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August 3, 2014


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Beyond the Gardens by Sandra C. Lopez

Sandra Lopez
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At the age of 18, Esperanza Ignacio begins her college years at an upscale Los Angeles art school, where she studies to fulfill her long-term dream in Animation. But she soon learns the truth to the old folktale: “you can take the girl out of the barrio, but you can’t take the barrio out of the girl.” Even though she’s getting financial aid, Esperanza works a part-time job during her break from classes just to make ends meet. Her roommate, Anna, is what she calls a “chicana from Beverly Hills” because of the rich daddy and the new car she got for her quinceaƱera.

Things get a little confusing for Esperanza when an old friend comes looking for her, hoping to start a meaningful relationship. But is Carlos the right guy for her? She never even considered him to be anything more than a friend since high school. Then comes Jake, a gorgeous mechanic, who shares her passion for books and loves her for who she is. What’s a girl to do?

Strength and determination help pave the way for the future. And, as she approaches her graduation, she is faced with a difficult decision: should she leave Los Angeles and leave behind her family, her home, and everything she’s known? Ever since she was born in the California barrio of Hawaiian Gardens, she’s always had to look over the fence, wondering what she’s been missing. Now she’s taking a flying leap over to see what’s beyond the little barrio. What’s beyond her family, her friends, and her past? What’s beyond the little nothing town, where dreams don’t exist? What’s beyond The Gardens? Is it life, love, a future? The story of Esperanza is finally concluded in this wildly entertaining and heart-warming sequel.
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  • File Size: 1640 KB
  • Print Length: 417 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
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Sandra C. Lopez Sandra Lopez, the author of the newly published young adult novel, Beyond the Gardens (2009), is a literary force to watch. She has been precocious for most of her life: reading books at the age of two, being the first in her family to graduate from high school and college, being one of the youngest emerging authors today. She recently received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from California State University, Fullerton, and is ready to take on the literary world.

Her first novel was published before Sandra graduated from college.
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She debuted with Esperanza: A Latina Story (2008) was about a poverty home with domestic abuse, alcoholism and drug abuse among her father's and relatives gangland connections.  A teenager from this home has so little hope, if any for any future that is worth anything. Hawaiian Gardens in LA, may be her defeat.  A friend tries to get her into an early marriage forsaking her education.When she enters high school, she faces many obstacles, she is bullied, there is so much pressure from her peers.  She struggles with the possibility she will become another Latina dropout. She has no one to base her lifestyle upon, no home to protect her, but she finds inside her the will and courage she never knew she had and overcomes the barriers that held her against her dreams.

I would recommend that you read the first book before BEYOND THE GARDENS.  You get the background of Esperanza and her life. Now we are in the second book. Esperanza is grown, 18 years old.  She is pursuing her dreams of art with the help of financial aid.  But trouble is brewing.  Her life is turned upside down when those from her past come back into her life.  Carlos is now wanting her romantically and Carla, Carlos' sister is pushing Esperanza to get married to her brother while she is till in high school.  Another problem is her roommate, a rich Chicana and Jake
a  supposed soul mate.  Esperanza begins to wonder what lies beyond the gardens of her home barrio and will her life hold her dreams.
The author wrote a wonderful, though sad at times book that will relate to those who have been in the same circumstances and for those who want and need to understand what happens to people in those circumstances.  She shows how a young person with the will and courage to obtain the goals they want to reach, can.  It isn't easy and obstacles may pop up at the least expected time, but they can be overcome.  One thing at a time, one step at a time and you can overcome.  What a wonderful book for not only young adults but anyone.  This type of lifestyle is happening everyday in every city.  Some is hidden and no one never knows.  Others are out in the open where everyone knows, but there is the attitude of close your eyes and it will go away.    In every one's lives there is a place BEYOND THE GARDENS.
I was given a complimentary copy of BEYOND THE GARDENS from the author, Sandra Lopez for my view of the book. No other compensation took place.
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Purple Ribbon Clip ArtPurple Ribbon Clip ArtI would give this book 5 RIBBONS.Purple Ribbon Clip ArtPurple Ribbon Clip Art

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