Have you ever skipped class or school just to see that special person? Teenage love is probably the most intense feeling you can live through. There have been a few instances in my life where I have escaped from class just to spend time with a very gorgeous little lady. Hearts racing and palms sweaty but to a teen it is totally worth it. Granted what comes around goes around and eventually bites you when you least expect it. My mother found out just like Mayor family found out their little adventure to the snow covered sand. Ms. Henriquez convinces the reader to switch your mind back into getting scolded by your parents for something mischievous that seemed like a perfect parent-proof plan (235). We all experience it whether we like it or not. It’s just part of what we call life. Young love can never be compared to anything else since it a learning phase that 99.99% of teens experience, especially during the middle/ high school years.
From the first time one has encountered that perfect person one could feel like not one other person is better this one. Like Mayor felt, “My heart was jackhammering so hard I thought people from the next aisle were going to start complaining about the noise” (Henriquez Chap 5). You cannot say that the first love experience did not start out that way, heart beating like an African drum. Mind going blank while trying to think about what to say to the most gorgeous human being standing in front of you, or while she/he is walking away. Face burning feeling like it is about to fall off and just remembering every movement of their lips and eyes. Teen love is a strange thing and not many people know what to do or say when it happens in real time. Mayor thought to himself as he first her standing there with her mom, “… she wasn’t wearing any makeup or jewelry or anything else that most of the girls in my school liked to pile on. Forget about all of that. She was fucking gorgeous.” (Henriquez Chap 5). As time goes by, one finally starts to talk to that person and gets to know them and just fall more and more in the process as if nobody else is so darn perfect. Mayor was at first embarrassed as he had in his hands a pair of boxer shorts, size XS, and put it behind him as he was studying Maribel for the first times.
“What can I say? She grew on me… Maribel and I started hanging out in the kitchen by ourselves.” (Henriquez Chap 11) Mayor and Maribel were getting closer and closer, at least in Mayors mind as Maribel’s mind would venture off to another world in the middle of some conversations. Mayor felt as if she was made for him and in this life it seemed as if she wasn’t that intimidating as the Normal girls. As stated, “In another life, … I was pretty sure she would have been one of the popular girls, the one all the guys lusted over. But this was a different life…” (Henriquez Chap 11) What did he mean by what he said? Maybe if Maribel hadn’t been in that accident, she would be like all the other girls in his school and just ignore him but seeing that she isn’t he finally had a chance, even if she was “brain damaged” he saw her still as a perfect girl. The father, Rafael Toro, on the other hand did not want to see his son with a girl like Maribel, as he saw just the part where she was not all there in her head. Alma, Mayors mother, tried to defend their love as she saw that her son was finally happy with a nice girl. In a teen’s first love there is always someone or something that interferes with it and tries to separate them, which makes the teens want to fight until the end. In another book, Eleanor and Park, the scary and abusive stepfather had pretty much screwed everything in Eleanor’s’ life as she eventually left her past life and lover (Park) behind to get away from such a monster.
Whether it be bullies to parents that tend to mess everything up for the young lovers, eventually all the hype dies down and they start to realize all the little stuff that made her so appeals starts fading in the wind as they start to lose interest and eventually they break up. Studies show, “With experience, if all goes well love becomes a little less blind” (Moore 550). Friendships are broken and lies are told to parents and eventually it all catches up to the lovers and the best decision to be made is to break up. With a sharp pain in their hearts love is destroyed, replaced with hurt and deception.
Henriquez, Cristina. The Book of Unknown Americans : A Novel. Vintage, 2014. Vintage Contemporaries. EBSCOhost,chaffey.idm.oclc.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx? direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=749831&site=ehost-live
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Moore, Susan. “Teenagers in Love.” Psychologist, vol. 29, no. 7, July 2016, pp. 548-551. EBSCOhost, chaffey.idm.oclc.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=116593286&site=ehost- live.