Friday, October 23, 2015

Ana of California by Andi Teran

Fifteen year old Ana, from East Los Angeles, has been in and out of foster families for most of her life. With only the option of a group home left, Ana and her social worker explore the possible options of emancipation, but only after Ana successfully completes a semester long farm trainee program. Willing to try just about anything, Ana agrees to being placed on the Garber family farm in Hadley, California.

Emmett and Abbie Garber are a brother and sister duo that have been running the family farm; however, times have been tough in more ways than just financial. Abbie makes the decision to take part in the farm program that brings Ana to them. Unlike Emmett, Abbie is thrilled to have Ana living with them, appreciating both Ana’s hard work and her positive presence.

Ana begins to acclimate to life in Hadley. Ana and Abbie bond over art, music, and life in general. While Emmett is a bit more gruff in his interactions with Ana, it's easy to see that she's beginning to create a soft spot in his heart. Ana's found a friend in the eccentric Rye Moon and has developed a crush on bad boy Cole Brannan. Tangled in small town secrets and gossip there are reasons Emmett and Abbie refuse Ana to see Cole. With setbacks along the way, Ana's biggest concern is being sent back to life in a group home.

Ana of California loosely emulates L.M. Montgomery's classic Anne of Green Gables series, but spinning it with a modern twist. For those who liked the classic L.M. Montgomery books, this will be an interesting read as you draw connections from Emmett and Annie to Matthew and Marilla, Cole to Gilbert Blythe, the nosy Minerva Shaw to Avonlea's Rachel Lynde. Avid Anne of Green Gables fans are sure to see the humor in this new take.