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What Can(t) Wait

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  454 ratings  ·  110 reviews
Marissa has smarts and plenty of promise, but she's marooned in a broken-down Houston neighborhood--and in a Mexican immigrant family where making ends meet matters much more than making it to college. When her home life becomes unbearable, Marissa seeks comfort elsewhere--and suddenly neither her best friend or boyfriend can get through to her. What Can't Wait tells the s ...more
Hardcover, 234 pages
Published March 1st 2011 by Carolrhoda Books
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2011 Debut Authors (Young Adult and Middle Grade Lit.)
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Mar 18, 2011 Flannery rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Dairy Queen series fans, Simone Elkeles fans, and people who like learning about first gen Americans
When I saw that this book was not only about the Mexican-American experience but that it also included a teenage girl who excelled in math, I couldn’t wait to read it. (the Mexican experience aspect because I find it fascinating and the math thing to stick it to my 5th grade science teacher who told my mom that it was no big deal that I sucked at circuitry because I was a girl and would obviously never need to know anything about it) The only other YA books that I’ve read involving Mexican teena ...more
I once spent a summer internship volunteering at a women's shelter. I think that was probably the most gut-wrenching two months of my life. It wasn't just the black eyes, and hopeless faces and horror stories. It was the fact that these women, over and over, went back to the same lives, going nowhere, being no-one because they couldn't see a way out. Nothing is guaranteed to make you feel quite so helpless as seeing injustice you can't do anything about. And while I admired the permanent employe ...more
Have you ever read a book which you completely understand and relate to, even if it's set into another time, dimension, world? Well, this is that kind of book - the kind where the characters are so real that even if you cannot relate to their situation, you understand and love.

Marisa is in her senior year in high school, and finds herself on a crossroad - her parents don't see the point in higher education and pressure her into working more to help the family, while her friends and teachers try
At First Sight: Marisa's life has always been complicated - living in Houston, helping support her family and most often than not taking care of her niece Anita and getting dragged into her older sister's messes - but, during senior year of high school a bit of hope opens up for her since her AP calculus teacher keeps urging her to apply to a prestigious engineering program at UT-Austin.

Marisa knows is a long shot and that her immigrant parents have never cared much about how well she does at sc
Nov 08, 2010 Ashley rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)
Well, I'm the author, so I might be biased. I can't wait to hear what YOU think.
YA Reader
Dec 01, 2010 YA Reader rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone around 13+
Recommended to YA Reader by: courtesy of Netgalley
What Can't Wait deals with a huge number of very important issues clearly and concisely. It was a pleasure to read and I was enthralled even though there isn't much in the way of a dramatic plot. There are, for certain, moments of high tension; these include an accident with a forklift as well as teenage pregnancy. Although this is uncommon for a YA novel, the book is good because it's different and it focuses on Marisa's daily life which is often tough for her to handle at times.

Marisa's life i
Morgan F
Pleasantly surprising. Not great, but certainly better than I expected.
Maggie Desmond-O'Brien
After a number of disappointing 2011 debuts, I was more than a little worried that my first year participating in the Debut Author Challenge would be a bust. Surely, I thought, they have to have found at least one author this year that we'll remember in ten years. Or even five years. Right? Right, I decided about 50 pages into What Can(t) Wait, and her name is Ashley Hope Perez.

I know I've ranted and raved about how every PoC/diversity book these days seems to be an issue book, and I stand by th
As an inner-city public school teacher, myself, I found that What Can(t) Wait rang true in so many ways. Ashley Hope Perez has written a realistically strong yet conflicted main character, Marisa. An academically talented high school senior, but the daughter of parents who do not seem to value education, Marisa must decide what type of future she wants for herself--an engineering degree from a prestigious college, or a manager's position at the local grocery store where she already works evening ...more
Jodie (Books for Company)
The rating is actually 3.5/5.
Please check my blog for individual ratings.

