Ever since an article about Lupe Perez ran in the UCLA paper, she's become the poster child for the American Dream: East L.A. bad girl who slashed cop makes good! She goes to school full-time, works in the food court, and volunteers at a center for at-risk teens. Against all odds, Lupe has turned her life around. The thing is, she never asked for all this attention. Now, her professor wants her to write a gigantic thesis about what Americanization means to Mexican immigrants-and she's not even sure yet what it means to her.
YA author, Sandra Lopez gives us her review.
Reviewed by: Sandra Lopez
Review: I loved it! Like my novel, Beyond the Gardens, Becoming Americana is a true rags-to-riches story of a young Latina trying to make her mark in the world. Lupe Perez is a student at UCLA and frequent volunteer at The Vibe, a youth center for at-risk teens. Instant celebrity status follows her when an article is written about her in the campus paper. Now, her professor wants her to write a thesis about Americanization, which we get a glimpse of at the beginning of each chapter.
Things get a little dicey when she is forced to leave home because of her trouble-making brother and move in with Nash, the director of The Vibe and the guy she's had a crush on for years. More confusion is added when the reporter Will (the one who wrote the article) starts taking an interest in Lupe.
While Lupe and Will begin a dating interlude, she and Nash exchange flirty pleasantries and sensual closeness. By the end, it all comes down to her choices. Will or Nash? This job or finishing school? You can't help but wonder how the end will turn out.
Personally, I would've chosen Nash over Will anytime. Nash was older, smarter, and more mature when Will just seemed like your typical college boy who was only into getting sex. The fact that Nash kept resisting Lupe's advances only made him that much hotter to me. It was the whole hard-to-get thing.
The ending was kind of sad for me, even though it was great that Lupe finally got her act together.
Ultimately, this story is all about the emotional ups and downs of a young girl straight out of the barrio. It pulls you into the gritty, dark turmoil of her hopes and fears, and it leaves you reeling from this courageous story long after it's finished. A fantastic read!
In fact, if you liked this story, you may also want to check out Beyond the Gardens.