Monday, January 8, 2007

Adios to My Old Life - The Review Part: The Final

Hello, Lovelies! Sorry for the lapse of silence. I had the world's worst migraine, and when that happens nothing much else does. I'm better today, just a small drumbeat behind my eyes, so I should be posting reviews fairly regular over the next couple of day. Tomorrow, I'll post an interview with Caridad Ferrer and please note, the chance to win one of three signed copies ends tomorrow night at MIDNIGHT MY TIME. I'm on central, and we've got quite a few through e-mail, but I'd love to get more (greedy much? yes.) so comment or send us an e-mail by clicking here and tell us your favorite song and why and you're entered! Painless! Also, we are now on MySpace , so click on over there and friend us and we'll enter you automatically in this months contest! And now that I've got all the announcement over, without further ado...

Adios to My Old Life by Caridad Ferrer

Does a seventeen-year old from Miami have what it takes to be the next big Latin superstar? And does she really want it?

As a talented singer-guitarist with a dream of going pro, Alegria Montero is getting fed up with the endless, boring parade of quinceaneras and other family party gigs. She's longing for something bigger. And Oye Mi Canto - a new reality TV show that's searching for the next Latin superstar - is definitely that. Ali figures she'll never make the cut, but auditioning seems like a good way to get her overprotective father to take her ambitions seriously.

To Ali's complete shock, she passes her audition. Next thing she know, she's dealing with wardrobe fittings, cameras, reporters, vocal coaches, and websites designed by lovestruck fanboys. She's also dealing with jealousy, malice, and sabotage among the contestants, all of which has her wondering: Is it really time to shoot for the stars and try to win the whole competition, or is it time to say "Cut!" and become a normal teenager again?

Okay, so let's see, I've covered the music and Ali's relationship with her Papi, so I'll move on to friends and enemies now. Sosi, Ali's best friend since forever, is the friend everyone wants to have. She will always have your back, sit with you through hell and back, lift you up when you need it, and just as quickly put you in your place when you get too full of yourself. Because while there haven't been a whole lot of them, Sosi's almost always been a part of every time I've ever gotten in trouble. But, Sosi helping Ali sneak behind her Papi's back and audition for Oye Mi Canto is a bit bigger than the time they tried to dig their own pool. Not only did Sosi help her get into the audition, she stuck up for Ali when her Papi found out, "And I'd do it again. Ali deserves this chance, Senor Montero, she really does and she was so good, I wish you could have seen how she totally owned those auditions." I absolutely adored Sosi, and from reading the discussion on The Cherry Forums , I'm not the only one. Sosi easily could have supported her own book, she's sharp, funny and just plain likable.

Elaine is Papi's best friend, fellow music professor, and Ali's chaperone for the duration of her time on Oye Mi Canto. Since Ali's mother died when she was just a toddler, Elaine has been an integral part of Ali's life. Helping Ali see she needed to talk to her Papi like an adult, and reminding Robbie that he needed to really listen to what Ali had to say. Elaine had such a great role in Ali's life, it was tough sometimes to remember that she wasn't Ali's mom, the way she looks out for her and loves her.

Jamie Lorenzo, "College intern masquerading as an assistant director and all-around lackey" first meets Ali back stage at the auditions when he hands her a bottle of water "Helpful Cute Guy" as Ali refers to him. But soon after Ali starts the show, she and Jamie forge a friendship that turns into that new and amazing first love we've all felt.

Ali also befriends a few of the shows other contestants, and as I've stated, finds herself with an enemy. Adios is billed as a YA novel, but the appeal it has for older readers is huge. The dynamic between Robbie and Elaine will definitely appeal to older readers (and have them hoping that they had a book of their own), the friendship with Sosi has elements anyone can relate too. I have a friend like Sosi, I've known her forever, and the few times I ever got in serious trouble, I was able to share the blame with her. And the new love with Jamie is so touching and true, that you can honestly remember your first time falling in love.

For the YA crowd, the relationships and situations Ali faces, are very true to today's times. The emotions Ali deals with, every teenager deals with, and she faces them head-on, just they way we all want our children (hell, ourselves) to handle things. Plus, Ali's dedication to her passion is inspiring, even for someone who has never played the guitar (I was first chair in flute, give me a break). The way in which she goes after what she wants, the attention she pays her music without nurturing other aspects of her life, will have every one that reads the book wanting to tackle their own passions with such pizazz.

And then, I can't say this enough, there's the music. I mean, you can hear it as you read. Just be prepared to load more songs on the iPod when you finish reading, because you'll want the songs she mentions. Get this book. You will NOT be disappointed, I know after reading it twice, I still want to read it again.

Look for my interview with Caridad tomorrow and some sneak peaks into what's next!

Take Care

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