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Cuba 15

Average Rating 3.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

¿What can be funny about having to stand up in front of everyone

“What can be funny about having to stand up in front of everyone you know, in a ruffly dress the color of Pepto-Bismol, and proclaim your womanhood?” (Page 1) This is the very first line of the book, and already we know a lot about Violet Paz, a girl who is getting read...
“What can be funny about having to stand up in front of everyone you know, in a ruffly dress the color of Pepto-Bismol, and proclaim your womanhood?” (Page 1) This is the very first line of the book, and already we know a lot about Violet Paz, a girl who is getting ready for her quinceñero. First of all, she does not want to stand on stage in front of her friends and family. She doesn’t want to wear a dress, never mind a pink dress. And she definitely does not want to shout out to the world that she is grown up and has responsibilities. Violet is determined that if she’s going to have to do this, she’s doing it her way. Along with her two best friends, Janelle and Leda, and her culturally inspired abuela, Violet knows she can pull this off.
When she isn’t planning her quince or fighting with her father to find out more about her Cuban roots, she is showcasing her family’s crazy life in her original comedy show for speech team. Dominoes in the Paz family is like a world class sport. Violet claims that “Calling dominoes a game in our house is a joke.” (Page 23) Her abuelos hosted a dominoes weekend party at her house over the summer. Most of her distant cousins that she doesn’t usually see even came up. On that Sunday the highlight of Violet’s original comedy show took place and she took no time to write it all down.
Violet wants to know more than anything, what happened in Cuba that changed her family. But whenever she asks her Dad he just gets mad and ignores the question. Violet takes matters into her own hands and goes to a ‘Save Cuba’ info party without telling her parents. If her Dad finds out will he be mad? Or will he understand? Will Violet’s quince go as planned? Or will things crash and burn violently? Read Cuba 15 by Nancy Osa to find out more! Anyone that is optimistic and willing to get engrossed in a great story filled with twists and turns will definitely enjoy this book. I give it five out of five stars, because of its creative nature and relatable outlook. Anyone that has time to read should definitely read this book.
Osa’s style is original and irreplaceable. Her theatric sense of writing pulls you into the story feeling like a part of the Paz family. During all of Violet’s nonstop changing emotions you find yourself beginning to start to feel the same way that she does. While reading you start to feel as if you were talking to Violet right then and you were writing this all down for her. The story is very interesting and keeps you on your toes, definitely something for the kind at heart. Like Violet and her abuela say “No te preocupes,” (Page 272) do not worry.

posted by 16808141 on December 9, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

T Thus ?. Sucks

Fml i have to read this fr skwl

posted by 18875677 on October 24, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2013

         The book I read was Cuba 15 by Nancy Osa. It was published

         The book I read was Cuba 15 by Nancy Osa. It was published on March 8th, 2005. It’s paperback with 304 pages. The publisher is Random House Children's Books. The main character in this book is a teenage girl named Violet Paz who had just turned 15. She is half Polish and half Cuban. She only knows a little bit about her culture so during the book she tries to learn about her Cuban roots throughout the book. She also knows that her quinceañero is when she enters womanhood. Throughout the book she learns about her heritage. 
         This book is about a girl who is entering womanhood. She is having her 15th birthday. In the Hispanic culture they call it a girl’s quinceañero. Violet is the girl who is turning 15 and she has a dress that she wears that’s an ugly pink and she wasn’t happy. But she comes to realize that the celebration is a tradition. Another thing that her family likes in the book that she learns about is when they play dominos and dance to Latin music and smoke cigars. She has to stand up in front of all her friends and family with an ugly pink dress and except her womanhood. She doesn’t want to tell everyone that she is now grown up and has her own responsibilities. When she isn’t planning her party, she shows her speech team a comedy that she came up with about her family’s life. You have to read the book to find out how her party turns out.
         I personally liked this book because I thought that I could relate in a way. I just turned 15 so I know what she thinks and I think the way she would. It helped me know how they celebrate their way of becoming independent. They do it a year younger and it’s a just like a sweet 16. I think that girls my age like girls who are 13-16. It is more of a girly book so I liked it. "The Cuba Caravan's coming through town. Isn't your dad going? There's gonna be a dance, and a send-off, and" this quote just shows that it explains how a quinceañero works and how it is. 
         I would recommend this book. I am not a big reader but I really enjoyed this book because I could relate so if you’re a teenage girl and need a book to read this is one that I recommend. It helped me learn about someone else’s culture and how they do things. I don’t get to experience these things so getting to read about it helped and it taught me new Spanish words because this was a Spanglish book. It was a good comedy and it kept my on the edge of my seat which was exciting. 

