A Puerto Rican teenager describes her family's life with her abusive stepfather in alternating chapters with the story of the counselor who is trying to help them.
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I bought this book for a Literature for Adolescents course. In that course I surveyed contemporary realistic fiction in young adult books. This book does present the realistic yet destructive cycle of domestic violence. Apart from that, some of the situations Rina goes through include drinking, uncontrolled anger, running away from home, emotional problems, among others. The point of view of the story is mostly from Rina's but later on another character pops in, Mrs. Martinez, who gives us another look into Rina's life. The main conflicts are portrayed in a believable manner. However, I think the way the resolution was presented may not seem as believable. The potential solutions that the story shows seem too rushed especially if we take into account the magnitude of the domestic violence and the variety of problems presented. All in all, I think there are better young adult books out there since I believe the resolution to be an important part of these kind of stories. However, this one presents a different perspective, as well as Puerto Rican family (which is very uncommon), and the issues are presented realistically.
I thought that this book was very good. This book would hit home for a lot of teenagers. Children need to read something that they can relate to and this book does that. Rina's dad is an alcoholic. When he is drunk he beats Rina's mom. A lot of kids in today's society have come from broken homes and this would be a book that would draw them in. I also liked this book because it gave a glossary of Spanish terms in the back because they talk sometimes in Spanish throughout the book. I really did not dislike anything in this book. I would totally recommend this book to any young adult.