Book Review: What’s Coming to Me by Francesca Padilla
Seventeen-year-old Minerva Gutiérrez plans revenge on her predatory boss in this equally poignant and thrilling contemporary YA about grief, anger, and fighting for what you deserve, perfect for fans of Tiffany D. Jackson and Erika L. Sánchez.
In the seaside town of Nautilus, Minerva Gutiérrez absolutely hates her job at the local ice cream stand, where her sexist boss makes each day worse than the last. But she needs the money: kicked out of school and stranded by her mom’s most recent hospitalization, she dreams of escaping her dead-end hometown. When an armed robbery at the ice cream stand stirs up rumors about money hidden on the property, Min teams up with her neighbor CeCe, also desperate for cash, to find it. The bonus? Getting revenge on her boss in the process.
If Minerva can do things right for once—without dirty cops, suspicious co-workers, and an ill-timed work crush getting in her way—she might have a way out . . . as long as the painful truths she’s been running from don’t catch up to her first.
You know what I liked best about this book? I didn’t know where it was going. I wasn’t sure what decisions the characters would make or if things would work out. At points, I wasn’t even sure what “work out” meant for these characters. I felt like I was just along for the ride, discovering everything right alongside them. That’s a nice feeling. I mean, yeah, I was stressed out through most of the story because the situations they were in or the choices they made or contemplated making were not always safe or well thought out, but I also felt like, you know what, these kids can take care of themselves. And, okay, that’s not great—they’re kids. They shouldn’t have to be so self-sufficient or be scheming how to just get by, but I trusted that they would figure stuff out.
This story is absolutely fueled by anger and loss. Things in Min’s life are hard. The grief and rage and hurt she carries is just barely hidden. It’s making a mess of her life, even if she won’t admit that. But connections both new and renewed start to put her on a path toward healing and envisioning a future. That path, I should note, is not an easy one. Along the way, she and her friends contemplate robbery, sell drugs, do drugs, scheme, get caught, escape being caught, and generally make some pretty sketchy choices. Is that a conventional or necessarily amazing path toward healing or a better future? Of course not. But, fun fact, life isn’t easy. It’s not simple or free of bad choices or missteps. And, if you’re essentially on your own, as Min and CeCe are, you have to fumble your own way along that path. Hand this book to readers who like complicated lives, righteous anger, and surprisingly hopeful endings.
Review copy (ARC) courtesy of the publisher
Publisher: Soho Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 08/02/2022
Age Range: 14 – 17 Years
Filed under: Book Reviews
About Amanda MacGregor
Amanda MacGregor works in an elementary library, loves dogs, and can be found on Twitter @CiteSomething.
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