Bettina Restrepo’s Illegal is the touching story of one illegal immigrant girl’s journey from Mexico to Texas in search of her father to bring him bac...moreBettina Restrepo’s Illegal is the touching story of one illegal immigrant girl’s journey from Mexico to Texas in search of her father to bring him back home and reunite her family.
I really admired Nora’s determination to find her father and stand up for herself when she sensed she was being taken advantage of. Occasionally though, I felt she was a bit naïve because it seemed like she thought that she and her mother could easily find her father; and that once he was found, all their problems would be solved. However, this also made Nora very relatable because even as you’re growing up, sometimes you can’t help but wish for life to be simple.
While Restrepo does touch upon the hardships faced by many immigrants, I thought it was portrayed somewhat lightly. Although Nora and her mother faced a gruelling trip crossing the border, – I would have expected nothing less since they are illegals – once they arrived in Texas, they were relatively lucky, securing fake papers and decent paying jobs in a short amount of time. This is not the case for many immigrants. The situation of Arturo, Nora’s father, was portrayed more realistically, and it really makes you think about all the sacrifices illegals must make for the chance of an improved life for themselves and their family.
A solid debut that captures the hopes of those who move to a new country and the obstacles they experience while settling. (less)
Incarnate by Jodi Meadows was a book that I thought started off well but ultimately disappointed me in the end. The novel begins with eighteen-year-ol...moreIncarnate by Jodi Meadows was a book that I thought started off well but ultimately disappointed me in the end. The novel begins with eighteen-year-old Ana finally leaving her home and abusive mother to figure out why she, a Newsoul, was born and how she fits into a world where everybody else but her has been reincarnated over and over again. The world Meadows created was initially fascinating to me, with reincarnation, dragons and sylphs. It later started to feel weak though because it didn’t really seem to have any rules behind it. Things just existed or happened that would simply leave me with more questions.
In terms of the characters, I liked how patient and gentle Sam was with Ana when her past made it hard for her to trust him. However, neither Sam nor Ana stood out in my mind; and when their romance became the focal point of the majority of the book, it distracted Ana from her quest and in my opinion, caused the worldbuilding to suffer as a result. Also, I found the romance to be a little strange because Sam has been a girl in the past and it’s kind of weird to be wearing a girl’s clothes and know that they belong to the guy you’re interested in or be jealous of that guy because he filled out those clothes better than you. (less)