Review Detail

5.0 1
Kids Fiction 2642
A touching story about strengthening your community.
Overall rating
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Definitely recommended!
Good Points
It seems like it's going to be an ordinary summer for Arturo Zamora. La Cocina de la Isla, the family restaurant, unites and fortifies his community. Arturo is ecstatic to finally be a part of it... until he realizes he will be washing dishes. Arturo is drawn to Carmen, but whenever he's around her he embarrasses himself. His summer takes a turn for the worse when a greedy developer plans to tear down the restaurant to make place for a hotel. It hurts Arturo that his community doesn't realize what could happen to La Cocina de la Isla. With his family giving up and his romantic relationship failing, Arturo has to learn to embrace the unexpected and express himself.

Arturo is a strong character. He is frustrated with the "epic fails" in his life and struggles to overcome them. He doesn't know how to act around Carmen, and feels like the odd man out in his family because he isn't fluent in Spanish. He is slammed with so many conflicts and doesn't know how to deal with them. When he's open to getting out of his comfort zone, his doubts and worries get the best of him until he gives up altogether. As the only one in his family who believes the restaurant can be saved, Arturo recognizes that he has to stand up for what he believes in. To change his community for the better, he also has to change.

I appreciated how The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora ?portrayed how to gain public support for a cause. They held protests, rallies and made pamphlets to spread the word about the family restaurant.

I loved how Arturo referred to how he felt around Carmen. A deep fryer? Hilarious. Arturo is freaked out because Carmen is practically his cousin. Arturo's insightful and funny narration made me view his relationship with Carmen in a different light. Carmen inspires him to look into poetry, and helps him develop his appreciation for it.

?I loved the diverse cast of characters. Arturo's tightly-knit Cuban-American family supported each other through thick and thin. The family's heritage was an important part of their identity, and their culture strengthened their community. Their faith and determination motivated them to save what they had worked so hard to build. As Arturo grows and learns throughout the story, his family does as well. The book taught me about Arturo's culture. I learned about Spanish foods, traditions and poets, along with a little of the language.

The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora gives the reader a unique perspective into having a business, a crush, and a huge conflict. Jam-packed full of lessons on making a difference and overcoming yourself, it is a memorable read perfect for summer!
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