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Review: American Street by Ibi Zoboi

Title: American Street
Author: Ibi Zoboi
Year Published: 2017

Genre: YA fiction
Pages: 324
Rating: 5 out of 5

Location (my 2018 Google Reading map): USA (MI)

FTC Disclosure: I bought this book with my own money

Summary (from the inside flap of the book): On the corner of American Street and Joy Road, Fabiola Toussaint thought she would finally find una belle vie--a good life.

But after they leave Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Fabiola's mother is detained by US immigration, leaving Fabiola to navigate her loud American cousins, Chantal, Donna, and Princess; the grittiness of Detroit's west side; a new school; and a surprising romance, all on her own.

Just as she finds her footing in this strange new world, a dangerous proposition presents itself, and Fabiola soon realizes that freedom comes at a cost. Trapped at the crossroads of an impossible choice, will she pay the price for the American dream?
Review: I was so excited to read this book after reading reviews on other blogs and can I just say, "woah and wow!" Talk about intense and super good.

Fabiola at first seems like a quiet and studious girl. She is overwhelmed when she reaches her cousins' house in Detroit from Haiti, especially since her mother has been detained by immigration. She is in a new country and not at all sure of how it works. But she quickly adjusts to life in her aunt's house, her tougher-than-nails cousins, her boyfriend who has ties to gang members, and life in Detroit. That made me sad; to see Fabiola adjust quickly to where she is comfortable fighting, swearing, threatening, and more. But I also understood why it happened. This novel is so real that it's painful.

Although the book has a "happy" ending, sort of, it took a lot to get there. Fighting, drugs, death, parties, threats, and more. But it isn't a depressing book somehow. Intense, shocking, and painful, for sure. I feel like I really got to know the characters, I empathized with them and wanted them to have a better life. I like to think they will.

Challenges for which this counts:

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