I think this might be my new favorite book in the series. I really liked Cat's journey and the maturity she developed by the end. So much of it rang true! When you move away, friendships can change in ways you don't expect. When a friend has a creep for a boyfriend, she won't always believe you. And most importantly, no matter how much you plan on life going in a certain direction, it can always surprise you in ways you never planned. All of these themes help to create a fascinating character on a wonderful journey. Loved it! :) I think Spanish students would particularly enjoy this installment since it takes place in Mexico and has many Spanish words and phrases throughout. Again, these are the kinds of books I feel good about sharing with teen girls. I love the positive messages they bring and diverse characters and settings. So good. :)
this is a good book for teens. it is about a girl who goes to mexico to volenteer for a program that helps build schools for underprivilaged children. she goes with her best friend and ends up finding love.
Reviewed by Jocelyn Pearce for TeensReadToo.com
This installment in the S.A.S.S. series features Caitlin Wilcox, a student who is spending her summer in Mexico with the Students Across the Seven Seas program. Cat can't wait to spend time in Mexico, with its sunshine and clear blue ocean, to reunite with her best friend Sabrina, after spending the past few months with her mom and new stepdad in Boston rather than her sunny former home of New Mexico, and to practice her Spanish, a language she loves. Nothing, however, turns out as planned.
Sabrina has brought along her boyfriend, Brian, whose existence Cat hadn't even known of, and it's more difficult than it should be for Cat to get some face time with her best friend. Luckily, Cat quickly begins to make new friends; Aidan, Rachel, and Pete are all friendly fellow students. Even Izzie, Cat's host sister with whom she gets off to a rather rocky start with, turns into a friend. Spending her days building a school for orphans in the hot, humid weather of Oaxaca will be tough, but it'll be a lot of fun, especially with great friends!
When they're not working on the school, the students are doing their learning by traveling to nearby rain forests and museums. Cat and her friends are having a lot of fun, but she can't help but wish she had more time with Sabrina. Cat's even starting to suspect that Brian isn't as great as he seems, but she couldn't raise that issue with Sabrina...right? Cat's got her own boy troubles as well. Are she and Aidan just friends, or is there more to it than Cat would like to admit?
HEART AND SALSA is a fun read that will have readers wishing to escape to sunny Mexico right along with Cat! It's full of adventure in a foreign country, likeable characters, and romance. Cat is a character to whom readers will be able to relate, especially anyone who has ever had to move away from friends and family. The only reason Cat's mother agreed to let her go to Mexico was because they had just moved to Boston from New Mexico a few months ago, and adjusting is tough for Cat. While Suzanne Nelson's book is an entertaining, quick read, it's not particularly remarkable; it won't earn a place on my favorites shelf, but it was certainly worth reading!