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Something in Between

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It feels like there’s no ground beneath me, like everything I’ve ever done has been a lie. Like I’m breaking apart, shattering. Who am I? Where do I belong?

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.

432 pages, Hardcover

First published September 19, 2016

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About the author

Melissa de la Cruz

140 books14.8k followers
Melissa de la Cruz is the New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of many critically acclaimed and award-winning novels for teens including The Au Pairs series, the Blue Bloods series, the Ashleys series, the Angels on Sunset Boulevard series and the semi-autobiographical novel Fresh off the Boat.

Her books for adults include the novel Cat’s Meow, the anthology Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys and the tongue-in-chic handbooks How to Become Famous in Two Weeks or Less and The Fashionista Files: Adventures in Four-inch heels and Faux-Pas.

She has worked as a fashion and beauty editor and has written for many publications including The New York Times, Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Allure, The San Francisco Chronicle, McSweeney’s, Teen Vogue, CosmoGirl! and Seventeen. She has also appeared as an expert on fashion, trends and fame for CNN, E! and FoxNews.

Melissa grew up in Manila and moved to San Francisco with her family, where she graduated high school salutatorian from The Convent of the Sacred Heart. She majored in art history and English at Columbia University (and minored in nightclubs and shopping!).

She now divides her time between New York and Los Angeles, where she lives in the Hollywood Hills with her husband and daughter.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,049 reviews
Profile Image for Sue.
781 reviews1,591 followers
October 4, 2016
Hands down, Something in Between is the best YA contemporary book of the year.

If you’re only familiar with Melissa de la Cruz’s fantasy and paranormal books, I’m going to put a huge disclaimer: this is drastically different than her previous works. It is her best yet. She came back to her original roots which is realistic fiction ala chick lit where the stakes are higher.

Something in Between follows the story of Jasmine de los Santos, a smart high school student who’s eligible to apply to prestigious universities. After receiving an invitation to meet the President of the United States, she discovers her family is undocumented Filipino immigrants. This shattered her chance for a scholarship, and a threat of deportation. There, she meets Royce Blakely, the alluring son of a congressman who’s opposed with an Immigration Reform.

I initially thought the story would only explore the gritty reality of being immigrant, but de la Cruz added a lot of elements that made the story exceptionally exciting, and alluring. She tackled the somber state–stereotypes, oppression immigrant experience in daily basis. These are deeply rooted in the plot. It examines the privilege, and what is it like to be a minority in the US.

There’s nuances, non-Immigrant, non-Asian, or non-Filipino wouldn’t get. It was subtly instilled in the plot. Per example, the tension and discrimination between different kind of immigrants. There are first generation immigrants, second or more, and there’s fob which means “fresh off the boat.” It is usually used as an insult to alienate other “immigrants” who are deemed as less classy.

Something in Between also balanced the realism by setting a precise fun tone storytelling. There is a tight knit circle of family and friends. The story weaved the rich family oriented culture of Filipino. It’s refreshing to read something akin to my own background.

Love Interest

The love interest, Royce Blakely isn’t your standard YA boyfriend. He’s a dyslexic, biracial Mexican-American boy. His characterization instantly grabbed me. I love it when I get to read male characters who have vulnerabilities within them. He’s quite a loner, who puts a lot of time studying with his tutors, and proving he is worth more than his family’s reputation.

The romance is everything

After Jasmine met Royce, the charming, wealthy son. The attraction is already flying up in the sky. It got me hooked from the very first page. It is the teenage-fumbling romance between a two multicultural high schoolers. It’s a little bit of whirlwind insta-love romance, but I like how the story gradually builds up their relationship, step by step. There is the understandable insecurity and hesitation, because they come from different backgrounds, because some relationships take some time to get there. Secondly, there’s also the mutual love and respect for each other. At the end of the day, they provided familiarity, and comfort to each other. That’s the key point of this pairing. It’s about abolishing the platitude two people who come from opposite upbringing can’t be together. They are teens of colors; they are not supposed to have their life figured out at the age of eighteen..

Extra selling point: They did the cupping face trope, the i’m-cold-im-going-to-give-you-my-coat trope. I was swooning hard.

Something in Between tackles racial identity.

I wasn’t considered an American, I lost sight of who I was. I thought a piece of paper defined me, that I was a different person, lesser. But through ought this entire year, I’ve found out that who I was never changed. I let what the law said about me-that I did, as a human being, was illegal, that I didn’t belong in the place I’d always known as my own home-change my own perception of who I am.

One of the essential theme of the story is how the children of immigrants are stuck between different cultures, how they should identify themselves. Something in Between imparted a great message to its readers, especially to those who are experiencing the same struggles as Jasmine did. In addition, the narrative explores the solidarity between different communities and our cultural dissonance.

What jarred me about the story was Maria, and Jasmine’s uncomfortable interaction with her. Maria is the Filipino maid of Royce’s family. She’s not a stereotypical portrayal of Filipino. There is a lot of us who provide domestic service. Our community celebrates our labor. We are proud of it. It only hurt us when non-Filipino devalues the service we provide. When they can only remember Filipino nannies exist when they want to prove a point how we are below the food chain. This belief continues to dehumanize us. Where are these people when we celebrate Filipino excellency? Something in Between encapsulate the experience of young Filipino teens – even adults feel this alienation. Jasmine’s discomfort towards Maria have everything to do with how society conditioned us to feel ashamed when we shouldn’t.

