REVIEW: Something In Between - Melissa de la Cruz

3/5


Welcome to the wonderful world of Jasmine de los Santos. She might seem sweet and polite, but watch out for her feisty side!

Like Nicola Yoon's The Sun Is Also A Star, Melissa de la Cruz's Something In Between tells the story of an American family threatened with deportation. Jasmine is originally from the Philippines but believes she is an American citizen. With Ivy League colleges in sight and the National cheerleading competition around the corner, Jasmine has everything to achieve and everything to lose. Something In Between is about how immigration isn't just an issue on paper, it has life-changing consequences for real people.

Influenced by Melissa de la Cruz's personal experience of moving to America during her upbringing and the long road to gaining citizenship, this story is truly heartfelt and emotional. I connected with the issues raised because immigration especially is such a high profile issue in current politics, both in America and the UK. The topics are dealt with maturely and and I have to praise Melissa de la Cruz for bringing these to light to teens around the world. For many it's an issue that we just scrape the surface of but Something In Between really helps you get stuck into the reality of immigration politics.

The best part was the tone of the book. I thoroughly enjoyed the writing style - it was easy to sink into and the world of Jasmine is both memorable and special in ways that not many YA authors can achieve. The way she viewed academia, sport, family, relationships - everything really - was unique. I found a Jasmine likeable heroine with enough fire in her to inspire.

For me, I felt the novel could have done more to push the boundaries of the immigration story-line, especially towards the end. While the beginning was dramatic and shocking, I felt like the final third became messy in structure and had the potential to be more powerful. Jasmine could have been more directly involved in the process, as she was closer to the beginning, or been stuck with a new moral dilemma related to the issue. There's so much to unpack with feeling at home when others treat you as foreign so all I could have asked for in Something In Between was more. 

I'm so glad I got an opportunity to get stuck into this story. If you're interested, you can get a copy of Something In Between here. Let me know what you think!

Love, Jess

I received a copy via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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