Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2024) Featured Review: Rubi Ramo’s Recipe for Success by Jessica Parra, Narrated by Karla Serrato

  • Rubi Ramos’s Recipe for Success
  • by Jessica Parra
  • Narrated by Karla Serrato
  • Dreamscape Media, LLC
  • Publication Date: May 16, 2023
  • ISBN: 9781666633634

Senior Rubi Ramos has a plan. 1. Get accepted to Alma University and 2. Become a successful lawyer, just as her bakery owner, Cuban-American parents expect of her. But when Rubi is waitlisted, she’s determined to fix that by finding a math tutor and leading her debate team to the championship, all while keeping the waitlist and baking beyond her work at the bakery a secret. What could go wrong? It turns out Rubi’s passion for baking and competing in the bake off could help with being accepted to Alma and also help with realizing her dream. 

Jessica Parra’s debut into YA features topics she is familiar with as a lawyer and the daughter of Guatemalan and Cuban bakers. Parra’s characters are both entertaining and believable and Serrato’s narration gives personality to each. The cover gives romance, yet overall the story is more coming-of-age with Rubi’s relationship with her parents, her friends, and her teammates as well as the decisions she ultimately has to make.  

For readers who enjoyed  A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow by Laura Taylor Namey; reading about the expectations of traditional family values in When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon or the strong-willed protagonist in Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy.

-Lysha Thompson  

Other Nominated Titles

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.

Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers Featured Review: The Truth About Everything by Bridget Farr

  • The Truth About Everything
  • by Bridget Farr
  • Publisher: Flux
  • Release Date: October 11, 2022
  • ISBN: 9781635830804

Lark’s off-the-grid, conspiracy-theorist parents claim to homeschool her but in reality, her education stopped long ago. Now she spends her days completing chores on their farm and hanging out with her only friend Alex. Her first period, with no previous knowledge of menstruation, leads her to secretly enroll in school and her worldview is soon blown apart. Lark quickly begins to question everything she has been taught and to engage with the world from which she has been shut away. But there are consequences for her actions back home.

Many teens are used to complaining about school so the idea of education not even being an option and the loss of everything that comes is eye-opening. Lark’s struggle to come to terms with the fact that her parents are wrong is difficult but something teens will face, though probably not to this extent. Lark is a naive and smart character who grows by leaps and bounds. Readers get to experience every self-doubt with her. These themes will be familiar with readers.

Readers who enjoy books about difficult families or unique family situations will enjoy this novel. Hand this to fans of We’ll Fly Away by Bryan Bliss and Smoke by Darcy Woods

-Cathy DeCampli

Other Nominated Titles

Release Date: January 3, 2023
Release Date: February 28, 2023

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.