Heart and Salsa (S.A.S.S. Series)

( 8 )

Overview

Cat Wilcox has left chilly Boston for sunny Mexico and a summer of girl bonding with her best friend, Sabrina. But Sabrina has a surprise. She is accompanied by her boyfriend—a boyfriend Cat didn’t even know existed. So rather than Sabrina and Cat spending their study-abroad semester working together at the orphan school building site, Cat expects she’ll be hammering nails all by her lonesome. Then she meets Aidan. He’s cute, he’s smart, and he’s paying her a lot of attention. Cat can’t tell if he’s flirting or ...

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Overview

Cat Wilcox has left chilly Boston for sunny Mexico and a summer of girl bonding with her best friend, Sabrina. But Sabrina has a surprise. She is accompanied by her boyfriend—a boyfriend Cat didn’t even know existed. So rather than Sabrina and Cat spending their study-abroad semester working together at the orphan school building site, Cat expects she’ll be hammering nails all by her lonesome. Then she meets Aidan. He’s cute, he’s smart, and he’s paying her a lot of attention. Cat can’t tell if he’s flirting or friendly, but she’s not sure it matters. Isn’t it easier to be just friends? But this is enchanted Mexico and, between hiking in the rain forest, diving off waterfalls, and finishing the orphan center, it’s going to take a little bit of salsa spirit, and a lot of heart, for Cat to make it through the summer unchanged.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Rachel Sparks
Cat Wilcox decides to spend the summer with her best friend, Sabrina, in sunny Oaxaca, Mexico, after her parents divorce and force her to move to Boston with her mom and stepdad. Cat has high expectations for her summer in the Helping Hands Study Abroad Program where she and the team will be building a school for the local orphanage. But things don't turn out quite as Cat planned when she discovers Sabrina's new obsession for her boyfriend, a mean host sister, and a confusing crush on Aiden, a guy from Manhattan. Through new experiences, hard work, and close friends, Cat learns how to be happy with her new family and rediscovers her passion for competitive diving. At the end of the summer, Cat's life is far richer than it was at the beginning. She has a new appreciation for and perspective on life, a rekindled friendship with Sabrina, and a new boyfriend in Aiden. Throughout the text, the reader gains considerable knowledge of Oaxacan culture and history that is balanced against the culture and history of the United States. Through Cat's journey, female readers struggling with parental divorce, conflicts with friends, trouble with boys, or moving away learn that things will eventually work out in the end if they keep an open mind. Though Nelson writes well, she does use modern slang to make the novel more appealing to her readers. Part of the "Students Across the Seven Seas (SASS)" series.
School Library Journal
Gr 7-10-Cat's mother has remarried, forcing her family to move from Scottsdale, AZ, to Boston, where the teen can't seem to make connections. She hates the weather, she refuses to resume her old sport of diving, and her friends are dropping off the map. Then her best friend, Sabrina, offers up a summer trip to Oaxaca, Mexico, for Spanish credit, and Cat jumps at the chance to get away. Once they arrive, however, Sabrina surprises her by having a boyfriend along, preventing the girls from finding those much-needed moments for reconnection. Refusing to let this get in her way, Cat makes new friends, absorbs the environment around her, takes in the cultural studies, and gets to know her host family. In branching out, she also realizes that things in Boston aren't nearly as toxic as she originally thought. She returns home with a new perspective and a more positive attitude. At times the characters seem cardboard and their actions forced, but overall this is appropriate light summer reading for the chick-lit crowd.-Emily Garrett, Naaman Forest High School, Garland, TX Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781417750856
  • Publisher: San Val
  • Publication date: 6/1/2006
  • Series: S.A.S.S. Series
  • Pages: 214
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.78 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.86 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 29, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    Pretty Darn Good

    I really liked this book. I havent read the entire series but of the few i have read this is one of my favorites.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 31, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Jocelyn Pearce for TeensReadToo.com

    This installment in the S.A.S.S. series features Caitlin Wilcox, a student who is spending her summer in Mexico with the Students Across the Seven Seas program. Cat can't wait to spend time in Mexico, with its sunshine and clear blue ocean, to reunite with her best friend Sabrina, after spending the past few months with her mom and new stepdad in Boston rather than her sunny former home of New Mexico, and to practice her Spanish, a language she loves. Nothing, however, turns out as planned. <BR/><BR/>Sabrina has brought along her boyfriend, Brian, whose existence Cat hadn't even known of, and it's more difficult than it should be for Cat to get some face time with her best friend. Luckily, Cat quickly begins to make new friends; Aidan, Rachel, and Pete are all friendly fellow students. Even Izzie, Cat's host sister with whom she gets off to a rather rocky start with, turns into a friend. Spending her days building a school for orphans in the hot, humid weather of Oaxaca will be tough, but it'll be a lot of fun, especially with great friends! <BR/><BR/>When they're not working on the school, the students are doing their learning by traveling to nearby rain forests and museums. Cat and her friends are having a lot of fun, but she can't help but wish she had more time with Sabrina. Cat's even starting to suspect that Brian isn't as great as he seems, but she couldn't raise that issue with Sabrina...right? Cat's got her own boy troubles as well. Are she and Aidan just friends, or is there more to it than Cat would like to admit? <BR/><BR/>HEART AND SALSA is a fun read that will have readers wishing to escape to sunny Mexico right along with Cat! It's full of adventure in a foreign country, likeable characters, and romance. Cat is a character to whom readers will be able to relate, especially anyone who has ever had to move away from friends and family. The only reason Cat's mother agreed to let her go to Mexico was because they had just moved to Boston from New Mexico a few months ago, and adjusting is tough for Cat. While Suzanne Nelson's book is an entertaining, quick read, it's not particularly remarkable; it won't earn a place on my favorites shelf, but it was certainly worth reading!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2008

