Review: Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno

Review: Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina MorenoDon't Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: 14th May 2019
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: three-half-stars

Rosa Santos is cursed by the sea-at least, that's what they say. Dating her is bad news, especially if you're a boy with a boat.

But Rosa feels more caught than cursed. Caught between cultures and choices. Between her abuela, a beloved healer and pillar of their community, and her mother, an artist who crashes in and out of her life like a hurricane. Between Port Coral, the quirky South Florida town they call home, and Cuba, the island her abuela refuses to talk about.

As her college decision looms, Rosa collides - literally - with Alex Aquino, the mysterious boy with tattoos of the ocean whose family owns the marina. With her heart, her family, and her future on the line, can Rosa break a curse and find her place beyond the horizon?

Well, this was cute. I received Don’t Date Rosa Santos for review, and it’s pretty much exactly the kind of marshmallow fluff that I was expecting.

The main part of this book that I really enjoyed was the dynamic between Rosa and her family. I’m sure a lot of people have mentioned already that the family dynamics in Jane the Virgin, which is a show that I absolutely adore because of the relationship between Jane and her mother and her abuela. The author does a fantastic job of building the relationship between Rosa and her grandmother, and I got so involved in them.

As usual, I didn’t care for the romance. I didn’t hate it, and it was cute. Alex was a genuinely nice guy and I think there should be more relationships like this in YA. I’ve kind of had enough of the enemies to lovers trope because authors seem to use it as a veil for abusive relationships… but that’s a post for another time.

Apparently Don’t Date Rosa Santos has some bi rep in it, in that the main character is bisexual. To be completely honest, I can’t remember this ever being explicitly stated, and I’m not sure if it was just an off-hand comment by the main character. Correct me if I’m wrong. Either way, I guess that’s good and also a bit disappointing? On the one hand, I love that there is representation in there, but on the other I would have liked it to be a bit more obvious!

Another plus was that this book made me read up on Cuba – its history and its current situation. A colleague of mine goes to Cuba quite often, and has spoken with me about it a bit, but to be honest we don’t really hear much about it over here in the UK. I certainly didn’t learn anything about it in school, and I had no idea until reading this book that American citizens weren’t allowed over there to this day. I’m interested in doing more reading in the future so I can learn what exactly led the country to this point!

Don’t Date Rosa Santos is fluffy and cute and it’s just what you need if you’re sunning yourself by the pool.


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