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The Fortune of Carmen Navarro

2.86 of 5 stars 2.86  ·  rating details  ·  149 ratings  ·  38 reviews
Carmen Navarro rings up customers at the Quikmart, bored to tears. It’s a job, and she needs it. But Carmen’s true love is music: she dropped out of high school to sing with the Gypsy Lovers and land a recording contract, someday.

Just a few miles away, Ryan Sweeney hunches over his books, a studious cadet with his eye on West Point. There’s not a single girl at the Valley
...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published November 8th 2011 by Ember (first published January 1st 2010)
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Suzanne
I did finish this one but mostly because it's short and I kept telling myself just to give it another few chapters. Also maybe because I am not all that familiar with the opera CARMEN, besides knowing it ends tragically. I wanted to see whether Bryant would conform or diverge from that in her plot. Very pedestrian. Kind of wooden. Without really, I mean REALLY, good characterization, it's hard to pull off narrative from multiple perspectives, and this novel attempts four: the two lovers and each ...more
Kara
Epic wins:
- The whole book is based off of a play called Carmen. It was really cool to see the passion the author had for the play, and to see that passion transferred to the book.
- All the many point of views.
- Maggie: Her feet are planted on the ground and she has a sane head. She was like a clean, cotton shirt that has just come out of the dryer. It still smells like laundry detergent and has a few wrinkles. I loved reaching into her thoughts! Her ending was the happiest in my opinion.
- Carme
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Ashley (Books Obsession)
Carmen works as a cashier at the Quikmart with her best friend Maggie, who's earning cash to pay her way to college. Nothing is more important to Carmen than her music and band, The Gypsy Lovers, who may be getting a recording label soon. At the Valley Forge Military Academy across town are best friends Ryan, the serious and studious one, and Will, the jokester. One day when the two guys are buying sub sandwiches at the Quikmart, Ryan spots Carmen - and is instantly in love. The next few days, s ...more
Courtney Walker
This was the worst book I think I have ever read. First off it was all repitition, Carmen wants to stay "free," Ryan wants Carmen, Maggie talking about her future, blah blah blah. The only character I found at all decent was Will and he was typical. Oh and don't gey me started on the diction, most of the characters were raised in a hispanic culture I get that but they were also raised speaking ENGLISH so u would think that they could form complete sentences and not in such choppy frazes. Not to ...more
Brian Cortes
Bryant, Jen. The Fortune of Carmen Navarro. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2010.

Characters: Carmen Navarro, Maggie Ruiz, Ryan Sweeney, Will, Marco, Lenny, Jorge, Nick.
Setting: Valley Forge, PA
Theme: teenage romance, love triangle, friendship, achieving dreams, military life
Golden Quote: “The world is a ladder on which some go up and others go down”
Plot/Summary: Sixteen year-old Carmen is a high school dropout and works at the local quickmart, but aspires to be a famous singer along with her band the
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Robin Ibanez
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Claire
Kind of a letdown -- it needed more fleshing out to have the impact it wanted to have. What does it say about me that I keep wanting more bloodshed at the end of novelizations of famous tragedies?
Maria
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tawni (The Book Worms)
The Fortune of Carmen Navarro was a good read, but I definitely felt like there was something missing. I read this book in two days, because I was just waiting to find out that Carmen was a gypsy with a supernatural power of seduction or something like that! But, in the end that was not the case and it just fell flat for me. Don’t get me wrong though the storyline is actually very good and different, being that it is based on an opera. So, if you are looking for a supernatural twist, this is not ...more
Erica
Book talk: It all starts with a trip to the Quikmart for sandwiches. Will sees the beautiful girl with the snake tattoo behind the counter and starts to flirt with her in his easy way. But it's Ryan who she gives a rose to as they leave. From that moment on Ryan can hardly think of anything else. Will is usually the one to bend the rules, but soon straight-laced Cadet Captain Ryan is the one sneaking into clubs to see Carmen play and showing up for inspection with bags under his eyes. Carmen lik ...more
Yan
The Fortune of Carmen Navarro is influenced by the musical, Carmen. Jen Byrant had a few things in mind even before writing the book of how she wanted it to turn out, slightly spoilish: “(1) Carmen would remain a fiercely independent young woman; (2) that a soldier (or a cadet at a military school) would fall in love with her; (3) that his desire for her would consume him and bring about his downfall; and (4) that their relationship would end in violence” (Byrant 228).

However despite the onslau
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Kaylan
I just finished this book... it thought it was really good!
Some things I liked about it:
~I loved how it switched from person to person, it gave you an idea of what the different people were thinking throughtout the whole book.
~The ending was...different. Im not going to give anything away because I know some of the people reading this are wondering if they should read this book or not. so, the ending; it was deffenitly unexpected!
~I was kind of onboard with the whole spanish part of it. sometime
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Veronica
I wish I could give this book a higher rating, but due to personal feelings about the book I can't. Firstly, the chapters were told in alternating views between 4 different characters and often they would jump to the past and I would become confused. There seemed to be a lot of details that didn't really pertain to the subject of the story, kind of reminded me of "white noise". Secondly, the over usage of "OK" throughout the entire book. It got to the point that I saw the word everywhere. I thin ...more
Stephany
Although I'm not familiar with the opera Carmen, it intrigued me greatly the fact that this book was based on an opera. The cover is also absolutely gorgeous (my rant on the cover here). The storyline also sounded like it'd be cute--boy meets girl type of deal.

