Sonia's family is low-income, low-minded, and not entirely legal immigrants from Mexico. They take her ambitions to graduate and continue school as a personal offense and a sign that she doesn't care about her family enough. To rectify this, they send her to Mexico to live with her grandmother and cousin to reinforce their "family first" ideals. What Sonia learns instead is that while family is important, so is being successful and achieving your goals. When she returns home, it is with newfound determination. But when life's issues begin piling up and a romantic interest gets in the way, Sonia will find her dreams of rising above her current status threatened.
Sharp, wise, and extremely insightful, The Secret Story of Sonia Rodriguez is an eye-opening and attention grabbing book. The straightforward style and compelling voice make this a book that many teens will be able to draw connections with from the text to their own lives. The characters are wonderfully developed and described, making them the feature that stands out the most in the novel. Sonia especially easily wins readers over with her heart and honesty, and earns readers' sympathies with all that she endures. The only things that didn't measure up to the rest of the book was the very short amount of time spent in Sonia's time in Mexico, but it in no way detracts from the overall reading experience. The Secret Story of Sonia Rodriguez is an inspiring and realistic look at one girl's struggle to find her identity and place in life, and is sure to popular among teens from many backgrounds.