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  • Posted December 12, 2012

    The novel Cuba 15, written by Nancy Osa and published by Delacor

    The novel Cuba 15, written by Nancy Osa and published by Delacorte Press is by far one of my favorite
    books I have read so far this year. In this coming of age book you follow the main character, Violet Paz,
    and her journey to her quinceanero. Throughout this novel she faces different problems with her
    friends, her love life and most importantly the mystery of her Cuban background. Turning fifteen is a big
    thing in the eyes of her Cuban abuela, or grandmother, and she longs for Violet to have the experience
    she never did. She wants her to celebrate this time of entering into womanhood and doing what every
    Cuban girl does, following the same traditions. The only thing keeping Violet from doing what her family
    wants is all her questions about her background, and how she doesn’t know a lot about her Cuban roots.
    Violet herself is a typical low key, all American fourteen year old girl who has her two best friends; Leda
    and Janell always by her side. When her Abuela and Mother insist that she has a quinceanero, Violet is
    anything but thrilled. As the party gets closer Violet, for one, gets more excited, but also lot of things change
    and conflict occurs. When Violet agrees to go support Fidel Castro at an event, she lies to her parents because
    they have strong political beliefs about supporting Fidel Castro. With knowing this she lies to her parents about
    going, but when her dad finds out he threatens to cancel the party. Violet is a much more open-minded
    person then her father so with her going against his back with something he strongly doesn’t believe in
    or support, it causes a lot of family drama, and leaves the mystery of if her father will attend the party or
    not. At this point of the book, I started really getting into it because of that not knowing what the
    outcome will be, not knowing if her dad will show up at the quinceanero. The start of the book was hard
    to get in to because of the fact that there wasn’t much conflict, but once I got towards the end of the
    book I couldn’t put it down. Cuba 15 is one of those books that while reading it you get that sappy
    teenage novel but still learning about different, interesting things. I learned a lot about Cuba while
    reading, things that I probably would never have learned if it wasn’t for this book, for example I learned
    that Fidel Castro took over Cuba and in doing so a lot of families left. The author, Nancy Osa, uses a good
    amount of Spanish words in this book and in doing so it could get a little confusing at times if you didn’t
    know what the words meant but with background knowledge I was able to figure it out. This is definitely
    a book I would recommend to someone my age. Cuba 15 is an overall well-written, good, easy read
    book that will make you laugh and smile from the first page to the last!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 15, 2009

    Cuba 15 Review

    I read the book Cuba 15 by Nancy Osa. This book is published by Delacorte Press in New York. The copyright date is 2008. Cuba 15 is bout a 15 year old girl, named Violeta, with Cuban heritage. Throughout the whole novel Violeta tries to discover more and more about her family's past. But whenever she brings it up, she never gets the answer she wants. Violeta's family doesn't like to talk about their life back in Cuba.
    Since Violeta is 15, it is Cuban tradition to have a quinceanero. A quinceanero is when a 15 year old girl changes from a girl to a woman. Violeta doesn't like the idea of, "having to stand up in front of everyone you know, in a ruffly dress the color of Pepto Bismol, and proclaim your womanhood." (Osa 1). But as the book progresses she warms up to the subject. Throughout all of this chaos Violeta is also in the middle of a speech competition. Violeta goes with the flow when in comes to school. So when she was asked to join the speech team, she couldn't decline the offer. Violeta's life is pretty hectic. And between all of these events she has to listen to her family bicker about her quince.
    At the beginning of Osa's work it was a struggle to become hooked. But as the novel advanced I became more interested. In order to read this book, you have to enjoy reading for fun, because the book tends to get boring. So I guess you could say I liked the book, not a lot, but I did find interest in it. I sort of liked it, because I liked the descriptions Nancy Osa used to describe certain incidents. What I got from this book, was what a 15 year old girl goes through to have a quinceanero, and what a quince was. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn about a quinceanero, or anyone who finds interest in Cuban heritage.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2008

