You don't have to be Hispanic to know that the fifteenth birthday is the big birthday for girls in the Hispanic culture. What you may not know is the epic proportions that these parties have reached in the USA.
Alvarez introduces us to the ins and outs of these traditional coming-of-age celebrations, as well as the modern twists involved in the parties. She also discusses some disturbing statistics about Hispanic female teens, which include high school drop-out rates, pregnancy, and suicide attempts.
So, all in all, it's not a celebration of the Latina ritual. Instead, it's an exploration of fifteen-year-old Latinas, their worlds, their parties, and the author herself at that age. It's also about feminism and the Hispanic culture. In fact, it's about a lot of things.
I had hoped for something a little more focused and a lot less about the author.