Piddy’s summer has been full of change: a changing body that everyone seems to notice, her best friend’s move away to Long Island, and her own move to a new apartment. Unfortunately, the new neighborhood requires changing schools. Piddy’s barely oriented to the huge building and new classes when she gets a message, “Yaqui Delgado wants to kiss your ass.” Everyone around her seems scared by this message, but Piddy’s just mystified. Who is Yaqui Delgado, and why would she want to hurt a girl she doesn’t even know?
Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass is an emotion-filled ride populated by interesting characters. The teenagers are confused and brave and mean and frightened in ever-changing and very realistic amounts. Their lives are full of the turmoil of navigating interpersonal relationships with adults and other teens. They’re helped, or hurt, by their financial situations and family ties. Piddy’s mother is confused by Piddy’s actions, haunted by her own past, and yet full of love for her only child.
I’ve wanted to read this book ever since I first read the title. It’s a great premise, but a premise alone does not make a novel. Meg Medina backed up her premise with a wonderful character and a strong plot. Piddy had me from chapter one and never let me go. I cheered her onward and read all the faster to find out what would happen. I hope that this book becomes a part of many, many middle school and high school libraries and public libraries, too. The problems are so true to adolescence—and life, and I think many readers will gain solace, strength, and hope from Piddy’s story.