Viva Lola Espinoza

Penguin/Kokila. Apr. 2023. 400p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780593405628.
Gr 9 Up–Readers will fall for Lola, a character who loves to read and adores adventure. Lola travels to Mexico City to spend time with her grandmother. While Lola is adventurous, she's frustrated and feels she's been cursed in the love department. At the same time, she feels like magic does not exist and hopes she will someday find someone special. While in Mexico City, she meets the flirty Rio, who makes her realize that there actually is a curse stopping her from falling in love. The story progresses as a love triangle blooms, especially when she meets Javi, a nice but quiet—even standoffish—boy, whom she meets while working in her cousin’s restaurant. What follows is an adventure, full of dramatic moments, as Javi, a curse breaker, attempts to help Lola; readers will not only relate to Lola but also to the confusion from falling for two very different boys.
VERDICT This debut novel is cute and warm; it will keep readers flipping through the pages and swooning over the romantic moments, as well as interested in the well-written and engaging story.

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