Saturday, January 14, 2017

Book Review: Something In Between

Something in BetweenAuthor: Melissa De La Cruz
Publication Date: October 4, 2016
Publisher: Harlequin Teen

It feels like there’s no ground beneath me, like everything I’ve ever done has been a lie. Like I’m breaking apart, shattering. Who am I? Where do I belong?

Jasmine de los Santos has always done what’s expected of her. Pretty and popular, she’s studied hard, made her Filipino immigrant parents proud and is ready to reap the rewards in the form of a full college scholarship.

And then everything shatters. A national scholar award invitation compels her parents to reveal the truth: their visas expired years ago. Her entire family is illegal. That means no scholarships, maybe no college at all and the very real threat of deportation.

For the first time, Jasmine rebels, trying all those teen things she never had time for in the past. Even as she’s trying to make sense of her new world, it’s turned upside down by Royce Blakely, the charming son of a high-ranking congressman. Jasmine no longer has any idea where—or if—she fits into the American Dream. All she knows is that she’s not giving up. Because when the rules you lived by no longer apply, the only thing to do is make up your own.

“I like how he looks into my eyes like he’s seeing past the image everyone else sees – into who I really am.”

“There’s never a moment you can’t choose who you want to be.”

“It feels like there’s no ground beneath me, like everything I’ve ever done has been a lie. I’m breaking apart, shattering. Who am I? Where do I belong?”

I usually find myself reading a lot of YA Contemporary in the Spring, but I found myself really in the mood for some with all the winter weather we have been getting. This book is unlike anything I have ever read, being an immigration story, and by the end of the book I found out the author’s story is not too different from our main character’s story. I was intrigued from the first chapter, and even though there were a few slow spots, I was very entertained and invested in finding out what happened to Jasmine and her family. I really appreciated being able to read this book from Jasmine’s perspective. She is an “undocumented”teenage girl with the hopes of living a version of her “American dream” and being able to attend Stanford and change the world for the better. I felt like her character really grew by the time we reached the end of the story, and I must say that I always ecstatic when authors are able to do that in such a short amount of time.

There is a romance in this book, but I will say that it does not take away from Jasmine’s story in the least. She does not use Royce to “get over” her problems or to help define her in anyway. He is a great character and really adds to Jasmine’s complexity. Some parts are “mushy gushy”, as my ten-year-old self would say, but overall the love story is done very well and you will find yourself rooting for a happy ending for the two of them. What I must say that I loved even more than these two characters was Jasmine’s honesty and realness. She took into consideration how others viewed her and she tried to look at her status in America from other people’s perspectives. She was not angry at people against immigration, but instead tried to see things the way they would see it and only wanted to change things for the better. I loved the ending and “everything in between” – see what I did there?!

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