December 14, 2016

Review: Something in Between by Melissa de la Cruz

Something in Between 
by Melissa de la Cruz
pub 10/4/16 by Harlequin Teen
Young Adult - Contemporary
I can't think of a time when diversity in books is more needed and Something in Between is a story I've been waiting for, for a long time. It's about Jasmine de los Santos, hardworking daughter of Filipino immigrant parents. She's got a great life. Friends, good grades and a full college scholarship. Then everything falls her apart when her parents drop a bombshell - she can't accept her national scholar award invitation because their visas expired years ago and the entire family is illegal. Now she's worried about her parents, her two younger brothers and the future she's been striving towards. Can she even go to college now? These are very real and very scary questions that Jasmine has to face.

As someone who is also a daughter of Filipino immigrants parent, I was lucky. My parents immigrated to the United States during an easier time and applied for American citizenship as soon as they were able. But I still felt Jasmine's fear distinctly. Everything about her life was easy to relate to and it made me happy to see my culture depicted in a young adult book so realistically. Like the daily interactions between Jasmine and her family which were both familiar and heartwarming or the little details of growing up in a Filipino home. But most of all, I loved Jasmine and her determination to not only help her family but to find a way to pursue her dreams. She just wouldn't give up and I admired that so much.

I also can't forget to mention the romance. Royce Blakely, the adorable son of a congressman, probably pops into Jasmine's life at both the best and worst time. But even though the attraction is instant, the relationship is not. We actually get to watch them date and fall for one another. I couldn't help rooting and swooning over their blossoming romance. That said, it did take up more of the book than I expected but the story still came down to Jasmine's journey which I was glad about!

(Super minor) reservations
One thing I did find slightly distracting though was how the author took on this explanatory tone, especially in the first half of the book. By saying things like "it's because I'm Filipino" a dozen times or giving the definitions of Tagalog words a tad too much. I understand why but I think a lot of the context spoke for itself.

Do I recommend?
Yes, I highly recommend it!

1 comment:

  1. I still have to read this! I love that it's got a Filipino main character (which is so relevant to us both), and I'm glad to hear that you really liked it.

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