You have to go into this book with an open mind or you will not enjoy it. I think the reason people are saying that they dislike this book so much is because it is GRITTY. This book is written from the point of view of a young girl who lives in an poor, largely Hispanic neighborhood, and is faced with many situations that most people would not come across. This book is not butterflies and daisies and girls who giggle during sleepovers. This book is about girls that were unkowningly driving around in a stolen car, who sang jump-roping songs about pregnancies, who were hit by their fathers and husbands, who had to trade money for friendship (although that situation was actually pretty light-hearted and funny). This is an AMAZING book. Don't let the strange, surprising situations unnerve you. Sandra Cisneros is a poetic master who knows more about these situations than anyone else. As a girl who recieved this book on her 12th birthday, I must tell you that the first time you read this book, you might be sickened or bored. But PLEASE! GIVE THE BOOK A CHANCE!