by Andi Teran
Publisher: Penguin Books
Release Date: June 30th 2015
Genre: Adult, Young Adult crossover, Fiction, Retellings, Coming of Age, Contemporary
Appropriate for YA audiences.
A modern take on the classic coming-of-age novel, inspired by Anne of Green Gables
In the grand tradition of Anne of Green Gables, Bridget Jones’s Diary, and The Three Weissmanns of Westport, Andi Teran’s captivating debut novel offers a contemporary twist on a beloved classic. Fifteen-year-old orphan Ana Cortez has just blown her last chance with a foster family. It’s a group home next—unless she agrees to leave East Los Angeles for a farm trainee program in Northern California.
When she first arrives, Ana can’t tell a tomato plant from a blackberry bush, and Emmett Garber is skeptical that this slight city girl can be any help on his farm. His sister Abbie, however, thinks Ana might be just what they need. Ana comes to love Garber Farm, and even Emmett has to admit that her hard work is an asset. But when she inadvertently stirs up trouble in town, Ana is afraid she might have ruined her last chance at finding a place to belong.
Ana is an orphan who has been moved from home to home. Her story is both interesting and heart wrenching. When the way she lost her parents and grandmother finally comes to light, you want to hug her. I enjoyed Ana’s character and loved that she still contained the flare for dramatic, the constant talking and her strong spirit. I also loved that she could express herself through her brilliant sketches. The descriptions of the drawings made me want to see how they actually look.
We also have Ana’s bff Rye (Diana) and of course Cole (Gilbert). I actually did not like Rye that much because she just managed to get under my skin. Of course Cole was sweet but it felt like their relationship and his development was a little rushed. It’s something that needed to spread across more books.
Abbie and Emmett are the brother and sister duo that take Ana in. I loved how the story followed them and their growing affection for Ana. Forming their own little family. Ana needed them and they needed her and I liked seeing how that developed.
This is the first time I’ve read a retelling like this and I thought that it was well done. I definitely enjoyed the story and the way it gave it’s own new twist. I think if you are fan of Anne of Green Gables you should give this a try.
Map of Hadley
There was a lot of song references in the book but I did not find them and put them in the playlist this time around. With the exception of one song because I thought it was funny. (not the Miley song even that just happens to be a good obstacle song)