When l got this book on Netgalley l had the impression it would be a very simple,easy and relaxing book to read with a straight forward storyline, a nice change from paranormal which l enjoy every now and then.
Well l was wrong, even though this book doesn't have the most complex story line and it is quite a easy read this book does tackle many difficult situations and problems which many teenage girls go through day to day.
Mayara Cristina
Oct 29, 2012 Mayara Cristina rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Teenagers and foreign

Genre: Realistic Fiction WHAT CANT WAIT
Ashley Hope Pérez

Marisa had seventeen years old when she came with her family to United States. They comes to Houston from Mexico, her family worked hard and expected that she worked hard too, but she is a teenager girl, she need go to school. She is excellent in calculus; she should study hard, because she will take the AP test, and get into engineering college in Austin. Some days she think that will be possible go to the college, and others days she d
Cheree Smith
Marissa wants to be more than what her family expects her to be. Her family expects her to marry, work hard and stay around her family to help them out. Marissa wants so much more. She tries hard at school and is even taking AP calculus to get into a good university to become more than an assistant manager at the local grocery store. With all her family and work obligations, Marissa finds it hard to keep up with her advanced classes and sometimes she even thinks that she will never be able to ac ...more
Via Love
I have to be honest: when I first read the description for this book, I was kind of hesitant to read it. But, I decided to read it anyway. And this is the first time I've ever been glad that I second guessed myself.

Lately, I've been reading a lot of crap books, but this was not one of them. The characters were so realistic (which you have to both love and hate). Also, the heroine, Marisa, was just so strong and brave. She's one character who I can look up to. No matter how tough things got for
In a way, I was inspired by this book. I can't really expain it other than saying that this book made me think whatever you're going through, there is a way to get out so never give up; everyone has problemas. And that's what this chica had. She had to tackle school along with watching her 5 year old niece and still have a little fun on the way. Her family really didn't care about the education part even though she almost had straight A's and didn't even care for anything else other than watchi ...more
Janet Frost
This book was an incredibly poignant story. The heroine is a young girl struggling to get through her senior year of high school. She is the youngest daughter in a Latino family in Houston. Her dream, to pass her AP Calculus class/exam and progress on to the prestigous Univ of Texas in engineering is sabotages by almost everyone in her life.
I work with young gifted Hispanic students and this book broke my heart. It reminded me that I won't ever truly understand the uphill battle these kids fac
HNGC Library
Marissa is smart and dreams of a future outside of her immigrant Houston family but family responsibilities and pressures repeatedly draw her back in What Can(t) Wait. As a teen she is expected to stay home from school and take care of her niece, work a full time job at the local grocery store to assist in paying bills, cook the majority of the family meals, marry young, have children, and never complain. She is not expected to be successful in school, have hopes of a future and visions of a car ...more
This book really took me back to my days in Houston, where I taught inner-city students who were much like the characters in this book. I think high school girls from any background would enjoy this story. Maybe boys too.
Betsy Korb
Marisa is a brilliant Hispanic American whose family is entrneched in the Mexican culture where the women have very little education, get married young, and have babies. Family loyalty is very important and everyone, even the children are expected to contribute money to the household as soon as they are old enough to work. Marisa wants something different for her life and sees education, AP Calculus, and a supportive teacher as her way out. Her family obligations and parents who see college as a ...more
17-year-old Marisa Morena has quite the interesting life. This genius of a young girl has a lot on her shoulders. Calculus is what she does best. Marisa has a straight shot into the UT-Austin program with the help of her calculus teacher. According to her father, girls and numbers don't mix. On top of sneaking around her immigarant, stubborn father, her mother has no desire in helping her with her academic goals either. Her only support comes from her boyfriend, and teacher. You'd think it would ...more
Marisa, a high school is trying to make plans for the future. She's torn between family obligations and going after what she really wants. Marisa works at a local supermarket giving more then half are pay check to family expenses. She has even more responsibilities when her not so great or smart brother in law is in an accident. Marisa must babysit her niece Anita, leaving her even less time to study. Marisa has always been a straight A student and her parents have never acknowledged this.

