Harmony Book Reviews

The Secret Story of Sonia Rodriguez by Alan Lawrence Sitomer

Posted on: December 8, 2008

The Secret Story of Sonia Rodriguez
Title: The Secret Story of Sonia Rodriguez

Author:Alan Lawrence Sitomer

Rating: 7.5/10

Summary: (Taken from Amazon)
Sonia Rodriguez was born in the United States, but her parents are Mexican immigrants who came to California before she was born. Her father has three Social Security numbers, her mother is pregnant (again), and neither of them speaks English. Sonia’s mother spends most of her time in bed, watching soap operas, and letting Sonia clean up after her brothers. Sonia’s father works dutifully to support his family, but he knows that his daughter’s dreams are bigger than making tamales for family get-togethers. When Sonia attempts to put school work before her familia, her mother decides that it’s time for Sonia to visit her grandmother in Mexico to learn “the ways of the old world.” While in Mexico, Sonia spends time with her wise grandmother and her cousin Maria who teach her that while familia is important, the most important thing is to follow your heart. Sonia returns to the States determined to succeed in school, but the birth of her new twin siblings, inappropriate advances from her drunk uncle (Drunkle), and a forbidden relationship with an El Salvadorian boy push school to the back burner. If only Sonia can find the time to cook dinner, secretly meet with her boyfriend, avoid her Drunkle, AND finish her homework, she just might be able to graduate from high school…

My Thoughts: The Secret Story of Sonia Rodriguez tackles what is now a very controversial subject – illegal immigrants from Mexico. While I’m sure you all have your own opinions on the subject, I know I do, this book was definitely an eye-opener.

The cast of characters was…well, interesting. Sonia, despite the whole immigrant part, was extremely easy to relate to. Her family members were realistic, despite their idiocy at some points. (Mainly her mother and aunt.)

The plot was also enjoyable and unique. I’d never read anything about Mexicans, especially not illegal ones, so it was refreshing, and as I stated above, eye-opening, to do so. Sitomer captured a raw truthfulness that many authors would not have been able to do.

But, that’s not to say the book didn’t have it’s flaws. For one, it was extremely rushed at the middle and towards the end. I think there was a total of thirty or less pages spent in Mexico and after she decides to finish school, it all goes by with a blur. The character of Geraldo was also extremey cliche’ and unrealistic. Sure, he’s every girls’ dream guy but, unfortunately, no male would ever act like he did.

Those things aside, I really did enjoy this and if you’re looking for a good book to make you think, this one is it.

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4 Responses to "The Secret Story of Sonia Rodriguez by Alan Lawrence Sitomer"

Thanks a ton for the nice review. I am glad you liked the work and found it original. Keep up the great work you do on the web!

Best,

Alan Sitomer

this book is very interesting it talks about the things that occur in real life and its sad because i got raped like her by my own cousin and its a really hard obstacle to deal with in life…this book is great read it:))

I was required to read this book in my English class I thought it was going to be another one of those books where they always misinterpret stereotypes. But to my surprise I was able to relate to the book in many ways. The book in my opinion is an original, I feel that any teenager in the ghetto’s of Los Angeles or anywhere as a matter of fact can relate to this at some point.

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