21 Aug / Once Upon a Quinceañera by Monica Gomez-Hira [in Booklist]
Not to be confused with bestselling Julia Alvarez’s book of the same title – hers, a nonfiction examination of Latina coming-of-age quinceañera traditions – Monica Gomez-Hira makes her YA debut with a rollicking fable of quinceañeras lost and found.
Eighteen-year-old Carmen never got her party: her single mother couldn’t afford one, and her wealthy aunt cancelled the consolation dinner after blaming Carmen for her spoiled younger cousin Ariana’s precociously bad behavior. The family cleaved in two, but now Ariana’s upcoming spectacle could be the reuniting event.
To get her high school diploma late – she’s one credit short – Carmen must finish an internship that involves dressing up and Disney princess-ing at kids’ parties. Of course, the company (and Carmen) get hired to dance at Ariana’s elaborate quince. As if things couldn’t get more complicated, Ariana’s date is Carmen’s crush and Carmen’s assigned partner is her biggest romantic mistake. Let the daggers fly.
Latinx favorite Frankie Corzo gleefully performs all the telenovela twists with entertaining aplomb, energetically navigating the endless dramas of familial competition, wannabe dreams, and maybe even true love.
Readers: Young Adult