Don't Date Rosa Santos

Don't Date Rosa Santos

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Don't Date Rosa Santos 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous 6 months ago
This is a special book. I thought it was just going to be a romance with a Cuban main character (which I was still super hyped for). But, this is a story about a girl trying to relate to her heritage and trying to feel more Cuban while not living there and having a grandmother who won't talk about Cuba. She is also trying to figure out where to go to college and what her future is going to look like. I loved the small town dynamic (think Gilmore Girls, but Latinx) and how everyone is a gossip. The love interest is swoony and Rosa calls him "a Ravenclaw" so many times. Seriously, he reads, bakes, owns a boat, AND has tattoos. I loved the familial relationships. Seeing Rosa's relationship with her grandma was really special. I loved the non translated intermittent Spanish words sprinkled throughout. This book was so much fun to read. I laughed and I cried. Even though my grandparents did not come to America from Cuban (they came from South America), I still could relate to many of Rosa's thoughts and experiences related to being Latinx.
THHernandez 19 days ago
4.5 Stars. a sweeping tale that takes place over a few short weeks in the spring before Rosa Santo’s graduates and needs to determine what to do with her life. She has a complex history. Her grandmother gave birth on a boat fleeing communist Russia and her grandfather died on the same trip. Rosa’s own father was also taken by the sea when his boat didn’t come back one day. To say she has a healthy respect for the ocean would be an understatement. In fact, she’s never really ventured down to the docks. At least until the harbor in her small Florida town is threatened and Rosa and the rest of the town come together with a plan to save it. This plan introduces her to tall, dark and brooding Alex. Not only is he ridiculously attractive, but he bakes. And he owns a boat. So, whatever feelings Rosa is developing for Alex cannot be acted upon. Because a to love a boy with a boat means to lose him to sea. At least according to the family curse. So when life has a way of disrupting the best of plans, Rosa will need to decide if she’s going to live in her family’s past or forge her own future. Plot The story centers around Rosa’s quest to find out more about who she is. She wants to study in Cuba, but with the current administration making that all but impossible, she turns to her secretive grandmother, with whom she lives, and her mother, who pops in and out of Rosa’s life, for answers. But her grandmother has roots in the old ways, dabbling in santeria and other Cuban customs that include doling out the information slowly. Rosa becomes frustrated and endangers her relationship with her grandmother just as her relationship with Alex takes an interesting but scary twist. Strong themes include family ties, finding yourself, coming of age, and the value of community. Characters Rosa and her family are incredibly detailed. Rosa, her mother, and Mimi, her grandmother, are all complex with rich backstories and fully-developed arcs. The balance of the characters, with the exception of Alex who has is own arc, are merely props to support the main trio. However, they never nosedive into stereotypes. They may have been created to serve a purpose, but they come across as more than just fluff, which is an incredible feat by the author. What I Loved About DON’T DATE ROSA SANTOS! 1. Cuban Culture. I’ll admit to not knowing much about this. My in-laws are of Spanish and Native American descent, but hail from the Southwest, which means their Hispanic culture is a mixed bag. It was fascinating to learn more about Cuba and the Florida Cuban culture. Everything from the food, to rituals, and daily life was vivid and exciting. 2. The Viejitos. The gaggle of retired men and their gossip they share via their Instagram account is both endearing and hysterical. 3. Rosa. She is so complex. The things she wants, what she values, and her desire to not rock the family boat create a deep character who was easy to cheer her on. 4. Alex. He has a bohemian spirit trapped in the body of a loyal son. A romantic at heart, I was rooting for Rosa to give him a chance. 5. The Ending. More than a little confusing at times, I liked that the author left much to the interpretation of the reader. Bottom Line Fantastic settings, beautiful writing, and amazing character combine for this young adult tale about discovering who you are. Disclaimer I was provided with a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
DragonNimbus 3 months ago
