Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Books: It's Not About the Accent

Sometimes I learn. I did, for example, not linger to read Caridad Ferrer's latest in Starbucks. Okay, I took It's Not About the Accent with me this weekend and did read it in front of others a few times, but I figured the early part was safe. (And I only got through the first chapter before I was back home.)
Because, wow. Adios looked at a high schooler in a world of adults. Accent is about a college freshman, so the new world theme is there, but the story is a bit older. Just saying.
Caroline decides to take college as the opportunity to reinvent herself, tired of being Just Caro from a small town in Ohio, where she is part of the sixth generation of her family to live in the same place. Caroline decides to kick it up a notch, having learned that her beloved Nana Ellie was a Cuban immigrant, she amps up the suntan, dies her blonde hair brown, and introduces herself as Carolina, trilled 'r' and all.
Well, it had great results. First party of the summer session she attracts attention of several guys, one in particular who is just so cute.
Then, tragedy hits, and it is the quiet Cuban guy from Miami who helps Caro pick up the pieces. And Caro ends up on a journey to find out more about her roots, the real ones.
While this story is technically YA, since the main character is in college, I think the appeal is global. We all have those turning points, those places where we try to tweak who we are, with different results. I laughed - more than once, I cried - more than once, I finished off the story, ignoring both knitting and television in less that twenty four hours.