Contest Sticky

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Review : Damas, Dramas, and Ana Ruiz by Belinda Acosta

Genre : Contemporary
ISBN : 978-0446540513
Series : Yes, #1 Quineanera Club Series
Rating : 4.5

From Hatchette :

All Ana Ruiz wanted was to have a traditional quinceaƱera for her daughter, Carmen. She wanted a nice way to mark this milestone year in her daughter's life. But Carmen was not interested in celebrating. Hurt and bitter over her father Esteban's departure, she blamed Ana for destroying their happy family, as did everyone else. A good man is hard to find, especially at your age Ana was told. Why not forgive his one indiscretion? Despite everything, Ana didn't want to tarnish Carmen's childlike devotion to her beloved father. But Ana knows that growing up sometimes means facing hard truths. In the end, Ana discovers that if she's going to teach Carmen anything about what it means to be a woman, it will take more than simply a fancy party to do it...

Review :

Things haven't been going as well as they should be between Ana Ruiz and her husband Esteban, and now he's picked up and left. Now she is left to take care of their two children, Carmen and Diego, while he goes off and tries to figure out what he wants to do with his life, and the decisions he has made. It's not easy to take care of two teenage children that don't understand the circumstances of a seperation, and Ana is going loco trying to keep things under control.

Carmen is angry with her mother, Ana. She knows that it's her mother's fault her father has left. It can't possibly be her 'apa that's done something wrong Daddy's little girl knows that he could never do anything to hurt anyone. She shows her mother nothing but disrespect, and outrage, not even sitting with her mother during a meal. It's just too painful to know that her father has left, and might not come back.

Ana wants nothing more than to have a relationship with her daughter Carmen. She can't tell her why her father is not there, because although Carmen is treating her horribly, she can't hurt her daughter with the truth. When the idea of celebrating Carmen's fifteenth birthday arises, Ana suggests throwing a Quinceanera to announce Carmen's arrival into womanhood. Carmen wants nothing to do with her mother, and that includes planning a party with her, even though the party is for Carmen herself. But when her cousin Bianca mentions that Carmen's father, Esteban, must take part in the ceremony Carmen changes her mind. She's determined to make her father participate as much as possible, in hopes that he will change his mind and come home.

I loved this novel, and had a hard time putting it down. It was very easy for me to feel the strong emotions of Acosta's characters, and I even found myself laughing and crying along with them. This author has a wonderful way of giving you the backround history of each important character, while not straying from the plot. I also both loved and disliked the use of the Spanish language throughout the book. It gave it that extra Latin flavor, and I loved that. The only reason I could even say I disliked the use of Spanish in the novel was that I had to think hard to remember what some of the words meant. I haven't been in a Spanish class for more than 5 years, but I'm glad I was able to refresh my memory.

Damas, Dramas, and Ana Ruiz is a novel about love lost, love found, growing up, and growing apart. It gives a wonderful insight to the Latin culture, and a whole new respect for it. I was very lucky to be able to review a copy of this book, thanks to Miriam Parker of Hatchette Book Group. I'm very excited to have been able to take part in the blog tour for this title, and look forward to reading more by Belinda Acosta.


Jessica said...

Great review! I saw this book at B&N and I wasn't sure if it was my kind of book. But I might give it a try.

Debbie said...

As I promised, I'm here to see what you thought of this book now that your review is up. I agree, it's a great book and it's easy to feel for the characters.