2015 Reader Views Literary Awards Runner-Up for Best Young Adult Fiction
When Brianna unearths a family secret, the life she's known unravels. She trusts no one except Dana, her best friend. But Dana will move away at the end of the summer, leaving Brianna to face her senior year friendless and alone.
A last chance to bond with Dana lies in a summer trip abroad with the Spanish Club. Yet the promise of a once-unattainable first love, another painful secret, and Mexico--gripped in World Cup fever--threaten to rip the girls apart for good. As their lives hang in the balance, Brianna must find the strength and forgiveness to reconcile the friend she once was with the new person she desperately wants to be.
An honest coming-of-age, The Spanish Club chronicles the universal struggle to define oneself within the boundaries of friendship and love--even when the ones you trust break the rules.
|Publisher:||Fine Kennings Press|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
|File size:||2 MB|
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite The Spanish Club is a young adult coming of age novel written by Danielle Burnette. This summer's Spanish Club trip to Mexico is a bittersweet one for high school juniors Brianna and her best friend, Dana. Brianna is stunned and at a loss at the discovery, just before the trip, that she is adopted. She feels betrayed by the people that she always thought of as her family and doesn't know who she is anymore. Dana is going back to live with her mom and dad and won't be returning to St. Francis next fall, which alternately thrills and scares her. The seven students in the club also do not seem terribly compatible as a group; their only common interest being the Spanish language. Katie and Lil' Bit are self-absorbed twins, and Winston Welch is a geek. Stacia's bubbly and irrepressible and a fellow member of the Dance Team with Brianna. She's also the friend of Enrique, who's been Brianna's secret crush since she was a freshman three years before. Dana feels threatened by Brianna's growing friendship with Stacia, and she's determined to crush any feelings Brianna has for Enrique. Danielle Burnette's The Spanish Club is a glorious coming of age novel that explores friendship, identity and romance while celebrating the history and culture of Mexico. This inspired and most impressive debut novel follows the Spanish Club and their teacher chaperones as they explore the antiquities and cultural landmarks of Mexico. I enjoyed reading about their tour as Miguel, their tour guide, shows them the pyramids, museums, and historical ruins, and I began to wish I was there to run up the hundreds of pyramid stairs along with the Club to see the countryside spread out below me. Brianna is a marvelous character whose coming of age transfigures her, but the magic happens to each and every member of the Spanish Club as they learn to see past their differences and become a supportive and caring group of friends. The Spanish Club is a grand and enthralling work that succeeds on so many different levels. It's an awesome coming of age novel that's most highly recommended.
I received an advanced reader copy of Danielle Burnette's The Spanish Club, a contemporary novel which takes place in Mexico as a high school’s Spanish Club travels there from Chicago to soak up history, practice the language and take in the summer sights during the World Cup. Their tour guide, Miguel, shows them around the pyramids, and they later travel to the interior of Mexico and end up in Puerto Vallarta on the West Coast. The students travel by bus, and lively minor characters abound. The novel centers around two seventeen-year-old best friends, Brianna and Dana, who share a close bond, and now Dana will sadly be moving away at the end of the summer right before their senior year. Both of them deal with a family secret where they feel deeply betrayed, but it’s the transformation of their personal friendship that interests me the most. When Brianna slowly finds herself falling in love with Enrique, one of the students on the tour, this creates problems for Dana, posing a threat to the established order. I enjoy reading novels about the ups and downs of female friendships, and Brianna is a strong heroine and easy to like. Dana is more flawed and operates from a place of hurt. She cannot be trusted to give the best advice, and she creates problems between Brianna and Enrique, having the tendency to play games. Throughout the novel, Brianna advances toward and retreats from both Enrique and Dana as she tries to figure out what’s best for her. The problem of whether or not to trust Enrique comes into play more than once. Brianna goes through a series of dilemmas that require her to make choices she hasn't had to make before. Can she trust the person she's falling in love with? Can she trust her closest friend? Can she trust herself? Brianna travels through her problems with honesty integrity, and this is the thing I like most about the book. She's a good role model, especially for teenage girls. I am reading the novel from a mother’s point-of-view, a grandmother’s point-of-view, and it's nice to come across a heroine with a strong sense of herself. I would especially recommend the book because of this. Another plus was the vivid description of the setting. I have traveled extensively throughout Mexico, and it was nice being reminded of some of the places I had visited. Miguel is a fun tour guide and the book is filled with historical facts and sprinkled with Spanish. The pace of the novel is at first slow and easy, as are the days themselves, and picks up as the conflict intensifies. The ending was a complete surprise.