The wide financial privilege gap between Royce and Jasmine played a huge factor in the story. It is a common teleserye trope called langit-lupa. Most YA books that I’ve read never contemplate the rich-poor dynamic. It’s something you can’t easily dismiss, especially if you don’t have the exact footing as the people you surround yourself with. Alienation and insecurity will take hold of the place. And Jasmine’s response made me bawl, because I was there and I still find myself coming back to that place, sometimes. Our diaspora, our shame, our proud.

“I know I’m always telling you to stop putting yourself down,”I tell him.

“But I was guilty of the same thing. I put myself down. I convinced myself everyone else was the one doing it, that it was your family that was judging me, that you were judging me, but I was the one who found me and my family lacking. I was the one who was embarrassed to be who I was, embarrassed about where I came from….I was embarrassed that I was embarrassed, if you know what I mean. I hated that I felt that way about myself. I work so hard to hold my head up, to be proud of my culture, my background, my history. I would never change my skin color, the shape of my eyes, or the color of my hair, but inside, I was worse than anyone out there who calls me a chink, or a FOB.”

It is a damn spot on book, but I want everyone to see Jasmine and her family’s story shouldn’t be regaled as the representation of all for Filipino immigrants. Jasmine said so herself, she’s one of the many. Despite her situation, her connection made it possible for her to achieve her dreams. When I finished reading it, I realized the moral story isn’t to resolve the reformation of immigration, but to give hope to one girl’s dream. Something in Between is a mirror and reflection for every teenager that need it.

Things that I love:

- Female friendship portrayal – I love that Melissa embedded teenage issues and didn’t brush in under the rugs. You could see the girls making up for their mistake.
- Being immigrant specifically an undocumented didn’t make Jasmine a pariah instead she received an overwhelming support from her peers. This is how you write diversity.


- The republicans are portrayed “too good” for my liking. They generally dismissed and alienate marginalized groups, it doesn’t set down well with me.
- I’m quite disappointed with some of the ableist language being passed as a pun.
- There are a handful of scenes where Jasmine’s family members invalidate Royce’s biracial background. The story is supposed to be inclusive, let’s thrive for that.

Something in Between would appeal to a chock full of readers. I simply love that this book combines everything I love in contemporary YA, there’s romance, strong political ambiance, racial inclusion, tight knit family and friendship. I couldn’t ask anything better. Highly recommended to contemporary fans that dig Morgan Matson, and Jenny Han.

Review also posted at Hollywood News Source.
Profile Image for Maureen.
574 reviews4,184 followers
October 18, 2016
3.5/5 stars

There are bits of this book that I LOVE and bits that I don't. I really do think so many people need to read it and that it's such an important story to come out right before the election. WE NEED MORE STORIES LIKE THIS! Especially from #ownvoices. Thank you, Melissa, for sharing this story that is so similar to your own, and for showing a different side of things to many people that wouldn't otherwise know of it!
I really liked the characters and the overall plot. YeH, it was predictable, but what YA contemporary isn't? I loved having all the main characters (and a majorit of the side characters) all be POC - it was so GREAT!

What I didn't really love was the writing. It was pretty straight and flat and boring. The story was interesting enough to keep me reading, but the actual writing of it was lackluster. There was a bit of insta-love and suspended disbelief (again, YA contemporary life) and though there were some really cute and nice parts and I felt some emotion during them, I wasn't invested enough to feel them deeply.

Even with that being said, I really do think a lot of people need this book and need to read this book. It's a quick read but an important story! READ IT.
Profile Image for Jillian .
441 reviews1,813 followers
October 9, 2016
i'm absolutely in love with this. to finally read a book where i can actually say this character is me, her family is like mine...well the feeling is indescribable. i'm so happy with this book. it's uplifting and heartbreaking. this is SUCH an important story. while i was so fortunate enough to be born here in the United States, my parents are immigrants from the Phillipines and this book reminded of their hard work and sacrifice to make sure i was successful, to make sure that i didn't take any of my opportunities for granted. the main character jasmine had so much growth and i can relate to her in 1000 ways. of course i'm not in high school anymore but the values and the work ethic that were instilled in Jasmine by her parents and the Filipino culture are something that I see in myself and my family. This book made my heart so happy. the romance was adorable and albeit a bit cheesy but hey it's okay. What i loved the most about Jasmine and Royce's relationship is how much they taught each other about who they are and how their families shaped them as individuals and how it affected their relationship. god i just loved this and i could go on, but you should really just read this yourself.
Profile Image for Jessica (Odd and Bookish).
579 reviews787 followers
February 7, 2017
This book was everything.

As a Filipino American I have never read a book about my culture until this. This book proves that representation matters. I related to all the Filipino parts. I loved the use of Tagalog words and Filipino food throughout the novel. One of my favorite quotes was when Jasmine described her brother as being “louder and more dramatic than anybody else, which really means something when you come from a Filipino family” (40). That is so damn true.

Thank you so much Melissa de la Cruz for writing this book. I’ve been waiting for her to write another book about the Filipino experience and this book couldn’t have been any more timely. It perfectly encapsulates the experiences undocumented immigrants go through. I really felt Jasmine’s frustration.

Overall, this is a must read for young adults in today’s world and hopefully this book can inspire future leaders to make positive changes in regards to immigration.
Profile Image for Dannii Elle.
2,063 reviews1,473 followers
May 17, 2017
I received this on a read to review basis from NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the author, Melissa de la Cruz, and the publisher, Harlequin Teen, for this opportunity.

