Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What Can't Wait by Ashley Hope Pérez

What Can't Wait by Ashley Hope Perez

For most teens getting awesome grades in calculus would be enough to make their parents ecstatic and maybe give them a little extra pizza money. For Marissa, it just makes her parents suspicious and on their guard-- is she really going to leave them behind to go to college when they need her so badly at home?

Marissa spends her afternoons shoving studying in between working at the grocery, babysitting her sister's daughter, Anita, (who she loves above everyone else) and cooking for her family. She's still making A's and catching the eye of her teacher who thinks that Marissa would be a perfect candidate for an engineering scholarship. Every day of Marissa's life is a culture clash between what the people at school think she should want out of her life and what her parents and family believe is important. It's like she's being pulled between two worlds and, if something doesn't change, she'll end up pulled completely apart.

If you like your realistic fiction to actually be heavy in the realism, Perez's debut novel is for you. Marissa and her friends do not need any manufactured drama because they have plenty to deal with on their own. Her sister Cecilia is on-again-off-again with Anita's dad and it's up to Marissa to be the stable one in Anita's life. Marissa's boyfriend is worried for his own pregnant younger sister. There are many troubles, but what makes this novel special is that it is not angsty, but instead determined and also full of hard earned moments of letting lose with each other. There are no magic happy endings, but doesn't mean there isn't hope.

Here's a Glogster poster from  hdiaz807 to give you another taste of the book:

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Ashley Hope Pérez said...

Thanks for such a thoughtful review! watch for THE KNIFE AND THE BUTTERFLY in spring of 2012!

nico said...

So glad you stopped by, we really enjoyed your book! We'll keep our eyes open for your new book next year!