I fell
Sarah Maddaford
When I first got to a Spanish phrase I couldn't google and figure out, I was a little ticked off. I'll admit to being a complete gringa despite growing up in Texas with a mother who speaks Spanish and a sister who majored in Spanish. At first, all the Spanish phrases were a bit frustrating, but then I got into the flow of the story and they started to be a part of the flavor of the story rather than a barrier to understanding Marisa. Part of Marisa's situation was being mired in a world where no ...more
What Can't Wait by Ashley Hope Pérez
Carolrhoda Lab, 2011
232 pages
YA; Contemporary
4/5 stars

Source: Received a free galley via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Summary: Marisa is a senior in high school with conflicting pressures on her. Her parents (especially her father) expect her to contribute financially and emotionally to the family, to get married young, and give them grandchildren. However her own inclination and her favorite teacher encourage her dreams of leaving their town to
Beth G.
I watch the life that my parents lead, and I know that I want something different. They have worked hard their entire lives with no savings to show for it. My dad dropped out of school in Mexico before third grade; my mom "graduated" from middle school. My brother and sister got out of high school, but they don't want anything more.

High school Senior Marisa is working hard. All the time. At school, she is trying to keep up with a college-preparatory course load that includes AP Calculus. Even wi
What Can't Wait by Ashley Hope Pérez

I was really eager to start this and totally enjoyed everything I read. Miss Pérez is absolutely an author I’ll be on the lookout for in the future, especially if she keeps writing stories just like this one!

"“Another day finished, gracias a Dios."

Seventeen-year-old Marisa's mother has been saying this for as long as Marisa can remember. Her parents came to Houston from Mexico. They work hard, and they expect Marisa to help her familia. And they expect her t
Raenice Weakly
Author: Ashley Hope Perez
Genre: YA
Release: March, 2011
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 5/5

Description: "Another day finished, gracias a Dios." Seventeen-year-old Marisa's mother has been saying this for as long as Marisa can remember. Her parents came to Houston from Mexico. They work hard, and they expect Marisa to help her familia. And they expect her to marry a boy from the neighborhood, to settle down, and to have grandbabies. If she wants a job, she could always be an assistant manager at the local
Nicola McDonald
Seventeen year old Marissa is trying to escape the norm of certain Mexican traditions, yet she struggles with still keeping a place in her family. She juggles school, a job, household chores, taking care of her niece, and spending time with her boyfriend, Alan. But she has a dream to graduate from high school and go to a good college outside of her hometown. Marissa finds it hard to hold on to her dream with so many responsibility already pulling her in different directions.

With encouragement an
If Marisa can get into her stretch college--the University of Texas, Austin--she would be the first in her Mexican-American family to get to college and not just the local two-year school in Houston everyone expects her to attend. The only ally and confidante she has in this endeavor is her AP Calc teacher, who pushes and pushes but doesn't understand a family dynamic in which Marisa is expected to share half of her Kroger paycheck with her family to make ends meet.

Even these challenges might be
High school senior Marisa is trying to make a better life for herself, but she doesn't have the support of her parents. She's always gotten good grades but her parents don't seem to care. She's taking AP calculus but her family doesn't understand why she'd want to spend time studying rather than picking up extra shifts at the Kroger where she works. This feels like a real portrait of someone with a real life, and I enjoyed it and I wished I knew Marisa. I also really like how her relationship wi ...more
I Eat Words
I really enjoyed this refreshing cultural read by debut author, Ashley Hope Perez. I love reading contemporary YA books, and this one did not disappoint. I loved the "Spanglish" terminology used throughout the novel, and the Mexicana vibe that gripped the pages.

Mari was a really relatable character, and the mistakes she makes throughout her senior year just prove she's human. She tends to keep things locked inside while having to deal with the stress of her niece, her AP calculus grade, her job
Seventeen year old Marisa doesn’t know what she wants from life. What she does know is that her parents expect her to help support the family, and if working as an assistant manager at Kroger would make more money for her family then that is what they want her to do. Marisa enjoys school and her calculus teacher tells her that she could get into the Engineering program in Austin. For Marisa that would be a dream come true, but how can she accomplish so much when her home life is a mess?

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When I’m not reading, writing, or teaching, I am hanging out with our little boy, Liam Miguel. He keeps me very, very busy. In the scraps of time that remain, I also like to run (I did the Houston Marathon in 2007 and the Chicago Marathon in 2009), bake (but let’s don’t revive the “Cookie Girl” nickname, please), watch movies, work in my garden, and destroy my mom in long-distance games of Scrabbl ...more
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