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They Could Have Named Her Anything
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They Could Have Named Her Anything

3.07  ·  Rating details ·  1,847 ratings  ·  200 reviews

Racism, class, and betrayal collide in this poignant debut novel about restoring the broken bonds of family and friendship.

Every morning, seventeen-year-old Maria Anís Rosario takes the subway an hour from her boisterous and close-knit family in Queens to her private high school on the Upper East Side, where she struggles to fit in as one of the only Latina students—

Kindle Edition, 293 pages
Published August 1st 2019 by Little A (first published July 1st 2019)
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Stephanie Jimenez This is an adult novel that focuses on a seventeen year old protagonist, her best friend, and the lives of their families. Though the book is not…moreThis is an adult novel that focuses on a seventeen year old protagonist, her best friend, and the lives of their families. Though the book is not labeled Young Adult, School Library Journal “highly recommends” the book for mature audiences, and I agree that high school students will enjoy reading!(less)

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Average rating 3.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,847 ratings  ·  200 reviews

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Mary J Starry
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book upset me because by the end I felt like I had wasted my time reading it when I could have read something different. I just couldn't develop any real empathy for Maria, the main character, who at times seemed to have her life in focus, other times seemed depressed (which was never treated or addressed) while other times just seemed to run on pure self-centeredness. The relationship with Charlie just seemed tarnished and ugly and more like child abuse than anything else. Cannot think of ...more
This story takes place in New York and its about this girl named Maria who lives in Queens and travels to the upper east side to a private high school. This book deals with families, race, relationships, sex, and betrayal.

Trying to put into words of how I felt about this story...I didn't like it. I was highly disappointed. I felt like it jumped all over the place. I didnt like any of the characters. They were all messed up in there own little way. I'm glad this book wasn't that long otherwise
This month 7/2019 only Prime Members get to choose 2!!! books for the Prime First Reads programs.! I'm so thankful because I couldn't choose between They Could Have Named Her Anything and What You Did!!!
Edward Lorn
DNF @ page 45. Can't get into it and it honestly feels like a THE HATE U GIVE clone.
Jennifer Alvarez
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I went into this book with no expectations and it was like stepping through a portal. The characters are messy and confused and full of angst. They are a mix of good and bad, like real people.

This book grapples with the human condition in a modern urban setting. Maria is surrounded by concrete and expectations and cultural differences between Queens and her private high school in Manhattan. Few seventeen year-olds would navigate this gracefully, I think, and it all felt real to me--the selfish
Mircale Williams
Jul 17, 2019 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Erin Glover
Jul 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
What’s in a name? Only everything—an entire culture, a lineage that goes back hundreds of years, a sense of belonging in the modern world.

María Anís Rosario is 17-years-old and attending the elite Bell Seminary in Manhattan on a full scholarship. She lives in Queens with her parents and older brother in a loving, tightly-knit family. Her mother is from Ecuador and her father from Puerto Rico.

Maria is startled when fellow student Rocky Albrecht invites her to her fancy Upper East Side apartment
Kristine Soly
Jul 14, 2019 rated it did not like it
OMG!!! What a disaster! I thought the book would never end. And I never did figure out what the characters were supposed to have learned from their experiences. Way too much detail that was not necessary, not to mention that there was not one likable character in the whole book. And talk about lack of character after another. I could find no redeeming qualities in any of the characters or in their behavior...and I'm no prude...but, seriously...all this book conveys is that ...more
Courtney LeBlanc
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book states it's an adult novel with a seventeen year old protagonist but to me it read like YA fiction. I got through about 75% before giving up because the characters, their actions, etc didn't appeal to me... I think it's probably a great read for YA, but not for a 40-year old woman.
Jul 10, 2019 rated it did not like it
Whew chillay, no.

The premise was incredibly tacky and gross.

This book lacked strong, well developed, interesting characters, there was no character development, the plot was barely there and slow moving.

The writing itself left A LOT to be desired (weird turns of phrases, synonyms that weren’t really synonyms). The ending was arguably the worst part.

Save it. Save your time and money.
Ida Wilcox
Jul 03, 2019 rated it liked it
OK what??

The story was ok. It moved along with a good pace but the ending was crazy.

It just ended.

Sometimes the writting was boring where I wasnt even paying attention to what I was reading but some parts pulled me in.

Just wish the ending was in deed a ending.
Natalia Sylvester
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is out today, but I received an early copy of this novel & shared these words about it: In They Could Have Named Her Anything, Stephanie Jimenez has constructed a beautiful, unflinching narrative about the time in one's life when we go from being defined by what others think of us to unapologetically embracing our complicated and fluid selves.
Maria and Rocky form an unlikely friendship. Maria is a scholarship student at a private school, where Rocky is one of the more privileged students. Both Maria and Rocky have struggles in their lives.

Told mostly from Maria's point of view, but also includes POVs from Rocky, Miguel, and Charlie. Maria's family is struggling financially, she is in an unhealthy relationship with her boyfriend, and she suffers from depression. Rocky's parents are going through a divorce, and she feels lonely and
Read this for the "author's debut" prompt for the 2019 Reading Rush.

What the fuck is this book even trying to say? What is the point? What is the story?

If I could bring myself to DNF books, I would've done so with this as soon as it became clear there was going to be a "relationship" between a 17 year old girl and a grown man.

