Title: Ana of California
Author: Andi Teran
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publish Date: June 30, 2015
Source: I received a copy from the publisher; however, this did not affect my review.
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "Fifteen-year-old orphan
Ana Cortez has just blown her last chance with a foster family. It’s a
group home next—unless she agrees to leave East Los Angeles for a farm
trainee program in Northern California.
When she first arrives,
Ana can’t tell a tomato plant from a blackberry bush, and Emmett Garber
is skeptical that this slight city girl can be any help on his farm. His
sister Abbie, however, thinks Ana might be just what they need. Ana
comes to love Garber Farm, and even Emmett has to admit that her hard
work is an asset. But when she inadvertently stirs up trouble in town,
Ana is afraid she might have ruined her last chance at finding a place
My Two Cents:
Retellings are a dangerous business. If they go well, you have a great story that honors an old favorite. If they go badly, you have a story that isn't going to stand on its own and simply falls flat. Luckily in the case of "Ana of California," this retelling of "Anne of Green Gables" goes pretty well. "Anne of Green Gables" is a story that is near and dear to my heart so I wanted to see how closely this book came to the spirit of that book. Ana is a young girl who has been in the foster care system since she was very young. After a bad turn of events, Anna is on her last legs. If her kindly social worker can't figure something out it's off to a group home for her. The solution is that Ana will go to work on a farm far away from the city of Los Angeles that she knows. It's not what Anna wants but if she can make it until her 18th birthday she can be emancipated.
"Anne of Green Gables" is a huge footprint to fill and the story arc follows Anne of Green Gables closely enough that it was really hard for me to stop continuously comparing the two stories. This did distract me a little bit from the book. The good news is that the book does indeed to keep the positive spirit of "Anne of Green Gables." One thing that I I loved about both books is that you definitely get to know and understand the main characters in the book. Ana is a character that you just feel sympathetic for from the very beginning.
This book does have a little bit of a cliffhanger ending and I found myself wondering if there is going to be another book to follow this one. I can't find any information on Goodreads or anything so I am not sure. I would love for it to see what happens to Ana as she grows and begins to understand herself a little bit more. While this book doesn't come close to being as amazing as the original (and I didn't think that it would get close to that classic so I definitely had tempered my expectations), but it definitely has the spirit of the original. And this book would be a great pick for anyone who is looking for a positive coming-of-age story.
Want to compare Anne of Green Gables and Ana of California yourself? Thanks to the publisher, I am giving away a copy of each (U.S. only)! Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway