“You’re a double agent like me. We’re stuck in no man’s land, trying to be all parts of ourselves yet not allowed to be either or all at the same time. We’re stuck between a rock and a hard place, and we aren’t given any tools to carve out a place to belong.”
Being a refugee is an infinitely hard life. Leene has just landed in Detroit with her mother after a protracted and heartbreaking journey out of Syria. They live temporarily with Khadija’s family with her mother hoping Leene’s traditional and submissive ways will rub on her. Khadija’s family is Syrian having spent many summers of her youth there until the war, but she is an American embracing more modern things. The two girls are uneasy friends both envious and uncertain of their differences. Their culture and upbringings leave them living between two worlds. As Khadija learns more about the losses Leene has suffered, she wants to do more to reconcile herself with her culture and bring Leene’s family peace.
This was YA done right. The teenagers are pitch perfect without dripping in drama. They are opinionated and self-centered and yet open-minded and progressive, influencing their families and one another in their evolution. There are lots of heavy themes throughout (definitely check the trigger warnings) but it is all well done and filled with hope for a life beyond the pain.
Read this one if you enjoyed All My Rage or Furia.
Thanks to The Novl for the gifted copy. All opinions above are my own.
Any books publishing today that you’re excited for?