Something In Between* by Melissa De La Cruz"She had her whole life planned. She knew who she was and where she was going. Until the truth changed everything.
Jasmine de los Santos has always done what s expected of her. She s studied hard, made her Filipino immigrant parents proud and is ready to reap the rewards in the form of a full college scholarship to the school of her dreams.
And then everything shatters. Her parents are forced to reveal the truth: their visas expired years ago. Her entire family is illegal. That means no scholarships, maybe no college at all and the very real threat of deportation.
As she is trying to make sense of who she is in this new reality, her world is turned upside down again by Royce Blakely. He is funny, caring and spontaneous basically everything she s been looking for at the worst possible time and now he is something else she may lose.
Jasmine will stop at nothing to protect her relationships, family and future, all while figuring out what it means to be an immigrant in today s society."
Since I finished the last page of this book in the Autumn, I have been desperate to review it on here and share my thoughts about it but I've waited till now, officially my last book review of the year to post it and that's because its my favourite one. My favourite book all year, yep I'm throwing about the big statements here people but its the truth and its actually went straight on my list of Favourite Books Of All Time and that's a list that doesn't get new members very often.
So let's get straight to the story, like the blurb above tells you Jasmine De Los Santos is a grade A student on the road to graduate best in her High School and get accepted into one of the best Collages in America, her light shines brighter than most, that is until she learns that her family have kept a secret from her. The visa they had to live in America legally has expired and with that new knowledge Jasmine's pretty perfect world slowly starts to crash around her. The book follows Jasmine's journey of discovery, about herself, her family and her America. The story is about growing up, falling in love and fighting for what you believing in.
I must admit I hadn't heard much about this book before I read it and other than thinking the front covers was pretty damn beautiful, I had no expectations of what I was about to read and within the first few chapters I knew this was special.
Apart from the Scottish Independence Vote that we went through here in Scotland a few years ago, i can't remember a more political year for us and the world as a whole. With the whole Brexit 'thing' and the Trump 'situation' in America, I think 2016 is a year that will be remembered for a long time. On one hand it brought to the surface and gave a voice to some terrible things, opinions and people but on the other it brought together everyone else, united in our refusal to let hatred become normalised or the good people to be silenced by the bad.
The reason for me touching on the above was because something that I felt was a big discussion on both sides of the world at these key political events was the subject of immigration. (I've posted it before, but HERE it is again if you never caught this speech, it starts around the 2.50 time mark, which sums up my views on the subject and makes me so super proud to live in a country that values the inclusion of different cultures and people from all over the world that call Scotland home out of choice.) And I mentioned it because the book focuses on the same subject.
I have always felt like this is a matter I understood, I felt informed but it wasn't until I read this book that I really felt how blind I had been to so many aspects of what undocumented people go through. I don't know how to describe it other than to say I 'felt' it. The author Melissa writes in such a breathe-taking way that I felt she made me feel it, actually made me feel what goes through the head of someone who is dealing with this situation. Now I of course, can never understand or even come anywhere close to knowing what a painful and traumatic experience this can be, but as you sink further and further into the story, Melissa makes you see it from such a intimate point of view that you feel so emotionally connected to the story.
I think reading a book like this, that gives you such a unique view of what life is like for a young person in this situation, should really be a mandatory read in all classrooms around the world. Reading stories like this, stories that show the truth and the heart of what people go through, is what will bring understanding to the world not news paper headlines and fabricated tweets. I can't even express to you how much I think everyone should read this book as it has had such a profound effect on me.
At the end of the story there is a note from the author, she explains that while Jasmine's story is fiction, it is extremely close to her real life story and her journey to becoming an American citizen and it was after reading that, that I understood why this book moved me so much and why it felt so real. It was because it had such real honesty to it and to me it felt like the author had shared just so much of her heart in it. I also read that the author has a non-fiction book of her own story which is now at the top of my must-read list for next year.
I know this is a really long review and I sort of ventured off in the middle but its my last review of the year so I'm allowing myself to ramble, haha!
If you've not picked up this book yet, I have nothing else to say other than GO BUY IT. My review might have made it sound heavier than it is and I really don't want that to be the case because as much as it deals with such important subjects and messages, it is also a love story between a girl and a boy, a girl and her family and a girl and her country, which for me is what makes it just so beautiful!
You can buy it on Amazon and download it on kindle too.