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Cuba 15

3.45  ·  Rating details ·  1,118 ratings  ·  150 reviews
Violet Paz has just turned 15, a pivotal birthday in the eyes of her Cuban grandmother. Fifteen is the age when a girl enters womanhood, traditionally celebrating the occasion with a quinceañero. But while Violet is half Cuban, she’s also half Polish, and more importantly, she feels 100% American. Except for her zany family’s passion for playing dominoes, smoking cigars, a ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published March 8th 2005 by Ember (first published January 1st 2003)
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Jayson Troy It is metaphor about the American-Cuban cultural conflict she is sandwiched in. Don't take the statement directly.

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Average rating 3.45  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,118 ratings  ·  150 reviews

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Casey Strauss
Jul 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: latina-o
Violet Paz, the 15 year old narrator of Cuba 15, is finding herself in the middle of preparing for her quinceranero, a traditional party thrown for fifteen year old girls in Latin American countries. The problem? Violet has no interest in celebrating. Wearing a pink dress and a tiara in front of all of her friends and family is the last activity she would ever want to participate in. She is more interested in her speech team, her friends, and American culture. Violet’s father is from Cuba, while ...more
Oct 15, 2009 rated it liked it
This was a cute book about a thouroughly Americanized half Cuban/half Polish girl whose family wants her to embrace some of her Cuban roots. I thought it showed pretty accurately how many mixed race kids are often taught to ignore their white side as not having a culture. It also showed the difficulty of refugees assimilating to America and was a good portrait of friendship, although the praise of Che Geuverra, who murdered millions of people was nauseating. No one teaches that side of the story ...more
Jan 13, 2008 rated it it was ok
Boring. The characters were poorly developed and the story was incredibly predictable with no pay off. My 13 year old summed it up by saying: "predictable story about a girl who has to get to know her culture, participate in some traditional activity, resists it but does it in the end and is glad she did." A book with potential that disappointed, especially since it was recommended by our local children's librarian.
Brenda Ruiz
Mar 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Cuba 15 by Nancy Osa is a novel about a girl named Violet Paz who has just turned fifteen. Her Cuban family is planning a fifteen party for her. Violet isn’t so much for the party because she doesn’t know much about her Cuban culture. She is full American and doesn’t speak a lot of Spanish but she can understand most of it. Violet isn’t as excited about her party like her family is. She’s not the type of girl to wear dresses or heels. Violets grandma is all about her quince that she soon accepts ...more
Thomas Zemsky
The theme was that be brave some things are about you.
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! It was super relatable for me since I don't look Spanish like the main character so it makes me feel disconnected from my culture. I really appreciated this story and all of the characters. It felt like I was with my family.
Daniel Garcia
Dec 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Allow me to start off by saying that this is nowhere near the genre of books that I usually enjoy to read, so it's something out of my comfort zone. However, I surprisingly enjoyed the book very much and continued to read it until the end. I highly encourage everyone to read this book of and read something from a different genre.

"Cuba 15," written by Nancy Osa, is a book that begins with Violet's grandmother wanting to plan a quinceañero for Violet because she feels that it is a necessity. In h
Aly Gutierrez
Dec 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
• Book summary
-This is a wonderful multicultural coming of age story. Violet is the protagonist of this story and she did not know much about her Cuban culture. Her grandmother convinced her to have a quinceanera, even though she fought through the whole process. Did not want the big sparkly dress and definitely did not want to get escorted by a boy. Though, throughout the planning of her party, she learned a great deal about her culture. By the time her party came around, she was excited. She n
Feb 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teen
A rollicking look at the Cuban quinceanero, a special ceremony for girls who turn 15. Violet Paz is half Cuban, half Polish, and her father’s mother has decided Violet needs to have her quinceanero, though Violet barely speaks Spanish, knows little of her Cuban heritage (her father is quite close-mouthed about it) and Violet dislikes almost all aspects of the traditional party (especially having to wear a dress). Violet learns to love her family and her heritage, though it takes joining the spee ...more
Lourdes Ryczek
I was interested in this story because Violet is half Cuban and half Polish. just like my children. Her Cuban grandmother wants to celebrate her Quince/15th birthday with a traditional Cuban party. What the story doesn't explore is that long ago young ladies were presented in society at these sorts of parties. It was a right of passage, a way to show that your daughter was grown up, a woman. In many cases, ready for marriage! As a modern Cuban myself, I refused to have this sort of party because ...more
Oct 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Three and a half stars is about right. Terrific story - lots of information about bicultural families, a bit slow in parts. Ages 12-14 is most appropriate for this book but it's a good, solid read for those who enjoy contemporary family and teen stories. The Cuban father and the American mother are firm and loving and wacky, a welcome change from so many of the teen angst books with dysfunctional or non-existent parents. This book is also completely free of violence, swearing, and any inappropri ...more
Jun 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Kids younger than 15
Cuba 15 reminded me of a 15-year-old version of "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," with a quinceanera instead of a wedding. It was entertaining, with a relatable premise, but to be perfectly honest the jokes weren't all that funny, and the writing seemed a little perfunctory at times. I was happy to find that it didn't include much swearing, which gets tiresome after a while. Overall, it wasn't a waste of time to read, but I think I could've found something better.
Raquel Castaneda
Sep 02, 2011 is currently reading it
I like this books so far because it has to do with a girl that barely became 15 and her Cuban grandmother wants her to have a quinceañera. The thing is that she doesn't want one because she doesn't like dresses & it doesn't fit her personality. While planning she's starting to get to the idea of actually wanting one. I can't wait to finish it!:) ...more
Dec 27, 2018 added it
Shelves: novel, nhhp
I've come to a decision to not force myself to read books that I don't enjoy. I got to 25% and still can't get this book to be interesting. I don't feel interested in characters who occupy page after page of stereotype.