    A reviewer

    Heart and Salsa was a great book. If you like traveling and you especially like Mexico I would totally read it!!! Cat goes through many fun and sometimes trying adventures in Mexico. She learns not only how to Salsa, but to appreciate Mexican culture. During the course of her Mexican visit, she learns to accept change in her life. I won't say anymore, if you like the S.A.S.S. books, you have GOT to read it!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2007

    Courtesy of Teens Read Too

    This installment in the S.A.S.S. series features Caitlin Wilcox, a student who is spending her summer in Mexico with the Students Across the Seven Seas program. Cat can't wait to spend time in Mexico, with its sunshine and clear blue ocean, to reunite with her best friend Sabrina, after spending the past few months with her mom and new stepdad in Boston rather than her sunny former home of New Mexico, and to practice her Spanish, a language she loves. Nothing, however, turns out as planned. Sabrina has brought along her boyfriend, Brian, whose existence Cat hadn't even known of, and it's more difficult than it should be for Cat to get some face time with her best friend. Luckily, Cat quickly begins to make new friends Aidan, Rachel, and Pete are all friendly fellow students. Even Izzie, Cat's host sister with whom she gets off to a rather rocky start with, turns into a friend. Spending her days building a school for orphans in the hot, humid weather of Oaxaca will be tough, but it'll be a lot of fun, especially with great friends! When they're not working on the school, the students are doing their learning by traveling to nearby rain forests and museums. Cat and her friends are having a lot of fun, but she can't help but wish she had more time with Sabrina. Cat's even starting to suspect that Brian isn't as great as he seems, but she couldn't raise that issue with Sabrina...right? Cat's got her own boy troubles as well. Are she and Aidan just friends, or is there more to it than Cat would like to admit? HEART AND SALSA is a fun read that will have readers wishing to escape to sunny Mexico right along with Cat! It's full of adventure in a foreign country, likeable characters, and romance. Cat is a character to whom readers will be able to relate, especially anyone who has ever had to move away from friends and family. The only reason Cat's mother agreed to let her go to Mexico was because they had just moved to Boston from New Mexico a few months ago, and adjusting is tough for Cat. While Suzanne Nelson's book is an entertaining, quick read, it's not particularly remarkable it won't earn a place on my favorites shelf, but it was certainly worth reading! **Reviewed by: Jocelyn Pearce

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2007

    A reviewer

    Cat Wilcox is a girl who thinks that she has had it tough. First her parents get a divorce. Then her mom met this guy named Ted. She doesn¿t think that they know each other very well and they are getting married after knowing each other only a couple of months. Now she has to move from warm sunny Arizona, to cold Boston. She has to leave all her friends, and one thing that she absolutely loves, swimming. It¿s also really hard for her now to even make any new friends. She hates Boston! Now Cat has joined the S.A.S.S program, which stands for Students Across the Seven Seas. She is going to be in it with her friend from Arizona, Sabrina. Well Sabrina is the girl who people would call boy crazy! She is always having a boyfriend but only goes out with him for about a week, and then breaks up with him. Well, to Cat¿s surprise, Sabrina brings her boyfriend Brian with her on the trip to Mexico. Cat also finds out that they started dating just about after Cat left for Boston. Therefore, they have been dating for a couple on months! That¿s a record for her. Cat thinks that Brian seems like a really nice guy, but she is afraid. She thinks that because Brian is tagging along on the trip, that he might get in the way with all the catching up and hanging out Sabrina and her were going to do in Mexico. They both said that they were going to have the greatest time, and Sabrina was going to have Cat all caught up in the things that happened in Arizona while she was away. Will Brian get in the way of all the plans that Cat and Sabrina had? You will have to read the book to find out. When Cat gets to Mexico, she gets to meet her new host family that she will be staying with for the next two months. The couple have a daughter too that doesn¿t really like her that much. Cat wants to get along with her and be her friend. Will they become friends? Why doesn¿t she like Cat? Well you can find these questions out if you read the book Heart and Salsa. Sabrina then said that she was going to find Cat a boyfriend, even though that she knew that Cat didn¿t want one. Cat always said that she didn¿t want a boyfriend because of her parent¿s marriage. She always said that if their parent¿s marriage could fall apart that easily, then if she got into a relationship, something could happen there too. She didn¿t want to go through the pain that her mom did when her parents got a divorce. Well then she met this guy named Aiden. She met him on the plane. He was really nice, and soon, they were becoming pretty good friends. Well later on, Aiden asks Cat out and she says no. She told him that she still wanted to hang out with him and be friends but she didn¿t feel like that for him at the moment. He already knew about her parent¿s relationship and how she felt about that too. Will Aiden ask her out again? If he asks her out again will she say yes? Well you have to read the book to find this out. I really enjoyed the book Heart and Salsa, by Suzanne Nelson. It was a really good book and it pulled me in, and I could not put it down. When she adds the romance and drama in with it too, it makes it even better!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2006

    GREAT!!!

    I love the SASS series and how it combines culture, adventure, and a little romance. Heart and Salsa is no exception.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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