The only daughter in a big family of Mexican immigrants, Sonia has to take care of everyone but herself, and she’s finding it hard to achieve her goal of graduating from high school.
I love a good Cinderella story, and The Secret Story of Sonia Rodriguez hits all the right notes, with funny and appealing Mexican flair. Because her pregnant ama is on bed rest with twins, Sonia has to take care of her three brothers, her 3-job father, and her “drunkle,” who seems to think he’s about to enjoy certain privileges. Not only does she do all the cooking and cleaning, but she has to endure the taunts of her obese Tia Luna, and take off of school to do things like hand make a zillion tamales for her drunkle’s birthday. Sonia is determined to graduate, but her familia is standing in her way.
I really liked the voice that Alan Lawrence Sitomer developed for Sonia. She was witty and fresh and very appealing. He was not quite as successful with his plotting. The love story felt a bit tacked on, and there were some characters that got short shrift. I wish he had spent more time with Sonia with her abuelita and cousins in Mexico, but my quibbles won’t stop me from recommending this book to my friends who like YA.