Friday, September 2, 2011

A Review of What Can(t) Wait by Ashley Hope Perez

WHAT CAN(T) WAIT by Ashley Hope Perez brings to us Marisa Moreno, a seventeen-year old from Houston, Texas, eager to break free from her immigrant Mexican family’s traditions in order make something more of her life. Marisa excels at math and her calculus teacher encourages Marisa to continue excelling so Marisa can apply to the engineering school at University of Texas, Austin. But her father is far from impressed with Marisa’s talent and intelligence. Instead, he expects her to stay at home after graduating high school to help take care of the family – her parents, her older brother, older sister, and her five-year-old niece. To him, college and math are for men; women don’t pursue those things. So while walking a tightrope with her father, Marisa also finds herself being a surrogate mother to her older sister whose life is one drama after the next, while also shielding her niece from as much of the drama. Adding to that the complications of young love with her longtime crush Allan, she finds herself conflicted on what should be most important – her family, her boyfriend, or herself and the dreams she has for her future.

Ms. Perez nails the authentic voice of a young Latina and the real-world issues they face. Marisa’s life is in stark contrast to the majority of young American girls whose families expect them to attend college. But the beauty of this book is the inspiration it can inspire to any teenager of any ethnic background. The bare-bones of it: dreams can come true; believe in yourself and follow your heart to find your happiness. I adore Marisa and her fortitude and I believe others will too. WHAT CAN(T) WAIT is a wonderful read, giving strength to those who may feel they have no choices in life. I highly recommend reading it.


Patricia said...

Jen, sounds like a great read ... thanks for sharing.

Carol Bindel said...

A piece of non-fiction that addresses the same issues is a book by Sue Monk Kidd, The Dance of the Dissident Daughter: A Women's Journey from Christian Tradition to the Sacred Feminine. (HarperSanFranscisco, 1996) It is a book about awakening to a patriarchial society and (gracefully) moving beyond it.

Ashley Hope PĂ©rez said...

Thanks for the thoughtful review! Watch for my new novel, THE KNIFE AND THE BUTTERFLY, which comes out in spring of 2012. Or come visit me at