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American Like Me: Reflections on Life Between Cultures

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  2,814 ratings  ·  426 reviews
From award-winning actress and political activist America Ferrera comes a vibrant and varied collection of first-person accounts from prominent figures about the experience of growing up between cultures.

America Ferrera has always felt wholly American, and yet, her identity is inextricably linked to her parents’ homeland and Honduran culture. Speaking Spanish at home, havi
Kindle Edition, 337 pages
Published September 25th 2018 by Gallery Books
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4.36  · 
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 ·  2,814 ratings  ·  426 reviews

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Sachi Argabright
Sep 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Please stop whatever you’re doing and buy this book! I knew it would be right up my alley, but this book greatly exceeded my expectations. I was blown away by most of the essays, and was able to relate so closely to their themes. As person of mixed race who was raised by a Japanese immigrant, I was so pleased to see so many of my experiences reflected on the pages of this book. There were so many little things that resonated with me too such as Reshma Saujani talking about using an “easier” fake ...more
Nov 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
One of the most effective small things we cis white people in the United States can do is to read other people's stories with curiosity, veracity, love, and gratitude. And do it over and over, for as long as we can read or listen.
I actually started this book yesterday and finished it earlier today. I loved the stories and the backgrounds and the families of all the different people that were included in this book. I didnt rate each story Individually because I feel like every person has a story and even though I enjoyed some more then others they all deserved a 5⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Nonfiction is usually not my go to read but would highly recommend this if you feel like reading about why America is so great because we are so diverse a ...more
Amanda Peña
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“But what ARE you?!”

As someone who’s grown up, especially as a child, not knowing exactly what to tell people when they ask where I’m from after I say, “Here?” or “My family is from Texas, they’ve always been from Texas..” I’m just American, right? “But you look Mexican!”

Do I?

This book showcases pretty heartwarming accounts about what its like growing up in America and not always feeling American, and learning to love yourself and where you came from. Whether you started out here, or found your
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Phenomenal collection of vignettes from children of immigrants that are at turns familiar and fresh, rib-tickling and eye-opening. Highly recommend.

America: yes, denied sleepovers (but justly so)!

Reshma: yes, denied custom name keychains! Glad she didn’t change her name when she entered politics. Honestly, if there is a ballot with names I don’t know on an issue I don’t care about, I vote for the foreign name first, woman second, then just pick whichever name I’ve seen on the lawns on my neighb
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is utterly compelling, and came at quite literally the perfect time in our American history. I think this is not only an IMPORTANT book, but a NEEDED one.

As things begin to change and move forward in our country (hopefully for the better!), there will understandably be some resistance: change can be frightening. But we can't let that small minority paralyze the rest of us.

I think this book will stand the test of time, and hopefully will serve to enlighten and galvanize people to realiz
Valyssia Leigh
An exceptionally relevant, beautiful book in this ignorant, paranoid climate of rabid nationalism. Do yourself a favor, take a break from their farcical dystopia and read this.
Nov 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
America Ferrera has put together an earnest, honest, powerful, and brilliant collection of personal essays and stories.
I am not sure a book has ever filled my heart so much. So much hope. So much radical love. So much pride in what being an American can mean. So much appreciation of the differences that make up our collective we, and the strength it gives us all as individuals when we come together as a community to share those differences.
Madeline O'Rourke
American Like Me is a wonderful collection of diverse stories centred around the mixing of cultures, oftentimes through immigration.

I really was impressed by the variety of authors. Though they're all famous in some way, there are actors, singers, politicians, activists, and more; and on top of that, they all come from a variety of cultural backgrounds—including some Native Americans, which I thought was cool. Amongst the essays, there's a lot of divergence, too. Some short, some long; some funn
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm glad we're living in an era of contradictions. Awareness of immigrant stories is at an all time high, but in certain places tensions between immigrants and non-immigrants are also at an all time high. I've enjoyed reading and listening to people's experiences over the past year.

In American Like Me, I've found a collection that spoke to me. No story was mine, but in every story I felt comfort. How many times have these things happened to me? It was nice to read these stories coming from peop
Oct 07, 2018 rated it liked it
I loved the diversity of stories in this one, reading about Native American reservations, Filipino trans pageants, Indian sari-inspired prom dresses, and everything in between. But these essays as a collection kind of let me down. The authors are all celebrities, but they aren’t all fantastic writers. The essays themselves are pretty short and read more like a Jimmy Fallon interview or a quick TED talk than an essay. The essays also felt so deliberate about answering a specific prompt, instead o ...more
Sep 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2018
I laughed, I cried!
Julie Suzanne
The first half was pretty boring, and I had to realize that these pretty interesting cultural remembrances were written by famous people, not necessarily by writers. For the first half of the book, it felt like I was reading a dozen college entrance essays, one after another, and I was really sick of this sentence: "If someone had told me 10 years ago that today I'd be [fill in the blank], I'd have [a) never believed it b) told them they were crazy]". I think that the editors could have told the ...more
Oct 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-books
I haven’t written a review in a while, but I’m in tears and this book was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever read.