I am so grateful for the opportunity to read an ARC of Don't Date Rosa Santos. I would hope I would pick it up in the library or bookstore - I would be sad to have missed it. This is an excellent book on many, many levels. I loved it - I think Rosa Santos goes down as one of my favorite characters of all time. Nina Moreno writes a story steeped in the culture of the Florida Keys and Cuba and introduces many colorful, vivid characters that I find unforgettable. Rosa is 17, graduating high school and also attending online college and avoiding the beach religiously thanks to the family curse. She plans on attending college in South Carolina because of a study abroad program that includes Havana, Cuba. Why Cuba? Its complicated. Rosa lives with Mimi, her Grandmother who came to American after giving birth to her daughter on the crossing from Cuba after losing her husband on the journey to flee a dangerous country. Rosa's mother, lost her love as a pregnant teen when her boyfriend was lost at sea. Since her mother is away most of the time, pursuing her art around the United States, she left Rosa in Port Coral, Florida with Mimi and the extended family of neighbors, friends and a culture rich in folklore, food, and magic.. Circumstances are threatening the marina in Port Coral so Rosa comes up with an idea to have a festival to celebrate the village and save the harbor. It is at a community meeting that Rosa meets the strong, silent and gorgeous Alex Aquino - sailor, baker, and crush. Rosa's mother shows up on the anniversary of Rosa's father's death and sticks around long enough to fight with Mimi and confuse Rosa. Rosa becomes torn between old culture and new, college and new love. Her plans are thrown in to turmoil as a family tragedy changes everything. Rosa has tough choices to make and has to overcome anxieties to grow up quickly. I have to stop writing or I'll tell you the entire book. I plan to get several copies of this book for our school library and urge as many kids to read it as I can. Read it yourself and I'm sure you'll agree with me. Please make sure to read the acknowledgements - Nina Morena writes a heartfelt thank you that just adds to the poignant tale of Rosa and her family.
Take_Me_AwayPH 4 months ago
I knew from just looking at this cover I would love this before I even got my hands on it. And let me tell you, I was exactly right. Dare I say this is my favorite YA contemp of 2019 so far. It was so sweet and I loved almost everything about it. This was definitely a "me" book. Rosa Santos is cursed by the sea. And because of this, dating a boy (or anyone) with a boat is out. But Rosa is hoping to be different. She wants both of those things along with getting to know her culture and knowing more about her mom's and abuela's past.... All things that her abuela has wanted to keep her from doing. But as Rosa's biggest decision gets closer and closer, she realizes she has to do something, no matter what was on the line. I LOVED Rosa! She was funny and was smart. And she had a planner/journal! In a lot of ways her and her family reminded me of me when I was that age. Personality wise, me and Rosa had a lot in common. The other characters were also amazing. Mimi was the sweetest ever and I loved Alex too. Everyone had their own role in the story to help Rosa grow in some way and I loved that everyone was important in their own way. As for the plot, I thought I was in for a super sweet, cute, fluffy book. But it was so much more! I felt so much while reading this and that's how I knew I loved it. At one point I was even crying, which I wasn't expecting to do. I was so into this, and I really hope everyone else is as into this one as me! I also really, really liked the setting. As always, whenever I am reading a book with a setting that is by water, I always remember where I'm from. There were a lot of similarities that it shares, but unlike Rosa I didn't choose to stay away from the water, so for that I couldn't relate. Everything else, like the festival, the salt smell in the air, I completely understood. The last and most important thing I liked about this was the writing style. I found myself sucked into this small Florida town and I didn't want to quit reading. It was hard to believe that Moreno was a debut author. Her words literally "took me away" and it made the story such an easy read to get through. This book checked so many of my "Things that Nikki will like" boxes that I'm not surprised at all that I loved it so much. The romance was cute, characters and setting were amazing, and it was easy to get lost in her words. I loved this one and I can't wait until more have read it and can sing its praises like I've done.
Anonymous 5 months ago
Nina Moreno has a gift with words and can weave them together beautifully. Don't Date Rosa Santos tells the story of a Cuban American girl living in a quaint and quirky Florida town with her abuela and her in-and-out-of-the-picture mother. We follow Rosa's struggles throughout the story -- struggles with choosing a college, navigating the relationship between the women in her family, being pulled into a forbidden romance, wanting to know more about the island her family is from, and trying to find herself. Moreno has a wonderfully descriptive way of writing that allowed me to visualize the characters and the town, hear the music and the sounds, smell and taste the Cuban food. I loved reading this love story to Cuba and family... you will, too!