This is the story of teenage Jasmine de los Santos: Cheer captain, A* student, hospital volunteer, national college scholar winner, of Filipino origin and, oh yeah, an undocumented citizen of the USA. The story could well have been a solely dark and harrowing one, but the author chose to address the issue of Jasmine and her family's 'alien' status through first introducing the reader to them as individuals. I loved this approach as it meant that I created a bond with these characters before pitying their predicament and empathizing with their emotional quandary. They are more than their green card, and de la Cruz introduces them as such.

I felt that the initial emotional impact that this story generated was lost about the midday point. Jasmine meets a boy, who happens to be the son of a political figure who is distinctly against the stay of illegal immigrants in the country. That, and her strict Filipino parents, make their relationship a troubled one. My issue with this arose when the main plot started to take a back seat to their romantic encounters and her angsty inner-monologues concerning her feelings. The two plot points did merge to make a whole, cohesive story but I still would have preferred this without any romance in it at all as it often felt surplus to the important story that was being narrated. Jasmine was such an interesting character, her story a touching one and her feelings on it were honest and real; this did not need romance or boy drama to boost appeal or popularity!

I adored the mix of ethnicity that this book offered, in both main and side characters and Jasmine's love for both her heritage and the USA were wonderful to read about. The story also written with a beautiful, melodic and soulful tone to the writing that was so soothing to read. I just wish that this story would have remained true to its initial synopsis. There is already an overabundance of romance stories in the YA genre and this did not need to become another one of them.
Profile Image for Shea Iris.
48 reviews73 followers
February 9, 2017
The hype was all of Goodreads, Instagram and blogs. The main reason at I read this is because it's the book of the month of our Book Club and I was drawn by the cover. The illustrations, typography and even the color scheme is soothing and appealing for a YA contemporary. It looks like a light hearted read and when I read the synopsis, I was highly motivated to know that the main character and author is a Filipino. The concept of immigration is interesting to read knowing it's from a perspective of a Filipino. Who wouldn't be interested right? An A+ student who suddenly knew they have no green card for years. Her life, scholarship, and american dream will all be shattered in a blink due to the threat of deportation.

I know this book is a very important story to the author. I understand that it's a personal life story during her teenage years which is badly written in a 400 + YA fiction. There wasn't anything that happened at all. Just cliche romance+ rants about living in America + cheerleading + degrading Philippines.

Reading the chapter 1 was OKAY but going through this excruciating 400 + pages was like going through hell. I cannot comprehend how people LOVED/ENJOYED reading a book wherein Filipinos are obviously degraded. I finished this hoping something turns out well in the end like a major plot twist? maybe? but I was wrong!

The characters especially Jasmine Delos Santos is not a likeable character. A cry baby, immature, annoying, and self centered who makes bad decisions knowing she's from a prestigious school with an A+ grades. The plot was boring all throughout. I was expecting more from the characters but nah. There's no character development at all. All I read are the stereotypical portrayal of Filipino's tradition, custom, and values. The patriotism and nationalism that I was looking for were not there. Instead just rants about being American and living in America.

It's just too sad that the author is implying as if the Filipinos migrate to America just to be a maid, janitor/janitress or other blue collar jobs. Maria, Royce's maid Jasmine's mom graduated in a private school in PH but come to live in America as janitress. The part where they're nearly deported and her dad told her he'll just apply as a jeepney driver in PH even though he graduated in a private school. See the difference how Filipinos are seen someone who'll only work blue collar jobs. Jasmine and her siblings depicts the children who lived in America for years have adapted their set of standards. Living to the so-called American dream, Filipino traditions are lost including learning to speak the language itself. Filipinos who migrate tend to never go back to live in PH because they are blinded by the good life they have while living in another country. It's like they're saying Philippines doesn't offer good education and job.

I thought the romance part will bring justice to the book but It just made things worst. Royce and Jazzy baby's insta-love has no feels at all. They look like two annoying lovebirds who are so indecisive. They were happy at first then broke up the next day then suddenly make-up. Not to mention the insignificant reasons they argue most of the time.

Overall, the hype doesn't deserve this book. For some, this might be the YA contemporary for them for me, it's not. There are a lot of YA contemporaries out there that deserves attention. Too bad this is my first time reading a book from this author. I might not read another book from her again.
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,738 reviews1,306 followers
October 5, 2016
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Harlequin (UK) Limited and NetGalley.)

“I don’t know. I don’t know what’s going to happen.”

This was a YA contemporary story about a girl who found out that she was living in the US illegally.

I felt quite sorry for Jasmine in this story as she had her whole future planned out, only to discover that things weren’t going to go to plan at all, and that she may even be deported.

The storyline in this was about Jasmine finding out from her parents that they were living in the US illegally, and realising that this meant that she wouldn’t be able to accept the scholarship she was offered. We then had Jasmine fighting to stay in the country and trying to find a way to get a different scholarship as well as a green card, whilst also finding a boyfriend along the way. I did find that the book dragged a bit though, and the romance was pretty quick too.

The ending to this was fairly happy if a little predictable. This book did highlight an important issue though, and the author’s note at the end was a nice touch and gave us a bit more background to the story.

6.5 out of 10
Profile Image for Aj the Ravenous Reader.
1,051 reviews1,049 followers
June 15, 2020
I was kind of hoping that Something In Between will be my very first international YA novel with a Filipino for a main character but Jasmine, even though she was born in the Philippines, is completely an American at heart and I do not blame her because it’s where she grew up. It’s where she has established her everything- her life, her dreams and her future so when the threat of all of these things to be ripped away from her because of the possibility of her and her entire family’s deportation back to Philippines, I get why she is totally crushed and it’s nothing personal against my country. Lol.

