I believe I would have loved Summer of the Mariposas if I was younger. It has every element I used to love—most of them I still do—, it is nice and quick and I would've devoured if I wasn't in a kind of reading slump. I am not younger, though, and I didn't love it. Don't get me wrong, I didn't hate it, either—on the contrary, liked it very much! It's just that, when I found out about this book, I was so sure it would be amazing that I am a little disappointed to see it's just... good. As usual, I'm the one to blame.
The good: The writing is beautiful. Guadalupe Garcia McCall has a way with words that charms you and makes you feel like you're part of the story she's telling. I love every bit of Aztec culture and mythology she decided to add and mix and play with here, and I have too soft of a spot for family stories, the same way I had for friendship ones when I was younger. Yeah, well...
The bad: I could've done without the Catholicism. Yeah, I know it is big in Latin cultures—boy, do I know that—, but Christian religions never fail to bother me and it couldn't have been different here. Also, I really wish the hermanitas' mother hadn't found a man in the end. I always try and remind my own mother that she doesn't need a man in order to be happy, and I think this would've been a nice message for children of divorced parents who happened to read this book. Just a thought.
Anyway, I think it's safe to recommend Summer of the Mariposas to every young reader—or everyone, really—who likes magic and fantasy, as well as ancient cultures/beliefs being used in clever and original ways in new stories.