Trouble looms when two girls at a New York prep school form a friendship across lines of race and class.
Maria Anís Rosario is a scholarship student and one of only two girls who travel from Queens to attend Bell Seminary on the Upper East Side. Her mother cleans houses, her father has just lost his job, and with the family struggling to make ends meet, there’s little enthusiasm for her big college dreams. Among the other disappointments crowding into her life, her first experience of sex with her boyfriend, Andres, concludes with his telling her she moves “like a corpse.” Then along comes a girl named Rocky, virtually sparkling with privilege and attitude. Though Rachelle “Rocky” Albrecht is one of the wealthy majority at Bell Seminary, she’s not like the other girls in their ballet flats and Tiffany heart necklaces. She comes to class wearing dark sunglasses with a pack of cigarettes in her pocket and a Planned Parenthood sticker on her laptop; she “use[s] her wealth to circumvent rules.” When Rocky casually announces she has a “friend crush” on Maria and invites her back to the palatial apartment overlooking Central Park where she has been virtually abandoned by her warring parents, Maria is in for many shocks, among them Rocky’s generosity, her casual cruelty, and her ignorant racism. Both girls find reasons to resent each other but keep these hidden as they maneuver to fill their own needs. When Rocky’s family takes Maria with them on a trip to Vegas, the stakes get higher. What happens in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas this time.
Bristling with adolescent insecurities, sexual tension, and status consciousness, Jimenez’s debut is a natural for both adult and teen readers.