This book isn’t really about being a Filipino. It’s about being an immigrant in the U.S. but I still do appreciate the character’s attempt at introducing her limited knowledge of Filipino ways, food, language, culture, and even humor every chance she gets.

Like most teens, Jasmine is quite self-absorbed but she does work hard to achieve her goals earning herself a national scholarship which however she couldn’t accept after knowing that she and her family are undocumented. Asians in foreign countries I guess do over-achieve perhaps to “compensate” for the color of our skin or the shape of our eyes because somehow most of us think we are inferior just because of how we look which, of course, is completely wrong.

Jasmine was like that. She sometimes comes off as too defensive as if everyone is out to get her or alienate her which seems like the standard attitude of anyone living in a foreign land but it’s cool how the author particularly portrayed how most of Jasmine’s American friends including her boyfriend and his family are very supportive of her and her family’s situation when she finally confided in them and that her fears and her worries about people judging her are only her own insecurities.

I’m glad she comes to a realization that just because she is not an American citizen (yet), that doesn’t make her a lesser person. That no matter where she ends up, she is free to go for her dreams and be who she wants to be.

At some point, some of the events got a bit unrealistic and sometimes the narrative can be a bit annoying since it is told in Jasmine’s POV which can get a little whiny at times. Still, Ms. Dela Cruz wrote an important YA read without being too serious or too preachy. She actually managed to make the story’s tone light and quite fairy-tale like despite the weight of the themes. The romance is quite cheesy but still likable while the friendships and family relationships are heartwarming.
Profile Image for Maddie.
557 reviews1,150 followers
November 18, 2016
Review originally posted on Heart Full of Books!

I was really excited to read Something in Between because of the subject matter. It’s a shame that I read this one so soon after The Sun is Also a Star, though, as I couldn’t help but draw comparisons between the portrayal of illegal immigrants. Both authors took the same stance: that it’s unjust and an ugly term to describe people that have only done what was best for their families, and I think that message was the most powerful, but I wholeheartedly preferred Nicola Yoon’s take because it felt less romanticised. Let’s discuss…

Real Life Fairytale?

Being granted full citizenship to a country you’ve lived in all your life is definitely up there with mermaids learning what legs feel like, and I really liked this modern fairy tale vibe Something in Between had running throughout. I liked best figuring out what elements were most prominent, like the fairy god mother, but couldn’t help cringing at the heavy-handed ‘So, I’m Cinderella and you’re Prince Charming’ reference at the end.

But, the thing with fairy tales is…they always have a happy ending. And as The Sun is Also a Star admits, being deported doesn’t always end in happily ever after. I was really wondering how this book was going to end, and whether Jasmine would get to go to college and stay in the States.

If there’s one thing I can’t stomach though, it’s drama for the sake of drama. There were so many near-misses in this book, so many moments where Jasmine almost got caught out, or thought she’d found a solution, only for it to go pear shaped in the next chapter. I got tired of reading the repetitive structure, that I ended up putting the book down for two weeks to read something a little less predictable.

Perfect Protagonist

Jasmine was literally perfect. There’s no other word to describe her. She was captain of her cheerleading team, adored by teachers and students alike, had a great circle of friends and got amazing grades. Do people like this really exist?? I was reading the book just waiting for Jasmine to have a flaw.

And although I know this wasn’t what Melissa de la Cruz intended, it almost felt like Jasmine was more worthy than a more average person to be given a green card. We knew, from her National Scholarship award, that she’d be a credit to society, but so would all the other illegal immigrant that do what her parents do, the tough jobs that no one else wants. If Jasmine had had a bit more grit to her personality, I think I would have got more onboard with her campaign for reform.


Jasmine wouldn’t be in the situation she was in unless she’d stumbled across an old, rich lady and got in a relationship with Royce, who’s father was powerful in the US government and with very little persuading, would help the de los Santos family gain legal citizenship. I definitely had to suspend my disbelief with the sequence of events and how everything seemed to work in Jasmine’s favour, until some fabricated drama came along to mess up her life for a chapter, before being resolved.


Overall, I’m only giving Something in Between 2 stars. It hurts to say it, but I was genuinely bored reading some parts of this book. The romance didn’t engage me, because it felt like Royce and Jasmine didn’t have enough sympathy for each other’s positions, the conflict always expired within a few pages and perfection is overrated. I definitely enjoyed the relevant quotes at the beginning of chapters and would still recommend this book to anyone wanted to inject some well needed diversity into their TBR, but be aware that this book could probably do with some seasoning, to help it be digested better.

May 3, 2020
I’m a cheerleader. I like peanut butter and pizza. Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus. I grew up on Gossip Girl and Sex and the City reruns. I believe in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Freedom of speech. Every Olympics, my family gathers around the TV and we join the chant: “USA! USA! USA!” I love my country. I love America. Being American is as much a part of me as breathing. Except it turns out I’m not American where it counts. On paper.

while pertinent issues about immigration and xenophobia are brought up and this is clearly a very personal story to the author, this story still fell very short for me.

melissa de la cruz relies too much on "telling" instead of "showing", even going so far as to state the obvious, which makes the book unbearably bland and long-winded. neither the plot nor the characters interested me, and most of the time i felt like i was just reading this so i could finish it and add it to my reading challenge.

as for the love story: 100% instalove. while i'm not as against this trope as other reviewers, i couldn't really tolerate this particular scenario. jasmine was a little too annoying for my liking; she spent so much time agonising about her life instead of actually doing something tangible to change it, and when she wasn't agonising about her life all she did was think about royce, which got boring very quickly. and royce? he never really felt fleshed out as a love interest, so it felt like their relationship was just existing for the sake of it. and in the end, their relationship was also full of miscommunications.... they broke up and got back together at least 3 times?? (i think) and it honestly felt tiring to slog through a few hundred pages of this after a while.