Here's a Haiku for this book:

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I really enjoyed this fun coming-of-age novel. Violet Paz is a character that brought smiles to my face over and over again as she prepared for her quince. She is half Cuban and half Polish and is working out what that means. There is a nice dose of humor throughout the book.
Chanelle Savich
A quinceañera is a huge party that a Cuban family traditionally hosts for a daughter when she turns 15. It’s about celebrating a girl becoming a woman, becoming her own person... and being old enough to get married, too, at least in the olden days. Yikes. Not today, though. At least, not for Violet Paz.

Violet is 15, and her dad’s family comes from Cuba, so her grandma is all about giving her a quinceañera—complete with a big fluffy pink dress, a tiara, a special church service, dancing, and 15 a
Brittany Rubio
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
As a half-Cuban, half-Polish girl myself, I knew I had to check out this book (even if I'm a good decade older than the protagonist). It's a cute coming-of-age story that I feel like was pretty accurate to my own early teen years in the late 90's/early 2000's before my friends and I were consumed with the internet and were still fairly innocent as we crossed from middle school into high school. I never had a quince myself, but what really hit home with me was the relationship that the older gene ...more
Oct 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
I thought this was a well-written and humorous story with an interesting background context. It's not a 5 for me because I found a lot of it to be quite predictable. Also, I tend to be critical of books with female characters who are very against dresses, the color pink, and other "traditional" feminine things. To me that is the easiest way to start writing a "strong" female character, but I find it cliché. The dislike of dresses plays a big role in this book, so that prevented me from totally l ...more
Mar 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: latinx, ya-fiction
It was cute! Honestly there was a lot of queerbaiting lmao but it's whatever...I appreciated the mixed-race Latina representation (especially with two cultures that aren't often paired together--as a Polish-Brazilian-American I loved this) and the main character opens up a conversation I would've loved to think about in early high school.
Jun 05, 2019 rated it did not like it
I learned nothing about Cuba and I don’t think Violet did either. For the entire book to be built around her introduction to womanhood, there was very little tie in between what she knew about herself and what she learned. It’s been a few years since I was 15, but, good grief, I hope I want that narcissistic. It was cringe worthy.
Jan 27, 2020 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this--was a fun and easy read, albeit a bit dated already with the house phone references. Fun little book to read if you have some interest in Cuban Americans or if you are involved in a Speech club.
Jun 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: teens
Great coming of age story from a different culture's perspective!
Jul 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: summer-2018
Enjoyable, sweet and will be a great addition to my classroom library this fall. Found it similar to My Basmati Batmitzva
Sanaiya V
Sep 08, 2019 rated it did not like it
no plot whatsoever
Lucy Gensler
Jun 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: summer-2017
This book is a great story, with lots of laughter and coming of age. I quickly fell in love with the characters, and was sad to end the book! Overall a wonderful novel, and I hope to read more by the author!!
Jan 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Cuba 15 is a story of a girl named Violet Paz. She is half Polish on her mother’s side and also half Cuban on her father’s side, which is where the idea of having a quinceñero rises from. As mentioned in the book, a quinceñero (or quince) is a tradition in most Latin American countries where family and friends will organize “a fifteenth-year coming-of-age ceremony” where they guide a young woman into adulthood. Violet isn’t the type of girl to wear dresses and celebrating her quince años was som ...more
Jan 17, 2019 added it
I loved how her grandmother felt the need to do violet a
quinceanera. And it was a very interesting book accept the part when violet just agreed to do the quinceanera just for her grandma other than her self.
Sep 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Cuba 15 by Nancy Osa is a story about Violet Paz who is half Cuban half Polish. Her grandmother insists that Violet will have a Quinceanero which is a cuban celebration for a girls 15th birthday. The age when a girl enters womanhood. In Violet's circle of friends no one has had this type of celebration. Despite being of mixed backgrounds, Violet feels completely American, so she does not want to have a Quinceanero. She even thinks about how much she will dislike standing up infront of everyone ...more
Feb 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ir-8th-grade
Cuba 15, by Nancy Osa, is about a girl named Violet Paz who is half Cuban and half Polish. She struggles to get more in touch with her Cuban side, after being exposed to the American culture. When her grandmother, who is Cuban, wants her to have a Quinceanera. A Quinceanera is a party, Sort of like a sweet sixteen, that Cuban girls have when they reach the age of 15, which is the age that a girl reaches womanhood, and becomes self reliant. While they start their preparation for the party, Violet ...more
Melanie Sarmiento
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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What's the Name o...: SOLVED. About a girl having her quinceanera [s] 2 18 Jul 07, 2014 09:27PM  

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