Something In Between by Melissa de la Cruz: Book review

Something In BetweenPublisher/Year: October 6th 2016 MIRA Ink
Genre: YA Contemporary
Series: No
Pages: 384
Source/Format: e-arc | NetGalley
(Thanks NetGalley/MIRA Ink!)
Rating: 4/5

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affects my opinion.

Synopsis

Jasmine de los Santos has been pushed by her Filipino immigrant parents to over-achieve, be the best she can be, work as hard as she can at school and reach for the American Dream. She’s thrilled to be named a finalist for the National Scholarship Award and prepares to go to Washington, D. C. to receive it. But when she brings home the paperwork, she learns that she and all her family are in the country illegally. 
As Jasmine’s world shatters around her, she rebels, trying to make sense of herself—who is she? Is she American? Illegal? Something in between? Jasmine decides to accept the award anyway and goes to D.C., where she meets Royce Blakely, the handsome son of a Republican congressman. As she fights for her very identity, will Jasmine find help in unexpected places, and will she ever figure out where she belongs?

My review

I've been a fan of de la Cruz's for years, ever since I discovered the Blue Bloods series years ago. She's pretty much YA royalty, so I had high hopes that this would be just as good.

The premise of this book was what sparked my interest; it gave me the sense that this book would have more depth than the contemporaries consumed by romance that I love but needed a break from. I am all for reading a book about someone other than a white, blonde, all-American, and this felt like the refreshment I craved.

The publication of this date feels very aptly timed, considering the mess surrounding the citizens of both the UK and the US right now, and I felt that this book truly gave a platform to the majority of young immigrants or their descendants. Jasmine is a typical over-achiever, striving for the American Dream, while having to fight for her right to stay in the only country she has ever truly called home.

This book managed to deal with such a taboo subject as undocumented immigrants while portraying Jasmine and her family as human beings rather than as part of a problem.

I enjoyed the romance in this book, but Something In Between is about so much more than that. I appreciated the fact that Jasmine and Royce's relationship is not only definitely not perfect, but that it's only a part of Jasmine's story, instead of it pushing all her real issues aside.

I really recommend this book, especially at the moment with the way things are going. Something In Between sheds light on the multiple generations affected by pursuing the American Dream and striving for better things.

Izzy

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