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Teenage artist Mila Gulick runs to Mexico to prove she is independent and can achieve perfection in her chosen field of study… whatever that is. When friends and two oh-so-cute boys throw her ordered world into a tailspin, she discovers that only in embracing the beautiful mess can she find God’s plan and his overwhelming love.
Sketchy Taco is Meg D Gonzalez’s debut novel. It’s geared at the young adult audience and aims to show that each person is capable of a lot more than they realize or than the people around them give them credit for.
Mila is a sheltered teenager whose parents were somehow convinced to send her to Mexico for 6 weeks to improve her Spanish skills.
Mila jumps at the chance because she wants the opportunity to experience a taste of freedom and to prove to her mother that she is independent and can take care of herself.
Written in the first person, the opening scenes place you in Mexico smack dab in the middle of Mila’s excitement and confusion. She’s excited because, hey, it’s Mexico but it’s confusing because everything, including the Spanish, is going too fast.
Meg Gonzalez does a good job of drawing the reader into Mila’s confusion and embarrassment and the feeling is reminiscent of high school.
*** Spoiler Alert ***
One of the main persons that Mila interacts with is Rosa, the eldest daughter of her host family. At times Rosa seems very friendly and accommodating, at others she’s very aloof and standoffish.
A lot of Rosa’s responses seemed to have been driven by the clique of female friends that she surrounds herself with.
One of her more common phrases was, “Are we friends?” yet she’s not a good friend as her loyalties wobble all over the place.
Not surprisingly, within a very short time Mila is walking on eggshells around her unsure of how to behave or react.
Mila first encounters Rosa’s friends at a party the day after her arrival in Mexico. David and Christian, ‘the two oh-so-cute boys’, immediately distinguish themselves from the group of teenagers that Rosa – and Mila by extension - surrounds herself with. But for me, Christian just seemed a little bit too pat.
I totally remember my teenage days and understand why Mila was drawn to him – he’s handsome, smooth and rich, what else could a girl want? A lot more as it turns out as Mila soon finds out.
A lot of the book shows Mila torn between two disparate characters, and a lot of her confusion has to do with her expectations of herself filtered through her mother’s eyes.
I would have wanted to see Mila develop into a stronger character because of her time and experiences in Mexico. I had hoped that there would have been a lot more time spent seeking God and trying to find herself than there actually was in the book.
I did not like the fact that she basically substituted Rosa for her mother. What do I mean by that? For the entire book Mila is hampered both physically and emotionally because she is constantly seeking her mother’s approval.
Away from her mother, she’s constantly seeking Rosa’s approval. I would have loved for her to get to a point where she said, “You know what? Enough is enough.”
What I did like was the way she finally embraced her art and recognized that it was a gift from God and that she needed to do something with it. I loved that she was able to use her artwork for the glory of God and that her mother finally acknowledged that she had talent.
Overall, Sketchy Tacos was a great read and the Coote men had to listen to me walking around saying “Sketchy Tacos” in a bad Mexican accent for a few days. I think it would be a great read for teenagers because it will show them that, inside all of us is there is great potential.
It will also show them that in relationships with the opposite sex and even with their peers that there are little indicators that will tell if a person will be a great addition to our lives or not.
You can watch a trailer of the book here.
Get your copy of Sketchy Tacos today on Amazon.
Have you read Sketchy Tacos? What did you think?
I agreed to write a review of Sketchy Tacos in exchange for a free copy of the book, I didn’t receive any other compensation. These are my own opinions.
Meet Meg D Gonzalez
Meg once lived in Mexico and considers herself a "tea-sipping, adventure-seeking, pug-loving kind of girl who's crazy for God". She blogs over at megdgonzalez.com where she shares her love of God with other women all over the world.