They Could Have Named Her Anything

They Could Have Named Her Anything

by Stephanie Jimenez


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Racism, class, and betrayal collide in this poignant debut novel about restoring the broken bonds of family and friendship.

Every morning, seventeen-year-old Maria Anís Rosario takes the subway an hour from her boisterous and close-knit family in Queens to her private high school on the Upper East Side, where she struggles to fit in as one of the only Latina students—until Rocky welcomes her into this new life. White, rebellious, and ignored by her wealthy parents, Rocky uses her money toward one goal: to get away with anything. To Maria, it’s a dazzling privilege.

As a bond develops between these unlikely friends, neither can see what they share most—jealousy and the desire for each other’s lives. But crackling under the surface of their seemingly supportive alliance, the girls begin to commit little betrayals as they strive to get closer to their ideals regardless of the consequences.

Told from the perspectives of Maria, Rocky, and their fathers, They Could Have Named Her Anything explores the heartfelt expectation of what it means to live up to the name you’ve been given and the more rewarding discovery of what really matters.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781542003759
Publisher: Amazon Publishing
Publication date: 08/01/2019
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 300
Sales rank: 211,254
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Stephanie Jimenez is a former Fulbright recipient. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in the Guardian; O, The Oprah Magazine; Entropy; Vol. 1 Brooklyn; YES! Magazine; and more.

She completed a novel-writing intensive at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, and she attended the 2017 Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference for fiction. They Could Have Named Her Anything is her debut novel. She is based in Queens, New York. Visit Stephanie at

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They Could Have Named Her Anything 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
cristieu 7 months ago
The author was able to capture the struggles of a teen that has to live in two different worlds, her home in Queens and her fancy school in Manhattan. I love how the author chose to write each character as flawed because no one is perfect and it annoys me when authors write characters that are. I found this to be an enjoyable read!
SuZ2Reader 8 months ago
I chose to read this book because I’m trying to read more #OwnVoices/foreign/minority authors. They Could Have Named Her Anything is author Stephanie Jimenez’s debut novel. Set in NYC, it is split between a poor, but comfortable family home in Queens, and a rich, but uncomfortable upper-class condo on the upper East Side. The primary story revolves around seventeen-year-old Maria—a Latinx student attending an elite girls’ school and her attempts to fit into the white, upper-crust school—and María, the same girl, finding her way within her own Ecuadorian/Puerto Rican family where her name carries centuries worth of religious overtones. The point of view shifts between María, her wealthy friend Rocky, María’s father Miguel, and Rocky’s father, Charlie, all characters who have foibles and quirks. The novel is empathetic and honest about adolescent female sexual urges, the “trying on” of identities during adolescence, and the need to fit into a community.