BUT PLEASE NOTE: this is NOT an ownvoices review. i have not commented on the aspect of the book that involves jasmine being a first-generation filipino in america who is the child of undocumented immigrants, because i don't think i have the authority to. i have seen that other reviewers in similar situations really like this book because they see thenselves represented in it. as such, take my words with a pinch of salt.

Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists. —FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT
Profile Image for Yna from Books and Boybands.
756 reviews345 followers
December 6, 2020
“Even though you can't control the things that happen to you, you can control your perspective and your actions. There's never a moment you can't choose who you want to be.”

I never rate books with 1 star because I think it is too harsh and too strong but this book made me so disappointed, sad, and angry at the same time. Full review to come when I have gathered my thoughts.
Profile Image for Kat at Book Thingo.
265 reviews98 followers
October 26, 2016
I wanted to like this book, but I've concluded that it's like Twilight for immigrants. I could relate to the heroine because of my lived experience, but the story itself doesn't really explore the nuances of, well, anything. Immigration, culture, identity, politics, love -- these are all brought up as potential themes but never explored enough to mean anything. The heroine feels like a placeholder. Mostly, I found the story long. And bland. There were parts of the story I found hard to believe.

As far as depicting the Filipino migrant experience, well, I find it odd that Jasmine's family isn't part of a Filipino community. And for a family that's supposed to be conservative in values, religion doesn't really feature in their lives. Religion = church = community = people who can recommend good immigration lawyers! This was all lacking in the story. The heroine doesn't have other Pinoy friends, nor does she seem to have any fond memories of living in the Philippines until she was 9.

As for the ending, let's say it's the immigration story equivalent of the infertile heroine who accidentally falls pregnant ... with twins.

That said, I give the author props for telling A story of the Filipino migrant experience, even with such glaring flaws. There is so much lived experience and not enough stories about them. I hope this inspires others to write theirs.
Profile Image for Norah Una Sumner.
855 reviews452 followers
August 15, 2017
Buddy read with my sweetie Sara.

Something in Between is very dramatic, very over-the-top and sometimes a bit annoying, yet, it came to me at the exact right time and made me love the character of Jasmine de los Santos. The theme of the book, of course, is very serious and very important and I do not think that it was over-shadowed by the romantic plot at all. Every character in this book is stubborn, from the main character, to her parents and friends, and to mister Royce himself as well as his family. But, you see, I am stubborn as hell, so even when I was annoyed by their actions I knew that I would 89% act like Jasmine. I felt her struggle and was really in sync with her until the very ending of the book. She is a bit of a drama queen but apparently so am I. Even though I've never actually done cheerleading in my life I still liked that the author included it in the story a lot as it was Jasmine's huge passion. The romantic plot is very... push and pull. That's the only reason I'm giving this book 4 stars. I liked Royce, most of the time, I liked Jasmine and I loved them together but they really were testing my patience sometimes. Then, on the other hand, they are both confused teenagers so they're trying to cope with their own problems the best way they can. *cringey throwback to my dramatic romantic experiences in elementary school*

The writing style was fantastic and even though the book itself could've been a bit shorter as some parts of the story really did drag on, I found myself really enjoying it. This is a very personal story and I highly respect that.
Profile Image for Lauren  (TheBookishTwins) .
467 reviews203 followers
February 10, 2017
Disclaimer: I received a free copy via Edelweiss for review purposes.

Something In Between follows the story of Jasmine de los Santos, a conscientious and intelligent high school student trying her hardest to make her Filipino parents proud. After receiving a national scholar award, Jasmine's parents are compelled to tell her the truth: that they are undocumented. Everything that Jasmine has known and holds dear becomes threatened. It means no scholarship and the constant threat of deportation. Yet Jasmine won't give up, and with her congressional connections, and her supporting family and peers, Jasmine fights to stay in the United States.

I think Something In Between is a fantastic and thought-provoking book about identity and experiences of undocumented immigrants. I think it's especially important in the current political climate, and not just in the US, but across the globe.

I loved the characters and the dynamics and interactions between them. I particularly enjoyed Jasmine's strong bonds with her parents and her siblings. I loved that Jasmine never gave up, even when she questioned her own identity and sense of belonging. There's lots of diversity and Filipino culture which you get a strong insight of. I think this book will be relatable for a lot of teens that are going through similar experiences as Jasmine.

Another thing that I particularly enjoyed was the romance which was built on mutual respect and admiration, even when there was conflict in regard to their backgrounds, a conflict which is centred around privilege. Whilst there was this conflict, I thought their romance was so well done and developed, and super cute.

Something In Between has everything that YA lovers want in a contemporary: a swoon-worthy romance and a relationship built on mutual respect, great family dynamics, supporting female friendships, and thought-provoking conversations about important issues.
Profile Image for Chesca (thecrownedpages).
309 reviews161 followers
Want to read
November 14, 2016
"For the first time, Jasmine rebels, trying all those teen things she never had time for in the past." <--- This is just SO Filipino, in my opinion, if you belong to a conservative family. Basically, this was me when I was seventeen.
Profile Image for CW ✨.
669 reviews1,712 followers
January 26, 2018
A book with excellent discourse but ultimately let down by the shoe-horned romance.