KimMc 5 months ago
I LOVE this book of heritage, hope and hanging on! “Love and Mother’s (are)n’t simple,” especially when 3 generations of women are fighting a familial curse and making borrowed sacrifices in order to try to be enough. Rosa is a fiercely strong character whose vulnerability is hard to find, but there nonetheless. She is refreshing and sarcastic and brave. Rosa proves that even when you don’t have it all figured out anymore, you can still get back to you. The plot is full of brightly rich culture and of stories that grow upon each other and culminate into a lifetime. Moreno’s writing is fresh, she strings words and phrases together so masterfully that they are given new perspective. Don’t Date Rosa Santos is at times heart wrenching, but it’s also a soul searching, spirit lifting book that will hypnotize you and you won’t want it to end. *I received an arc from the publisher through NetGalley for an honest review
Madeline_S 6 months ago
"This wasn't Cuba, and it wasn't her farm, and so much life and family had been taken from her, but despite loss and a raging sea, she reached the shore with my mother and her story hadn't stopped. She made something real and her life counted here, too." Wow, what a great read! I really loved the amazing family and community dynamics that were so prominent in this story! For a debut author, this was very impressive! Don't Date Rosa Santos is about a girl named (you guessed it) Rosa who has to decide her future, all while dealing with the stress of a wishy-washy mother, a secretive abuela, and a supposed curse that is getting in the way of her love life. What truly shone in this book was the dynamics within Rosa's family, friend group, and community. The sense of support and familiarity with all of the citizens of Port Coral was so pure and wholesome to read about! I loved all of the unique personalities that each person in the story had, and how Rosa's friend group was a more realistic size than how a lot of YA books portray (for example, most books only have the protagonist have one good friend that they hang out with all of the time and no one else. This situation is not very realistic for most people. In this book, Rosa had a best friend that she was the closest with, and then she had a bunch of side friends who she also hung out with. This is how most friend groups are, and the dynamic within this group was really relatable to me and the friend group that I have in real life!). The only downside is that there are so many characters that sometimes you lose track of who people are. However, I still really enjoyed this aspect of the book and would say that the positives outweigh the negatives! Another strong point in this book is the author's lovely, poetic prose! I found it really impressive, especially for a debut author! Needless to say, I really enjoyed and recommend this book! However, there are a few more things that I wish I could have gotten from it. Personally, I really think that this book could have been fleshed out a little more. I feel like things happened a little too quickly sometimes, and because of how quick they would happen they didn't impact me as much as they usually would have. I am primarily talking about the romance, which I feel like needed a bit more developing in order to make it something more memorable. (Not saying I didn't enjoy the romance, but I feel like a lot more could have been done with those two characters!) The same goes for Alex's family, who we got a lot of conflict from that didn't seem quite fully resolved. But, those little things aside, this was a great book! The positives definitely outweigh the negatives on this one. I loved the representation of Latinx characters, and I couldn't recommend this book enough! I hope this review inspires you to pick this one up if you haven't already!
Dmtcer 6 months ago
This is magical book about a young woman. She lives in fictional Port Coral, Florida, where the sea meets the land. Family and local lore surround Rosa; her grandparents escaped Cuba by boat, and her grandmother Milagros gave birth to her mother in the ocean, while losing her husband to the sea. Rosa's own mother lost her beloved to the sea, and Rosa was raised knowing she should never set foot on the wharf or step onto the beach. When she was young, Rosa wandered America with her mother, traveling from one town to the next, until one day she decided she would rather live with her grandmother in Florida. Her mother came and went throughout the years. Rosa is responsible, follows the rules of the family curse, yet she covets a desire to visit Cuba and major in Latin American studies at college. Until the day she meets her own sailor, and the whirlwind begins. Magic and realistic fantasy make up this love story; the love of three women tied to the sea, their love for their adopted hometown, and love all of the people that surround them. Rosa and her Mimi are beloved and admired, but the townspeople are wary of Rosa's mom. Spanish phrases, descriptions of food, herbs, flowers and simple magic embellish the story. Tragedy follows great triumph, and Rosa is left wondering what is real and what is imagined. It's a beautiful story, and the writing is poetic. Descriptions of life in this small Florida seaside town, and of Cuba itself are rich in detail and color. This is a good story to escape the real world for a short time.