SISTER CHICAS by Lisa Alvarado


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Three teenaged girls living in Chicago navigate the rocky terrain of love, hair color and family.

Surviving the teen years is rough for anyone, especially if you're an only child dealing with a parent's death or abandonment or issues of familial responsibility. Leni, Grachi and Taina have found a way to cope: They have formed the Sister Chicas, and together they take on the world. Well, if not the world, at least their mothers. Taina currently has two problems: Her mother is forcing her to have a quinceañera, and she is secretly dating Yusef, the son of Jamaican immigrants. She is terrified to tell her domineering mother about Yusef because her father, who abandoned her, was black. Grachi, a freshman in college, has been offered an exclusive spot at a summer writers' retreat, but she is afraid to share the news with her parents for fear they will be angry with her—they depend on her to always do the right thing for la familia. And Leni, a budding photographer whose absentee mother has not even noticed her daughter's rapidly changing clothes and hairstyles, has been trying to stifle her growing sexual interest in a childhood buddy. Every week, the girls meet at a restaurant to hash out their problems. Their alliance deepens, and the trio begins to venture out of the cafe—and out of their shells as each gains confidence. Funny how liberating companionship can be!

Peppered with Spanish phrases, this is a sweet (albeit tame) debut about friendship and loyalty.

Pub Date: April 4th, 2006
ISBN: 0-451-21770-5
Page count: 228pp
Publisher: NAL/Berkley
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2006