There's a lot of casual, normalized, swept-under-the-rug, and even romanticized abuse, racism, ableism, misogyny, slut shaming, victim blaming, rape, and predatory men.

Nicole Patterson
Dec 27, 2019 rated it did not like it
This book was so unbelievably boring. I had a hard time getting through it. I could not connect with any of the characters. I found Maria annoying and self centered. Rocky was a rich spoiled bitch. Andres was a dick. Charlie was a pedophile. They never even mentioned if Maria went to college or which one. This is the first and probably last book I read by this author. The style of writing was just horrible.
Sep 29, 2019 rated it liked it
I tried really hard to like this book. It has diversity and realistic situations not often portrayed. The problem is I didn't like any of the main characters. It just fell flat for me.

This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.
Heather Frimmer
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When Maria Rosario begins commuting to a private high school on the upper east side of Manhattan, she is befriended by Rocky, a girl who doesn’t think twice about paying for Maria’s meals and even buys her a plane ticket. Maria is enamored with her new, wealthy friend, but she’s also worried Rocky will look down on because she lives in Queens. She doesn’t want to have to explain to Rocky why the hot water in the bathroom always turns cold or why they don’t have cable TV. Meanwhile, Rocky is ...more
Aug 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
THEY COULD HAVE NAMED HER ANYTHING is about a girl coming into her own power—and also about the limited types of power our society allows young women to wield, especially young women who don’t happen to be thin or white or wealthy. Reading it made me nostalgic for my own girlhood and also so glad I never have to relive the tumult of my teenage years again.

Maria Rosario is such a compelling protagonist - endearing, exhilarating, frustrating, strong vulnerable, and above all real. I felt deeply
Sep 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
We never really understand each other

Do we? Like it is always said, we are each the star of our own movie, we are all the protagonist in our dreams. The people we spend the most time with often don't know us at all. That realization, that dynamic, is at the heart of this novel. Not just the idea that the grass is always greener but the idea that our deserts are someone else's garden.
As a former scholarship kid, I understood a lot of the things that Maria went through. The entire story was
Teri Sobeck
Sep 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
Honestly, I only finished this book because I'm trying to hit my reading goal and didn't want to abandon a book this late in the year and have to start over with a new one. It was not good, like, at all. There's so many different storylines going on at once, but none of them ever really comes to a clear, good ending. It's hard to root for any of the characters because they all go from being interesting, developed characters to total stereotypes or completely surface-level. Personally, I have a ...more
Sep 25, 2019 rated it it was ok
I did not like this book. I thought it jumped around too much, told from too many points of views, and that Maria was a wimp. Her constant mood swings were irritating, and there were so many fantastical elements that the whole thing felt like one of those Latino soap operas I used to watch with my mom when I was growing up. Read the rest of the review on my blog: https://shouldireaditornot.wordpress....
Jul 10, 2019 rated it liked it
I found this book a little hard to follow at times. The writing style was confusing and the names were also confusing... did she have to choose Rocky and Ricky? The story was less than uplifting and was not what I was expecting. Glad to be finished with it.
Beth K. Harkaway
Jul 14, 2019 rated it did not like it
The story line never developed. It was all over the place all the way through. I kept thinking something was going to happen to draw me in but it never did. I tried to give it a chance, that is why I read it all the way through. Not a fan.
Linda Doyle
Oct 09, 2019 rated it liked it
I wish I liked this book more because it's a coming-of-age story with interesting themes of racism, cultural assimilation, family relations, and sexual awakening. But I found the plotline so ugly at times that I had to set the book aside and take a break. The plot also meanders and, unfortunately, so did my attention.

Maria is a bright high school student, but she makes so many unwise decisions in her personal life that I questioned her intelligence. Well, she is smart, but she is a teenager who
Erin Cataldi
Sep 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
Debut author, Stephanie Jimenez, doesn't pull any punches in this arresting coming of age novel. Wealth, racism, and privilege duke it out in this powerful young adult story between two unlikely friends. Maria comes from a close knit family in Queens down on their luck financially and Rocky comes from the Upper East Side where she uses her money as a shield from family drama. Together they attend an elite girls school and find themselves drawn to each other. Their budding friendship is riddled ...more
Yamileth Lopez
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Terry Mach
Jul 18, 2019 rated it liked it
There were certain aspects of this book I enjoyed; the dilemma faced by a Latino teenager, trying to fit in with her peers in a predominately white school, find her identity, and establish independence from her parents; two young women from different backgrounds, establishing an unlikely relationship because they provided a view into a life each of them thought they were missing out on; the "girl who has everything", who wishes for the one thing she doesn't have - a loving relationship with her ...more
Kim Ross
Sep 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Good book

If I could, I'd rank it 3.5. it doesn't quite have all the elements I thoroughly enjoy, but I did stay awake several nights reading it. But, there were times I found it a bit simplistic
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was ok
The characters did not really develop and in certain parts it just dragged. The writing style was a bit jumbled at times too. With some character development and editing it could have been a better story.
Emmita Bee
Dec 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
A very good story with a commentary on race and class. The main character Maria takes many missteps, but I found myself rooting for her anyway. I read this over two days. It's a fast moving story and I did not want to put it down.
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