world than we might think.
    more
  • Tanja ~ T's Book ~ KT Book Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    Follow us on KT Book ReviewsTwitterFacebookPinteresttumblrYouTubeBook BabblersInstagram
  • Susan (The Book Bag)
    January 1, 1970
    Once again, Catherine has written a beautiful, touching story with interesting and caring characters. I love starting one of her books because I know I am going to immediately be swept up in the richness of the story. This one did not disappoint. I devoured it!Raymond feels like he doesn't fit in anywhere and Millie feels isolated in her small apartment because of her blindness, her fear, and her regrets. In unlikely circumstances, the two become just what the other one needs. As Raymond goes on Once again, Catherine has written a beautiful, touching story with interesting and caring characters. I love starting one of her books because I know I am going to immediately be swept up in the richness of the story. This one did not disappoint. I devoured it!Raymond feels like he doesn't fit in anywhere and Millie feels isolated in her small apartment because of her blindness, her fear, and her regrets. In unlikely circumstances, the two become just what the other one needs. As Raymond goes on the search for Luis Velez, he comes to realize that he is just fine the way he is and Millie discovers there truly is goodness in the world.The journey they each traveled is what makes this story so memorable. I loved both of them and really wanted them to find happiness, acceptance, and friends. Raymond and Millie are characters I won't soon forget—I loved them and this story so much! I highly recommend Have You Seen Luis Velez?.'Never be afraid to look, Raymond. It's always better to look. Whatever you're afraid of, turn toward it, not away. Once you do that, it loses all its power over you.'
    more
  • Caryn
    January 1, 1970
    Full review and giveaway: http://www.thebookwhisperer.org/2019/...
  • Donna Hines
    January 1, 1970
    This is more than just a feel good book - This is a movement for change!Lets go!Everything you have can be gone in a second but what if you felt you didn't deserve any of it?What if you're an outcast having very little unless you count a feral cat and an old lady? Raymond has it rough with his father in his new marriage and with life but he's a blessing in this remarkable friendship.You never know in life where it will take you or what lessons you may learn but you can be sure you won't exit out This is more than just a feel good book - This is a movement for change!Lets go!Everything you have can be gone in a second but what if you felt you didn't deserve any of it?What if you're an outcast having very little unless you count a feral cat and an old lady? Raymond has it rough with his father in his new marriage and with life but he's a blessing in this remarkable friendship.You never know in life where it will take you or what lessons you may learn but you can be sure you won't exit out until you've learned them.Enter Mildred a fresh spunky 92 year young German Jew who has survived the Holocaust. What he hasn't been able to cope with is the loss of her caretaker Luis Velez. That's why she relies upon the sweet help of Raymond - the 17 yr old teen- who lives in same neighborhood.He goes out of his way to help her but had no idea the winding road he would encounter.Through thick and thin he uncovers more than he ever thought possible when he finds more than one Luis.As he goes through his list of possible candidates he learns each has a story to tell and some are equally as painful or worse than his own.Living a life of value is defined by whom?This book discusses many tough issues such as tribalism, us v them mentality, privilege, survivor guilt and most importantly love not hate.This book is more than just a feel good it's a call to come together.I hope we can all see past our differences and embrace for our diversity, our visions, our individual stories.Thank you to Catherine, the publisher, NetGalley, and Aldiko for this ARC in exchange for this honest review.
    more
  • Nan Williams
    January 1, 1970
    Once again Catherine Ryan Hyde has treated us to a beautifully written book featuring beautiful people. No, not glamorous people, but people with real beauty: inner beauty whose beauty shines forth to light the lives of others.The theme of this book, once again, is how one seemingly insignificant act of kindness will snowball to bless multiple people.For me, the thing about Hyde’s books is that she doesn’t gloss over life nor give her readers syrup nor fantasy. She takes a realistic situation an Once again Catherine Ryan Hyde has treated us to a beautifully written book featuring beautiful people. No, not glamorous people, but people with real beauty: inner beauty whose beauty shines forth to light the lives of others.The theme of this book, once again, is how one seemingly insignificant act of kindness will snowball to bless multiple people.For me, the thing about Hyde’s books is that she doesn’t gloss over life nor give her readers syrup nor fantasy. She takes a realistic situation and shows how people triumph through their adversity because of looking beyond themselves. Nor does she write “how to” books. Her books are simple (but never simplistic!) stories of life where her characters look just one small step beyond their own distress and then take that step.Highly recommended for everyone. I received this ARC from NetGalley and the publisher, Lake Union Publishing, in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • Joan
    January 1, 1970
