I found this a very interesting book, in spite of not being able to really connect with the protagonist.
I found Sacha fascinating, but I never quite felt I understood her, either intellectually or emotionally. It isn't that I found her unconvincing. I always believed she was acting in character. She was just... foreign to me.
When I thought about it, I realized her life was so different than mine that I was having trouble bridging the gap.
I was fascinated by the look at a culture inside a culture, a very poor Russian immigrant community in Germany. Sacha was a misfit because of her personality, and possibly would have been one wherever she was. She didn't fit into the wider community because she was part of the poor Russian tenements, but she has too many goals for her life to fit in with the discouraged teens in her area.
She's taken on responsibility for her siblings, a responsibility that leads her to decide she much protect them from their father when he is finally released from jail.
At the same time, she's feeling the need to escape her life, and makes the first steps towards doing this. Along the way, she discovers a whole different world than her own, takes some time to explore her sexuality, and after all this makes some decisions that didn't make sense to me.
A very interesting read.