For fans of GILMORE GIRLS and TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE, this effervescent love story from debut author Nina Moreno will sweep you away.

Rosa Santos is cursed by the sea-at least, that’s what they say. Dating her is bad news, especially if you’re a boy with a boat.
But Rosa feels more caught than cursed.

Caught between cultures and choices. Between her abuela, a beloved healer and pillar of their community, and her mother, an artist who crashes in and out of her life like a hurricane. Between Port Coral, the quirky South Florida town they call home, and Cuba, the island her abuela refuses to talk about.

As her college decision looms, Rosa collides-literally-with Alex Aquino, the mysterious boy with tattoos of the ocean whose family owns the marina. With her heart, her family, and her future on the line, can Rosa break a curse and find her place beyond the horizon?
Available now from Little Brown for Young Readers.

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Add Rosa on Goodreads: Saint Rosa of the Sea

“If you’re a guy with a boat, don’t date Rosa Santos. Both her grandfather and her father died at sea, so she is supposed to stay close to home and away from the water. But that’s tough when you live in Port Coral, Florida! Of course, while organizing a fundraiser to save the community, Rosa meets a boy who feels pulled to the ocean. What’s she to do? This debut novel is pitch-perfect in tone and voice, and its characters are as real as your own friends and family.” 
Cathy Berner, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX


Don’t Date Rosa Santos blends two cultures brilliantly, seamlessly, and humorously. As I floated through these pages, I felt like a member of the Port Coral community and didn’t want to leave. Rosa is a relatable American teenager guaranteed to make you smile.”―Gloria Chao, author of American Panda

chanel blurb

“A love song to family, diaspora, and girls on the verge of discovering who they want to be.”―Zoraida Cordova, award-winning author of Labyrinth Lost

“The delicate aroma of fresh-baked pastry combined with the heady intoxication of sea winds infiltrate the pages of this romantic debut novel. I fell in love with all three generations of Santos women as I rushed through the pages on Port Coral’s lemon-scented breeze. When I was done, I held the book to my heart, happy for love, happy for memories, and happy this book exists in the world. Pa’lante.”―Jaye Robin Brown, author of Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit

“A refreshing new voice, Nina Moreno takes on the sometimes complicated relationship between daughters and their mothers with such heartwarming and magical touches that readers will fall in love with and root for Rosa. A beautiful story that will stay with you long after you reach the end!”―Lilliam Rivera, award-winning author of The Education of Margot Sanchez

This book left me in a deep well of hopefulness and salt air. GILMORE GIRLS by way of IN THE HEIGHTS, DON’T DATE ROSA SANTOS snuck straight into my south Florida soul and drowned me in love, community, and cafe con leche. It was catharsis, it was a sharp percussive beat against my heart, and it was just what I needed. Buy it!” ~One More Page Books

“Interwoven into Rosa’s energetic story are rich, often humorous descriptions of the goings-on in her lively, intergenerational, multicultural community (which is monitored and documented by Insta-addicted viejitos), the mystical practices and herbal lore of her abuela, and the pressures put on children of immigrants. Dialogue moves seamlessly between English and Spanish, adding texture to the warmth and intimacy of this story of a girl who sees recovering her heritage as what she needs in order to move forward.”―BCCB

“Maybe you shouldn’t date Rosa Santos, but you should definitely read this book. Don’t Date Rosa Santos is alive with the magic of love, family, and Cuba. This enchanting novel will sweep you up like the sea.”―Stephanie Kate Strohm, author of Prince in Disguise and Love á la Mode

Looking for a cute, funny and intelligent rom-com? Try this novel about a Cuban girl living in a seaside Florida town with a bunch of nosy neighbors, one cranky abuela and three generations of a curse.  It’s incredibly sweet (literally, the boy bakes!) but doesn’t shy away from examining the impact of the Cuban diaspora on first and second generation Cubans and immigrant children in general. Come for the romance, stay for the magical realism & pastelitos!” ~Books & Books

“In her debut novel, Nina Moreno flawlessly melds spiritual belief, economic hardship and an exploration of personal identity with a swoon-worthy romance set in a richly painted community populated with colorful characters. Don’t Date Rosa Santos is likely to delight readers of contemporary YA.” — Shelf Awareness (Jennifer Oleinik, freelance writer and editor)

“A lyrical and enchanting story about love, loss, the sea, and sassy grandmothers. Nina Moreno writes beautifully, pulling you into the story so wholly that you can almost feel the sea breeze as you read.”―Adi Alsaid, author of Let’s Get Lost

Junior Library Guild Selection
Spring 2019 Okra Pick
Summer 2019 Pick