Just about everyone from my country, Republica Dominicana, dreams of moving to New York City, except for me. On the flight to New York, my first time on a plane, my first time away from Mami, I was finally free to cry. But nothing came out. I watched as the green mountains of my beloved island slipped away far below.Read more...
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Just about everyone from my country, Republica Dominicana, dreams of moving to New York City, except for me. On the flight to New York, my first time on a plane, my first time away from Mami, I was finally free to cry. But nothing came out. I watched as the green mountains of my beloved island slipped away far below.
Fifteen-year-old Nina Perez is faced with a future she never expected. She must leave her Garden of Eden, her lush island home in Samana, Dominican Republic, when she's sent by her mother to live with her brother, Darrio, in New York, to seek out a better life. As Nina searches for some glimpse of familiarity amid the urban and jarring world of Washington Heights, she learns to uncover her own strength and independence. She finds a way to grow, just like the orchids that blossom on her fire escape. And as she is confronted by ugly secrets about her brother's business, she comes to understand the realities of life in this new place. But then she meets him--that tall, green-eyed boy--one that she can't erase from her thoughts, who just might help her learn to see beauty in spite of tragedy.
From the acclaimed author of the color of my words comes a powerful story of a girl who must make her way in a new world and find her place within it.
- ISBN-13: 9780060297947
- ISBN-10: 0060297948
- Publisher: Harper Teen
- Publish Date: March 2013
- Page Count: 232
- Reading Level: Ages 12-17
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-01-14
- Reviewer: Staff
Joseph’s quietly compelling novel captures both the colorful sun-filled atmosphere of 15-year-old Nina’s beloved seaside town, Samana, in the Dominican Republic, and the grit of New York City’s Washington Heights neighborhood. Unlike most Dominicans, Nina has no desire to make “a better life” in New York; she loves Samana and is miserable when her mother sends her to live with her 28-year-old brother, Darrio, in Manhattan. Appalled by the noisy streets teeming with drug dealers and vulgarly dressed Dominicanos, she misses tending her garden and the flowers that were an integral part of her being: “Now I knew how it felt to be rudely uprooted and replanted in the wrong soil.” Joseph (The Color of My Words) keeps the suspense high as Nina tries to adjust to her new circumstances. Is the terse, green-eyed barber who sets her heart pounding worthy of her love, or a criminal? What to do about her levelheaded, ambitious schoolmate Carlos, whose feelings for her are more than platonic? And what kind of trouble is Darrio in? A moving, thoughtful coming-of-age story set against a realistic multicultural backdrop. Ages 13–up. (Mar.)