Title: The Possibilities of Sainthood
Author: Donna Freitas
Published by: Frances Foster Books, 2008
Genre: Realistic fiction
Recommended to: Readers 12 and older
Overall Grade: A
Fifteen-year-old Catholic Rhode Island schoolgirl Antonia Lucia Labella has two wishes: her first is for Andy Rotellini, the "love of her life", to notice her and maybe, possibly, kiss her (her first real kiss!). Too bad that they only time they come in contact is when he's working at the Labella family market, where the only thing they talk about is canned tomatoes and produce displays (her strict Italian mother is always getting in the way). And then there's the factor of Michael, Antonia's childhood "friend", who she'sbeen feeling confused around lately....Her second wish is to become a saint, which may be even more difficult to pursue than the boy problem (seeing as she'd be the first living saint in Catholic history). Every year, Antonia starts a new "saint diary", filled to the brim with petitions to the saints she often prays to, letters she sends to the Vatican, and ideas for her specialization (that include the Patron Saint of Figs, Patron Saint of People Who Make Pasta, and the Patron Saint of the First Kiss and Kissing, all which she has humbly nominated herself for). What's a girl to do? O, Madonna.
This book, to me, was as close to perfect as possible. The plotline was fairly simple, but I loved how unique it was. I mean, a book about a girl yearning to be a saint? How many of those have you seen? A first, I was expecting Possibilities to be a bit dull, with all the religion plot threads. After all, how interesting could a book about a saint-loving girl be? It turned out to be a thoroughly enjoyable read, though: the characters that Ms. Freitas injected into her novel just jazzed up the whole plot, and, to those concerned, don't worry about the whole "religion" aspect. Being nonreligious myself, I found it to not at all block out the rest of the clever plot. My favorite character, of course, was Antonia. She was frank, funny, refreshing, smart, and an ideal main character. I loved her crazy-big Italian family (yes, even the evil cousin, Veronica and the stereotype of Antonia's overprotective mother), and while I was reading, I felt like I was part of the Labellas. This book just gives its reader that warm, welcome glow: the book was so addicting that I couldn't put it down.
I also appreciated how realistic it was. The characters were all like people I've known, the plot had twists and turns, and conflicts.
I just really didn't like how predictable the book was in the end: *spoiler* Of course Antonia was going to really fall for Michael. Of course she would realize that Andy was a jerk. *end spoiler*. That just kind of bothered me how cheesy and sweet the last part of the novel was. Even though the conclusion of the book was obvious, I still love, love, loved Possibilities. If I could, I would go on for hours about how I felt sucked into the story, like I could picture everything about it in my mind: Labella's market, Michael's green-blue eyes, Holy Angels School, Antonia's best friend Maria, Antonia herself (the girl on the cover was actually how I pictured her the whole time!)....