Amigas: Fifteen Candles by Veronica Chambers

Summary/Cover Image from Publisher's Website:
Four friends. One sweet fifteen.
Miami is heating up! Miami, Florida, has it all—beaches, boys, sun, and fun. It also has quinceneras. Lots of them! The fantastic parties thrown for Latina girls turning fifteen are a staple of the Miami social scene. For Alicia Cruz and her three best friends—Carmen, Jamie, and Gaz—they are just part of the background of summer. But this summer, things are going to change. After meeting Sarita, a new girl in town, at her internship, Alicia ends up volunteering to help organize Sarita’s quince. She also volunteers her friends. Soon Alicia is drowning in preparation and turning into a quincezilla—and it isn’t even her party! But there is just so much to do—there are shoes to be bought, dances to choreograph, and then there is Gaz. He is being flirtier than usual with Alicia and she''s not sure what to do. It seems like Alicia is dangerously close to losing her and her mind! Will she learn to trust her amigas and rock the party?

Amigas: Fifteen Candles is one of those light, fluffy, and fun reads that are perfect for a beach read or a day when all you want to do is curl up with a book and loose yourself for an hour or two in someone's world besides your own.

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.
Grade: C+

Amigas: Fifteen Candles is now out!

Source: Publicist. Thanks, Jenny!


  1. Great review. I have not heard of this book before, but the cover looks like it's a lot of fun. Also fun to learn more about the history of lating custom. The adventures also sound very good and adds a little twist to the story.

  2. You might also want to check out "Sister Chicas", a collaborative novel by three Latina writers: Lisa Alvarado, Ann Hagman Cardinal and Jane Alberdeston Coralin. The novel was published by New American Library/Penguin Books in 2006 and shines a brilliant light on the lives of three Latina girls living in Chicago. In the story, Taina's mother is forcing Taina to have a quinceanera (sweet 15). Taina enlists the aid of her two best friends (her only friends-- Graciela (the writer) and Leni (the photographer-punk rocker). In the midst of their plans for a sweet 15 celebration that fits shy-girl Taina's personality, the three Sister Chicas also grapple with new love, their identities (what it means to be Latina), new opportunities for change in their lives, and the ins and outs of friendship.

    Try this book too! I know you will love it!

    Jane (one of the three authors)


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