| || Backstage Pass (2005)|
From School Library Journal
Grade 9-11–Desert McGraw, daughter of aging rocker Flesh, has moved from L.A. to begin 11th grade in a new school in Miami. She desperately tries to avoid her father's fans, who have always used her, and to find real friends, but is uncertain about whom to trust. When she meets Becca, who claims she has "no life," she tries to hide the truth. Eventually, though, Desert tells her despite the risks. Becca worships Flesh, but the girls get past it and begin a fragile friendship. Desert also becomes involved with Liam, a genuinely nice guy. Becca and Liam help her through the difficult affair between her father and her mother's personal assistant. As the school year progresses, Desert's character grows and develops; she begins to write her own songs and discovers her own gifts and comes to rely on herself to solve her problems. When Becca is in trouble and possibly on the brink of suicide, Desert finally comes to terms with her self-centeredness and starts to act like a true friend. Complete with entertaining inner dialogue and honest emotion, Desert's voice is believable and consistent. Snippets of her poetry shed added light on her feelings and perceptions. With its unique look at culture shock, this is a fast-paced and enjoyable read.–Karen Hoth, Marathon Middle/High School, FL
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
| || Cubanita (2006)|
*Starred Review* Gr. 9-12. One great advantage in writing about one's own culture is the freedom to be irreverent. Triana, born in Miami to Cuban immigrants, takes advantage of the opportunity in a fast, hilarious, first-person narrative that focuses on Cuban American Isabel Diaz's coming-of-age. As with all good writing, the particulars of the story, the search for roots, and the conflicts in leaving home will speak to teens everywhere--not just those in immigrant families. At 17, Isabel struggles with hovering, overanxious Mami, who knows how to push the guilt buttons and won't learn proper English ("You'd think in twenty-six years, she could learn how to speak correctly"). Mami is sure that sexy, funny Andrew is nothing but trouble, but Isabel denies all the signs. The love interest and the truth about family help build a strong story, but the sentimental twists that allow Isabel to find and then leave home are not nearly as satisfying and fun as the insider's view of the community. Triana doesn't include a glossary; the Spanish is clear from the context, and as Isabel points out, the best idioms are not translatable anyway. Pair this with Nancy Osa's Cuba 15 (2003). Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
| || The Temptress Four (2008)|
Four best friends, one graduation cruise, a week of partying.
Eight days of strife and storms . . .
It's supposed to be the best eight days of their lives.
Bonds will be broken...
But when a fortune-teller predicts trouble the night before their trip,
One of you will not come home...
Fiona, Killian, Alma, and Yoli are left on edge, wondering what it could all mean.
Gaby Triana gets right to the heart of that thrilling, nerve-wracking, exhilarating, terrifying, amazing time that comes right after graduation, when the big question is: Where do we go from here?
| || Riding the Universe (2009)|
Chloé Rodriguez values three things above all else—her family; her best friend, Rock; and Lolita, her Harley-Davidson 1200 Sportster. With a black body, blue airbrushed flames, and perfect sloping ape hangers, Lolita is Chloé's last connection to her beloved uncle, Seth, who left her the bike when he died last summer. So when a failing chemistry grade threatens to separate Chloé from her motorcycle, she vows not to let that happen . . . no matter what.
Enter Gordon. Ridiculously organized, übersmart, and hot in a casual, doesn't-know-it kind of way, Chloé's peer tutor may have a thing or two to teach her besides chemistry. But she has to stop falling for Gordon . . . and get Rock to act mature whenever he's around . . . and pass chemistry so she doesn't lose Lolita forever. Just when Chloé thinks she's got it all figured out, a bump in the road comes out of nowhere and sends her skidding.
| || |