MLA Platinum Award Press Release

They Could Have Named Her Anything Summary and Reviews

They Could Have Named Her Anything

by Stephanie Jimenez

They Could Have Named Her Anything by Stephanie Jimenez X
They Could Have Named Her Anything by Stephanie Jimenez
Buy This Book

About this book

Book Summary

Racism, class, and betrayal collide in this poignant debut novel about restoring the broken bonds of family and friendship.

Every morning, seventeen-year-old Maria Anís Rosario takes the subway an hour from her boisterous and close-knit family in Queens to her private high school on the Upper East Side, where she struggles to fit in as one of the only Latina students—until Rocky welcomes her into this new life. White, rebellious, and ignored by her wealthy parents, Rocky uses her money toward one goal: to get away with anything. To Maria, it's a dazzling privilege.

As a bond develops between these unlikely friends, neither can see what they share most—jealousy and the desire for each other's lives. But crackling under the surface of their seemingly supportive alliance, the girls begin to commit little betrayals as they strive to get closer to their ideals regardless of the consequences.

Told from the perspectives of Maria, Rocky, and their fathers, They Could Have Named Her Anything explores the heartfelt expectation of what it means to live up to the name you've been given and the more rewarding discovery of what really matters.

Read a Sample

Click to the right or left of the sample to turn the page.
(If no book jacket appears in a few seconds, then we don't have an excerpt of this book or your browser is unable to display it)

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

"Bristling with adolescent insecurities, sexual tension, and status consciousness, Jimenez's debut is a natural for both adult and teen readers." - Kirkus Reviews

"In this beautiful debut, Jimenez boldly examines the desperate desire to fit in as an American minority living in a rich, white-dominated society. She unveils the struggles of both the upper and working classes with incredible empathy and sophistication, for a thoroughly engaging read." - Booklist

"[The plot] offers sharp insights about teens from different worlds. Highly recommended for mature audiences." - School Library Journal

"Jimenez's insightful, pulsing novel succeeds in its relatability, nailing that sweet spot between teen and adult fiction." - Salon

"Told from the unique perspectives of two unique girls and their fathers, this sharp debut has a lot to say about family, friendship and what's really important in life." - Ms. Magazine

"Stephanie Jimenez's characters want to know, desperately, sincerely, where they might belong. In pursuit of this question, they cross borders and expectations—of class and race, of their roles as women, daughters, fathers, lovers—barreling through their mistakes with clear-eyed hope that it will pay off. They Could Have Named Her Anything is a powerful reminder that moving between worlds is rarely free, and that the most valuable educations take place outside the classroom." - Danielle Lazarin, author of Back Talk: Stories

"They Could Have Named Her Anything is a profound exploration of desire: the desire to fit in, the desire to understand ourselves, the desire to be accepted for exactly who we are...Stephanie Jimenez comes to her debut with rare insight and extraordinary empathy, bringing us characters so real they feel like family." - Danya Kukafka, author of Girl in Snow

"This gorgeous debut from Stephanie Jimenez brims with visceral details. They Could Have Named Her Anything captures all of the aggressive beauty and tension of growing up, the complexity of families, and what it's like to come of age in a city among millions. I was immediately drawn in by Maria, Jimenez's sharp and observant protagonist, and her vivid, urgent journey." - Natalka Burian, author of Welcome to the Slipstream and A Woman's Drink

The information about They Could Have Named Her Anything shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Author Information

Stephanie Jimenez

Stephanie Jimenez is a former Fulbright recipient. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in the Guardian; O, The Oprah Magazine; the New York Times; Joyland Magazine; and more. She completed a novel-writing intensive at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, and she attended the 2017 Bread Loaf Writers' Conference for fiction. They Could Have Named Her Anything is her debut novel. She lives in Queens, New York.

More Author Information

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

More Recommendations

Readers Also Browsed . . .

more novels...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Join Now!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    The Flight Portfolio
    by Julie Orringer
    At once a sweeping historical narrative, an insightful character study and a tender romance, Julie ...
  • Book Jacket: The Color of Air
    The Color of Air
    by Gail Tsukiyama
    Daniel was raised in Hilo, Hawaii by Japanese immigrant parents. Having traveled to the U.S. ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Volunteer
    by Jack Fairweather
    Though many found The Volunteer a challenging read, First Impressions responses were overwhelmingly ...
  • Book Jacket: The Last Flight
    The Last Flight
    by Julie Clark
    Julie Clark's second novel, The Last Flight, is the tale of two women, each desperate to escape an ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Hieroglyphics
    by Jill McCorkle

    A mesmerizing novel about piecing together the hieroglyphics of history and memory.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    With or Without You
    by Caroline Leavitt

    A moving novel about twists of fate, the shifting terrain of love, and coming into your own.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Last Flight
by Julie Clark

The story of two women and one agonizing decision that will change the trajectory of both of their lives.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Every Bone a Prayer

Everybone a Prayer by Ashley Blooms

A beautifully honest exploration of healing and of hope.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

T Real M

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.