Book Reviews

Review: Once Upon a Quinceañera by Monica Gomez-Hira

You know those books you want to work for you, but just don’t? Unfortunately, that was me and Once Upon a Quinceañera. I was expecting a story that would tackle class and complex families. But what I ended up reading featured a romance story line I could not get behind, characters which were a little flat, and some questionable wrapping up. Keep reading this book review for more details.


Carmen Aguilar just wants to make her happily ever after come true. Except apparently “happily ever after” for Carmen involves being stuck in an unpaid summer internship! All she has to do is perform! In a ball gown! During the summer. In Miami.

Fine. Except that Carmen’s company is hired for her spoiled cousin Ariana’s over the top quinceañera.

And of course, her new dance partner at work is none other than Mauro Reyes, Carmen’s most deeply regrettable ex.

If Carmen is going to move into the future she wants, she needs to leave the past behind. And if she can manage dancing in the blistering heat, fending off Mauro’s texts, and stopping Ariana from ruining her own quinceañera Carmen might just get that happily ever after after all.


(Disclaimer: I received this book from Edelweiss. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

Once Upon a Quinceañera was so frustrating. I am so glad I was buddy reading this with Cande and Vic because I’m not sure I would have finished it otherwise. Maybe it is just the case of high expectations, but I was so excited for a book that featured a complex family situation. But what I got was just so flat? The aspect I was looking forward to, wasn’t really wrapped up, in a way I found satisfying. At the same time, it seemed a bit too convenient, especially considering the gravity of the situation (and the emotions involved).

While I know that everyone likes different things in a romance, this was just no working for me. I was promised complex past mistakes and feuds, but what I got was a little lackluster. I did not see the appeal in either love interest. I don’t want to get too into it because I don’t want to spoil the plot for people who want to read! But yeah, I was just so frustrated for Carmen.

But I guess what was the final straw for me and Once Upon a Quinceañera, was that even by the end, I was so disappointed with the way things were wrapped up. I wanted to feel the push and pull, the scars and memories of the past. To have honest conversations and difficult silences. Maybe I’m just way too salty, but I, as a character, would not be okay with that ending. I enjoyed the theme of change and second chances, I just felt like the plot was missing some crucial moments and the characters some depth to get there.

If you want to give it a try yourself, please do and let me know what you think. Find Once Upon a Quinceañera on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


Talk to me about a book that disappointed you recently.

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