- Age Range: 12 and up
- Grade Level: 7 and up
- Lexile Measure: 800L (What's this?)
- Series: Amigas (Book 1)
- Paperback: 187 pages
- Publisher: Disney-Hyperion; 1 edition (May 11, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 142312362X
- ISBN-13: 978-1423123620
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 7.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 15 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,132,123 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Amigas #1: Fifteen Candles Paperback – May 11, 2010
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From School Library Journal
Grade 7-10 Alicia Cruz has big dreams. She's working as a summer intern at City Hall in order to polish up her college résumé when she has a chance to help a friend plan her quinceañera. The teen has four close friends, each with a distinct style and strength, which makes the group work well together. As Alicia begins her research on quinces, she decides that the friends have what it takes to start a business. She proposes the plan to them, and they immediately begin to launch their Amigas enterprise. However, as the time for the party draws near, the partners experience some issues. Chambers does a good job of developing five characters who are working through some growing pains but come out of the situation triumphantly. The narrative is a little heavy on food descriptions and designer-label name-dropping, but it shows practical elements of learning to mature. The author gives a nod to the cultural implications of quinces, as well as to the fact that not everyone can afford a big party. Instead, many people have to plan and budget, something the Amigas run into during their preparations. A light read that will be of most interest to Hispanic populations. Emily Garrett Cassady, North Garland High School, Garland, TX
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
It's Alicia's quince años, and even though her thoroughly modern parents took her to Spain for her quinceañera, most of her friends are having elaborate parties to celebrate their entry into womanhood. When she realizes that a fellow intern in the mayor's office needs help in planning her quince, Alicia envisions a new business venture for her and her three best friends, Amigas Inc. What initially seems to be easy money turns into miscommunication, hurt feelings, and potential disaster. This somewhat unrealistic feel-good story is populated with cute and talented teens, tolerant and tolerated adults, gorgeous houses regardless of economic strata, first-blush romance, and barely veiled life lessons. A warm celebration of Latin culture, especially the traditional quinceañera, this is the first in a series that is sure to draw a large audience. Grades 6-10. --Frances Bradburn
Top customer reviews
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FIFTEEN CANDLES is a story about Alicia, whose parents are very successful. Her mother is a judge and her father is deputy mayor. Alicia is expected to go to an Ivy League college and to follow in their footsteps, something that she is eager to do. She takes an internship at City Hall, and there she meets a girl who is having trouble planning her quince.
In the Latin culture, a quinceanera is a ceremony which recognizes the passage of girlhood to adulthood and takes place in her fifteenth year. There is a church ceremony and then a big party. It can be very expensive.
Alicia gathers up her posse to help out her co-worker. She has three friends who are very talented. Carmen is a designer; Jamie, who is from New York, is a talented stylist; and Gaz, who has a band. The four of them learn how to work together and plan a rockin' quince.
I loved the reality of the story. I liked the fact that there is controversy over whether girls should have a quinceanera or maybe save the money or use it for something else, like a trip. I spoke to the pastor of my church, who is Hispanic, about quinces, and his view is that it has become more of a party than anything else. He has two girls and will give them a quince, but only if they take the church service seriously.
I also liked that Alicia was given power and it kind of corrupts her for a little while. She learns to trust her friends and that is a great lesson. The only thing I didn't like was the describing of all the designer labels that the girls and their parents wear. I teach a classroom of many low income students, and I would hate for them to think that in order to have a quince you have to wear designer clothes or spend a lot of money.
However, I have to admit that I like the AMIGAS series so far, and hope to have all of the books on my shelves at school very soon.
Reviewed by: Marta Morrison
Fifteen Candles is the first addition in the Amigas series, one that transports you into the most important time of almost any Latina girl's life: her quincenera. A time to party, let loose, and have the time of your life, as well as have a breakdown or two or maybe even three... For Alicia Cruz, the main character in Fifteen Candles, and her BFFs they've always been a fun activity to do on the weekend of the summer holidays, but this summer, they're taking up a much bigger part in their lives as they decide with inspiration from Alicia's new friend Sarita to have their own quincenera planning business. Though as it turns out planning for a quincenera is harder than it looks, but these four best friends will be able to handle the punches, right? Only time will tell in this rich and thoroughly enjoyable Latin themed adventure.
While Alicia and her friends aren't the most three dimensional characters ever created it was still nothing but fun to read about their adventures for one afternoon. The one thing I really liked the most about the characters was that even though this is a very short book (barley 190 pages) they still managed to have their own distinctive personalities in the story that made them irreplaceable. Also, I liked the fact that Veronica had Alicia's parents be a big part in her life as well because you don't really see much parent/teen interaction in YA novels much less positive ones. Further more; Alicia's romance subplot with one of the characters was nothing short of sweet.
In addition, I really liked how the main idea of this novels was for the characters to plan different quinceneras because not only did I have fun learning about the back history of this Latin custom but it always provided a new twist or fight to have you wondering if they were every going to get their latest party on the road.
Lastly, Veronica's writing was simple and moved swiftly. Not the best I've seen but still pretty good.
In all, Amigas: Fifteen Candles is a novel not to miss if you would like to see an inside look into quinceneras and these three Miami teens who plan only the best of the best, or would like a series reminiscent of Gossip Girl and The Clique but with less fights and labeling and more wholesome actives.
Most recent customer reviews
is as entertaining as it is unique and intelligent.Read more
found out this was it so I was curious to read it. I loved this book.Read more