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Adios to My Old Life by Caridad Ferrer

Adios to My Old Life

by Caridad Ferrer

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Reviewed by Me for TeensReadToo.com

If you're a fan of American Idol, like I am, you're going to love this book. If you don't like American Idol, that's okay, too, because you're still going to love this book! ADIOS TO MY OLD LIFE, the debut young adult novel of author Caridad Ferrer, stars seventeen-year-old Ali Montero, a Latino teen who is determined to be a finalist on the reality music show Oye Mi Canto.

Ali is a typical teen with a major difference--she has real musical talent. When she's singing and playing her guitar, she can forget about the usual family problems, the crazy friends, the insane school life. When she's inside her own head with only the music, Ali is transformed beyond a normal teenager into a star. The wonderful thing about Ali, though, is that she refuses to let stardom, or even normal trends, change the type of young woman that she is. There's no Jennifer Lopez or Shakira skimpy outfits or butt-shaking in her routines; there's no Ricky Martin or Marc Anthony wannabe groupies worming their way into her life.

With fresh and witty dialogue and a heroine that is truly easy to relate to, ADIOS TO MY OLD LIFE is a glimpse into what it means to live your dreams. While Ali lives the life of having her daily highs and lows shown on national television, she's smart enough to know that her music--and not fame and fortune--is what's important.

Kudos to Ms. Ferrer for a winning debut novel. This is the perfect story for everyone, whether male or female, young or old, American Idol fan or not. ( )
  GeniusJen | Oct 9, 2009 |
Susan says: Ferrer has created a really interesting, insider take on a Latin American Idol competition, and the youngest performer in this competition, Ali. The competition is being filmed in Miami, which is where Alegria lives, and at 17, she has to live at home with her father, who isn’t too happy with her new American Idol fame. This book was really interesting to me – not only was there a little love story, but Ferrer includes a lot of Latin countries and music, defining them and introducing them to a new audience effortlessly. And Ali doesn’t win the competition, which is also a new twist – although she is the best, she is forced out with just one week left. But everything does work out successfully for her. Unfortunately, there are minor characters who are not well-drawn, but other than that, this should be a popular book. ( )
  59Square | Mar 13, 2009 |
A cute read. The story premise is current - a young Latina girl auditions for the Latin version of American Idol - Oye Mi Canto. To her surprise, she passes the audition and finds herself nearly in over her head when she has to navigate the shark-infested waters of a reality TV competition. I liked getting a behind-the-scenes peek at what it must be like to be on such a program, and I found myself rooting for Ali to succeed.

As a heroine, Ali was very sympathetic. However, as the story continued on, I found her to be almost a little to perfect to be true. Not only was she the youngest contestant on the show, but she turned out to be the most passionate, the most professional, the most talented, the most adored...etc. She had pretty much no flaws. I would have like to see her struggle a little bit more, have a few more self-doubts, and not be so perfect.

Too, I found Ali's voice to be pleasant for the most part. I liked how Ferrer sprinkled in Spanish words to add a real sense of the culture. Some catchphrases became tedious from overuse - I particularly got tired of reading about "charts" instead of songs and how the characters hang out at the "barn" instead of the large mansion used to house the contestants. When Ali wasn't speaking in teen-speak cliches, she was a great protagonist.

Overall, a nice read. Definitely appropriate for older readers as Ali's relationship with her new boyfriend does become physical. ( )
  lynnm | Mar 4, 2009 |
Ali is a 17-year-old musician. She lives with her widowed father, who's slightly overprotective. With the aid of her best friend Sosi, she sneaks out of the house to audition for Oye Mi Canto, a Latin version of American Idol.

When she wins the audition, her life is turned upside-down. She has to deal with her father's reaction to her deception and the conflict between what he wants for her and what she wants for herself, but that's just the beginning. Despite the fact that as the only underage contestant on the show, she has a chaperone (her father's best friend, Elaine), Ali is plunged into an adult world full of competition, backstabbing, and betrayal. Balancing it out is success, a better understanding between Ali and her father, first love, and above all, the music.

The best thing about Adiós to My Old Life is how real the characters are. I wouldn't be a bit surprised to turn on the TV and see an episode of Oye Mi Canto, or to browse through the CDs at the store and find ones by Ali Montero or Guillermo, or Fabiana--though I wouldn't buy Fabiana's, and might hide it so nobody else could either, the bitch. Whoops. See what I mean? Real.

Other people have done much better jobs at dissecting this book--I'll just say that Adiós to My Old Life made me laugh, cry, cheer, scream, and fill up my Your Music queue. ( )
  Darla | Nov 24, 2008 |
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Tiring of unpromising jobs while longing for fame, seventeen-year-old Latina singer Ali Montero competes in a Latin superstar contest and finds herself overwhelmed by a maelstrom of glitzy wardrobe fittings, media interviews, and fan blogs.

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