young adult book reviews & more

Amor and Summer Secrets by Diana Rodriguez Wallach

Amor and Summer SecretsIt’s the summer after her first year in high school, and all Mariana Ruíz can think about is her best friend Madison’s upcoming Sweet Sixteen. It’s going to be the event of the summer with every perfect detail catered to Madison’s expensive needs. But then Mariana’s parents force her to accompany her brother Vince on a summer-long vacation to Puerto Rico. Mariana is outraged and devastated; she doesn’t understand why she has to miss her friend’s birthday blowout to spent time with Puerto Rican relatives she’s never met before and frankly has no desire to meet. But she has to go, against her will, and at first, Puerto Rice is everything Mariana has dreaded: conversational limitations due to the language barrier, cramped quarters she has to share, and muggy weather. But gradually, Mariana realizes she can’t spend the summer pining for her hometown and its luxuries and stars to embrace her family and her ethnicity. And she just might get some new friends in the bargain.

Amor and Summer Secrets was a cute and well-written story. I really liked Mariana’s character; sure, she was spoiled and annoying at times, but she knew her flaws and genuinely tried to be a good person. I could easily relate to her struggles, especially the ones involving her family, friends, and boys. The problems Mariana deals with may see a little generic, but Wallach presents them in a realistic way that makes them appear fresh. I would’ve liked more development of the minor characters, particularly Lilly and Vince, because they were hard to understand at times, but their characterization was in the end adequate. I also liked how Mariana grew to accept and love her cultural identity. And of course, there’s enough romance, drama, and secrets to keep the plot interesting.

I definitely recommend Amor and Summer Secrets and can’t wait for the sequel, Amigas and School Scandals. Fans of Cruel Summer by Alyson Noël and Oh. My. Gods. by Tera Lynn Childs will also enjoy this novel with similar themes.

Rating: 4.0

Review copy from BookDivas

3 munch(es) :

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Hey Rachael...quick comment to see if you got my latest email? i just wanted to make sure! let me know. thanks. :)


Krysten Lindsay Hager said...

Sounds like a great one. Reminds me of the character in the Traveling Pants series who goes to Greece.

Anonymous said...

wow. this book sounds interesting. especially cuz im half puerto rican and remember when i had to live there. but i love it there. cant wait to read this!

Post a Comment

Let the munching begin.