Every single essay in this compilation is incredibly important and carries so much power with it. I never wanted it to end. Please, please go get a copy!
Jul 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I cannot begin to express what this book meant to me. I am still weeping as I type this and I think I need to sit in this and process a bit more before I write a true review. A must read.

*updated review*

In a time where a president tells our own government elected officials to go back to where they came from, a time where hate seems to permeate so much of what is said and done, and a time where ignorance abounds- this is a vital and enlightening collection of American stories. America Ferrera col
Oct 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
We have people coming into the country, or trying to come in — and we're stopping a lot of them — but we're taking people out of the country. You wouldn't believe how bad these people are. These aren't people. These are animals. And we're taking them out of the country at a level and at a rate that's never happened before. And because of the weak laws, they come in fast, we get them, we release them, we get them again, we bring them out. It's crazy.
President Trump

American did not cherry-pick her
The most important part for me in this was that each story had some component that rang true to my own lived experience, my own times along the boundaries of what make me American, and it is always going to come back to the variety of components that make up this life.

full review:
Dec 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: to-be-bought
As a global nation, we are struggling to pull together the divides that threaten to separate us. As governments shut-down over so-called 'border security', as people turn their backs on allies and groups that have promised laws and rights to the most vulnerable, we need voices of hope and rallying cries to bring us back to the core principals of our lives: to be kind.

In this illuminating collection of personal essays, written by some of the most important men and women working in entertainment
May 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
I listened to the audiobook of American Like Me. This was a timely and well presented collection of essays that looked at the immigration experience in the United States.

The diverse contributors reflected immigrants, first generation Americans and the grandchildren of immigrants and/or non-English speakers. Some of these accomplished essayists still hold fast to their past cultures while some lack knowledge of their history.

As the granddaughter of immigrants from a non-European nation I found
Oct 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
What a fitting collection of essays for 2018. Some essays were stronger than others. Despite that, I think all of the voices featured in this collection deserve to be heard. It is important to understand the American experience from ALL types of American voices. This is a book that helps steer a more empathetic conversation about what it means to be an American.
Oct 17, 2018 rated it liked it
I love the IDEA of this book. In practice, many of the pieces are beautifully rendered and emotionally rich, but too many are just not very well written which affects their message. I think I may have enjoyed this book better in audiobook form or if I read it over a longer period of time (like 1 essay per week). Spoiler: America Ferrera is amazing.
Dec 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Just, wow. I really loved this book. I’ve been reading a few stories a day and finally finished. I think this collection of essays is something that everyone should read. It really highlights that there are so many ways to be American.
Vidura Barrios
Dec 02, 2018 rated it liked it
I enjoyed some of the essays very much, although I felt the editor could have included more prominent latin leaders from other areas besides entertainment. At the end the stories felt a bit tedious and repetitive.
Dec 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Such an emotional journey for both the writers and the reader.
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have been really busy with school lately and am so thankful to have books, to escape and take a break from all of the work I have to do.
I got to say that I really enjoyed this book in that it gave me different perspectives in what it is like to be an American. I got to learn about different cultures and history. My eyes opened up. It really was something that was meant to be created and put out into the world. I am so glad that this book is out, people are able to find themselves in this bo
I listened to this one and it was such a great audiobook. The different chapters were narrated by the writers themselves. And what a wonderfully diverse group of essay writers! I love that they were from so many different ethnicities and cultures and backgrounds. These are not just people who write for a living (of course there are plenty of writers in the mix) but there are also politicians, people in sports (like Michelle Kwan and Jeremy Lin), people on TV/stage/screen (like Padma Lakshmi, Lin ...more
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
I liked this book because I was able to relate to it. Both my parents are immigrants and I am first generation US born. That being said, I think it’s a good book for anyone to read.

I liked that all of the people who contributed to this book were so different ie politicians, athletes, writers, actors. Not all of the stories were super engaging and they were sometimes a little slow but it was nice that each story was only a couple pages long and it made the slow parts go by fast.

I also think thi
I really have enjoyed all the essays about growing up in America. All the authors came at it from a different angle, but there were a lot of common themes, and most of them grew up in the 80s and 90s like I did so there was a lot of fun nostalgia sprinkled throughout. It's heartbreaking that many of them were bullied because of their differences and so they tried to assimilate in some cases by downplaying their cultural heritage. I'm happy they all grew up to realize how rich their lives are bec ...more
Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2019
I really loved this collection. Such a great mix of stories from immigrants from all corners of the globe who came here, and just how hard, wonderful, and confusing that experience can be.

It’s a great reminder of what truly makes America Great, it is and always has been this influx of people, willing to work and strive for a better life, without that we cut off our own life’s blood... the influx of ideas and passion that make our engine work.
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-club-books
A FANTASTIC book that contains so many of our stories. A highly recommended read for ALL Americans!!
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America Ferrera is an award-winning actress, producer, director and activist. Ferrera is best known for her breakthrough role as “Betty Suarez” on ABC’s hit comedy, Ugly Betty, for which she won Golden Globe, Emmy, Screen Actors Guild, ALMA, and Imagen Awards. She produces and stars in the acclaimed NBC workplace comedy, Superstore, currently in its fourth season. In 2016 Ferrera cofounded HARNESS ...more