Book Review: Ana of California

July 24, 2015 Book Review 7

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book nor the content of my review.

Book Review: Ana of CaliforniaAna of California by Andi Teran
Published by Penguin Books on June 30th 2015
Genres: Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 368
Format: Paperback
Source: complimentary review copy

The re-telling of the timeless classic Anne of Green Gables, Ana of California is a lovely tribute to the L.M. Montgomery series.

Fifteen year old Ana Cortez is on her very last option for foster care.  She’s been to a group home and multiple foster homes since entering “the system” at age 7.  Ana has a fierce protective spirit of others who are being mistreated and she is both unable and unwilling to keep injustices to herself.

I was impressed with Teran’s creation of Ana.  She was both a bit of Anne but a whole lot of Ana {like fauna not banana}.  Ana is street-wise yet also still a child in need of adult love and protection.  She’s older than Anne Shirley and of a diverse background {as is her best friend, Rye}.  The Northern California town plays a distinct role while the supporting cast of characters are refreshingly their own persons. While Ana could be a much more tragic figure than Anne Shirley there is a lightness to the novel.  Yes, Ana’s circumstances are horrific.  Yes, the brother and sister duo have pain and grief of their own.  What Teran succeeds at most is telling their stories without any one character succumbing to the weight of the world.

Words of Wisdom from Ana

You know when we were leaving and Alder said he thought bees were really angels on earth?….Maybe they have stingers for that very purpose.  To give life, take it, and also to maybe keep the rest of us from realizing how good they can be.  And maybe when we see one, away from any others, nowhere near a hive, maybe it’s there to remind us that goodness in disguise is always buzzing around in the periphery. {p. 136}

Sent to the organic farm as a very last resort Ana brings as much to the brother and sister owners as they share with her.  Truly a sweet novel for fans of Anne of Green Gables. Lighthearted, hope-full and a lovely summer read.  Grab some fresh strawberries and cream, hot tea and a porch swing then sit awhile and enjoy Ana’s story.

Penguin has created a free book club kit resource full of recipes, additional reading and even a Spotify playlist.

Are you a fan of re-tellings or do you avoid them at all costs?

Congratulations to Katherine of Story Matters for winning the Classic + A Re-Telling Giveaway.  Hope you enjoy!



7 Responses to “Book Review: Ana of California”

    • Stacy

      Ah I’m so glad someone else knows the aggravation of bad book memory! I thought it was just me! I’ve even read those books to improve my book memory but when I read so many books it’s hard to keep all those plots straight in my head months later. Let me know if you find a cure!
      Stacy recently posted…Book Review: Ana of CaliforniaMy Profile

  1. Laurel-Rain Snow

    I knew this book was supposedly a retelling of Anne of Green Gables, one of my favorite childhood series…but I forgot all about any similarities as I totally engaged in Ana’s unique story.

    I was actually drawn to this book because of the foster care system Ana experienced…I spent 30 years working with kids in foster care, so the issues resonated with me.

    Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for the review!
    Laurel-Rain Snow recently posted…AUTHOR’S HOME PAGEMy Profile

    • Stacy

      That’s right Laurel! I forgot you and I share our work in the foster care system. That’s why I wanted to read this one as well ~ I spent 20 years working with CASA, first as a volunteer, then advocacy coordinator and finally as a director. I’ve always wanted to figure out a way to help those teenagers in Ana’s situation ~ I like the organic farming concept. That was interesting. Do you ever miss the work?
      Stacy recently posted…Book Review: Ana of CaliforniaMy Profile

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