by Donna Freitas
Source: borrowed from the library
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Antonia Lucia LaBella is obsessed with Saints. She knows everything about them and has a scrapbook-like Saint Diary where she keeps her prayers to specific saints. She even petitions the Vatican, hoping the Pope will make her the first living Saint. She's so caught up in her Saints that she doesn't even seen the miracles happening all around her in her everyday life.
I liked how Antonia is really into her religion, but she's not goody-goody about it. She still rolls her uniform skirt up and is dying for her first kiss. The author paints a vivid picture of Catholic school life.Just because she rebels a little, like any normal teenager, doesn't mean she isn't a good person. Antonia is always nice to those around her, from her older neighbors, to her friends' little brothers.
I really liked Michael, he was just so cute and sweet! I loved how he and Antonia were best friends until all those pesky teenage hormones showed up. Then Antonia got scared and ran away from his attentions. Antonia's hesitancy to "like" him is sweet and I think it's realistic for a girl's first love. I loved how Michael was persistent and really cared for Antonia, even when she pushed him away.
Antonia's relationships with her mom and grandmother are realistic and loving. Even through their disagreements, you can tell the ladies really care about each other.
I enjoyed learning about the different saints mentioned and how Antonia would pray to them in very specific situations. For instance, when she thought Michael was trying too hard for her attention, she prayed to St. Vitus, Patron Saint Against Animal Attacks!
Main Characters: 5/5
Supporting Characters: 5/5
Romance: 4/5 (so cute and age appropriate)
Uniqueness: 5/5 (loved all the saint references and there aren't too many books with a big Catholic influence)
Cover: 4/5 (adorable, love the saintly influence)
Bottom Line: This was a fast-paced read with a lot of heart, as Antonia learned a lot about family, herself, and even first love.