From the day she was born, 10-year-old Texan Luna Ramos has never been without a hat—or without cousins.
The hats cover a white swath of hair, poliosis, which her family believes was caused by a lunar eclipse. But after Luna locks her prima—and nemesis—Claudia in the restroom during another cousin’s quinceañera celebration, Luna’s mom prohibits the use of any hats for a month. This compassionless maternal edict doesn’t result in the dread readers might expect from self-conscious Luna; instead she appears more inconvenienced than traumatized. “I hate being singled out. Do I have to deal with this for a whole month?” The roots of bossy Luna and tattletale Claudia’s mutual hostility are, disappointingly, never satisfactorily divulged. Complicating their toxic relationship is the fact that Claudia has just been transferred to Luna’s school and the plethora of primas weaving in and out of the narrative. They continuously contribute misinformation via what Luna calls the “Chisme Channel.” Gossip is the coin of the land, and the feud doesn’t lack for cash. Readers may have a hard time warming up to Luna. Her first-person, not-particularly-reliable narrative may have readers wishing they could spend some time out of her head—perhaps in Claudia’s and in Luna’s levelheaded Filipina-American best friend Mabel’s, as well. The Mexican Spanish phrases and slang sprinkled throughout do add some pop.
Not up to par with López’s (Nothing up My Sleeve, 2016, etc.) previous titles. (Fiction. 8-12)