Melissa de la Cruz’s Something in Between is such a relevant, real look at the issues immigrants face in modern American society.
Jasmine de los Santos is a straight-A student, an athlete, loves her family, and wants nothing more than to earn a full college scholarship, attend college, and make her family proud. She has every intention of doing this, and in fact receives a national scholar award, but then her hopes are dashed when she learns that her family’s work visas expired years ago.
But of course, no teenager only ever experiences just one thing at a time. So as Jasmine works to research and solve her family’s problem, she begins to fall for Royce Blakely. Royce’s father is a congressman from California who works against the passage of an immigration bill that would make Jasmine’s family’s situation even worse, but as is true in so many cases, Jasmine can’t help who she falls for.
de la Cruz’s story is so well told because, as she informs the reader in her author note, Jasmine’s situation is not too dissimilar from her own experience coming to the country from the Philippines. She writes with an ethos and pathos regarding an issue that has, unfortunately, rent a tear in the foundation of the US. The US was—and always will be—a nation of immigrants. Perhaps this novel will encourage people to have more empathy toward the struggles of those who dream of nothing more than being an American citizen and striving for the “American dream.”
Not only does her story discuss immigration and racial prejudice and bias against undocumented immigrants, but she also tension between classes, and the true struggle of what it’s like when people, even though they do everything right and are model HUMAN BEINGS, are discriminated against because of their name, color of their skin, and most blatantly ethnicity and race.
I believe the novel is especially important because I know it will touch so many high school students right now—so many teenagers want so badly to be here, and to work hard to make their families proud, and to contribute to an ethnically diverse American society. We always used to give everyone a chance. Hopefully, again, this book will help people to open their minds to possibility, to progress, and to being kind to everyone around them, no matter what.
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 deportation
For 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.