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Saturday, December 28, 2019

YA Romance Cute, But Issue-y

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Don't Date Rosa Santos, a debut novel by Nina Moreno, is a little hard to describe.  Since my brain is tired, I'm just going to use the book's back cover copy, which sums the story up nicely:

Rosa Santos is cursed by the sea-at least, that's what they say. Dating her is bad news, especially if you're a boy with a boat.

But Rosa feels more caught than cursed. Caught between cultures and choices. Between her abuela, a beloved healer and pillar of their community, and her mother, an artist who crashes in and out of her life like a hurricane. Between Port Coral, the quirky South Florida town they call home, and Cuba, the island her abuela refuses to talk about.

As her college decision looms, Rosa collides-literally-with Alex Aquino, the mysterious boy with tattoos of the ocean whose family owns the marina. With her heart, her family, and her future on the line, can Rosa break a curse and find her place beyond the horizon?

As warm and breezy as the wind off the ocean on a summer's day, Don't Date Rosa Santos is a light, entertaining YA romance.  The relationships that shine the brightest in the book, though, aren't the romantic ones, but those between the members of Rosa's vibrant Cuban-American community.  It's easy to feel the love flowing among them, even if it's sometimes tough to remember who's who.  The love story between Rosa and Alex is also cute.  As far as plot and pacing go, though, I have some issues.  The whole curse thing around which the story revolves seems silly.  Would a whole community really believe some ridiculous superstition like that?  I don't think so.  As far as pacing, the flow of Don't Date Rosa Santos seems frenetic at times and too slow at others.  The story also feels disjointed, kind of here, there, and everywhere.  While I enjoyed Rosa's community, the cute romance, and the novel's bright, happy vibe, I had too many other issues with the book to really love it.  I liked it well enough, but it didn't bowl me over or anything.

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of books by Kasie West)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for language (no F-bombs) and innuendo

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find     

0 bookworm(s) said...:

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Reading

<i>Reading</i>
Tress of the Emerald Sea by Brandon Sanderson

Listening

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The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain



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