The author of Becoming Latina in 10 Easy Steps presents her latest funny and heartwarming novel.
Ever since an article about me ran in the UCLA paper, Iíve become the poster child for the American Dream: East L.A. bad girl who slashed cop makes good! I go to school full time, work in the food court, and volunteer at a center for at-risk teens. Against all odds, I turned my life around. The thing is, I never asked for all this attention. Now my professor wants me to write a gigantic thesis about what Americanization means to Mexican immigrants...and Iím not even sure yet what it means to me. Like for example...
Does familia always come first? I love my family. But I had to get out when my drug dealing brother threatened my life, and my parents took his side over mine.
Canít I have my own Declaration of Independence? I donít want to be anyoneís charity case. So why do my friends get annoyed when I wonít let them help?
Can West Side Story ever have a happy ending? Things with Will, the guy who wrote the article about me, are getting seriousand itís freaking me out. How are his rich parents going to feel when they find out heís in love with a chica like me?
Iíve got a lot of people looking out for me, but I need to find success on my own terms. Who knew it would be so hard for a Mexicana to find her place in this Americana world?
Berkley, November 2006