“The Law – as it is now anyway—may prevent you from doing certain things you want to do. But don’t ever let an accident of birth keep you from what you want to do with your life.”
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz (The Isle of the Lost, Return to the Isle of the Lost) comes the launch title of Seventeen Fiction from Harlequin Teen, Something in Between. Don’t miss this timely and powerful novel that Seventeen Magazine editor-in-chief Michelle Tan says “has everything—a strong heroine, important issues and a really cute crush. I’m obsessed—and you will be too,” and Rachel Cohn, the NYT bestselling co-author of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist, calls “a great read!”
Jasmine de los Santos has always done what’s expected of her. Pretty and popular, 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.
And then everything shatters. A national scholar award invitation compels her parents 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 deportationFor the first time, Jasmine rebels, trying all those teen things she never had time for in the past. Even as she’s trying to make sense of her new world, it’s turned upside down by Royce Blakely, the charming son of a high-ranking congressman. Jasmine no longer has any idea where—or if—she fits into the American Dream. All she knows is that she’s not giving up. Because when the rules you lived by no longer apply, the only thing to do is make up your own.
Something in Between is not a typical ya contemporary novel. It’s a realistic story that offers a different side of life of undocumented immigrants in the United States.
Unlike with other fiction novels I have read with immigrants themes, Something in Between doesn’t focus on a person’s transformations or the struggle of balancing their previous life from their country of origin to the country they are currently staying. Jasmine’s parents may have that storyline but Something in Between does not focus on that one, instead it centered to Jasmine’s American dream. And since Jasmine is more rooted in America even she isn’t actually born in America, there’s no transition that really happens, it’s more on her struggle to get accepted by the country she love. By doing this, Melissa de la Cruz successfully deliver a different look on immigrant’s life. By focusing on Jasmine’s story instead of her parents, she open a different perfective of immigrants issue and struggle to readers. Jasmine battle is not common but it is something we can all learn from whether we are an immigrant like her or not.
Also, one important part of the novel are the political issues involve. For me, reading those laws/bills, legal issues and politics presented in this book is a learning experience. I have learn so much about legal process of United State’s for immigrants by just following Jasmine’s story. It’s not heavy political at all but something new for a non-American citizen like me.
Then we also have Royce’s story – the rich gorgeous guy who are born in privileges. His part actually offers an interesting view as opposed to Jasmine’s life. While Jasmine work hard for everything she has, Royce get everything without even trying. But still Royce’s life isn’t as simple as it seems. His inner struggle actually offers some of the most thought provoking line in this book.
“Privilege is like having blinders. It’s hard to feel unloved or unwanted because everyone wants your money, so you get the attention…when everything is handed to you, there’s no room to write your own story because a story centered on accumulating things, all these things you own, instead of the struggle to live, or the struggle to survive, or the struggle to stay in America, which is a far more interesting story than mine.”
“When you’re privileged, your life becomes a collection of things. Nothing’s real. Not people, not their feelings.”
Melissa de la Cruz successfully presents the struggles of immigrants in a light but realistic way in this book. And being a Filipino herself, it feels like there is an authenticity in her story even if she says that this book is not about her own experience at all. Jasmine’s life and struggles ring so very true to me while reading. It feels like I know Jasmine personally and I want her to win her battle.
Overall, Something in Between is not just an interesting read, but also an important and thought provoking one. It’s about immigrants, American dreams, racial politics, and much more. There’s even a romance on the side if you are the type who look for those but more than that this piece of literature is an eye opening story that delivers a hopeful message in the end.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Melissa de la Cruz is the author of many best-selling novels, including the Blue Bloods series; the Au Pairs series; the Ashleys series; and Angels on Sunset Boulevard. She is also a frequent contributor to Glamour, Marie Claire, Teen Vogue, and Cosmopolitan. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter, and is hard at work on her next book.
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