A Fresh Take on Stereotypes & Racism: The Go-Between by Veronica Chambers

Posted July 28, 2017 by Nereyda/ 9 Comments

A Fresh Take on Stereotypes & Racism: The Go-Between by Veronica ChambersThe Go-Between
by Veronica Chambers
Release Date: May 9th 2017
Published by Delacorte Press
Genres: YA, Contemporary
Format: Audiobook
Length: 5 hrs and 34 mins
Pages: 208
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three-half-stars
Source: Audiobook Received for Review

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.


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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. ย 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.

Audiobook Sample:

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Nereyda

Nereyda

Nereyda is a 31 year-old mother of two girls with addiction to Friends, fashion, books, Pinterest, Netflix, the color black and a little bit of everything else. Also, the world's worst texter...

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  • Interesting… I usually skip books like this. From experience, this type is usually tone-deaf and obnoxious. It’s great that it tackles social issues and demonstrates that nobody is immune to stuf like racism.

    • I liked that it showed that even minorities can be prone to have racist moments…

  • I normally have to take a moment to consider books with famous people. They can go either way and have me rolling my eyes but it is good it’s a parent who is famous instead. I like that this book seems to highlight some racist views folks have. I admit, I can’t think of many books with hispanic MCs where there isn’t some kind of gang connection, how bad is that? So glad this is a different take. I know I would be frustrated by some of the choices in this book but it does highlight than teens are prone for making dumb decisions and that lies just keep getting bigger the longer you maintain it.

    • Arghhh, that pisses me off so much. All this cry for diverse characters yet the few times an MC character actually comes out in a book they are either poor or in a gang/or sell drugs. Such bullshit…

  • sarabara081 @ Forever 17 Books

    How have I not heard of this one? I think it may be something I would enjoy and I do like flawed characters. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • This book actually has pretty bad ratings on GR, I guess everyone hated the MC for not being perfect but I liked it *shrugs*

  • This isn’t the sort of story that I would normally reach for, but I love the sound of Cammi! Flawed heroines usually end up being my favourites. And you’re totally right about the stereotypical presentation of hispanic characters — what a relief to read something different!

    • Not the book I would normally read either but the fact that the hispanic character wasn’t poor or had drug dealer connections intrigued me ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Glad you enjoyed it! Sadly I didn’t. I mean I really like how the message of the book is to show that prejudice and small comments are harmful, even though they mean nice, but I really hate what Cami did even after knowing that one of her friend actually live in her “fake” condition. Also near the ending, the whole “I’m PoC so I can’t be racist” speech really bothers me. Not to mention Cami never actually apologize for lying without shifting the blame to her friends. Again, glad you enjoyed it but this one just wasn’t for me ๐Ÿ™‚