    Cuba 15

    The novel Cuba 15 was written by Nancy Osa and published by Delacorte Press. The main character is a soon to be 15 year old girl named Violet, who has a Cuban heritage. Violet likes to keep it low key, so she is not too thrilled when her abuela insists that she have a huge quince for her 15th birthday. A quince is a Cuban celebration that is given to a fifteen year old girl to celebrate her becoming a woman. The book is all about Violet learning more and more about her Cuban heritage and planning one of the biggest celebrations that she will ever have in her life. As the quince is getting closer and closer, Violet starts to get excited for it. She was apprehensive about it at first, but begins to really look forward to it. When Violet lies to her parents and goes against their strong political beliefs to support Fidel Castro, a man who took over Cuba causing many people, including Violets family to leave, Violet gets into some huge trouble. Violet, who has a different opinion and a more open mind than her father, was only trying to learn more about her heritage. Unfortunately her father does not understand and wants to cancel her party. Whether he is able to cancel the party or not, he knows one thing for sure: he is not attending it. Violet is extremely upset because of how much this party means to her, and with her father not being there it would never be the same (if she even still gets to have the party). The rest of the story is about how Violet solves this enormous conflict with her family. At the beginning of the novel, the story was kind of boring, because nothing was really going on and it took me a little while to get into it. Once it started getting closer to the end I started to really enjoy it. It becomes really interesting when the author starts writing about many different events leading up to the quince, and you just have to know how everything turns out. Nancy Osa writes, ¿¿What¿s this?¿ he asked, sliding a blue card out. It read, `No. 147599 THANK YOU ________ FOR YOUR 5/2 TAXDEDUCTABLE $5.OO DONATION, CLERGY FOR CUBA/PEACE WITH CUBA FOUNDATION.¿ My raffle ticket. And beneath it, the leaflets I¿d picked up at the rally. Dark clouds filled Dad¿s eyes as he scanned them¿ (p249). Although the beginning was boring, it was worth reading it to get to the end. I learned so much about quinces and Cuban customs. I also learned about the government in Cuba and about the political arguments and fighting that have been going on for quite some time now. Lastly, the characters in the book spoke Spanish, which actually helped me better understand the language and learn a few new words. I would recommend this book to anybody who would like to learn about a new culture. Not only is it filled with new information, but it is a fun way to learn, unlike those boring movies that put you to sleep. It is an exciting story that once you get into to it, you won¿t want to put it down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2007

    Cuban Girl's Quinceañero

    Violet Paz, a 15 year old sophmore in high school is told by her dear abuela 'grandmother' that it is traditional to have a quinceañero for all Latin/Cuban girls at the age of 15 for it is known to be the point at which a girl is to become a woman. Violet wants nothing to do with the party whatsoever and does not have that much of a backround knowledge on her Cuban family history. In her family, the tradition for all the girls having their quinceañero is to wear a frilly pink dress, in which Violet does not like, and to speak in front of everyone at the party about her upcoming womanhood, and too she does not like this either. While going through the ups and downs of highschool drama, she has her two best friends Janell very sweet young woman and into art, and Leda who is said to be an activist and vegetarian. These two help her throughout the plans for her party. Violet's father does not wish to talk or even really think about Cuba at all, her mother is right beside Violet's grandmother helping create the whole party under Violet's theme, her grandfather, who is always having small barbeques and playing dominoes in the backyard, and her little brother, Mark, who thinks nothing but sports and does not really want anything to do with his big sister's party. To help Violet with her speech and fear of speaking to her family at her party, she joins a speach team with her friends, where she enrolls in a form of Comedy. Violet does her act portraying her 'crazy' family's life at home. At the tournaments that she goes through, she hopes to impress the judges and coaches with her act and hoping to be able to overcome her fear. Throughout the period of planning her quinceañero, Violet experiences a series of troubles and romance, but through it all, she learns more about her than she thought she knew and finally can't wait for her party. At 'All The World's A Stage', life changes before Violet Paz's eyes. Cuba 15 was a pretty decent book. I learned more about both Cuban and Latin traditions and how different they are from American or any other. It also helped me understand more about quinceañeros and how much work is needed to be put in time is very much needed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2007

    Cuba 15

    I thought Cuba 15 is a 3 star book. It¿s a good book the language the author Nancy OSA uses is fun but there¿s a big point in the book when you get bored. Over all it¿s a book many Latinas could relate too because you really do feel pressure and stress and you get tired of everything and everybody. But I still think that if you¿re not a reading lover stay away from Cuba 15. It¿s an interesting but at the same time boring book. I really didn¿t enjoy reading this book but Hey if you want to give it a try! Don¿t be afraid and challenge yourself you might find the book much better than I did.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2007

    The Way a True Latino Parties

    Cuba 15 is a book about a girl named Violet who is supposed to have a quince 'which is a sweet 16 but you do it when you¿re 15 in Latin countries'. There is just one problem she doesn¿t want to have the party at all. Through the book she faces many problems and traditions along the way to her quince. So read the book to find out what kind of problems she faces along the way to her womanhood. I give this book 3 ½ stars because it was good but not all that interesting. In the book I didn¿t like how it explained everything by detail and that made me get confused. So if you are between the ages of 10-14 read this book so you can see how it I to have a quince. I think the author is trying to say that life may bring you things you don¿t like but you got to deal with them whether good or bad. So read this book so you can see how Latinos celebrate there quinces.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2005

    good enough

    the story was good, i could relate because i too am a cuban-american, but the characters were dry i felt like she could've said more slightly dull, if i weren't cuban, i may not have enjoyed it at all. the only good aspect was the wit, like and episode of gilmore girls, otherwise, i think she could do better

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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