The Spanish Club
Reviewed by Arianna Violante (age 20) for Reader Views (01/15)
“The Spanish Club” by Danielle Burnette is about a class field trip to Mexico, and centers around two teenage girls: Brianna Garrett and Dana Tate. Brianna and Dana have spent their high school years on the outside looking in, and rely solely on each other. However, Dana reveals to Brianna that her and her family will be moving away at the end of the summer, leaving Brianna alone for her senior year. On top of that, both girls are reeling from a family secret that they feel betrayed by. This class trip to Mexico is Brianna and Dana’s last time together, and a lot is riding on this trip. Things get even more complicated when Brianna and Enrique, the class playboy, start to bond and Dana gets jealous.
Burnette offers an honest take on female friendships, especially at such a turbulent age, and features the struggle that every young teenage girl will eventually go through: doing what is best for them and following their intuition. Sometimes with young adult novels, the female protagonists are unrealistic on how they would react to their problems; however, both Dana and Brianna are both ordinary teenagers that both display moments of fortitude and wisdom, and moments of immaturity and selfishness. In the end, “The Spanish Club” is an honest portrayal of the lives of teenagers and the problems that most high school students will face. By taking the reader on a journey to Mexico with Dana and Brianna, we learn not only about Mexico, but about all the characters in the novel and see their true colors.
I recommend “The Spanish Club,” by Danielle Burnette to young adults. It teaches young girls especially to defend themselves, to do what is best for them, and that they need to be who they want to be. It teaches young girls not to let others drag them down, and that they are more than capable of rising above the challenges that they will face.