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by Melissa De la Cruz


School Library Journal:

Gr 7-10 – Vicenza Arambullo, 14, is a recent immigrant to San Francisco. In Manila, her family was wealthy, but now they struggle to make ends meet. On scholarship, the teen attends a private girls’ school where she is an outcast. She has a crush on a BMOC at a boys’ school, and she’s beginning to like a nice guy with whom she feels comfortable. She also has to fend off her parents’ efforts to fix her up with a brainy Filipino. As the story progresses, readers will be curious about what will happen to Vicenza as she navigates her way around mean girls and romance. Much of the plot is predictable, but the story shines because of its character development and the depiction of the cultural divide. Vicenza is savvy in many ways, but naive in others. Her friend Isobel, a Parisian student, is her touchstone, and the girls are depicted in counterpoint to one another. This well-written, heartfelt novel is a worthy addition to most YA collections, but especially where there are strong immigrant populations.–Amy Patrick, New York Public Library –Amy Patrick (Reviewed April 1, 2005) (School Library Journal, vol 51, issue 4, p130)


10th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade, 9th Grade, Cultural Differences, Friendship, Teen