Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno
Published by: Disney-Hyperion
Pub Date: May 14, 2019
Format: e-arc | Source: NetGalley
Genres: young adult, contemporary, romance
Rosa Santos is cursed by the sea-at least, that’s what they say. Dating her is bad news, especially if you’re a boy with a boat.
But Rosa feels more caught than cursed. Caught between cultures and choices. Between her abuela, a beloved healer and pillar of their community, and her mother, an artist who crashes in and out of her life like a hurricane. Between Port Coral, the quirky South Florida town they call home, and Cuba, the island her abuela refuses to talk about.
As her college decision looms, Rosa collides – literally – with Alex Aquino, the mysterious boy with tattoos of the ocean whose family owns the marina. With her heart, her family, and her future on the line, can Rosa break a curse and find her place beyond the horizon?
What an amazingly vibrant book! I really love how Nina Moreno writes- she’s so good with turns of phrase and descriptions that pull you into the story without being Too Much. The description of baked goods, my god. And the scents on the air, the ocean waves. It’s so lyrical and charming. The story was heavier than I anticipated in some ways and made me a little melancholy in the middle, but I also loved the feeling of family and community, and the romance! So sweet and perfectly balanced. Who can resist a baking Ravenclaw?!
I felt like I was in Port Coral in this Cuban community- the writing was so immersive. I also loved Rosa herself- she was relatable and curious and I enjoyed her relationships with many of the characters. Her mother and abuela were very complex and that added so much dimension to the story. I can see the Practical Magic and Gilmore Girls comparisons SO clearly, they’re really good comps- just add a huge helping of Cuban & Latinx culture 🙂 I can’t wait to see what Nina writes next.
Do you like reading books that focus on family just as much as romance? Is Rosa Santos on your TBR? Let me know!