Best friends Marisol and Magdalena live in Brooklyn, and both have grown up with extended Latino families. When Marisol's mother sends her away to Panama to live with relatives however, it puts her American values to the test, as well as her friendship with Magdalena.
In the sequel, Marisol and Magdalena are making plans for their quinceañera parties, their fifteenth birthday celebration that they've been waiting for their whole lives. They've promised each other that they will be the dama de honor at each other's quince. But quinceañeras are expensive, and Marisol's mother doesn't know if she can afford a party at all, especially not one as extravagant as Magdalena's. And while Marisol was away in Panama, Magdalena became friends with two girls Marisol can't stand. Marisol wonders if her year in Panama changed her—-maybe she isn't cool or rich enough anymore to be Magda's friend.
This series contains examples of:
- Better as Friends: Reuben and Marisol, after she returns home in the sequel.
- Big Applesauce: Much of Marisol's story is set in Brooklyn.
- Bilingual Bonus: the novels include quite a bit of Spanish language as a means of reflecting the mixed cultural backgrounds of the two protagonist.
- Bratty Teenage Daughter: Magda throughout Quinceanera Means Sweet Fifteen.
- Childhood Friends: Marisol and Magdalena.
- Cool Old Lady: Marisol's grandmother in the first book.
- Dangerous Fifteenth Birthday
- Disappeared Dad: Marisol's father, which was made a major plot point throughout Marisol and Magdalena: The Sound Of Our Sisterhood.
- Family Honor: Magdalena's engagement in shoplifting leads to her family's canceling her quinceanera, due to the dishonor she brought to her family through her actions.
- Funny Foreigner: Marisol, to some extent once she first arrives at Panama in the first book.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: the titular characters of the series, Marisol and Magdalena.
- Implied Love Interest: Francisco to Marisol in Quinceanera means Sweet Fifteen.
- Naïve Everygirl: Magdalena in the first book, who often romanticized the prospect of the future and her upcoming quinceanera, although this personality trait seems to fade away by the time the series' second installation is released.
- Naïve Newcomer: Marisol in the first book as she becomes acquainted with Panama's culture.
- Poor In Dollars, Rich In Sense: Marisol.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Marisol was the calmer, more rational Blue Oni to Magdalena's Hot-Blooded red.
- She Is All Grown Up: Marisol towards the end of the novel.
- Spicy Latina: Played straight with Magda, although highly averted with Marisol.
- Sticky Fingers: Magda in the sequel, due to Toxic Friend Influence.
- The Power of Friendship
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Magda in the sequel, once she begins distancing herself from Marisol and engaging in troublemaking behavior.