Published May 16th 2017 by Viking Books for Young Readers
Amazon | Indiebound | Book Depository | Goodreads
For Arturo, summetime in Miami means playing basketball until dark, sipping mango smoothies, and keeping cool under banyan trees. And maybe a few shifts as junior lunchtime dishwasher at Abuela's restaurant. Maybe. But this summer also includes Carmen, a cute girl who moves into Arturo's apartment complex and turns his stomach into a deep fryer. He almost doesn't notice the smarmy land developer who rolls into town and threatens to change it. Arturo refuses to let his family and community go down without a fight, and as he schemes with Carmen, Arturo discovers the power of poetry and protest through untold family stories and the work of José Martí.
Thirteen-year-old Arturo Zamora is ready to take on summer vacation by storm. But a land developer brings new challenges to him and his family, as he tries to pursue a new high rise building, where Arturo's family restaurant stands. It's now up to Arturo, and his eclectic group of friends, to try and fight back, and save La Cocina.
What I love about Pablo Cartaya's novel, is that he writes with an absolute zest for his story. Cataya has mentioned before that he has breathed life into these characters inside and out for years, and his obvious affection for his crew is evident in every page. He paints a wonderful picture of what it's like to grow up in both ordinary and extraordinary circumstances, and what it means to be an awkward, likable teen, who is going through those circumstances, step-by-step.
Outside of the broad scope of the story, Cartaya's writing is a treat in it of itself. I don't often remark on the stylistic elements of a writer's work, but there's a certain melodic quality to his work, which helps invoke both Arturo's background, but also a genuine richness to the book.
All in all, Cartaya is one to watch. Highly recommend, full stop.
Check out the rest of the tour!
May 15 – Ms. Yingling Reads – Review
May 16 – Here’s to Happy Endings – Guest Post
May 17 – Folded Pages Distillery – Review
May 18 – All Done Monkey – Review
May 19 – Margie’s Must Reads – Guest Post
May 22 – Four Violet – Review
May 23 – YA Book Central – Excerpt
May 24 – Little Earthling Blog – Review
May 25 – The Reading Nook Reviews – Review
May 26 – The Boy Reader
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on May 15, 2017 and 12:00 AM on May 29, 2017. Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about June 2, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.
About the author:
Pablo Cartaya has always been a hopeless romantic. In middle school he secretly loved reading Shakespeare’s sonnets (don’t tell anyone), and he once spent his allowance on roses for a girl he liked. He also wrote her eight poems. Bad ones. He’s been writing ever since. Pablo has worked in Cuban restaurants and the entertainment industry, and he graduated with an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. All of these experiences have helped him write stories that reflect his family, culture, and love of words. Pablo lives in Miami with his wife and two kids, surrounded by tías, tíos, cousins, and people who he calls cousins (but aren’t really his cousins). Learn more about Pablo at pablocartaya.com.