Tuesday, February 18, 2020

YA Review: Don't Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno

Title: Don't Date Rosa Santos
AuthorNina Moreno
Year Published: 2019


Genre: YA fiction
Pages: 336
Rating: 4 out of 5

Location (my 2019 Google Reading map)USA (FL) and Cuba

FTC Disclosure: I bought this book with my own money

Summary (from the inside flap of the book): Rosa Santos is cursed by the sea-at least, that's what they say. Dating her is bad news, especially if you're a boy with a boat.

But Rosa feels more caught than cursed. Caught between cultures and choices. Between her abuela, a beloved healer and pillar of their community, and her mother, an artist who crashes in and out of her life like a hurricane. Between Port Coral, the quirky South Florida town they call home, and Cuba, the island her abuela refuses to talk about.

As her college decision looms, Rosa collides-literally-with Alex Aquino, the mysterious boy with tattoos of the ocean whose family owns the marina. With her heart, her family, and her future on the line, can Rosa break a curse and find her place beyond the horizon?

Review: I can totally see this book doing well with teenagers. It's got romance, family drama, a bit of travel, good friends, and more. For me, it was good, but not great. It is my least favorite of the CYBILS finalists this year.

Rosa is a good character; she is smart, driven, organized, inquisitive, loves her friends and family, and she is starting to break out of her shell. I also like the people around her. They balance her out, challenge her, and love her.

There is some magical realism in this story, which I am not good at. So, that's not the book's fault, it just isn't what I want from a book.

I did like the story as a whole, especially the relationships between Rosa, her mother, and her abuela. I also liked the feelings evoked about Cuba, their lost loves, and family. In fact their whole small town felt like one big family and I really got a sense of what life can be like for Cubans living in Florida.

Challenges for which this counts: 
For the Pop Sugar challenge, this book is set in a country begining with C (Cuba).

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