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What Can't Wait (Carolrhoda Ya) Hardcover – March 1, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
What Can(t) Wait is a book those students would have appreciated. They would have loved Marisa. They would have understood the love she lavishes on her little niece, even though childcare eats the time she should spend studying. Those students were always struggling with the everyday math of not enough money and not enough time. They would have understood the hard choices Marisa faces--choices that pit the present against the future.
I'm not a book reviewer, but I felt compelled to share this with you: What Can(t) Wait rings true. It doesn't soften the sharp edges of economic reality, it brings them into focus through the lens of Marisa's life.
The characters are more than simple projections of ethnicity. They come alive on Perez's pages and remind the reader than the markers of race, cultural background, socio-economic status, or family life situation, cannot diminish the hope or possibility of a young person's personal narrative. The story is a poignant look into the very real life of every student's insecurities as they consider the journey of life that lies ahead. Perez's characters face the trials of teen pregnancy, challenges of family strife, and difficulties of school and social demands, and yet still emerge on the other side of their trials with hope for the future and respect for the past.
Although the main character is Hispanic, this story speaks students from ANY culture and anyone who reads this work hoping it will define ALL Mexican American journeys or Hispanic narratives might not understand the endless variety existing in the category of multicultural literature. This story serves as one example of many. Variety is needed to help define this genre. I am delighted to see that Perez has added this growing genre, giving students a beautiful narrative with which they might be able to identify. My hope is that many will read What Can(t) Wait - a touching tale of strength that will help give rise to a generation that supports and respects the narratives of others.
Her parents placed an extremely high priority on Marisa's contributions to the family, to the point that they showed no interest in her school performance and actively discouraged her from pursuing a college education. Marisa's favorite teacher, however, saw great potential in Marisa's mathematical ability, and she strongly urged Marisa to apply to the University of Texas at Austin to study engineering. Marisa could not even begin to tell Ms. Ford how difficult it was to find time to study, not to mention apply to a school her family could not afford in a city three hours from Houston. Nor could she get through to her parents how much she wanted to embark on her own life and stop taking care of everyone else.
This expertly spun debut novel by Ashley hope Pérez combines a compelling plot with substantive content that is rich in economics ideas and cultural context. The notions of budget constraints, caring labor, and investments in human capital regularly appear as motivating forces in the characters' lives. The focus on a Mexican American family and a predominantly Latino school adds an important dimension to the book and helps it to stand out from other novels about high school angst.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
For the first 50 pages or so, I had a lot of trouble connecting with the novel. But then, about the time Marisa finally gives in and talks to Alan, I started to get her. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Kellee M.
When the Printz Awards were announced earlier this year and I learned that Ashley Hope Perez's newest book won an honor, I was reminded that I had read her debut, What Can(t) Wait. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Marisa is the daughter of Mexican immigrants, ones who have many expectations for their daughter. She must work and contribute half the money to the family, do all the cooking and... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Brandi Rae
Ashley Hope Perez is one of my new favorite YA authors. In this book she definitely has her finger on the pulse of intelligent Hispanic teenage girls who feel the pull between... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Karen
The best book a wealthy, white teacher like me could read in order to have a better understanding of my students who share the same background as Marisa Moreno.Published 13 months ago by Elisabeth D. Santellana
Marisa's struggle to follow her dreams in spite of family demands is an inspiring tale of empowerment. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Ms.Jackie
It was a good book I recommend it to anyone who wants to read it! 5 stars! Love her writing.Published on August 6, 2013 by Anna Durlak
It is not uncommon that I end up reading a lot of books I love; What Can't Wait is no exception. I have always heard people say "I felt a big connection to the main character" or... Read morePublished on September 19, 2011 by Amazon Customer
I read this book over the summer, and can't wait to see how my students will react to it, as it reflects very sensitively what some of them who are less privileged experience. Read morePublished on August 27, 2011 by Chocolate