Spain or Shine (S.A.S.S. Series)

Spain or Shine (S.A.S.S. Series)

4.2 18
by Michelle Jellen

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Elena is lost in the shuffle between her three overachieving siblings. But now that she’s on her own for a whole semester, she intends to keep the spotlight on herself—and Spain is just the place to do it. Once she starts living it up in tapas bars, lying out on the beach (even though it’s November), and having a nice, long siesta smack-dab in the


Elena is lost in the shuffle between her three overachieving siblings. But now that she’s on her own for a whole semester, she intends to keep the spotlight on herself—and Spain is just the place to do it. Once she starts living it up in tapas bars, lying out on the beach (even though it’s November), and having a nice, long siesta smack-dab in the middle of every day, Elena finds that Spain is everything she hoped it would be. She’s even met a to-fawn-over Spaniard, Miguel. But Elena has always been more comfortable writing plays than starring in them, and she’s beginning to realize that keeping out of the spotlight has its perks too. . . .

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The S.A.S.S. (Students Across the Seven Seas) series kicked off with Westminster Abby by Micol Ostow ("Teenage girls, especially those with a penchant for travel, will find this a light yet flavorful morsel," PW said), and now 17-year-old Nicole heads to the City of Light for Pardon My French by Cathy Hapka. But alors, Paree does not seem so gay when she must leave behind her heartthrob Nate... until a debonaire Frenchman comes along. Also due this month: Spain or Shine by Michelle Jellen. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-Sixteen-year-old Elena, who is a quiet and shy dreamer, feels as if she doesn't fit in with her overachieving siblings. To get a different perspective on life as well as a chance to stretch her wings, she signs up to study in Spain for a semester. Once there, she makes new friends, including Miguel, a good-looking local teenager. She longs to start a relationship with him, but even though he pays special attention to her, she is too insecure to believe that he would actually be interested in her. Meanwhile, her experiences in drama class show her that she has a real talent for playwriting as well as acting. Ultimately, Elena's stay abroad teaches her to come out of her shell and take on new situations. She builds lasting friendships, gains independence and self-confidence, and even falls in love. Incorporating descriptions of San Sebastian and life in this scenic seaside town, the narrative creates a strong sense of place. Elena's emotional growth is clearly and believably depicted and the plot keeps the story moving quickly. An enjoyable read.-Kim Carlson, Monticello High School, IA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
S.A.S.S. Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

Spanish Crush

Elena was a little embarrassed to be hunting Miguel down at work, but also secretly excited. She could picture him looking gorgeous in his bellhop uniform, his tan skin set against the crisp white cotton. She would be poised, striding up to him with the grace of a dancer. “Hello.” He’d beam. “I didn’t think I’d see you again so soon. What a wonderful surprise.” Elena, you’re hopeless, she thought.

Elena followed Jenna through the canopied front entrance and into the gleaming lobby. They stood beneath a crystal chandelier, its light bouncing off the rosy marble floor. The windows stretched up tall and arcing to graze the ceiling. The molding at the top of the ceiling looked like cake frosting. When Elena glanced over her shoulder, she felt the eyes of the concierge burning into them. She suddenly felt out of place and antsy to leave.

Elena grabbed Jenna’s hand and steered her back to the front of the lobby.

“He’s obviously not here,” she whispered, turning her head to look at Jenna. “That guy behind the desk is giving me the creeps and—” Before she could finish her sentence she felt herself smack into someone. When she turned her head, she found herself staring directly into Miguel’s eyes. They were inches from her own. For a split second she thought, If this boy ever kissed me, this is what it would feel like the moment before our lips touched….

Meet the Author

After graduating from the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 2001 with a degree in English, Michelle Jellen traveled through Europe. One of her favorite cities was San Sebastian, Spain. She lives in Northern California with her husband. This is her first novel.

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Spain or Shine 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great series for Pre-Teens. There are several books in the series, each written about a different country. You will learn a little bit about each country (there is a map in the front of each book), a little a bit about being an Exchange Student, but A LOT about whatever the book "issue" is. Each book has a "situation" (divorced/remarried parent, new sibling, over-achiever siblings, etc.) Each "situation" is treated gently and everything works out nicely in the end. NOT preachy, NOT racy, may be too tame for actual teens. Nice books for Pre-Teen Book Clubs.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've read all the SASS books and this one is by far mt favorite. Elena is so awesome and i love how she writes a play. If u r a teenager u should totally read this book. i give this book ************ stars even though u can't give it that many. Have fun reading!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
A great book for young girls (11-15), but a little boring for girls outside of the early teenage years. This book is very well-written and clean.. perfect for young girls wanting to read something about friendship, love and the power of togetherness.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this is the best book ever! i love this series but this was the best book hands down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I REALLY liked this book its one of my favorites!!!!!!!!! I recommend all the S.A.S.S. Books because they are soooo incredible. I guarantee you'll love it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Elena is going to Spain for the first time in the S.A.S.S. program. She is very shy and normally doesn¿t do things without her best friend Claire who couldn¿t go. When Elena gets to Spain she meets her host family, the Cruzes. She soon finds out that there is another girl staying with them named Jenna. Jenna¿s dorm roomed was flooded so she is staying with the Cruzes for awhile. She is extremely outgoing and likes to flirt with all the guys, which is very different from Elena. One of Elena¿s classes that she is taking involves playwriting. She really wants to win a contest that they have to see who can write the best play. Elena also really wants to meet a cute guy in Spain, which she does. His name is Miguel but Elena¿s not sure if he likes Jenna already or not. I really liked this book a lot. I don¿t have anything that I don¿t like about this book. It keeps you very interested in reading it and is the best S.A.S.S. book. This book teaches you that even if you are really shy you can still be outgoing. Spain or Shine is one of the books in the S.A.S.S. series which you can read in any order. If you like any books like the Clique series or the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series then you will like this book.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Oh my gosh this is my all time fav book! When you start to read it, you will NEVER WANT TO STOP! It has everything from romance, to fiestas! I think this book is great because I feel like I am in Spain,salsa dancing away with the characters! (you will also LOVE this book if you like drama and performing!)
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! I am only 12 and I read it in about 5 days. I can't wait to read the rest of the series!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I liked the book, I like how it describes a bunch of places in Spain. I also like the experiences that the main Character has while visiting a different country and trying to adapt to it.. I like it..
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book, and all of the S.A.S.S. series. It had friendship, romance, and cultural appreciation for Spain. Two thumbs WAY up!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love to read romance-comedy books and I thought that was what I would get from Spain or Shine but I was wrong! I love the spanish culture and like to read about it. The book was too descriptive in so many things that didn't matter! It took me about a month to read it because it was so boring! After I was done I felt that I could have read five awesome books in place of that unexciting one for how much time I spent on it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
i loved it. i couldent put it down and now i feel like i missed out on things because i didnt take spainish. i want to go there now and it sucks because i cant....
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really liked the book. Me being a sappy person wanted more love action with her and guys, but I realized the book wasn't about love it was about her finding herself..... Really GOOD