    When seventeen-year-old Raymond Jaffe’s best friend moves away, he loses the only friend he has. They plan to Skype but it will never be the same as walking to school together and chatting whenever they want to. Raymond is a loner, an outcast in school, misunderstood by his jealous step-mother and by his mother’s new husband and their new family. He’s ‘different’ and there’s no hiding for poor Raymond. All he has left in his life is a feral cat he’s tamed and now feeds in a derelict building a l When seventeen-year-old Raymond Jaffe’s best friend moves away, he loses the only friend he has. They plan to Skype but it will never be the same as walking to school together and chatting whenever they want to. Raymond is a loner, an outcast in school, misunderstood by his jealous step-mother and by his mother’s new husband and their new family. He’s ‘different’ and there’s no hiding for poor Raymond. All he has left in his life is a feral cat he’s tamed and now feeds in a derelict building a little way away.Then there’s his ‘new’ friend, ninety-two-year-old Mildred Gutermann, a blind widow who lives in the same block as him, although not on the same floor. He meets Mildred the day his best friend left town, when she was desperately searching for her usual carer who hasn’t visited her in weeks. She is so worried about this Luis Velez, her erstwhile carer, and is fast running out of food, driven by desperation to wandering about asking her wary neighbours 'Have You Seen Luis Velez?' But what may come of that friendship, Raymond reasoned, feeling very despondent. He has to intervene, just as his heart and mind is telling him to.That reasonable question forms the centre of this novel, for Raymond makes it his mission to find out where Luis is and why he has stopped travelling across the city to escort Mildred to the bank and then making sure she had provisions regularly; all this, out of the goodness of his heart. He’d embraced this responsibility for well over four years, even teaching the old lady his native tongue, Spanish. Raymond steps up with compassion for her predicament, looking after her, helping her and trying to boost her up; all in his spare time. She is very worried about Luis and feeling increasingly isolated. Meanwhile he forms a very close bond with the fascinating, intelligent and very wise old lady. They simply ‘get’ each other and Raymond at last feels happy, settled and valued.This is a very beautiful and profound story about companionship, loyalty, friendship and caring. Catherine Ryan Hyde has envisaged a real cracker of a story and delivered it with her usual superb style of understanding, vivid descriptions and compassionate heart. It’s a very clever story, examining tribalism, bigotry, prejudice and the difference between various classes of society. Catherine does this so well, backing up her story with meticulous research used intelligently in the courtroom scenes. I always enjoy her characterisation. She reaches deep into her heart and soul, describing emotions, giving her characters a conscience and always being very aware of different points of view. I loved both of the main character most of all. They were truly inspiring. This very simple (but hugely enjoyable) story is greatly enriched and enhanced by her insight and understanding of worldly matters and people. I would have loved an ‘Epilogue’ from Catherine at the very end of the story, one that rounded off the ‘Luis Velez’ story more fully. But I know how I would end it and that’s enough for soft-hearted me really.Thank you for my complimentary copy of this novel received through my membership of NetGalley and from Lake Union Publishing, sent to me in return for an honest unbiased review. I thoroughly enjoyed it and my review reflects this. It’s a 4.5* from me and a very happy recommendation that this is an excellent novel for you to read. Catherine always delivers and this is amongst one of my favourites. Thank goodness she is a prolific author and there’s never very long to wait for another little gem from her ‘pen’. Thank you Catherine.
    more
  • Jamie
    January 1, 1970
    Young Raymond finds himself a friend in Ms. G, a blind elderly neighbor who suddenly needs his help. A man named Luis Velez used to show up to help Ms. G, but she hasn't seen him in awhile. She is worried about Luis and she about a half a can of soup away from going hungry when Raymond stops to help her. Raymond is a mixed race teenage step kid looking for a place to belong. He is also questioning who he is and who he wants to become. I think that many teens could relate to Raymond, making it a Young Raymond finds himself a friend in Ms. G, a blind elderly neighbor who suddenly needs his help. A man named Luis Velez used to show up to help Ms. G, but she hasn't seen him in awhile. She is worried about Luis and she about a half a can of soup away from going hungry when Raymond stops to help her. Raymond is a mixed race teenage step kid looking for a place to belong. He is also questioning who he is and who he wants to become. I think that many teens could relate to Raymond, making it a great read for young adults. He is also kind to a fault. Almost too kind, I noted. It was hard to believe that any seventeen year old boy would be as emotionally intelligent as Raymond. The relationship with Raymond and Ms. G is so delightful. It was lovely to read about a young boy taking so much interest in the well being of an elderly blind woman. However, Raymond's mother calls his friendship with 92 year old Mildred, "icky and weird". It was easy to see how Raymond could feel like an outcast by his own family, with his mother giving him such a harsh observation of his choices. Raymond's adventures in finding Luis Velez for Ms. G take him to many different "Luis'" before he stumbles upon the right one. This part of the story had a parable feel to it. Almost every Luis offered up the reason why he wished he could have been the one who was helping and elderly lady - but each giving excuses why he couldn't. It was interesting to see how the Luis' all started to fit into Raymond's life. This novel is both charming and eye opening. It would be great for a book club or even for a classroom read. In fact, the text feels like it was written for a younger audience.In the words of Raymond's wise librarian, "The world is terrible and wonderful at the same time. One doesn't negate the other, but wonderful keeps us in the game." This is the theme of Have you Seen Luis? Kindness. Wonder. Those are the things that remind us that everything is worth it. Thank you to Little Bird Publicity and Amazon Publishing for the ARC of Have You Seen Luis Velez? in exchange for an honest review.
    more
Write a review