Review + Giveaway || Ana of California by Andi Teran

Ana of California
by Andi Teran
Series: None
Release date: June 30th 2015
Publisher: Penguin Books
Genres: Coming of age, contemporary, retellings
Age category: Young Adult crossover, Adult
No. of pages:  N/A
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.
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My thoughts and whatnot

My rating: ★★★

Premise - This is a retelling or inspired by Anne of Green Gables. I can't remember what happened in the anime series (I have not read the book, unfortunately) but this book definitely has the vibe of the said book. Even though this was inspired by another book, this has a distinct quality that makes it unique. It was pretty clever that some of the scenes (that I remember, anyway) from the animated series were brought up and was given it's own personality (that's retelling I know, hang me). This book definitely brings back nostalgic memories.

Character/s - The characters are special and dynamic in their own way.
My first impression with our MC was this: She's frank, outspoken and importunate. This didn't change until the end but that didn't mean she doesn't have a more redeeming personality. As I was reaching the end, I concluded that Ana was independent and very honest. I find her character really intriguing, especially her past.

Abbie, Emmett & Cole were characters that was very easy to like. Although some might argue that Emmett was not easy to like but he has his own charm. I find their past relationship ambiguous at first but I like it's complexity.

I like Rye at first but with what she did towards the end,  I found her being hypocritical in some matters (hint: friendship). The other minor characters were a bit one-dimensional to me, all of the residents of the town minus Manny.

Writing technique/style - This book was written in alternating, third person, point of view. Sometimes, I like this set-up but this time I had a bit of a hard time trying to sort out the transitions of the characters. Aside from that, it was a very smooth read for me especially since the way it was written was simple, and despite my lack of knowledge in Spanish. Also, can I gush how I love the ending? Because I think was brilliantly done!
I love that this book obviously gives moral without being so preach-y.

At first I was hesitant to read this because I don't like coming of age (movies, I haven't read any from this genre). Guess I was wrong; overall, it was a pleasurable read. It is something that young adult and adult would appreciate. 

Favorite Quotes

"Miracles often come in small packages."

"It's weird isn't it ... How if you listen, sometimes the signs present themselves to you, like those moments where someone else randomly says what you're thinking..."

"Are you kidding? We have baskets in this house that are used form holding other baskets."

"We live with scars though, don't we? ... But they show we lived in the moment and have survived past it."

"Some things are out of our control, mija, especially where we came from and what we left behing. But we can choose how we react and how we move forward."

Map of Hadley, California

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About the author:
Andi Teran is a writer and performer originally from the deserts of West Texas. She has written about fashion, film, and culture for Vanity Fair, MTV, New York, and Monocle, as well as written and performed for various New York stages. She lives in Los Angeles. Ana of California is her first novel.
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5 finished copies of Ana of California by Andi Teran (US only) 07/09
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