Welcome to the Jungle-Gym: Swing Sets by Adriana Erin Rivera

Review by Eric Weinblatt

            Growing up, getting on, and moving out are often easier said than done, especially when you are someone who has been commuting to an Ivy League college from the home you’ve spent the last twenty-one years maturing in. Adriana Erin Rivera taps into this coming-of-age conflict and reflects on the trials and tribulations of post-graduation life in her debut novel Swing Sets. This heart-felt tale of transitions from small-town New Jersey to life in the Big Apple intermingled with the hustle and bustle of transitioning from studies to a career path in marketing and design is sure to captivate readers from the opening paragraph.

            Rivera’s Swing Sets captures the mindset of the millennial generation and works it through the development of the protagonist, Josefina Ruiz who embarks on the newest leg of her journey into the world of adulthood. Fortunately, Josefina is not restricted to her devices alone, and is joined by a colorful cast, which includes her loving and supportive, though infrequently pushy parents, and her best friend of the last four years, Bethany. This rich ensemble helps stabilize and propel Josefina forward as she exits the nest and prepares to take on the responsibilities of adulthood. Of course, growing up isn’t only about leaving home to embark on the quest of self-discovery; it often involves a little romance. Josefina gets a little help embarking on this portion of her journey from the kind and consistently steadfast Malcolm.

            Swept up in excitement and lustrous opportunity, Josefina never fails to look back and remember the simplicity that comes along with being a forever-kid. Constantly mapping her way back to the swing-set-jungle-gym-apparatus, Josefina captivates all those who tail her adventures into adulthood, and successfully helps construct a map to a very special kind of Neverland for the children in all of us. Rivera’s prose offers not only comfort and a distinguished sense of security in this state, but also lives in vivacity of shedding the security as protagonist Josefina enters into the world of an independent adult.

            For all of those looking for a coming-of-age story that stands out amongst the rest, they need look no further than Swing Sets. Debut author Adriana Erin Rivera captures hearts and imaginations with a brush of confidence and narrative ease. From front to back, Swing Sets reminds readers that it is never too late to grow up, and that all the potential fears that come along with age also come with a grasping sense of responsibility and accomplishments. Sprinkled with profound philosophies, Rivera has constructed a true-to-life adulthood emergence of a novel.

Adriana Erin Rivera is a writer of many genres. Journalism has lead her to celebrity interviews and exclusive stories with major publications such as the NY Metro newspaper, Latina Magazine, Latina.com, and the Conde Nast publication Footwear News. You can learn more about Adriana here.

Swing Sets can be purchased from Amazon.