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Review: What do most of us do when the topic of quinceañeras come up? We sigh, we roll our eyes, we cringe so hard that we shrivel up inside like a burnt out match. The feeling's mutual in just about everyone. That was exactly how Estrella Alvarez felt in this story.
Even though I have never had a quince myself (thank god,) this story gave me warm nostalgia as I recalled my own years of growing up in a barrio. I remembered the "cholo losers" and the busy-body neighbors; the buttinski mother and the crazy relatives, everthing. You can't help but empathize with Estrella when it comes to how her family views her as the last gleaming hope for a good education, or how she feels like an alien in the world of her rich, prep-school friends. Don't we all feel that way at some point?
I loved Estrella's surly and sarcastic tone as she described every grueling (and often, embarrassing) detail of the party planning. I also liked how Speedy wasn't your typical "cholo" but actually a nice guy (so few of them left in the barrio.) I did think Estrella needed to relax and slow down on growing up. She should've enjoyed hanging out with Speedy as a friend/person instead of concentrating so hard on getting her first kiss from him.
One unique thing about this book was that each chapter had a definition of barrio slang that you couldn't help but smile at. This was a relatable story of finding one's self while coming of age in a dark, scary world. Great job, Malin!
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