Two Book Tuesday

Title: Come On In
Author: Adi Alsaid
Genre: YA Anthology
Publication Date: October 13th
Ratings: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Goodreads Summary:

This exceptional and powerful anthology explores the joys, heartbreaks and triumphs of immigration, with stories by bestselling and beloved YA authors who are themselves immigrants and the children of immigrants.

WELCOME

From some of the most exciting bestselling and up-and-coming YA authors writing today…journey from Ecuador to New York City and Argentina to Utah, from Australia to Harlem and India to New Jersey, from Fiji, America, Mexico and more… Come On In.

With characters who face random traffic stops, TSA detention, customs anxiety, and the daunting and inspiring journey to new lands, who camp with their extended families, dance at weddings, keep diaries, teach ESL, give up their rooms for displaced family, decide their own answer to the question “where are you from?” and so much more, Come On In illuminates fifteen of the myriad facets of the immigrant experience.

It’s always a little difficult reviewing an anthology because it’s rare where you like every single story. Every story needs to be unique, but still work within the other pieces in the collection.

I loved that there was such a wide range of topics and themes throughout the different stories, as well as locations. Stories came from the U.S., India, Mexico, and many more. The many perspectives gave readers a well-rounded look into the immigrant perspective. Never will I go through the immigration experience, so the chance to learn and get a glimpse into something that so many people in the world go through was really special.

Some of my favorite stories were: “All The Colors of Goodbye” by Nafiza Azad, “The Wedding” by Sara Farizan, “The Trip” by Sona Charaipotra, “Confessions of an Ecuadorkian” by Zoraida Cordoba

ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Title: Everything I Thought I Knew
Author: Shannon Takaoka
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication Date: October 13th
Ratings: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Goodreads Summary:

A teenage girl wonders if she’s inherited more than just a heart from her donor in this compulsively readable debut.

Seventeen-year-old Chloe had a plan: work hard, get good grades, and attend a top-tier college. But after she collapses during cross-country practice and is told that she needs a new heart, all her careful preparations are laid to waste.

Eight months after her transplant, everything is different. Stuck in summer school with the underachievers, all she wants to do now is grab her surfboard and hit the waves—which is strange, because she wasn’t interested in surfing before her transplant. (It doesn’t hurt that her instructor, Kai, is seriously good-looking.)

And that’s not all that’s strange. There’s also the vivid recurring nightmare about crashing a motorcycle in a tunnel and memories of people and places she doesn’t recognize.

Is there something wrong with her head now, too, or is there another explanation for what she’s experiencing?

As she searches for answers, and as her attraction to Kai intensifies, what she learns will lead her to question everything she thought she knew—about life, death, love, identity, and the true nature of reality.

4.5 stars

Chloe is going through an existential crisis. After almost dying, only to be saved by a heart transplant, her entire world is different. She is constantly questioning the world around her—what does it all mean, what is time, what makes us who we are, what happens to us when we die. Her new heart doesn’t feel like it belongs to her, especially when she starts to have very vivid dreams that lead her to have memories of places she doesn’t know.

This was a really strong debut. I thought the writing was fresh and really beautiful. Especially when Chloe was dreaming, the writing was very descriptive and visual. This is a unique book and very engrossing. I flew through the pages as I followed Chloe on her journey to self-discovery. I thought Chloe was really interesting and incredibly strong for going through such a traumatic experience. This is such a unique event that most 18-year-old girls don’t go through. I definitely cried a little bit—what a surprise, right?

The only thing that bothered me had to do with the logistics and rules of the book in regards to some characters and events that happen towards the end of the book. . I can’t say much else without a big spoiler alert. However this did exceed my expectations and I definitely recommend anyone who a different kind of YA contemporary that will surprise you.

ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

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