Today it is my pleasure to host the Blog-Tour for Something in Between by Melissa de la Cruz. Cruz brings a lot of understanding and awareness to the topic of illegal immigrants. Read all about it in my review below.
About the author
Melissa de la Cruz is the author of many best-selling novels, including the Blue Bloods series; the Au Pairs series; the Ashleys series; and Angels on Sunset Boulevard. She is also a frequent contributor to Glamour, Marie Claire, Teen Vogue, and Cosmopolitan. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter, and is hard at work on her next book.
About the book
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.
Cruz draws heavily on her own experiences, family history and personal situation for this story. It gives it an element of legitimacy and the reader may feel more empathy towards the characters.
Jasmine is a hard-working law-abiding young woman, who is on the academic path towards success, It seems as if she has it all when she literally achieves the academic equivalent of a cherry on top of the cake.
She expects joy, pride and excitement, but instead her parents are concerned and apprehensive. Then they burst Jasmine’s bubble of perfection. In one fell swoop her life is destroyed and her clear path towards college and career have now suddenly become unobtainable.
As an illegal she belongs nowhere. Legally she technically doesn’t even exist in the country she grew up in. She has no rights and no real status. Adieu to her scholarship, her college plans and her happily ever after.
One thing that Cruz explains really well is the general attitude towards illegal immigrants. In fact just the general demeanour towards immigrants, refugees and illegals has become a hot topic in many countries in the last decade. Jasmine feels as if her peers will think she is a criminal, a filthy person and someone they don’t want to associate with.
Many people find themselves in similar situations to the de los Santos family. Victims of simple mistakes, bureaucracy, circumstance and often just the fear of the inevitable. Men and women with jobs, homes and children in school. The people next door or across the street.
The courts treat them with contempt and are completely disinterested in the personal tales of these people. No one is interested in the fact they are contributing members of society or could be beneficial to the country. They become numbers, statistics and afterthoughts.
Something in Between mixes important political and socio-economic issues, whilst keeping the general vibe of a young adult book. It is a story that can happen to anyone. People who want to better themselves and their children’s lives. They want to give them every opportunity to succeed in life, especially if it isn’t possible in their own country. Can anyone really fault them for trying?