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Amor and Summer Secrets
     

Amor and Summer Secrets

4.7 11
by Diana Rodriguez Wallach
 

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For fifteen-year-old Mariana Ruiz, it's not so much an unexpected vacation as a literal "guilt trip"—her father's way of atoning for ignoring his Puerto Rican roots. But freedom from her parents is little compensation for being forced to spend two months with complete strangers rather than with her best friends in Philadelphia.

Once on "vacation," her worst

Overview

For fifteen-year-old Mariana Ruiz, it's not so much an unexpected vacation as a literal "guilt trip"—her father's way of atoning for ignoring his Puerto Rican roots. But freedom from her parents is little compensation for being forced to spend two months with complete strangers rather than with her best friends in Philadelphia.

Once on "vacation," her worst fears come true. The heat is merciless, the food is spicy, and her great aunt and uncle's mountain house teems with relatives, only one of whom—her distant cousin Lilly—speaks English. Bored, and hoping to make up for missing her best friend's star-studded Sweet 16, Mariana offers to help in the planning of Lilly's Quinceañera. Soon, despite herself, Mariana clicks with new friends who open doors to romance and long-hidden secrets. Suddenly the summer she dreaded is ending way too quickly. It might turn out that the last place she ever wanted to go is the one place she truly finds herself.

Funny, touching, and smart, Amor and Summer Secrets is a story about friendship, family, rivalry, secrets, and how much you can change over the course of one loco summer. . .

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780758225535
Publisher:
Kensington
Publication date:
08/26/2008
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Born to a Puerto Rican father and a Polish mother, Diana Rodriguez Wallach has experienced the cultures her characters inhabit. She holds a journalism degree from Boston University, and has worked as a reported and as an advocate for inner city public schools. She currently resides in Philadelphia with her husband. This is her first novel.

