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Confessions of a Bibliophile

An aspiring writer and bookstore employee with an incredibly bad book-buying habit... I'll read just about anything (so long as it will appeal to my interests in some way), but my main loves are YA and sci-fi/fantasy. I also like quirky history and science books and will book nerd. A lot. Currently in the process of weeding out my personal library. Find me on Twitter @princess_starr or check out my YA book, Snowfall, on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/240027
Vizcaya - Lina Rivera *An ebook copy was kindly provided to me by the author. Thank you so much!* Mixed feelings. On the one hand, I generally liked the exploration of the relationship between Nikki, Diego and Nelli. I like that their own wants and desires get fully explored, and that their uncertainty about post-high school life really shines and comes into play. Unfortunately, what I didn’t like was Nelli and how her relationship and friendship with Diego and Nikki develops. I liked that none of the three main characters has a definitive idea of what they want to do with their lives. Nikki and Diego know that they want to do something with art, but there’s a sense of aimlessness about their goals. I liked that Diego felt out of place at school and was really only scraping by until he could legally leave. I especially liked that even though he really wants to be an artist, Diego has to figure out about what to do with galleries and showings and training. Same with Nikki—I liked that even though she was driven, and that she had goals, she really had no idea of what she was going to major in college. I liked her growing fascination with shapes and architecture, and that she genuinely loves it. What makes all of this character development work is that we’re following Diego and Nikki around for three years—I can’t think of many standalone YA novels that take place over several years (flashbacks/forwards, prologues and epilogues excluded), much less the majority of high school. (Oh, and more Elvis in the book. He was awesome.) So Nelli. I liked her in the beginning, where she had feelings for Diego, but sensibly backed away, and when she was trying to become friends with Nikki. I started losing my sympathy for her when she started chasing Diego because she “gets what [she] wants.” It’s shown throughout the whole book that Nelli is a spoiled rich girl, who every boy desires and no one ever says no to her. I just never see any growth on Nelli’s part into being a better person. We find out how her mother’s manipulated Nelli into fulfilling her failed dreams of stardom, and while Nelli acknowledges that she’s been manipulating Diego and Nikki, I didn’t really see her trying to atone for her mistakes.And I hate girl jealousy with a passion. A lot of Nikki and Nelli’s plot is “I hate her, but I can’t be a bitch to her!” on both ends. I get the awkward teenage-ness of not being able to spit out one’s true feelings, but after having Nelli jerk her around for three years, I was hoping for Nikki to tell the other girl off. There is one good Nikki moment along these lines, when she realizes that she can’t be friends with Nelli, even on a superficial level, because of Diego. But mainly, can we please stop perpetuating the idea that all girls are natural enemies and out to steal everyone else’s boyfriends? Please? The relationship building in this book is strong, and like I said, I liked that we actually get to see teens develop and grow over several years instead of weeks or months. However, the whole love triangle and my lack of sympathy for Nelli did lessen a lot of my enjoyment of this book.