50 Books by Authors of Color: Book 43
Title: Sofi Mendoza’s Guide to Getting Lost In Mexico
Author: Malin Alegria
Early on I criticized this author for her portrayal of both Sofi from Sofi Mendoza’s Guide to Getting Lost in Mexico and Estrella in Estrella’s Quinceanera as being vapid and I think to some extent that criticism still stands. To me, it reads very much like an adult writing about a teenager doing and saying things that as adults think teenagers do and say. Granted, I’m not a teenager any longer myself, so I might be a little slanted in my thinking. Not to mention, the term “Abercrombie hottie” is used seriously, which, I’ll just let that statement stand for itself.
Sofi Mendoza’s Guide to Getting Lost in Mexico starts out with Sofi, a Mexican born American girl with strict “old school” parents. Sofi is a good student and has a life plan that includes her marrying a boy named Nick, her ultimate “Papi Chulo” (and this phrase is used to death in this book) driving an adorable mini-cooper and being rich. She doesn’t get why her parents are so stuffy and make her do stuff like clean the bathroom. Sofi, knowing that her parents won’t let her spend a weekend in Tijuana with her friends staying at a beach house, decides to go anyways, and tells her parents that she’s staying over a girlfriend’s house.
As you can expect, this goes totally wrong. Sofi, Olivia and Taylor make it across the border with no problem and operation Papi Chulo gets underway. Only it turns out Nick, the “Abercrombie Hottie” is a total pig who tries to grab her “hot Latina ass”. Devastated Sofi and her friends decide to head back to America, but Sofi’s green card is actually a fake.
Sofi didn’t actually know her green card was fake and is confused and horrified that she is forced to stay in Mexico possibly for an extended period of time until her parents and their lawyer manage to figure something out, which, since their unlawful residents, isn’t going to be any time soon. Sofi is lucky and is able to stay with her Uncle and Aunt and their three children in their small house. She manages to bond with her cousins but has her heart set on returning to America at any cost.
This book was so much better than I was expecting from the extremely vapid first chapter. It’s still full of the “teenagers are stupid” attitude which I wasn’t fond of, but at least Sofi grows in a believable fashion.
Overall Rating: 4/5 it was silly and juvenile but I liked it.