- For one, I adored Jasmine. She was a fantastic character that represented the pressure and burden that rests on the shoulders of immigrant children: being cut above the rest to compensate for their parents' sacrifices.
- The discourse on immigration and illegal immigrants was important. I wasn't very familiar with the green card system and America's politics surrounding illegal immigration, so this book was very insightful and I enjoyed the discussions within.
- de la Cruz captured the family dynamics fantastically, and I enjoyed the family elements very much.
- However, the romance and the heavy emphasis on romance made the book feel really disjointed. More often than not, I don't mind 'insta-love', but I do feel like there has to be some degree of development nonetheless, but I felt like the relationship between Jasmine and the love interest was lacking. The romance was the weakest part of the book and really detracted from my enjoyment of the book, which is a shame because it would've been otherwise a thoroughly splendid book.
Profile Image for Hanna Fogel.
215 reviews15 followers
June 19, 2016
There's a reason I read this book in a day--I could barely put it down. This book is an important one, especially in today's U.S. political climate. I connected personally to this book in a couple of ways--though we did it legally and from an English-speaking country, which certainly made many things easier, my family immigrated to the U.S. twenty years ago and stayed on greencards till we finally applied for and got citizenship in 2012, so I know what it feels like to feel like you only partly belong. I also went to school with an undocumented family, so I thought about their experience several times as I read this book. YA readers will connect to the characters' personal dramas while gaining a better understanding of how the American political system and society work--this book is educational without being preachy. Congratulations to the Seventeen/Harlequin Teen collaboration on an excellent first novel, and thank you to Melissa de la Cruz for telling this story.
Profile Image for Celeste_pewter.
593 reviews147 followers
October 18, 2016
Books that humanize the topic of illegal immigration have become more commonplace in YA over the past couple of years, which is a much appreciated trend especially given the recent election cycle.

In Something in Between, Melissa de La Cruz introduces readers to Jasmine, an accomplished high school senior living in Southern California. While Jasmine has dreams of attending elite colleges, the discovery that she’s an undocumented immigrant seems like it’s about to derail that plan…

I've read a number of YA books discussing the odyssey of undocumented immigrants over the years, and I was struck by just how relatable Jasmine's journey felt. While I'm sure part of it could be attributed to the fact that Jasmine - like me! - is from Southern California (more or less), the majority of the relatability was due to the fact that de la Cruz has done a remarkable job of charting and humanizing a disorientating, complicated journey.

Because Jasmine makes that discovery that she's an undocumented immigrant in the worst possible way: she's about to accept a prestigious scholarship, but has to decline because it would shine too much attention to her status. By not accepting the scholarship, Jasmine is also opening the door to the idea that she may not even have a future in this country, as well.

While the stakes for Jasmine's journey didn't necessarily felt as urgent as Alma's in Dream Things True, De la Cruz does a wonderful job of reiterating to the reader that Jasmine's core journey isn't just that of an undocumented immigrant. Though it's very much occupying the bulk of her thoughts, Jasmine still has very normal teenaged struggles, including family drama, romance issues and friendship struggles.

And that's really the crux of this book. It's a reminder that even though there are many who would like the undocumented immigrant issue to become a broad, faceless issue where those who are caught up in the struggle are very much viewed as the other, there actually is a face, a story and a dream behind each of these stories. De la Cruz is essentially reminding us the importance of not othering these individuals, a reminder that is sure to resonate deeply with all readers.

My one issue with the book though, was with the romance. While Royce was undoubtedly charming, the entire situation just felt a tad too convenient, given the timing and the situation. Because of course, Royce's father was a politician who had the capacity to help Jasmine's situation. It's a bit clichéd, but does help drive a few important points forward.

*Minor spoilers ahead*

While I'll acknowledge that Jasmine's accomplishments don't necessarily merit the consideration that normally comes with the sponsorship for a private bill, I do absolutely understand why de la Cruz chose to have Jasmine have access to an easier, happier ending.

There are too many who view undocumented immigrants as something to be feared and/or a topic of strong debate, and de la Cruz shows readers that more often than not, those who are undocumented and seeking access to citizenship only want the same quality of life that many of us take for granted. It's a bit of a broad lesson, but a much appreciated one.
Profile Image for Jay G.
1,279 reviews460 followers
July 16, 2017
Want to see more bookish things from me? Check out my Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfer...

Jasmine de los Santo is an exemplary student. She is the captain of her high school cheer team and has just been awarded a National Scholar award. After telling her parents the exciting news, they reveal that their family is living in America illegally and she won't be able to accept the award. Now, with all her dreams crashing around her, Jasmine rebels for the first time in her life. That's when she meets Royce, the son of a congressman fighting against illegal immigrants and begins to fall for him.

I think the book covers a very important topic very well. I love how this book is an own voice novel. I think that this book will help a lot of people feel represented and for that aspect alone, I am giving the book 3 stars....

Unfortunately, I didn't really enjoy the story as much as I hoped. I found the writing style to be too simplistic for my personal taste. I also didn't like the insta love, but I have never been a fan of this trope to begin with. I didn't like the relationship between Royce and Jasmine, I found them to be extremely childish, especially for 18 year olds. There was a lot of miscommunication between the two of them that quickly got on my nerves. I felt that the characters acted more like 14 year olds rather than the 18 year olds they were meant to be. I also felt that there wasn't much character development for any character except maybe Mason....

