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Fans of Jane the Virgin will find much to love about this coming-of-age novel from bestselling author Veronica Chambers, who with humor and humanity explores issues of identity and belonging in a world that is ever-changing.
She is the envy of every teenage girl in Mexico City. Her mother is a glamorous telenovela actress. Her father is the go-to voice-over talent for blockbuster films. Hers is a world of private planes, chauffeurs, paparazzi and gossip columnists. Meet Camilla del Valle Cammi to those who know her best.
When Cammi s mom gets cast in an American television show and the family moves to LA, things change, and quickly. Her mom s first role is playing a not-so-glamorous maid in a sitcom. Her dad tries to find work but dreams about returning to Mexico. And at the posh, private Polestar Academy, Cammi s new friends assume she s a scholarship kid, the daughter of a domestic.
At first Cammi thinks playing along with the stereotypes will be her way of teaching her new friends a lesson. But the more she lies, the more she wonders: Is she only fooling herself?
Audiobook Received for Review in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I don’t normally read books about famous people, but this book caught my eye for a few reasons. The fact that the MC’s hispanic mother was the famous one, made me interested. And the comparison with Jane the Virgin also helped (although I didn’t like the show past the first season). Not only is Cammi’s mom a movie star, but she’s actually really famous and successful… in Mexico. As a hispanic girl, I can’t even begin to tell you how sick I am of all the stereotypes when it comes to hispanic characters in most books I read. Either they are poor or in gangs or selling drugs *insert eye roll.*
Just because Cammi’s mother is a successful actress in Mexico, the same can’t be said for the US. When she gets a chance to move to the states for a work opportunity, Cammi and her family are in for a rude awakening. All of a sudden, her leading lady movie star mother only has a mostly non-speaking part in an english television show. Cammi’s dad misses his old life and Cammi has a hard time adjusting to the new people in her school. Most kids assume that since Cammi is hispanic, she must be in their fancy prep school on a scholarship. They also go on to make other assumptions like her mom being a maid and her dad being a gardener. They even offer to pay her for tutoring them and buy her food and clothes because they feel sorry for her. Cammi is annoyed but she doesn’t really have any interest in being friends with these people so she kind of just goes along with it…until she realizes that aside from their occasional racist moments, a few of those girls may not be so bad after all. Of course, now it’s too late to come clean about not being a poor student so Cammi spends most of her time lying to her fried sand trying her best to keep her real identity (and her black Amex card) a secret.
I can totally see why people would be annoyed with Cammi, because *shocker* she’s not perfect. The thing is, I totally understand how she must have felt being in a new country and new school and having these people make assumptions for you. I was okay with it because not only was it a learning and growing experience for Cammi, but for her friends too. I enjoyed this because it made a point that you don’t even small comments and remarks can be hurtful and racism comes in different forms. Despite Cammi’s bad choices and how many times I wanted to shake her for keeping the charade going, I still thoroughly enjoyed this book. I liked Cammi and I ended liking a few of the friends she made along the way (others really were just racist assholes) and I loved Cammi’s parents and her relationship with her brother. If you like stories with flawed characters who make mistakes but also grow from them, The Go-Between is a cute and funny book to add to your list.
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