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The Fortune of Carmen Navarro by Jen Bryant

The Fortune of Carmen Navarro

Carmen Navarro works at the local Quikmart.  She is bored with her job.  Ryan Sweeney  goes to the Valley Forge Military Academy, where there are no girls.  In The Fortune of Carmen Navarro by Jen Bryant, their two worlds collide.  One day Carmen is working at the checkout counter, and Ryan comes into the store on a one-day pass.  He sees her jet-black hair and snake tattoo and falls for her immediately.  Carmen sees Ryan as a cute boy with whom she'd like to spend some time.  She invites him to come and listen to her band.   That is the beginning of an intense relationship for Ryan.

Ryan Sweeney comes from a military family.  His family decided for him that he would be going to Valley Forge Military Academy.  He wants to please his family and has never questioned their authority.  He has been a model student and a rule follower - that is, until he meets Carmen.  He starts sneaking off campus to see her and lying to his classmates about where he is going.  His grades start to slip.  Ryan has never met anyone like Carmen, and he has fallen hopelessly in love with her.

Carmen, on the other hand, really likes Ryan and thinks that he is cute.  They have fun together, but she is more interested in her band and music career.  In fact, she wants to be a superstar.  After some fun with Ryan, she decides that dating him is distracting her from her focus.  Carmen has to break up with Ryan.

Ryan has become obsessed with Carmen.  He is not ready to let her go.  In fact, he will do whatever it takes to keep her.  This book is inspired by the novella and opera Carmen.  It is a contemporary tale of tragic love, describing an imbalanced relationship between two young people.  What happens when one person loves so intensely that they would sacrifice everything for that person but the intensity is not reciprocated?  This book has a stunning and shocking ending, and it is written lyrically by Bryant with compelling insight.