ARC Review: What Can't Wait

Author: Ashley Hope Perez
Genre: YA
Release: March, 2011
Source: Netgalley
Rating: 5/5

Description: "Another day finished, gracias a Dios." Seventeen-year-old Marisa's mother has been saying this for as long as Marisa can remember. Her parents came to Houston from Mexico. They work hard, and they expect Marisa to help her familia. And they expect her to marry a boy from the neighborhood, to settle down, and to have grandbabies. If she wants a job, she could always be an assistant manager at the local grocery store.

At school, it's another story. Marisa's calc teacher expects her to ace the AP test and to get into an engineering program in Austin—a city that seems unimaginably far away. When her home life becomes unbearable, Marisa seeks comfort elsewhere—and suddenly neither her best friend nor boyfriend can get through to her. Caught between the expectations of two different worlds, Marisa isn't sure what she wants—other than a life where she doesn't end each day thanking God it's over.

What Can't Wait—the gripping debut novel from Ashley Hope Pérez—tells the story of one girl's survival in a world in which family needs trump individual success, and self-reliance the only key that can unlock the door to the future.


  •  I honestly can't think of anything I didn't like about this book.

  •  I loved the character, Marisa. Such a strong, resilent girl with a good head on her shoulders. She could've whined about the cards life dealt her, but she doesn't. She's very loyal to her family, but in the end, she wants to do what's best for her.
  • I liked the fact that this character doesn't let her environment define her. She's not exactly rich, surrounded by people who got pregnant young, etc. She's determined to break the cycle.
  • Man, this book brings me through the emotions. I found myself cheering for Marisa, crying with her, etc.
  •  This is a very realistic book.

Many teens, especially teens of immigrants, will be able to understand Marisa's struggles. Even if you haven't been in the same situation, you can still understand the character. Marissa's determination will have you cheering her on. I loved this book!