Stephanie 's Reviews > Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood

Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
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's review
Oct 10, 10

bookshelves: 2010, young-adult
Read in October, 2010

** spoiler alert ** As a high school Spanish teacher, I am always looking for good Hispanic YA fiction picks for my students. Sammy and Juliana is one I would recommend because even though the story takes place during the late 1960s, teenagers today can really relate to the themes. The writing is good, the use of Spanish is great for teens in a Spanish class b/c they will be able to understand much of it, and it opens the door to a world that perhaps many will never see or comprehend: the barrio.

That being said, this is one of the most depressing books I have read lately. Everyone DIES. I thought the premise of the story was going to be about the teen love between Sammy and Juliana, only to discover that she is violently murdered by her father just a few chapters into the book. One by one, almost all of them sad. And this is Sammy's world. And this is the world of too many teens in this country.

At first, I was annoyed with the title because I found it misleading, but as I thought about it more I realized that Juliana was always with Sammy affecting his life and his decisions in one way or another. I guess we never truly lose those we love even though we have to say goodbye.

On to something a little lighter.

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Reading Progress

10/10/2010 page 180

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