Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3.5/5)
Jasmine de los Santos is the perfect student. Working hard to please her parents, hoping to get a full college scholarship to her dream college. But the dream is shattered when she is rewarded an award she can’t accept. Her entire family is residing in the U.S. illegally after their visas expired years ago. Now Jasmine’s breaking out and falling in love with the charming son of a Republican congressman. Time is running out, and Jasmine needs to find a way to stay.
I think Something in Between is a fantastic book about identity and one of the many experiences of undocumented immigrants. A significant theme of Something in Between is how children of immigrants are stuck between two worlds, two cultures, and figuring out how to identify when they clash with each other. Jasmine struggles, and her story shows the exploration of cultural conflict and how she learns that neither have to conflict with the other and you can be proud of both.
I enjoyed the dynamics and interactions between Jasmine and her family mainly. There’s a lot of diversity in this book that was really relatable. I wasn’t a huge fan of the drama that occurred within Jasmine and her friends, but I appreciated how in the end they worked it all out and rather than separating, all of them work out their issues and it’s realistically resolved.
The romance between Jasmine and Royce was initially quite sweet and adorable. It starts off with mutual respect between both of them and they slowly learn more about each other. It was later sort of ruined by miscommunication issues. Most of their problems could’ve been solved in seconds if they had just spoken more clearly. The whole ‘Are we still dating? We’re still dating.’ Thing got pretty old really quick. I didn’t hate Jasmine as a lead, but her personality tended to be very dramatic, and I wished the story focused a bit more on her actual family rather than the typical YA drama. She’s quite headstrong, and I liked that. But her family were the stronger aspects of the book, and I wished it was showed more.
There were some aspects that I didn’t enjoy, and one of them was how the Republicans were portrayed a bit too nice. Royce’s father does some terrible things, but they do help Jasmine’s family at one point, but I feel like they were a bit too nice to them when in the book they’re seen dismissing and alienating immigrants in the book.
Overall, it’s quite a good read. This is a very personal story about immigrants and finding out where we belong in a country that doesn’t want you and how the world can be terrible to them. I would definitely recommend it.