Overall, this book wasn't for me, but I think many people will enjoy it none the less.
Profile Image for Abbie.
1,976 reviews581 followers
October 5, 2016
(I received a copy from Netgalley, In exchange for an honest review.)

Actual rating - 3.25

I felt really sorry for Jasmine in this. The situation she was in really couldn't have been easy to deal with.

This took me a while to get into at first, but after a few chapters it managed to gain my interest. The writing sometimes felt a bit off to me, and there were still a few times where my interest waned slightly, but it was a decent read overall.

Profile Image for Pinky.
514 reviews430 followers
December 28, 2016
This book is very important, I'm so glad I read it. It has so many issues that are not spoken about a lot in books. I've never read a book about an immigrant struggling to stay in a country. This was so good, I loved it so much.

“I can't think of anything I'm not grateful for.”

Jasmine de la Santos is an immigrant who has worked so hard to maintain her grades and made many friends. After receiving a letter that she was a national scholar and was invited to dinner, she tells her parents expecting a joyful response. Instead, her parents explain that they are undocumented immigrants and have high chances of being deported into another country. Through the struggles of staying in America, Jasmine meets Royce, the congressman's son. This important story raises awareness to an issue that should be known to everyone.

Jasmine was a great character, I found that I could relate to her in so many different ways. My mom is an immigrant who made it to Canada without knowing any English. It's crazy that I have so many privileges and freedom compared to other people my age. I am grateful to be where I am and living the life I have. This book reminded me that I was lucky and showed me a different perspective of people who struggle to stay in a country. I love how optimistic Jasmine is, but I hated how she was easily jealous of someone. Royce was supportive but he said so many cheesy things and those moments would remind me that he is a fictional character. Jasmine's dad is hilarious and I have so much in common with him. I am very negative when it comes to situations that are horrible. I never think of the bright side and I know I should. Millie is awesome and Lola is hilarious!

There were so many moments where I felt so proud of Jasmine!

My rating isn't exactly 4 stars, it's 3.5 stars. It would've been 5 stars but I wasn't a huge fan of the writing style. I didn't like most of the Royce-Jasmine scenes, it felt so fake. I felt like it happened so fast and there was no development in their relationship. I wish that the book had more of the other characters. But I enjoyed reading this book for the time being.

I highly recommend this book to everyone. Everyone needs to read this book, it will give an insight to a problem that isn't brought up a lot. I'm glad Melissa de la Cruz wrote this and can't wait to read more!


Profile Image for Alicia.
6,202 reviews123 followers
July 4, 2016
I'd put this in the same category that some LGBTQ books are in on my list, which is that they're necessary books, but that they're not well-written enough to be "the best". Essentially they're tolerated on the YA market because there isn't anything else and because the voices and characters are needed to be the voice of youth, but that doesn't mean that they're all good. I'd put de la Cruz's book in this category. It's needed, oh so very needed like Ask Me No Questions, Shine, Coconut Moon, Touching Snow, but that this bloated story with its cheesy romance isn't the kind of book I'd like to read.

Jasmine is a Filipino immigrant whose family enjoys their California life. Both parents have a good, menial labor jobs while they support their children, including Jasmine, who works her tail off ("Youre so perfect, Jasmine. You do everything right. You were junior class president. Cheer captain. Honor Roll. Volunteering. Don't you ever get tired? Never, I say with a smile. Except the truth is I'm always tired, but I can never admit it, not to my friends, especially not to my family.") She continues on this path and receives a national scholarship that would allow her to attend a reception at the White House and then a full-ride to a four-year college of her choice. Yet her dreams are dashed when her parents admit that they came her on a work visa that expired and don't have green cards/citizenship of any kind and that accepting this scholarship wouldn't be possible, especially since it would open them up to questions. What unfolds is 400 pages of too much stuff. There's a insta-love interest, her fight against legislation to get rid of illegal immigrants, her identity crisis, helping her family while still trying to get the scholarship, and probably some other stuff that I missed because it was all just a little too much.
Profile Image for Fictional World Dreamer.
189 reviews66 followers
February 9, 2017
Three reasons why I picked up Something in Between by Melissa De La Cruz. One, it’s about a important topic of illegal immigration. Second, it’s about a family and culture of the Philippines. Which is a topic that is very close to my heart as I am married to a wonderful man who is filipino. But 3rd, probably the most important to me is about, interracial-romance.

This was a cute and interesting story. It had lot of information. There aren’t many books, that talk about the 3 points that I mentioned. I did see a lot of resemblances of the culture. Which I enjoyed very much. I live it every day, as I’m in embedded in the Philippine roots with my Husband and mother in-law. They make sure that I know about everything be it cooking, history or just stories from their old home. My family are very proud of their heritage, which makes me love it and learn even more.

Something in Between, is a great look into how minority lives in the US. I feel that not many people explore this topic. Which I think is pretty interesting, since half the country is surrounded by immigrants. No? I would definitely like to read more about this related topic.

Jasmine’s ambition and determination is something to learn from. I believe that many people will learn from her struggles. I loved how she was passionate for her country, Which I also feel that many take it for granted. Because US is all they know and don’t see how fortunate they really are.

