My Super Sweet Quince

Julia Alvarez investigates the rite of Latin teenage passage

“First of all, we need a limo. A Lincoln Town Car will not suffice. Second, we need a dress that’s sexy but not slutty, and obviously expensive. We’re talkin’ sequins and silk here. And third, we gotta have the hottest Miami musical performer out there. Get us DJ Khaled. What do you mean he isn’t available? What about Pitbull? We can’t even get Pitbull? Are you freakin’ kidding, here? Mommm! Our quince needs to be perfect!” The programming heads at MTV were genius to put My Super Sweet 16 on the air. Few programs better capture the ostentatious, so-ridiculous-it’s-scary mentality of spoiled, popularity-hungry teenagers. Some of the show’s best episodes were filmed right here in South Florida, where money is no object and the quinceañera rules. Best-selling author Julia Alvarez is fascinated by the phenomenon that has become an American celebration rivaling weddings and prom nights. And she has captured the evolution of the over-the-top coming-of-age ritual in her latest book, Once Upon a Quinceañera: Coming of Age in the USA.

Tonight Alvarez will share her experiences at the heart of quince planning, and the observations she has made through interviewing 14-going-on-15-year-old divas. Best of all, she’s presenting a PowerPoint presentation to put the over-the-topness in visual perspective. Fabulous! The spectacle unfolds at 8:00 at Books and Books.
Tue., Aug. 7, 8 p.m.

 
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