The Brothers Torres

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Overview

Sophomore Frankie finally finds the courage to ask his long-term friend, Julianne, to the Homecoming dance, which ultimately leads to a face-off between a tough senior whose family owns most of their small, New Mexico town, and Frankie's soccer-star older brother and his gang-member friends.
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Overview

Sophomore Frankie finally finds the courage to ask his long-term friend, Julianne, to the Homecoming dance, which ultimately leads to a face-off between a tough senior whose family owns most of their small, New Mexico town, and Frankie's soccer-star older brother and his gang-member friends.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Set in a small New Mexico town along the Rio Grande River, Voorhees's debut novel puts a fresh and often funny spin on a familiar plot line, the awkward teen boy who desires the hot girl. Rebecca Sanchez, says Frankie Torres, is biracial, "a coyotelike me, but unlike me, she got the best of both worlds.... Eyes such a deep shade of blue that sometimes you want to lean in close so you can see the bottom. Cheesy as hell? Definitely. But I'm telling you." If only Frankie can find the right words to ask her to the homecoming dance! But not all is light: Frankie worries about his bad-ass older brother Steve's taste for macho violence, especially after Frankie gets beaten up by rich white boy John Dalton—how far will Steve go to get revenge? Strong secondary characters round out this sexually charged story, which is peppered with Spanish words and phrases. Frankie's observations on life, friendships and family loyalties wittily punctuate the narrative, ensuring that readers will listen closely to this unlikely hero. Ages 14-up. (Apr.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Teri Walton
Frankie and Steve Towers are very different brothers. Steve is older, popular, and a jock. Frankie is younger and doesn't have much going on in his life. According to Steve, it is time for Frankie to be a man. But Frankie is not so sure. After all, Frankie feels, Steve is a man, by age, but does he act like one? The boys have always been close growing up, and now that is threatening their relationship. This book is an honest and very realistic look at the Mexican youth culture in Borges, New Mexico, with a good mix of violence and romance that will satisfy both guys and girls. This is first novel by Coert Voorhees is wonderfully written. It is obvious that he grew up in New Mexico. It deals with a number of gritty subjects dealt with by the youth of today no matter the state or culture. Reviewer: Teri Walton
Children's Literature - Melissa Joy Adams
Frankie idolizes his big brother Steve, and not just because he is his brother. Steve is popular at school, a soccer star, has his own car, gets any girl he wants, and does not have to work at the family restaurant like Frankie does. Steve commands respect and gets it from almost everyone, even from the Cholos, the local Latino street-gang. Frankie pales in comparison to Steve, and everyone seems to remind him of it. As Steve gets more and more involved in the dangerous world of the Cholos, Frankie starts to worry, but major changes in his own life distract him. Frankie gets into a nasty fight with John Dalton—rich, popular, preppy, and Steve's lifelong rival. After this fight, Steve, his friends, and even the Cholos, begin to respect and protect Frankie, causing his social status to rise. Finally, things are going his way, and even gorgeous Rebecca Sanchez agrees to go on a date with him. Encouraged by the Cholos, Steve's anger and hatred of John Dalton grows, leading to one final moment were Frankie has to choose between honoring what he thinks is right or giving in, like he always does, to his brother's popularity and power. Voorhees creates a realistic picture of life as a Latino teen in modern day New Mexico. Witty and authentic, Frankie's voice allow the reader to experience each dilemma and emotion he faces as he transforms from boy to man. In this debut novel, Voorhees presents a notable piece of Chicano-American literature and establishes himself as an author to watch. Reviewer: Melissa Joy Adams
School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up- Frankie Torres Towers knows his older brother, Steve, is endangering his college scholarship by staying out all night with the local cholos and picking fights with his soccer teammates. Accepting of his sibling's good looks and macho charm, Frankie figures Steve is just looking for respect and covers for him, deflecting his parents' questions and picking up the slack at Los Torres, the family's New Mexican restaurant. Frankie's primary obsession is getting a date with Rebecca Sanchez for the Homecoming dance. When he exhibits some bravado against rich kid and soccer jock John Dalton, he only hopes to win her attention, but he unintentionally incites a series of incidents that forces his brother to defend him. Adding insult to injury, Frankie's working-class parents begin secretly negotiating the sale of Los Torres to the Daltons. Protected by his brother's squad of toughs, Frankie seeks revenge but soon learns what these warring factions of older boys are willing to risk. Frankie is as memorable a character as Sherman Alexie's Junior Spirit in The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (Little, Brown, 2007). He exhibits a resiliency that is hopeful, and his colorful language and humor both confirm and dispel ethnic stereotypes. Flecked with Spanish phrases and authentic street slang and colloquialisms, Frankie's story is as poignant as it is hip and funny and will be a welcome addition to collections serving teens.-Vicki Reutter, Cazenovia High School, NY

Kirkus Reviews
In this debut novel, 16-year-old Francisco "Frankie" Torres finds himself at odds with his older brother Steve and Steve's concept of family honor and manhood. When a rich, interloping jock targets the brothers for harassment, Steve is drawn toward the violent solutions endorsed by Flaco, the small New Mexico town's main cholo (gangster). As he struggles between revenge and restraint, Frankie finds himself inadvertently caught up in the conflicts. Frankie's internal struggles drag down the narrative: His rapid vacillations, occasionally feminine tone and random behavior come across as literary flaws instead of self-discovery. Moreover, community dynamics and coincidence drive the plot forward more than the characters' own motivations. Readers unfamiliar with the cholo or lowrider culture will be left out, though the language is authentic. Zach, Frankie's best friend, is the most memorable character, with his glass eye, penchant for explosives and humorous self-identification with Latino culture. Striving for rich layers in both character and story, Voorhees creates a muddled mess. (Fiction. YA)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781423103042
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • Publication date: 4/29/2008
  • Pages: 320
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: 780L (what's this?)

