by Anne Osterlund
High school seniors Salvador Resendez and Beth Courant both struggle with family pressures and dream of leaving their tiny impoverished town where the only opportunity is working in the local onion factory. Salva’s father demands perfection from his son, to that prove leaving Mexico and creating a new life in America was worth it. Popular, funny Salva is determined not to let his family down the way that his college-dropout older brother has. Shy and clumsy bookworm Beth copes with her mother’s recovering alcoholism and wants to leave her trailer park home behind to attend a good college on a full scholarship.
Forced to work together for a school project, Beth and Salva soon experience a tender connection that has them flirting over Shakespeare in this modern Romeo and Juliet story. A melodramatic ending leaves their parents realizing that star-crossed lovers Beth and Salva have been a good influence on each other after all, as Beth encourages Salva to defy his father and attend Yale’s pre-law program. Readers looking for a gentle story of first romance will enjoy this sweet offering.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.
This review originally appeared in School Library Journal.