What It Takes to Get to Vegas has been described by The Arizona Republic as a juicy tale of ambition, passion and grit that is as much fun to read as a good trash talk session with your best friend. Growing up among the championship hopefuls and alleyway gladiators of East L.A., Rita Zapata sees in boxing a ticket to something better. At eighteen, she's earned the title Queen of the Streetfighters. Then she meets Billy, an enigmatic, intense fighter from Mexico, who begins systematically clawing his way to the top. Their passionate connection gives Rita two things she's never had: real love, and respect in the neighborhood. From the alleys off Cesar Chavez Avenue to the carpeted suites of Caesars Palace, Rita learns exactly what it takes to get to Vegas, as Billy turns out to be the best thing that has ever happened to her -- and the worst. In exuberant prose sparkling with wicked wit, Yxta Maya Murray has given us a sass-talking, big-hearted heroine with a story we will not soon forget. Frenetic, bittersweet, and often hilarious ... Rita Zapata is who Holden Caulfield would want to be if he were alive in 1999. -- The Boston Globe; From the get-go, Yxta Maya Murray] pulls you into her latest book with its flowing Spanglish and bittersweet observations. -- Seventeen; Somewhere between a telenovela and the passion of St. Theresa de Avila ... precise, hilarious, and swinging ... Rita's world dance s] around beside us after we put the book down. -- New Times LA; Murray's elegant prose beckons those who fear this land of urban blight to venture into it, to stay a while and meet its citizens ... Stellar. -- Los Angeles Times Book Review.