Addicted to Her
by Lynch, Janet Nichols

A tale set in California's San Joaquin Valley finds a Mexican-American teenager forced to choose between his obsession and what he believes to be right when he falls under the spell of Monique, a girl whose beauty rivals that of an Aztec goddess.

Rafa's life hasn't been easy, but at least he has a plan: working hard for his stepfather and winning a state wrestling championship should get him to college. Rafa's plan is derailed when the girl of his dreams, the stunning Monique, suddenly needs rescuing. Rafa doesn't just rescue Monique from her horrible boyfriend; he falls hard for her. His love borders on obsession, and soon Rafa is stalking Monique online and in person. He drops out of wrestling and lies to friends and family, all of whom clearly see that Monique is nothing but bad news. Several additional story lines converge in this title: the delinquent younger brother; the family's difficulties making ends meet; the worry that the stepfather, an illegal immigrant, will be deported. Rafa is a typical teen struggling to do the right thing in the face of love/lust. Though his character matures through the course of the novel and he eventually pegs Monique for the liar that she is, it may not come soon enough for some readers. Copyright 2009 Booklist Reviews.

Superior writing propels this engrossing story forward as high-school junior Rafa just can't tear himself way from his no-good, gorgeous girlfriend. Rafa comes from a poor Latino family that is struggling to rise in the world. He has a chance to get a wrestling scholarship for college if he keeps up his practice. Monique captivates Rafa, however, and once he wins her away from an abusive boyfriend, he finds himself abandoning his values of hard work because Monique disapproves. He knows she's not good for him but can't stay away. Although she's not writing suspense, Lynch maintains reader interest with her spot-on, realistic characterizations, and her insight into Rafa's and Monique's different families rounds out the story. Teen readers may spot the irony in the juxtaposition of Monique's seemingly wealthy family against Rafa's, which is rich in love. Who really is poor? Some sexual situations occur, but Rafa's choices and growing control over his life dominate this absorbing, realistic effort. Outstanding for all teens as well as an attractive subject for reluctant readers. (Fiction. YA) Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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