Thursday, June 17, 2010

Mexican Whiteboy

Author: Matt de la Peña

Summary: (goodreads) [close] Sixteen-year-old Danny searches for his identity amidst the confusion of being half-Mexican and half-white while spending a summer with his cousin and new friends on the baseball fields and back alleys of San Diego County, California. [close]

Review: I really liked this book. The characters were interesting having problems and different aspirations. I felt that the main character, Danny, had a multi-faceted personality, but it was hazy.

All of the characters could have used some more depth and characterization. The book sometimes was in third person through Danny's point of view while other chapters were in Uno's third person view. Admittedly, it was interesting to see both sides so differently, but I felt that it did hurt the characterizatio a little bit.
The baseball angle was kind of risky in my opinion. I strongly dislike sports, so I wouldn't have picked this up if I didn't relate to the character. It ended up being a critical part of the story and had me wanting to be a pitcher when I grow up. I loved how the author made it a natural part of Danny's life; his escape.
I didn't feel overwhelmed by the boy hormones either as is common in other books where the boy is the main character. Danny was such a nice guy and hopefully normal, except for his self-mutilation, since he wasn't always thinking about sex. There was drinking though, but it was kind of inevitable with the friends he hung out with and the lifestyle he was trying to conform to.
I'm hispanic. Full. I can't relate to Danny being half and half, but I do understand how it is to feel like you don't belong. Even though I'm Hispanic, Mexicans in Mexico see me as too Americanized and the white Americans here see me as too Mexican. I feel like I'm judged by both and fit nowhere sometimes, which is what Danny feels. He sees his white life and doesn't like it because he misses his dad. His dad wasn't white and that's why he went to live with his relatives. Danny says that he wants to be more Mexican. Then he sees that it isn't bad to be how he is because he doesn't lack the things his barrio friends do, but he gets to enjoy the delicious Mexican food and family atmosphere. It was a good story that I felt held a lot of truth and logic. The details did give Danny character in what little we did see of him, but I wished that it could have been expanded.
Rating: 1 2 3 3.5 4 5


  1. I want to read this book, especially since I can relate (I'm only half Latina). I do like very weel rounded views of characters. I really like sports so I'm looking forward to a book that made even a non-sports fan want to be a pitcher!

    Good review :)

  2. Thank you. I picked it up because i saw it on your to read list and i really liked it.

  3. i liked this book and didn't think of Danny doing what he did. i love sports and i relate to this book because I'm half Mexican and half white. i kind of felt the same way as Danny when his mom left 2 San Fransisco.


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