Meagan's Reviews > Accidental Love

Accidental Love by Gary Soto
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's review
Jan 24, 08

bookshelves: teen_materials_class
Read in January, 2008

Marisa is a tough girl from a tough school, and isn't afraid to defend herself or her friends, even if that means getting into fistfights with boys. During one such fight, with her best friend's cheating boyfriend, Marisa ends up accidentally switching cell phones with a boy who witnessed the fight. The boy, Rene, is unlike Marisa in almost every way. He is small and weak, he ignores insults rather than fighting over them, and he's unusually smart. Despite these differences, when Rene and Marisa meet to exchange cell phones, Marisa finds herself defending him against some bullies. Before long Marisa's life is turned upside down. She cares for a nerd more than she's ever cared for a boy, she's transferred out of her dangerous high school into Rene's good school, and she's feeling better about herself than ever. While the book tells us a sweet and innocent love story, and it's peppered with Spanish phrases that might appeal to bilingual readers, the relationship between Marisa and Rene seems kind of sudden and at times it's hard to believe in. Rene's mother is also a kind of flat character, and I would have been interested to know more about her and her history. Nevertheless, for readers interested in a short, sweet love story, this book fits the bill. It's not life-changing, but it does have some important things to say about not changing who you are for anyone but yourself, and for trying to see what's inside of people rather than the image they present to the world.

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