Don’t pay attention to my rating if you’re a fervent YA reader. I’m not, and while I liked it just fine, I didn’t reach the ‘love’ level simply because I didn’t invest myself in the romance that I found half bland, half soothing. However, I’m pretty sure that it’s a winner for readers who enjoy gentle, sensible, somewhat poetic teen love stories.
Sure it lacked excitement for me, but I enjoyed the earthy quality of Sara Alva’s writing, and the flavour she gives to her story. “Pura Vida” is sandy like the cover, bright and warm like a sunny day on the beach, colourful like Costa Rican wildlife, and it tastes like summer love, salty and bittersweet like impending separation. It talks of youth, of growing up, of dangers and beauties waiting for you outside the nest, of taking a chance at life and happiness.
I recommend it strongly to YA readers. Other readers might take a chance at it and keep it in store for when they’ve been bruised by their last read, or simply for when they’re in the mood for a pretty, relaxing story with a solid writing.