Something in Between by Melissa de la Cruz
Published by: Harlequin Teen on October 4, 2016
Review Source: Publisher, Edelweiss
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary Fiction, Social Issues
Plot: Things that describe Jasmine: Ambitious, popular, a National Scholar Award winner, a cheerleader, and… undocumented immigrant?!
Here’s the truth: too many people are plagued by misinformation about immigration, and many people in power use that to their advantage. Political figures use the fear of terrorism, crime, and an unstable economy to push their own agendas and stall immigration reform. Slow rates of legalization, coupled with the astronomical cost to become a citizen only compound the problem for many people in this country. While all of these factors can (and do) breed animosity and misconceptions, the most damaging repercussion is how incredibly easy it is to lose sight of who is actually affected by poor legislation and information.
Here’s another truth: There are millions of people globally who are forced to flee their homes in order to escape violence, starvation, prejudice, or any number of other atrocities or hardships. Regardless of what you might think, most people don’t choose to leave behind everything they know on a whim. Sometimes the future that they can achieve is extremely limited. Sometimes it is dangerous to stay. Sometimes they didn’t even know that someone made it for them. We don’t live in a perfect world, and as bad as you might think you have it, there is undoubtedly someone out there who looks at your life with awe. Can you honestly blame someone for wanting a better life for themselves or their children? Isn’t that how we all got here? My point is, immigration isn’t this cut and dry thing.
So what does one author do about it? She gives you honesty. First, I want to thank her for writing this book. Something in Between is loosely based on Melissa de la Cruz’s own life experiences as an undocumented immigrant, and I can’t even imagine what it must have felt like to be in that position. It takes a fair amount of bravery to share your life experiences with millions, and I want to give her major props for that. Second, it also takes a lot of talent to take such a volatile topic, and turn it into a constructive and humanized conversation that is palatable for the masses. There is a wide disconnect between immigration reform in politics, the actual immigrants, and those who have never had to think about their citizenship status. De la Cruz reminds us that these are people. People with families that want to be together. People with lives and jobs, who work hard and worry about the same things we all do. With all the anger and fear I see flying around about this topic, it was nice to see someone stand up for the other side. Honestly, if you can’t look at immigration with a lot more compassion after reading this, you might want to check and see if you still have a heart. I highly recommend this one.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Who Should Snag It: Everyone.
*I would like to thank Edelweiss and the publisher for providing me with a free ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review*