Thank you to Netgalley and Mira Ink for sending me a copy of this book in return for an honest review. Something in Between was a very hyped up book that was definitely on my radar because it’s about a family in the US facing deportation, not a subject I read about in books regularly. There are mild spoilers in this review.
Jasmine is a Filipino girl who dreams of going to Stanford, when she finds out she’s on a list of top students across the whole country she’s obviously jazzed. However when she goes home to tell her parents they break the news to her that she can’t accept the scholarship that comes with this prize as they are living in the US illegally. She goes on a trip to Washington as part of the prize to meet the President and whilst there she meets Royce, a dyslexic boy who sweeps her off her feet, but then everything comes crashing down.
For the most part I liked this book, at times I felt like things that happened were a bit expected or ridiculous or just a bit off but the overall themes themselves were just super important. The glimpse into the the troubles faced by people living illegally in the US was something that I hadn’t seen much of anywhere. Of course there are documentaries but those aren’t mainstream.
One thing that really bothered me was that when Jas’ family made it to their trial everything that happened felt like a snipe at Jas. She’d just found out that Royce might have been able to help her so everything the judge said seemed to be like telling Jas she should’ve asked Royce for help. It all just felt a bit contrived. Which I seemed to find in a lot of moments in this book, like Jas was being prosecuted just for her mistakes.
Jas is part of the cheer team on her school and they have a really good team spirit. The girls support each other and don’t hate each other just for the sake of being catty like in so many books and movies with cheer teams. Jas has a female best friend who means a lot to her and helps her out a lot and I’m so happy that this book has positive female relationships because I think that’s very important for young girls to read. As I mentioned previously Royce is dyslexic but apart from a couple of moments it’s not a big thing. It’s not ignored but it’s also not a big deal, he just is dyslexic.
Honestly I wish this book didn’t have the cringey moments that it had because it let down the plot and themes. I hope there are more books like this one so that young people know about what happens to immigrants, obviously there has been a lot of immigration talk over the last few years but people who are already in the countries they’re illegally in aren’t talked about as much.