What Can't Wait by Ashley Hope Pérez

"“Another day finished, gracias a Dios."

Seventeen-year-old Marisa's mother has been saying this for as long as Marisa can remember. Her parents came to Houston from Mexico. They work hard, and they expect Marisa to help her familia. And they expect her to marry a boy from the neighborhood, to settle down, and to have grandbabies. If she wants a job, she could always be an assistant manager at the local grocery store.

At school, it's another story. Marisa's calc teacher expects her to ace the AP test and to get into an engineering program in Austin—a city that seems unimaginably far away. When her home life becomes unbearable, Marisa seeks comfort elsewhere—and suddenly neither her best friend nor boyfriend can get through to her. Caught between the expectations of two different worlds, Marisa isn't sure what she wants—other than a life where she doesn't end each day thanking God it's over.

What Can't Wait—the gripping debut novel from Ashley Hope Pérez—tells the story of one girl's survival in a world in which family needs trump individual success, and self-reliance the only key that can unlock the door to the future.

**This is a review based on an ARC. The text may change!**

It was really fantastic to see how an immigrant to the US from Mexico copes with family, school, a job and learning to live life. It's also pretty much a coincidence how my last post (below) is of Illegal by Bettina Restrepo, which also deals with a family from Mexico.

It was different to see how Marisa lives her life. I mean, I can't imagine ever living like that! But obviously, people DO live like that. I haven't lived in an area with many immigrants of the same background (ish), although I am one of many expats living in Singapore. The difference is that Marisa's family isn't so well off. She wishes she can go to University and earn a degree in Engineering, but her family (and controlling dad) want her to stay home and help earn money. 

As each event goes by, we can see how deeply that effects Marisa. The emotions portrayed in this book are amazingly detailed and we can see her sadness in not being able to learn things, her anger towards her family, and love towards her boyfriend Alan. She keeps her emotions to herself and isn't as outgoing as her supportive (and hilarious) friend Brenda. Another interesting thing about Marisa and this book. It has a whole ton of Spanish words sprinkled around in the book, so if you're like me and the only word in Spanish you know is 'hola', I recommend looking up some of the words, but usually, you'll get the gist of it. But anyway, as I was saying, there was one word that I picked up which I remembered from a documentary. Mariposa. Butterfly. I remember watching a documentary on these amazing butterflies migrating to Mexico at the same time each year in time for some celebration. I believe there was a Barbie movie as well, something about Mariposa. I'm not sure. But the butterflies on the cover did make sense after that!

Speaking of Brenda, here comes the sassy, amazing (and not to mention hilarious) best friend. She's outgoing, flirtatious and murderous to those who come to messing with her friends. Anita is Marisa's niece, who is an adorable little girl (so cute and cuddly :D) who helps Marisa see clearly in the end when things look grim. Alan? Loved him! I could really picture him. Actually, that's what Ashley Pérez has done amazingly with this book. You can picture all of the characters, they are just so well developed!

The storyline was an amazing ride as well. With every problem Marisa encounters, whether it be about University or her boyfriend, we are always rooting for the best outcome and hope it happens. With twists and turns which throw the possibilities endlessly everywhere, Marisa's future is one hell of a journey!

Overall, I would say that this is a fantastic debut by Ashley Hope Pérez, showing the not-so bright side of life, those who have been through tough times and girls who aren't thought of as important. It's fresh and new, and girls will have a new heroine to root for! Coming to bookstores on March 28th, GET. THIS. BOOK. Trust me, you won't regret it.

Recommended for: 13+
Source: ARC from NetGalley


  1. Thanks for the recommendation! I really like books about real people in real situations!!

  2. Thanks for the review. It's a great blog! I'll follow you :) if you want you ca follow me.

    I love books. I'll look for it to buy it but I thinl I'm not gonna get it in my town (I live in Argentina) so I might have to download it.

    Kisses :)

  3. Thanks for the thoughtful review of What Can't Wait! I'm glad the novel gave you a new perspective of what life is like for some teens.

    @ Fii: you can get WCW on ebook here:


    Thanks again!
    Ashley Pérez



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