To be Maria
Pub Date: May 1 2013
Seventeen-year-old Anya Preschnikov wants to become a famous actress but she’s faced with two problems. Her father ignores her and doesn’t have any money to support her. At school, she’s bullied on a daily basis, yet she believes that she will gain her stepping-stone to stardom if she’s accepted by her peers.
All of this changes when Maria Hernandez–an immigrant from Spain–comes to Peach Valley Senior High. Maria knows what it takes to fit in. She’s assertive, confident and she dresses suggestively, characteristics that all of the popular kids admire. Yet she sees in Anya what no one else sees: beauty and talent.
When Maria extends her hand of friendship, Anya is elated. Her rise to popularity is about to become a reality, but it ends at a house party when a boy’s rude comment sends her into a rage.
Desperate to belong somewhere, Anya and Maria seek new friends outside of school. They meet Alex and Marissa, a young couple who eagerly welcomes them into their world of parties and drugs. Anya and Maria soon find out that Alex is a drug dealer, but they are so lured by his wealth, good looks and aggressive confidence that they can’t resist his friendship. They don’t know that Alex’s gang is at war with a rival gang–one that’s run by Anya’s older brother, Adrik–until one incident puts their lives in danger’s path. To make matters worse, Alex won’t let Anya and Maria out of his sight. The two teens are forced to make a decision that’s a matter of life or death.
I just want to start off by saying that this book just wasn’t for me. I really couldn’t get into the story, even though the themes were ok. And lots of things happened as well, yet I still didn’t really like this book. It was just one of those stories in which the main character has a very crappy life, except for one factor (the best friend), who she pretty much ditches as soon as anyone else comes along.
The writing could not make me feel for the character, I just felt annoyed by Anya, and got fed up with Maria right of the bat. I just could not wrap my head around how easily Anya left everything behind for a chance at popularity. I get that it’s not fun not to be popular, I mean it’s not like I was at the top of the food chain back in high school, but just dropping all the things you do have just for the possibility of popularity doesn’t sit well with me. And Maria is very manipulative towards Anya, which makes her a bad friend.
For me this was a very hard book to finish because I just kept thinking perhaps I should just stop reading it. But I stuck with the book and in the end I sort of regretted this. It’s not that the ending is horrible or something, it’s just that this book didn’t hold much of my attention and it just never really spoke to me. There’s not much else that I have to say about this book. I have seen some good reviews for this book, and I will link them down below if you would like a variety of opinions on this book. I’ll just stick with what I said at the start: this is not a book for me.
Some other reviews of this book: