When I bought this book I knew nothing about it except that Lin-Manuel Miranda was making it into a film. I know, a silly reason to buy a book but then I was also very intrigued with the title! I started reading and within a short time, I was grabbing my pencil to underline sentences that shimmered for me. The book is absolutely beautifully written. I mean like the Pulitzer prize is beautifully written.
Then I discovered that it was a coming-of-age story. The teen years are so hard, even in the best of circumstances, figuring out who you are both outside and inside the family unit, learning all the things that matter in life even when you are too young to understand the long-term consequences. It is just full of angst. This is a story of unconditional love, real friendship, and hope.
I was shocked that this is a Young Adult novel. I say this because that means that frequently adults will not read it. I beg you to forget about the labeling and read this book, it may be the best book I have read this year. Saenz has distinguished himself as one of the best Hispanic/Latino authors of our time.