To be Maria by Deanna Proach

Seventeen-year-old Anya Preschnikov wants to become a famous actress but she's faced with two problems. Her father ignores her and doesn't have any money to support her. At school, she's bullied on a daily basis, yet she believes that she will gain her stepping-stone to stardom if she's accepted by her peers.

All of this changes when Maria Hernandez--an immigrant from Spain--comes to Peach Valley Senior High. Maria knows what it takes to fit in. She's assertive, confident and she dresses suggestively, characteristics that all of the popular kids admire. Yet she sees in Anya what no one else sees: beauty and talent.

When Maria extends her hand of friendship, Anya is elated. Her rise to popularity is about to become a reality, but it ends at a house party when a boy's rude comment sends her into a rage.

Desperate to belong somewhere, Anya and Maria seek new friends outside of school. They meet Alex and Marissa, a young couple who eagerly welcomes them into their world of parties and drugs. Anya and Maria soon find out that Alex is a drug dealer, but they are so lured by his wealth, good looks and aggressive confidence that they can't resist his friendship. They don't know that Alex's gang is at war with a rival gang--one that's run by Anya's older brother, Adrik--until one incident puts their lives in danger's path. To make matters worse, Alex won't let Anya and Maria out of his sight. The two teens are forced to make a decision that's a matter of life or death

I always find it harder to write my thoughts out on a book that already explains so much in the summary. For the most part I would just be restating the facts. But as far as the emotions that this story will bring out is something that is not so easy to interpret.

The story of Anya and Maria is heart breaking. You can see all the hope and giddiness in the beginning of the book that Anya feels that things in her life could be changing, but when things start to go bad, they spiral out of control too fast.

It's kind of like that saying "watching a train wreck" you know that through the events that things can not end up good for the decisions and the friends they are making. Drugs and negative peer pressure can sure make things already feel out of control when your young and seeking friends. (now I sound like a over protective mother) but it's true.

This story will definitely pull at your heart strings and a story we can all learn from.

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