I enjoy Something in Between by Melissa De La Cruz. It was a quick great summer read. If you're into YA Contemporary romance, diversity, family and friendship. I believe this is a great read. In which you will enjoy and learn something new from.
Profile Image for Emily Anne.
226 reviews254 followers
September 4, 2016
Something In Between is such an important read. Melissa de la Cruz brings to light the struggles of undocumented families and informs her readers on the subject; likewise, she still tells a great love story. I can't recommend this enough!

Our main character, Jasmine, has worked hard her whole life. She hopes to get into a top college. However, her parents tell her that their family is undocumented, and all her hopes seem to shatter. How can she get a scholarship to go Stanford if she isn't documented? There's also the threat of her family being forced out of the US. Jasmine still fights for her dreams though, and the book follows her journey.

Meanwhile, there is also a cute romance unfolding between Jasmine and a senator's son. The senator, however, takes a big stance against undocumented families. That, and other things, make the relationship a tough one. Along with the main ship, I also enjoyed seeing Jasmine interact with her friends and family.

I strongly recommend reading the author's bit at the end of Something In Between. She describes what inspired her to write the novel, and tells how her history corresponds with Jasmine's in some ways.

Overall, I am very glad I read Something In Between. Melissa de la Cruz has opened my eyes to the fears and struggles of undocumented families... who just want to feel safe in their home, the USA.

4/5 Stars

*I received a free arc from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*
Profile Image for Book Riot Community.
953 reviews157k followers
April 4, 2017
Jasmine De Los Santos, an overachieving high school student living in California with her Filipino immigrant parents, gets a shocking revelation when she learns that her entire family is undocumented. Unable to accept a prestigious scholarship she has been awarded, Jasmine is forced to re-examine everything that she has worked so hard for. A budding romance with a Republican congressman’s son adds another challenging element to Jasmine’s upended life. A well written, sensitive portrayal of a family in crisis, with an immensely likable main character. Unfortunately, this story is super timely at the moment, and would make a great read for anyone interested in the impact of legislation on immigrant families.

–Kristy Pasquariello

from The Best Books We Read In January 2017: http://bookriot.com/2017/02/01/riot-r...
Profile Image for Breanne.
454 reviews167 followers
May 21, 2017
This is a very important read and it felt so inspirational. I really enjoyed it! RTC!
Profile Image for Gabriel.
129 reviews99 followers
September 17, 2022
As a Filipino I really wanted to love this book but it did not happen because it has the most annoying main character I have ever read.
Profile Image for Zoe L..
9 reviews3 followers
April 5, 2018
A girl (Jasmine) an illegal immigrant, with a boy (Royce) who is the congressman son. This story stood out to me with the theme of hope. It also stood out to how we shouldn't judge who we are just because we are different, but because we are special. I quote the theme by the "girl" Jasmine (the main character) (during her graduation speech) that been through the tough situation of being an illegal immigrant with the help of the boy, Royce:

"In my case, when I found out that I was going to be deported because I wasn't in America legally, I lost sight of who I was. I thought a piece of paper defined me, that I was a different person, lesser. But throughout this entire year, I've learned that who I was never changed. I let law said about me - that I, as a human being, was illegal, that I didn't belong in the place I'd always know as my own home - change my own perception of who I am. When I sat down to write this speech, I thought about how these things are supposed to be filled with advice. I thought, 'Who am I to give my fellow students advice? What will they say?' And I could come up with only one thing. No one - not the law, not the college admissions officer, not your friends, not your teachers or parents or any other people can define who you are. The only person who can do that is you. Even though you can't control the things that happen to you, you can control your perspective and your actions. There's never a moment you can't choose who you want to be."

"You can waste your lives drawing lines. Or you can live your life crossing them. -Shonda Rhimes

"I'm inspired by failure. The process of defeat - picking yourself back up again is the hardest thing in the world." -Lolo Jones

"Remember, no effort that we make to attain is something beautiful is ever lost." -Helen Keller

"The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any." -Alice Walker

"It takes a great deal of courage to stand up to your enemies, but even more to stand up to your friends." -J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

"Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction." -Antonie De Saint-Exupery, Wind, Sand and Stars.

"You show people what you're willing to fight for when you fight for your friends." -Hillary Clinton

"When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful." -Malala Yousafzai

I rated this a five star, and I hope everyone who reads the book hears the lesson from "Something in Between"
Profile Image for Najwa | najreads.
225 reviews58 followers
August 18, 2017
Actual rating: 3.5 stars

Besides the amazing story of how illegal immigrants struggle to deserve their citizenship in a country (how hard that must've been) and besides the ever charming Royce and sweet Millie, I think this book was just like other typical teen YA contemporaries where the poor girl gets the rich guy with such an annoying and naive and stupid MC.

I did not like Jasmine, her life is too perfect except for the fact she's an undocumented imigrant of course but she got good grades,she's the captain of the cheer team, she got the guy of her dreams, she got into the college she wanted. And idk maybe i just dislike her even more because I see myself in her at most times - paranoid, overthinking things and being clingy and needy.

The romance was completely unnecessary. And a little bit over the top too. I feel it can work a whole lot better without the romance, but yknow no complaints since I am still a hopeless romantic. I enjoyed the romance nevertheless. I adore Royce. So much. He's so nice and charming and everyone's dream guy.

I think the writing style was okay, I tabbed a lot of great quotes, but I found some things repetitive idk maybe it's just me.

But other that that I think it's a great story to show the world how hard it is for immigrants to struggle in a country they're not exactly from and how they don't get treated as an equal. I know now. It was pretty insightful, about all the politics surrounding immigrants and such.
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