- 101 in 1001
January 30, 2011
Labels: Book Reviews
Date Finished: January 30, 2011
Summary: Marisa Moreno is in a tough position. Instead of going to school or doing the things she needs to do, she is stuck watching her little niece, Anita. Marisa is also trying to apply for colleges, University of Houston as her safety school and University of Austin and their engineering programs. However, things are getting intense, she's got a new boyfriend, she's trying to maintain her grades, while attempting to help out her family by working at the local supermarket and teaching Anita to read. Will Marisa be able to pass her tests or will her family's drama bring her down?
Likes: I like the theme of this novel. There are so many teens that are in this position and there are very few books that are out there for people in that stage. I liked that Marisa's issues were real things that most all teens go through regardless of their ethnicity or cultural heritage. I mean, how many of us can say that our goals and dreams were different than our parents ideals for us. I felt that Marisa's situation wasn't uncommon and it was interesting to read about a teen who wants to rise above and do more than people expect her to do. Marisa's parents don't value education the way she does and it's interesting to see them clash. Especially her mother who does two things that are unfathomable, yet in the end is willing to put her own needs aside and do what is right for her daughter.
Dislikes: There were a lot of "issues" in the book that seem that they were all piled on just for the sake of showing what happens in high school. There are a lot of subplots that aren't fully fleshed out in the end, but it doesn't detract from the overall story and it seems like it's balanced out since it is Marisa's story after all. It did run the risk of overtaking her story, but there are some pivotal points that bring it back to Marisa's story.
Overall: I highly enjoyed this book. It made me think of my days in high school applying for college. November, the month of UC deadlines, was a stressful month and I remember checking out of the social loop for a while until acceptance letters came in. Another thing that I found interesting was reading the first hand account of what it is like to be a part of a traditional Mexican family. Not that it was how all families were, but I hear stories from the teenagers I used to work with and their teachers who explain how things can be some times.
Recommended by: I saw information about the story floating around the internet and it's on my debut author list. When I saw it available on Netgalley, I had to snatch it up!
Acquired: ARC from Netgalley
Publication Date: March 2011