What Can't Wait

Ashley Hope P%C3%A9rez. Carolrhoda Lab, $17.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-7613-6155-8
Marisa's parents, immigrants from Mexico, don't understand her commitment to academic success, instead seeing only the ways she is letting down the family by not working tirelessly at her job or helping care for her five-year-old niece. But this is Marisa's senior year, and she is determined to excel so that she can apply to colleges and explore becoming an engineer, something her parents would vehemently oppose. Supporting her academic aspirations are her calculus teacher, her new boyfriend, Alan, and her best friend, Brenda, but Marisa is torn between her family's expectations and the life she hopes to lead. Peréz's debut is a realistic portrayal of challenges faced by immigrant families and conflicting cultural norms, as well as a sensitive exploration of teen pregnancy (Marisa's older sister and Alan's younger sister become pregnant in high school). Strong-willed but emotionally vulnerable, Marisa is aware that pursuing a life that's fulfilling on her own terms comes with a price, and her bittersweet decision leads to an honest and satisfying ending. Ages 12–up. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 04/18/2011
Release date: 03/01/2011
Paperback - 234 pages - 978-0-7613-8499-1
Ebook - 240 pages - 978-1-4677-3172-0
Ebook - 240 pages - 978-1-4677-6827-6
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