Estrella’s Quinceanera

50 Books by Authors of Color: Book 40
Title: Estrella’s Quinceanera
Author: Malin Alegria
Medium: Book
Estrella is a fourteen-year-old Mexican American girl with parents who have both feet stuck in the old country. With her important fifteenth birthday fast approaching Estrella finds herself get roped into having a tacky Quinceanera, one that her mother has always dreamed of having. Unfortunately for her, Estrella has her mind on other things, like dating Speedy, a neighborhood cholo (ganster/thug type). Well that’s what the back of the book says.
The truth is Estrella is a serious brat with an attitude problem. Yes, her parents have some “outdated” ideas, like thinking Estrella is to young to date (and her mom wanting to throw her what admittedly sounds like a horribly tacky birthday party) but Estrella, like so many teenagers, is completely unaware how good her life is and how ungrateful she is. Not just to her parents either, after being admitted to a mostly white private school on academic scholarship Estrella ditches all her friends from the barrio and gets two friends that are so shiny in Estrella’s mind they seem like plastic. Oh, and they call her Star. Which is the English equivalent of Estrella, but I’m still just going to roll my eyes.
Oh and this book as well as Sofi Mendoza’s Guide to Getting Lost in Mexico (which I still need to finish reading) actually use the term “Abercrombie Hottie” in seriousness. Maybe I’m entering that “hey you kids get off my lawn” phase of my life but something about that phrase is like nails on a chalkboard. Maybe I’ve read too many Sarah Dessen books where the romantic interest has a personality and background, or if they have nothing going for them other than being an “Abercrombie hottie” the female main character at least acknowledges that they’re generally pretty much a jerk. But Sarah Dessen isn’t the point of this blog (but if you want a recommendation I loved Lock and Key).
Estrella is told constantly that she’s a spoiled brat but she really can’t seem to get it through her head. She insults Speedy and the rest of her “barrio buddies” repeatedly, but when times get hard and her white friends ditch her she turns to them. Thanks, with a “friend” like Estrella her poor homegirls don’t need enemies.
I’m hoping that Sofi Mendoza’s Guide to Getting Lost in Mexico is better because it’s more serious because while Estrella’s Quinceanera was easy to read, I hate reading books where my least favorite character is the protagonist.
Overall Rating: 2/5

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