Author: Joan Steinau Lester
Published Date: January 3rd 2017
Genre: YA, Historical Fiction, Realistic Fiction
My Rating: ★ ★ ★
As a biracial teen, Nina is accustomed to a life of varied hues—mocha-colored skin, ringed brown hair streaked with red, a black father, a white mother. When her parents decide to divorce, the rainbow of Nina’s existence is reduced to a much starker reality. Shifting definitions and relationships are playing out all around her, and new boxes and lines seem to be drawn every day.
Between the fractures within her family and the racial tensions splintering her hometown, Nina feels caught in perpetual battle. Stranded in a nowhere land of ethnic boundaries, and struggling for personal independence and identity, Nina turns to the story of her great-great-grandmother’s escape from slavery in hopes of finding her own compass to help navigate the challenges before her.
“Funny how an absence can feel like a presence, like that space practically glows with her outline and make me notice how she's not here.”Nina is a young woman who is biracial and is a freshman in high school, who is now also dealing with parents divorcing and households being split. Because of all of these changes she's angry and upset and confused. She doesn't know exactly where she belongs anymore. When she's at her moms she feels like things are missing, when she is with her dad's she feels like she doesn't fit their either with his changing opinions on things. Plus she has a younger brother who she feels like she needs to protect from the mean highschooler's all while still trying to maintain her friendships. Her dad is also writing a story about a family member that he wants Nina to help him with. This is also the one thing that helps bring her happiness in this trying time in her life.
Overall I enjoyed this book. Nina was a character that you were able to sympathize with and understand why she was feeling the way she was about her family situation changing. I was able to see kind of where the parents were coming from with Nina, but also at times I just wanted to shout at them PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR CHILDREN. Which would have made certain things that happened in the last quarter of the book not have happened at all. Which would have made this a more enjoyable story for me.
For the historical part of the book, I really enjoyed it. I like Nina found it a nice escape from the struggles that Nina was having and it was also really informative as well. As for how accurate this book is with representation I genuinely don't know. I hope it has some accuracy as it felt like it could with some of the feelings that Nina was having towards feeling torn into two different worlds and not knowing how to make them work as one.
If you know how accurate this is with representation please let me know.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an e-arc of this book in exchange for my honest review.