A debut young adult novel that’s Pride & Prejudice with a dash of magic, about a booksmart teen who spends the summer in Mexico City, meets two very cute boys, attempts to learn Spanish, and uncovers a family secret that changes her life forever.
Lola Espinoza is cursed in love. Well, maybe not actually cursed — magic isn't real, is it? When Lola goes to spend the summer with her grandmother in Mexico City and meets handsome, flirtatious Rio, she discovers the unbelievable truth: Magic is very real, and what she'd always written off as bad luck is actually, truly . . . a curse. If Lola ever wants to fall in love without suffering the consequences, she'll have to break the curse. She finds an unlikely curse-breaking companion in Javi, a seemingly stoic boy she meets while working in her cousin's restaurant. Javi is willing to help Lola look into this family curse of hers, and Lola needs all the help she can get. Over the course of one summer — filled with food, family, and two very different boys — Lola explores Mexico City while learning about herself, her heritage, and the magic around us all.
Ella Cerón is a writer and editor from Los Angeles, California. She lives in New York City with two black cats.
Her work has appeared in Teen Vogue, GQ, InStyle, and other major publications. Viva Lola Espinoza is her first novel.
"...a rollicking fun read
"This novel will resonate with readers who understand the difficulties of breaking out of their comfort zone, especially when it comes to conquering the obstacles of love and parents. Cerón’s beautiful tale is a reminder that life lessons often come from outside of schools, books, or snapshots
, STARRED REVIEW
"The story thoughtfully touches on identity and heritage: Lola’s paternal grandparents were undocumented, Papi attended college in Mexico, and Lola feels sensitive about her language struggles. It also explores colorism in Latine communities; Lola has tan skin, Rio is light-skinned, and Javi, who has a darker complexion, has a Zapotec mother. A tender coming-of-age story about family and first love.
" —Kirkus Reviews