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FRESH OFF THE BOAT by Melissa de la Cruz

FRESH OFF THE BOAT

By Melissa de la Cruz

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: April 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-06-054540-2
Publisher: HarperCollins

A lonely girl “fresh off the boat” tries to fit in with the cool crowd until she learns the importance of being herself in this witty, trendy, coming-of-age story. When 14-year-old Vicenza’s family emigrates from Manila to San Francisco, they exchange a life of luxury and privilege for one of lottery tickets and hard luck. Although Vicenza attends the exclusive all-girl’s Grosvernor High, she is a scholarship student who spends Friday nights studying and Saturdays working in a Sears cafeteria. Embarrassed by her Salvation Army wardrobe and her culture-shocked parents, Vicenza is obsessed with her wealthy, shallow classmates and their materialistic, name-brand lifestyle. She fantasizes about going to the classy annual Soiree with “hottie” Claude, but when she finally gets a taste of the teen fast track, she discovers popularity comes at a price she’s unwilling to pay. Vicenza’s first-person narrative progresses from breezy banter to engaging enlightenment as she takes an honest look at her family, her friends and herself. Timely. (Fiction. 12+)