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Amor and Summer Secrets 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Life can be so unfair! Just when Mariana Ruiz was excited for school to be over and to have the best summer ever, her parents spring a surprise on her and her older brother, Vincent. The two of them are off to Puerto Rico to spend the summer with relatives they never even knew existed. Mariana's paternal grandfather moved his family to the States when her father was very young. At that point, her grandfather cut all ties with the family in Puerto Rico. Mariana grew up hearing how her grandparents and then her father struggled to achieve a better life in the United States. And it's true. Mariana's father is successful, and she wants for nothing in her Spring Mills home. But when Mariana and Vincent arrive in Utuado, they couldn't possibly be any further from home. No one speaks English. Mariana and Vincent, even though they are half Puerto Rican, are as American as apple pie. The only Spanish they know is what they learned in their Spanish class at school. Mariana is livid with her brother when she finds out that they were sent off to Utuado because their parents learned about the party that Vincent had when the two were left alone earlier in the year. Vincent pleaded to go on a European trip with his buddies prior to his leaving for Cornell in the fall, but the trip to Puerto Rico is to be his punishment. Unlike Mariana though, Vincent is laid back about things, and looking forward to an entire summer away from parental supervision. Mariana would rather be in Spring Mills, watching her best friend, Madison, plan her Sweet Sixteen party. Once the two arrive in Puerto Rico, they are relived that they have a cousin, Lilly, who is their age and speaks perfect English. Mariana has a hard time warming up to Lilly though, after overhearing her tell Vincent that her parents expect her to include Mariana in everything. It's only after Mariana secretly helps Lilly's mom plan Lilly's Quinceanera that Mariana starts to appreciate the life that her distant relatives have in Puerto Rico. Mariana's family keeps to themselves and avoids confrontations of any kind. The close-knit connection that her Puerto Rican family has is one she envies. The summer unfolds unexpectedly for Mariana and she has to confront many changes in her life. Her friends might not have been who she thought they were. She may have her first boyfriend. And Lilly has become far closer to her than she would have imagined possible. AMOR AND SUMMER SECRETS is the first book in a series by new author Diana Rodriguez Wallach. The feelings and struggles that Mariana encounter are real and heartfelt. She struggles to come to understand what family means and how to let down her guard, even just a little. The story flows quickly and leaves the reader with a feeling of anticipation for the follow-up novel, AMIGAS AND SCHOOL SCANDALS.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is a fiction series. This is number one. After this its amigas and school scandals then number 3 is adios to all the drama.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Amor and Summer Secrets by Diana Rodriguez-Wallach It's a story about Mariana Ruiz. She's half Puerto Rican, half Polish, 15, loves ballet, hanging out with her two BFFs: Madison & Emily, and is about to plan and attend the biggest Sweet 16 ever in all the history of Philadelphia for none other than her BFF, Madison... only to have her world flipped upside down! In what she thinks is a plot conceived by her family to ruin her life, she gets sent to the small town her father grew up in - Utuado, Puerto Rico to 'babysit' her older, more popular, live-for-the-moment brother, Vince and live with family she's never met. Did I mention she doesn't speak Spanish? (Well ok, she sorta speaks... if you count 2 years of classes that run over things you'd never actually use in real life except for 'Donde esta el bano?') Thankfully she stops the temper tantrums and constant moping around. Thanks a million to her cousin, Lilly Sanchez - who speaks English and startlingly resembles her! As the summer progresses she gets a chance to learn more about where she came from, the culture and lifestyle. She even does some behind the scenes planning for Lilly's Quincenera (the Spanish Sweet 16 - except she's 15) - which to her amazement is just as big a deal if not more so than a Sweet 16 ever could be. What comes from the rest of her summer is what we all hope for. A taste of paradise, a little romance, self-discovery and some mystery. All I can say is what would you do if you found out a 30-year old secret your family has kept, that changes everything you've ever known about them and yourself? Diana Rodriguez-Wallach tells a fantastic story that I reminded me of some of the challenges I had growing up multi-ethnic and all the sacrifices that my family made just so I could be where I am today. I laughed and cried and I even learned a few things about myself. I was so touched by the sincerity of the story. I highly recommend reading this book and following up with the next two in the series: 'Amigas and School Scandals' & 'Adios to All The Drama'
Guest More than 1 year ago
Fifteen year old Mariana Ruiz has her summer all planned out, to stay in Philadelphia and attend her friend Madison¿s Sweet 16 party. But Mariana¿s plan gets changed when her father ships her and her brother to Puerto Rico to stay with family they¿ve never met. Now that her summer has been planned out for her, Will Mariana have a unforgettable summer or a summer she will hope to forget? Amor and Summer Secrets is a fun read. It has romance and drama all surrounding a great cast of characters. The best part is that Mariana is likeable, relatable and you can¿t help but enjoy joining her on her summer adventure. This book really hooks you in and then at the end leaves you hanging with an amazing cliffhanger. I can¿t wait to join Mariana in the sequel, Amigas and School Scandals in October.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Fifteen year old Mariana Ruiz has her whole summer planned out. She is going to spend it with her two favorite friends. One is having a Sweet 16 birthday party that will rival all Sweet 16 parties. The birthday girl has even hired an event planner! Mariana cannot wait. Mariana was raised by her Puerto Rican father and her white mother who is of Polish descent. Her father gave up much of his heritage, including his accent, years ago. He is now a very successful businessman. Having met very few of her Hispanic relatives, Mariana doesn¿t really relate to her Hispanic heritage. Her friends find it humorous to call her ¿Spic.¿ Mariana¿s brother, Vince, has made some poor choices regarding drinking and partying. He is experiencing the consequences of his behavior as his dad is denying him a trip to Europe with his friends. When Mariana discovers that her father has made plans for her to go to Puerto Rico with Vince, for the whole summer, she is angry. She thinks that she is being sent to babysit her older brother. She will also miss the Sweet 16 party and have to spend her vacation with people that she has never met, that speak a language that she doesn¿t. ¿Amor and Summer Secrets¿ is a coming of age story about a teenager who learns about her heritage while discovering the importance of family. As she learns about herself, she also discovers that her family holds some very serious, painful secrets. Part of her growing up experience involves her learning to make the right choices and decide what is right. This is a tough for a teenager however, Mariana seems to carry a great deal of wisdom within. While learning to overcome her need for her vapid, materialistic friends, Mariana spends her summer growing up and falling in love for the first time. I loved this book! ¿Amor and Summer Secrets¿ is a story that will be enjoyed by women of all ages. Diana Rodriguez Wallach has written a tale that teenagers will be able to relate to and enjoy, however, she also gives it a depth that allows it to reach out to older women. I found myself reminiscing about my own teen angst years. I also think that the aspect of the story that involved the heroine learning to accept an important part of her heritage is extremely important for teens today. They need to be proud of who they are. That is so much more important than how much they have. I highly recommend this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
WOW! Sorry I could only give this book a 5 Star rating...I wish B&N would allow 10 Stars. This book is incredible. I could not put this book down. I read it during every possible free time I had. This book may be labeled Young Adult but people of all ages will enjoy it¿just like I did. Great job Diana! I can not wait for the next installment of the series to come out!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
In Philadelphia an argument occurs between forty-five years old Lorenzo Ruiz and his eighteen years old son Vincent over what is family and their heritage. Lorenzo having arrived in Camden as a ten year old accomapnying his older brothers and their parents never looked back. However the fight shames Lorenzo who ignored his roots and Americanized his offspring. To atone for his slap at his DNA pool, he decides to send Vince and his other child fifteen-year old Mariana to spend time learning their heritage. Instead of hanging out with her friends and attending sweet sixteens, an unhappy Mariana and a euphoric Vince are shipped to some distant relatives she never met in Puerto Rico for the summer. Mariana feels punished for her father¿s sins and in the remote mountain home of her great aunt and uncle finds herself bored and lonely. There is no air except the occasional breeze that blows hot no fast food only ultra spiced meals she cannot pronounce no English except for cousin Lilly no privacy or even posters on walls. So why she wonders is she having the greatest summer of her life. --- The characters especially Mariana make for a strong entertaining contemporary tale. Vince sets the tone with his bet on the flight down that his sulking sister will cry on the way home because she will be sad that the most wonderful summer of her life is over. The story line contains a strong cast that provides deep insight into Puerto Rican extended families with a divide between those living on the island and those residing in the States. Diana Rodriguez Wallach provides a superb intelligent tale about how friendships make a place feel like home even when you first believe the Doors are right that ¿People are strange when you¿re a stranger¿. --- Harriet Klausner