America is PERFECT! I love it here. I wish you could come visit -- we could go shopping on Market Street and you could meet all my new friends. . . .
Okay, so Vicenza isn't being totally honest with Peaches, her best friend back in Manila. But what fun is it being the new girl at snooty Grosvernor High? Or rooting through the Salvation Army for unholey cashmere sweaters? Or having culture-shocked, embarrassingly clueless parents? Maybe being Claude Caligari's ignored geometry partner is sort of fun, but Vicenza would rather be his girlfriend . . . or at least his date to the annual fancy-schmancy Soirée d'Hiver.
But Vicenza won't be friendless, fashionless, or "fresh off the boat" for long -- it's only a matter of time before she sees what's right before her eyes and her luck begins to change.
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Melissa de la Cruz grew up in Manila and San Francisco. She is the author of the novels Cat's Meow (Scribner, 2001) and The Au Pairs (Simon & Schuster, 2004). She coauthored the nonfiction books How to Become Famous in Two Weeks or Less (Ballantine, 2003) and The Fashionista Files: Adventures in Four-Inch Heels and Faux Pas (Ballantine, 2004). Her work has been translated into many languages. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband.From School Library Journal:
Grade 7-10–Vicenza Arambullo, 14, is a recent immigrant to San Francisco. In Manila, her family was wealthy, but now they struggle to make ends meet. On scholarship, the teen attends a private girls' school where she is an outcast. She has a crush on a BMOC at a boys' school, and she's beginning to like a nice guy with whom she feels comfortable. She also has to fend off her parents' efforts to fix her up with a brainy Filipino. As the story progresses, readers will be curious about what will happen to Vicenza as she navigates her way around mean girls and romance. Much of the plot is predictable, but the story shines because of its character development and the depiction of the cultural divide. Vicenza is savvy in many ways, but naive in others. Her friend Isobel, a Parisian student, is her touchstone, and the girls are depicted in counterpoint to one another. This well-written, heartfelt novel is a worthy addition to most YA collections, but especially where there are strong immigrant populations.–Amy Patrick, New York Public Library
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