Well, it's definitely boy meets girl. And it is cute for a while. But as the story continued, the cute became more and more twisted. When Ryan first sees Carmen, his face turns red--first sign of adorableness. Then she impulsively hands hi
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Evanleia
This was a quick and refreshing read. We get to see the story unfold from the perspective of four main characters. It starts a little weird with the opening scene being told by everyone's perspective. We get to see things play out through each person's eye, each bringing something new to the table. It played off of how each person can interpret the same thing differently. However, it was a little weird, and somewhat boring to read the same scene four times in a row.

But that's where the redundanc
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Kirsten
Carmen is my favorite opera, and I have long thought it would be great set in a modern retelling. Bryant does a pretty good job with the transplant, and really gets to the heart of her characters. However, the shifting narratives were a little clumsy - do I really need to see the same minute-long scene through multiple perspectives? That didn't add anything in most parts of the book. Also - the ending was a huge huge let-down. To me, it's really important that at the end of the story they are bo ...more
Tia
Carmen is a decent opera. I love the twist that it was made into a modern novel, retelling the story. From the opera to the book, it was pretty decent in switching the times in which the opera/book actually occur. At times I found it a bit much. Especially the scenes seen through so many views. It left me a bit bored and ready to pull my hair out by the end of the book. I feel as if the author was stumbling with this book and the editor did as best as she could to "correct" this issue but it jus ...more
Ekene
I love the story of Carmen and think this book, along with When the Stars Go Blue, did a great job telling the story in a more modern way
lola Franco
i really wanted to like this book. i read an ARC, so maybe that's why the editing was sloppy. ryan was quiet, not quite. and it irritated me that no one double checked the spanish. although she thanks someone at the end for the spanish help, that woman clearly did not read it. there were spelling and grammatical errors.

it also bothered me that these girls who are bilingual, but grew up in the US speak english like they do. no one i know who grew up speaking two languages, and learned english in
...more
Feliza Casano
I wanted to like this book so badly, but I didn't like Carmen. At all. I thought she was callous, fairly shallow, and quite frankly rude to lead the boys on when she had no intention of pursuing a relationship.

However, I DID like Maggie and Ryan. Maggie was my favorite - I wish she was more of a main character. And Ryan... I felt bad for Ryan on so many levels.

At any rate, it wasn't a bad story - it was told very well, and it was interesting. I felt like I didn't understand most of the reference
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Ruhana36
Not bad but I would have liked it more if the ending was different.
Tweller83
"In this modern-day resetting of the story on which the opera, Carmen, was based, four teens tell of half-gypsy Carmen, who believes she will become a famous singer, military cadet Ryan's passion for her, and their best friends' efforts to protect them both."

While there isn't anything that would keep it out of the middle school library, I'm not sure it would appeal to middle school students. I thought it was a decent story about obsessive love.
Theo Habarth
Stupid storyline copied right from the opera that I saw. I go to Valley Forge Military and the way it is described in the book is nothing like it is in real life. I was laughing half the time because of the inaccuracies. Story line was unrealistic. I could not figure out who was who until halfway through the book. I recommend it by all means if you want to waste your time. BADREAD.
Jamie
Another story with multiple narrators, and this one bogs down the pace of the narrative. Not much happens, really, and it happens 4 times or so.

Bryant has written novels in verse, and this has the lyrical writing of a novel in verse, but also the shallow exploration.

I also really didn't know why the ending was changed. That seemed wrong somehow.
Celeste
I couldn't finish it. The characters were so poorly developed and got on my nerves the entire book. I don't recommend it unless you feel like pulling out your own hair one day.
Cosette
Awesome young adult novel - Like reading Carmen Jones - except set in west Chester! Fun references to stuff around here in a playful manner.
Tatiana
WOW this amazing and full of suspense. It was hard to tell where the story would go after half way through the book. It was sad at times and scary.
Nada Abu-Hijleh
Reasonable ending, I hated how much Ryan was in love with Carmen like get over it !! I really wanted to see Will end up with someone tho :)
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500077
Jen Bryant writes picture books, novels and poems for readers of all ages. Her biographical picture book: A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams, illustrated by Melissa Sweet,received a Caldecott Honor award and her historical novel in verse RINGSIDE 1925: Views from the Scopes Trial is an Oprah Recommended Book for ages 12 & up. Other titles include Pieces of Georgia (IRA Youn ...more
More about Jennifer Fisher Bryant...
The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams Pieces of Georgia Kaleidoscope Eyes

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“Why should I have to pay so much money to talk to someone I see everyday?' She explained. 'It's annoying...like a little boy always following you around and you can never send him home!' I told her that most of the girls I knew spent hours a day on their phones, that they couldn't live without them. 'Well good for them.' Carmen shrugged. I can think of a million better ways to use my time.” 1 likes
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