Once Upon a Quinceanera
Once Upon a Quinceanera
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Annotation: During an eventful Miami summer, Carmen contends with a romantic ex, a ridiculous internship, and family drama as she plans her quinceañera.
Catalog Number: #256388
Format: Perma-Bound from Publisher's Hardcover
Publisher: HarperCollins
Copyright Date: 2021
Edition Date: 2021
Pages: 432
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-06-299683-5 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-9265-X
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-06-299683-1 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-9265-3
Dewey: Fic
Language: English
Kirkus Reviews
Being a professional princess isn’t as glamorous as it’s cracked up to be.Carmen Aguilar’s summer job is the only thing standing between her and the last credit she needs to graduate from high school. Working as a princess for hire at children’s birthday parties in Miami is grueling—and goes from bad to worse when Carmen’s ex-flame, Mauro Reyes, is hired to play the Beast to her Belle. Overwhelming awkwardness and the temptation to rehash the downfall of their relationship has Carmen on the brink of quitting when the whole company is hired to work the quinceañera of someone with whom Carmen is all too familiar: Ariana, her dramatic and entitled cousin. After a major falling out almost four years ago, the cousins and their families have barely spoken. The tías are hoping that this quince will mend their family ties and bring them back together permanently, but Carmen can barely stand to be in the same room as Ariana, let alone tolerate the months of rehearsals required for the big day. Tempers fly, old wounds are reopened, and romance is in the air as this princess endures complex family dynamics and the infuriating attention of her very own Prince Charming. Characters are well developed and dialogue crackles in this energetic tale. Carmen is Cuban and Puerto Rican, and many other characters are Latinx.Compelling relationships and characters dazzle like a quinceañera tiara. (Fiction. 14-18)
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-When Carmen Aguilar starts her summer internship at Dreams Come True, she is dreading the long days ahead dressing up as a party princess. Quitting is not an option since she needs the internship to graduate high school, so she does her best to play the part. No matter how bad she expected it to be, she did not imagine that her ex-boyfriend, Mauro, would be one of her co-workers, and her dance partner. As if things couldn't get worse, Carmen learns that the company has been hired by her younger cousin, Ariana, for her quinceañera. After a recent family argument left the two estranged, Carmen finds it almost impossible to face Ariana and her overpowering parents. As the Miami summer unrolls, Carmen struggles with her unresolved feelings toward Mauro, while also trying to handle the dysfunction that plagues her extended family. Gomez-Hira makes Miami come alive with her descriptions of clubs, sunsets, and Latinx culture. The characters, most of whom are Latin American, blend their culture into their dialogue, lending the book authenticity. Though there are times when the teenage romance drama seems a bit overdone, many readers will likely enjoy the emotional outbursts and over-the-top passion. The scenes between Carmen and Mauro, a few of which contain sexual content, often are cliched, but readers looking for mushy sweet talk won't mind. VERDICT A charming novel that will appeal to teens looking for a love story. Karin Greenberg, Manhasset H.S., NY
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Kirkus Reviews
School Library Journal (1/1/21)
Reading Level: 5.0
Interest Level: 7-12

Perfect for fans of Jenny Han and Jane the Virgin, this immediately accessible and irresistibly fun rom-com debut will spin readers into an unforgettable summer of late-night dancing, broken hearts, second chances, and telenovela twists. Carmen Aguilar just wants to make her happily ever after come true. Except apparently "happily ever after" for Carmen involves being stuck in an unpaid summer internship. Now she has to perform as a party princess! In a ball gown. During the summer. In Miami. Fine. Except that's only the first misfortune in what's turning out to be a summer of Utter Disaster. But if Carmen can manage dancing in the blistering heat, fending off an oh-so-unfortunately attractive ex, and stopping her spoiled cousin from ruining her own quinceañera--Carmen might just get that happily ever after--after all.

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