Meet the Author

Coert Voorhees was born and raised in New Mexico, where he developed a weakness for Hatch green chile. A former Fulbright Scholar, he is currently pursuing an MFA in Fiction at the University of Houston. The Brothers Torres is his first novel.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 25, 2012

    im in high school and this book is boring, why? well its 320 pag

    im in high school and this book is boring, why? well its 320 pages long and i like action and adventure in my books like somebody fighting for something not someone

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 22, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A MUST HAVE! Best Book Ever.

    This was an amazing book. It made me laugh, feel sad , feeling hopeful and more. I could not put this book down for a second. It is so hard not to try to finish the book. I usually don't read books twice but I will definitely read this book again. I can't wait for this author to come out with another book. If you want a book to fall in love with this is the one. The book shows that a boy can be nervous about love too. Also its shows how siblings do look out for each other and look at each other's mistakes. The test of friendship is great for thinking what would I do. I Love this book. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good book. When you read this clear a day and sit down in a comfortable spot. Get ready to have a great time.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    yay

    The book was well-written and entertaining. The characters were very well developed. People of any race can enjoy the details about the protagonist's heritage and culture without feeling "left out." It does, towards the end, start to put a bit too much focus on sex, but it thankfully doesn't usurp the plot. Overall a good read.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 27, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Breanna F. for TeensReadToo.com

    Frankie and Steve Towers are brothers. Frankie is a freshman and Steve is a senior. Frankie has always looked up to his older brother, who has gotten a soccer scholarship, is one of the most popular guys in school, and is very friendly with the ladies. Frankie spends most of his time with his friend Zach shooting off fireworks in his back yard while Zach's mom makes them Kool-Aid flavored popsicles. The remainder of his time is put in to trying to impress Rebecca, the girl he has had a major crush on since grade school, and working at his parent's restaurant. <BR/><BR/>Recently, Steve has been hanging out with the local "cholos" (aka bad boys) and Frankie hasn't really thought anything of it until he gets in to a fistfight with John Dalton. John has always been on Steve's bad side and is one of the richest, preppiest kids at their high school. After Frankie gets beaten to a pulp by John and two of his sidekicks, Steve stops ignoring his brother and tries to help him out. <BR/><BR/>Soon, with Steve's help, Frankie finally has the attention of Rebecca in the form of a Homecoming date, and life is going pretty well until another incident with Dalton happens. This time, Steve really wants payback and will stop at nothing to get it. And Frankie has to decide whether he wants to help Steve retaliate or stand on the sidelines and watch. <BR/><BR/>THE BROTHERS TORRES was great! I loved Frankie's character and how he acted around Rebecca. I could totally see the events in this book actually happening in real life, which indeed made the book a bit scary at times. But it also made it even more great. I love real life situations. Coert Voorhees is a really strong writer and I loved his style. This book had me laughing at times and on the verge of tears at others. Overall, it was really a great book and I can't wait to read more by this wonderful author.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2008

    Brotherhood and Friendship

    Frankie Towers is an awkward and self-conscious guy who¿s low on the social ladder, unlike his older brother Steve. That¿s why Frankie looks up to Steve so much Steve seems to have it all: popularity, girls, a soccer scholarship, even respect from the dangerous cholos. Unfortunately, Steve doesn¿t have time for his brother Frankie anymore with his current image to uphold. But when Frankie makes an enemy of rich white boy John Dalton, Steve steps in to help his brother. Although Frankie¿s social status is raised with the help of his brother Steve, landing him a date with his dream girl, sometimes Frankie feels that his brother is a complete stranger to him. He finds himself wondering why he has to lie all the time for Steve and just how far Steve plans on taking the conflict with Dalton. In this beautifully written coming-of-age story, Voorhees explores the bonds of brotherhood and friendship and the importance of thinking for yourself. I¿m not kidding when I say that The Brothers Torres is an incredibly written and amazing story. Frankie¿s character is so well-developed that I was sucked into his story even when I felt like criticizing him for being a jerk. Even though I¿ve never been to anyplace from Frankie¿s New Mexican hometown Borges, everything from the limited date spots to the potential threat of the cholos felt completely natural. There¿s something so honest and profound about Voorhees¿ writing that leaves room for other laughs and life lessons. I was a little irritated that I couldn¿t understand all of the Spanish phrases with my limited Spanish skills, but that¿s where my negative comments about his novel end. The Brothers Torres has culture, an exciting plot, believable characters, and a meaningful moral. I came away from reading this novel thinking, ¿wow¿ in a slightly stunned way. I don¿t think I expected this novel to be this good. The Brothers Torres is a definite must-read. I look forward to more wonderfully-written novels from Voorhees in the hopefully near future.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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