Friday, April 15, 2016

Review: Ana of California by Andi Teran (audio)

Title: Ana of California
Author: Andi Teran
Narrator: Andi Teran
Published: July 2015, Dreamscape Media, LLC / Penguin Books
Length: 8 hours 46 minutes / ARC e-copy, 368 pages
Source: Personal copy via Audible / Netgalley

A modern take on the classic coming-of-age novel, inspired by Anne of Green Gables

In the grand tradition of Anne of Green Gables, Bridget Jones’s Diary, and The Three Weissmanns of Westport, Andi Teran’s captivating debut novel offers a contemporary twist on a beloved classic. Fifteen-year-old orphan Ana Cortez has just blown her last chance with a foster family. It’s a group home next—unless she agrees to leave East Los Angeles for a farm trainee program in Northern California.

When she first arrives, Ana can’t tell a tomato plant from a blackberry bush, and Emmett Garber is skeptical that this slight city girl can be any help on his farm. His sister Abbie, however, thinks Ana might be just what they need. Ana comes to love Garber Farm, and even Emmett has to admit that her hard work is an asset. But when she inadvertently stirs up trouble in town, Ana is afraid she might have ruined her last chance at finding a place to belong.

My thoughts: Anne of Green Gables is one of my all-time favorite books, so when I heard there was going to be a modern-day retelling of this story, I was a bit skeptical about reading it. I admit that I haven't really jumped on the band-wagon of retellings of the classics - though I think if they are all done as well as this one, I just might! I adored this, though Anne Shirley will forever be my favorite!

What I loved about this modern-day re-imagining of my beloved Anne of Green Gables is that some of my very favorite scenes were given updates - and were just as funny in today's world. Ana Cortez is a force to be reckoned with - she's quirky and endearing, headstrong and full of ideas. But, she has a past that is always going to be a part of her. Instead of being particular about how she spells her name (like AoGG was) Ana is insistent people say her name correctly! And then there are some incidents with Rye (think Diana from AoGG) - the Brazilian hair straightening formula and the mushroom scene. As was the case in the original book, these scenes are comical, but they also show just how much Ana longs for a good, true friendship.

I enjoyed getting to know the other characters that Andi Teran created in this new world for Ana. Being such a big fan of Anne of Green Gables, it's hard to not compare it all the way through, but I did really enjoy it and found that it was different enough to stand on its own. I think not only giving Ana a different spin but also giving the siblings that take on Ana a different background gives this story its own legs. Now if only Andi Teran would agree to continue writing this series, I'd be one happy fan!!!

Audio thoughts:
Having the author narrate the book is always a treat - they can really bring the characters to life in a way that is unique to only them and I think Andi Teran really did each and every character justice. I enjoyed the narration of this book as much as I enjoyed the book itself!



  1. Ok, I had to add this book. I loved the Anne of Green Gables series. I think my mum and I had first learned about it on PBS. We bought the VHS and then my mum got me the whole set of books. I still have them!

  2. I like the sound of this book! Thanks for a terrific review of Ana of California!


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