Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Ana of California

Ana of California
by Andi Teran

Genre: Young Adult Fiction

Synopsis:  In the grand tradition of Anne of Green GablesBridget Jones’s Diary, and The Three Weissmanns of Westport, Andi Teran’s captivating debut novel offers a contemporary twist on a beloved classic. Fifteen-year-old orphan Ana Cortez has just blown her last chance with a foster family. It’s a group home next—unless she agrees to leave East Los Angeles for a farm trainee program in Northern California.

When she first arrives, Ana can’t tell a tomato plant from a blackberry bush, and Emmett Garber is skeptical that this slight city girl can be any help on his farm. His sister Abbie, however, thinks Ana might be just what they need. Ana comes to love Garber Farm, and even Emmett has to admit that her hard work is an asset. But when she inadvertently stirs up trouble in town, Ana is afraid she might have ruined her last chance at finding a place to belong.

Becky's Review: I was excited to read this story because I really enjoy the story of Anne of Green Gables, even though I didn't really get into the story until I was an adult.  I thought that a modern day twist would be fun but I felt that many aspects of the original story just didn't fit in this modern day take.  You could figure out which characters in this book were supposed to represent characters of the original story.  I think the author just tried to hard to make the connections with both the characters and some events.  I think if the author wasn't so concerned about sticking to the original story, she could have developed the storyline more and taken it in a different direction.  I felt like there were aspects of this story that I'm still confused about.  Ana had lived a very tough life before she went into foster care and her life didn't get much better after she was brought into the system.  Ana refers to something that she didn't want to talk about and I'm not sure we actually find out what that is and if we did find out, it didn't seem like a big secret.  I definitely had higher hopes for this book.

Marcie's Review: I agree with Becky that the author definitely stretched to maintain the link to the original Anne of Green Gables book, and that, at times, that detracted from the storyline and the character development.  Knowing the original Anne as well as I do, I found myself anticipating certain plot twists, and (spoiler alert) was even a little disappointed when Emmett didn't die at the end.  I liked reading the book, though, and I thought Ana was a fascinating twist on a beloved character, modernized in a quite interesting way.  There were way too many heavy metal references for my taste.

Rating: 3 stars

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