Books about friendship are guaranteed to get me every time. And in Gloria Buenrostro Is Not My Girlfriend is a story about figuring out what friendships are worth it, and which aren’t. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
As one of only two Asian American kids in his entire high school, Gary is used to being ignored and excluded by his classmates. So when the most popular guy in school offers him the opportunity to break into the inner circle, Gary jumps at the chance. All he needs to do is acquire the prized possession of the most beautiful and untouchable girl they know—Gloria Buenrostro.
But as Gary gets to know Gloria, he begins to truly understand her, and she accepts him for who he is—before long, they’re best friends. Being part of the “in crowd” has always been Gary’s dream, but as he comes closer to achieving infamy, he risks losing the first person who sees him for all he is, and realizes that amount of popularity is worth losing a true friend…
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
We begin Gloria Buenrostro Is Not My Girlfriend with a tension building chapter. We see the amends, the last ditch efforts, all showcasing the inevitable grand gesture. So while we see Gary and Gloria’s relationship blooming, there’s this feeling in the pit of our stomach. Of knowing that the end, or the fight is yet to come. Throughout Gloria Buenrostro Is Not My Girlfriend, Gary has to figure out what he’s willing to do, or not to do.
What our friends will ask of us, all the lines we are willing to cross, and the ones that are sacred. Because there’s a beauty in watching someone truly open up to us, to see them unfurl their petals and be vulnerable. All the little moments we can be there for someone, show up at their door, and change the subject. The secrets we keep from others, away from the light of scrutiny.
Gloria Buenrostro Is Not My Girlfriend is a tender story about friendship. About knowing that sometimes we just have to let go and other times we have to fight. It’s always the struggle to know when, but this book examines Gary’s discovery.
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About the Author
Brandon Hoàng is the author of the YA debut, Gloria Buenrostro Is Not My Girlfriend. Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, Brandon grew up coveting The Baby-Sitters Club books and slurping pho noodles. Before he was a writer, Brandon spent 10 years as an animation executive. Now a television writer by day and novelist by night, he currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife and two daughters. You can visit him on his website or cringe at his tweets.