Cuba 15 by Nancy Osa

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Summary

Violet Paz has just turned 15, a pivotal birthday in the eyes of her Cuban grandmother. Fifteen is the age when a girl enters womanhood, traditionally celebrating the occasion with a quinceañero. But while Violet is half Cuban, she’s also half Polish, and more importantly, she feels 100% American. Except for her zany family’s passion for playing dominoes, smoking cigars, and dancing to Latin music, Violet knows little about Cuban culture, nada about quinces, and only tidbits about the history of Cuba. So when Violet begrudgingly accepts Abuela’s plans for a quinceañero–and as she begins to ask questions about her Cuban roots–cultures and feelings collide. The mere mention of Cuba and Fidel Castro elicits her grandparents’sadness and her father’s anger. Only Violet’s aunt Luz remains open-minded. With so many divergent views, it’s not easy to know what to believe. All Violet knows is that she’s got to form her own opinions, even if this jolts her family into unwanted confrontations. After all, a quince girl is supposed to embrace responsibility–and to Violet that includes understanding the Cuban heritage that binds her to a homeland she’s never seen. This is Nancy Osa’s first novel.

-From the hard cover edition

Review

Such a sweet little book. This was definitely a coming of age novel and just overall a really great book to read.

This was one of the books on my summer reading list for my Spanish course. This book does have many Spanish phrases, some of which you have to have the basic knowledge of Spanish to understand. But if you do not speak Spanish, you can still read this book because most of the words are really similar to the english word. I liked this effect because it made it really feel like you were really there and part of what was happening. It just added this effect to the book.

The story was really sweet too about a girl, Violet, and how she thinks she is different. She has all of these “half talents” and she doesn’t have a boyfriend and is a Sophomore in high school. Later she meets a boy who you have to assume later becomes her boyfriend. It follows her process before her quince party and what is happening in her life and how she is maturing.

There was also quite a lot of humor in this book. I had many laughs while reading it and I throughly enjoyed it. It is a shorter book which is nice as many books now are so large, a small one is a pleasant relief. But it does not have to be long to get the point across and for there to be a really nice story.

This is a really lovely book and I definitely recommend it and I hope that you enjoy.

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