Amor and Summer Secrets (Amor and Summer Secrets #1)

 
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Amor and Summer Secrets (Amor and Summer Secrets #1)
Publisher
Age Range
12+
Release Date
September 01, 2008
ISBN
0758225539
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In the first novel of a sparkling new series that's reminiscent of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants books, Wallach introduces an unforgettable heroine who's learning all about friendship, family, rivalry, and secrets.

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romance and culture
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Reader reviewed by the book muncher

Its the summer after her first year in high school, and all Mariana Ruíz can think about is her best friend Madisons upcoming Sweet Sixteen. Its going to be the event of the summer with every perfect detail catered to Madisons expensive needs. But then Marianas parents force her to accompany her brother Vince on a summer-long vacation to Puerto Rico. Mariana is outraged and devastated; she doesnt understand why she has to miss her friends birthday blowout to spent time with Puerto Rican relatives shes 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 cant 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 Marianas 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 wouldve 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, theres enough romance, drama, and secrets to keep the plot interesting.

I definitely recommend Amor and Summer Secrets and cant 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.

reposted from http://thebookmuncher.blogspot.com
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An Impressive Debut Novel!
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Reader reviewed by John Stein

Amor and Summer Secrets is a compelling, heartfelt story of self-discovery told through the eyes of a half Puerto Rican, half Polish teenager forced to identify with a side of her family she has never met. Rodriguez Wallach entices the reader with an exciting, realistic story, filled with humorous twists and turns, that make her 15-year-old characters journey of discovering her ethnicity truly entertaining.

Amor and Summer Secrets excels in defining the stark contrast between life in an affluent suburb of Philadelphia, to a quiet mountain town in Puerto Rico through the eyes of her well-developed and likable characters.

Rodriguez Wallach delivers in her smart, debut young adult series. Amor and Summer Secrets will keep readers glued to the pages, and the surprise ending will have fans eagerly anticipating the upcoming sequels from this promising, new author.
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