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Sandra C. Lopez

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Member Since: Jul, 2008

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Beyond the Gardens
by Sandra C. Lopez   

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Books by Sandra C. Lopez
· Esperanza: A Latina Story
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Category: 

Women

Publisher:  Outskirts Press ISBN-10:  1432746987 Type: 
Pages: 

432

Copyright:  October 2009 ISBN-13:  9781432746988
Fiction

Price: $0.99 (eBook)
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Things get a little confusing for Esperanza when an old friend comes looking for her, hoping to start a meaningful relationship. But is Carlos the right guy for her? She never even considered him to be anything more than a friend since high school. Then comes Jake, a gorgeous mechanic,
who shares her passion for books and loves her for who she is.
What’s a girl to do?

At the age of 18, Esperanza Ignacio begins her college years at an upscale Los Angeles art school, where she studies to fulfill her long-term dream in Animation. But she soon learns the truth to the old folktale: “you can take the girl out of the barrio, but you can’t take the barrio out of the girl.” Even though she’s getting financial aid, Esperanza works a part-time job during her break from classes just to make ends meet. Her roommate, Anna, is what she calls a “chicana from Beverly Hills” because of the rich daddy and the new car she got for her quinceañera. Things get a little confusing for Esperanza when an old friend comes looking for her, hoping to start a meaningful relationship. But is Carlos the right guy for her? She never even considered him to be anything more than a friend since high school. Then comes Jake, a gorgeous mechanic, who shares her passion for books and loves her for who she is. What’s a girl to do? Strength and determination help pave the way for the future. And, as she approaches her graduation, she is faced with a difficult decision: should she leave Los Angeles and leave behind her family, her home, and everything she’s known? Ever since she was born in the California barrio of Hawaiian Gardens, she’s always had to look over the fence, wondering what she’s been missing. Now she’s taking a flying leap over to see what’s beyond the little barrio. What’s beyond her family, her friends, and her past? What’s beyond the little nothing town, where dreams don’t exist? What’s beyond The Gardens? Is it life, love, a future? The story of Esperanza is finally concluded in this wildly entertaining and heart-warming sequel.   

Professional Reviews

This Latina gal knows how to write
I love ambitious and serious young writers. And this author promises good writing for years to come. My hope is she transitions to serious adult writing as she continues to hone her craft. Beyond the Gardens is a must read for YA readers. Lopez has created a strong and likeable character in Esperanza. I was rooting for her from page one and had no disappointments throughout the novel. Esperanza is a role model for what a young girl with a dysfunctional background can accomplish. I fell in love with the hunky and brainy mechanic. She has a tough choice to make...and I cannot wait for the next book. I have recommended this to all my young readers.
The writer's humor captures today youth in the best way possible.


Emerging Latina Author with Big Talent
Sandra Lopez, the author of the newly published young adult novel, Beyond the Gardens (2009), is a literary force to watch. She has been precocious for most of her life: reading books at the age of two, being the first in her family to graduate from high school and college, being one of the youngest emerging authors today. She recently received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from California State University, Fullerton, and is ready to take on the literary world.

Her first novel was published before Sandra graduated from college. This debut book, Esperanza: A Latina Story (2008), depicts a teenager from a poverty-stricken home marked by domestic abuse, alcoholism and other drug abuse, gangland connections among her father and other relatives, and a saddening absence of hope for the future. Her barrio, Hawaiian Gardens in Los Angeles, could easily defeat her, as a friend tries to tie her down to early marriage at the cost of her education. When Esperanza enters high school, she faces bullies, peer pressure to meet low expectations, and the tremendous possibility that she, too, will become just another Latina dropout. Esperanza has no role models, no home support, but she finds strength she did not realize she had and fights against obstacles to fulfill her dreams.

In her new book, a sequel, Esperanza is now 18 years old and enrolled in an art college, pursuing her dreams with financial aid. Her life is upended when friends from her past re-enter: Carlos, who is now interested in her romantically, and his sister, Carla, who had urged Esperanza to marry her brother while in high school. Esperanza also contends with her roommate, a rich Chicana; and with Jake, a hunky mechanic who seems to be her soulmate. Life becomes complicated for Esperanza as she constantly wonders what is "beyond the gardens" of her barrio, and what life can possibly hold for her.



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