Posts Tagged: coming of age


Star-Crossed by Barbara Dee is a heartfelt and uplifting novel about Mattie, a bookworm and star student whose had a crush on one of her fellow classmates Elijah for about a year. Her friends Lucy and Tessa know she had a crush on him for the longest, but one day at a party, Mattie meets the new girl, Gemma, and starts to develop an interest in her. As time passes, her crush for Gemma grows, as well as her confusion considering she was just crushing on Elijah. When Mattie’s English teacher announces who will be casted in Romeo and Juliet, Mattie is delighted to hear that she will be taking over the role of Romeo since the other student casted broke his arm; and Gemma will be playing Juliet. Despite her nervousness and not wanting others to find out, the play was still a success.

I enjoyed reading this book because it was like none I’ve ever read before. It was an adorable and sweet story on life, friendships, and family dynamics. I loved how normal and totally fine everyone was with her having a crush on a girl. Her sister and friends were very supportive and reminded her there’s nothing to be afraid of. Overall, it’s clear she learns to stay true and honest with herself. I believe this is a great book every middle-school library should have.


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Mariposa Gown

Mariposa Gown book cover art

Mariposa Gown by Rigoberto Gonzales was a great insight into the new era of romantic, coming of age, novels. It was such an interesting twist to the classic teenage romance story that we’ve seen endless times. This novel discussed so many important topics in today’s society. It showcased a gay teenage boy dealing with the idea of leaving for college, as well as several other interesting issues. He is so relatable to many of us who are going through the same process of leaving home and everything we ever knew to seek something greater. He develops a romantic relationship with a boy that he meets the last summer after high school. It was a really heartwarming story of “the first love.” I really enjoyed the life lessons that the narrator continuously mentions throughout the book. It is such an interesting book written upon a brave, humble, charismatic, young man. The book also caught my attention through its captivating subplots. The main character’s best friend is a transgender woman and so we get to see and understand her story as well. There are also moments in which the book gets involved in the life of the main character and his family. This is when we see that there are deep rooted matters about the main character that we also need to be aware of. There is also a specific subplot that explores his sister, which was quite interesting and very enlightening to what the reality of our culture is.


Want to see the analysis for Mariposa Gown? Click here to check it out.