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YA Review: Moth (Me) by Amber McBride

Title: Moth (Me)
Author: Amber McBride
Year published: 2022
Category: YA fiction (verse)
Pages: 336 pages
Rating: 4 out of 5

Location: (my 2022 Google Reading map)USA (VA, NC, TN, AK, OK, TX, NM)

SummaryMoth has lost her family in an accident. Though she lives with her aunt, she feels alone and uprooted.

Until she meets Sani, a boy who is also searching for his roots. If he knows more about where he comes from, maybe he’ll be able to understand his ongoing depression. And if Moth can help him feel grounded, then perhaps she too will discover the history she carries in her bones.

Moth and Sani take a road trip that has them chasing ghosts and searching for ancestors. The way each moves forward is surprising, powerful, and unforgettable.

Here is an exquisite and uplifting novel about identity, first love, and the ways that our memories and our roots steer us through the universe.

Review: I had no idea what to expect from this book. All I knew was that it was a finalist for the William C Morris award (best debut book for YA) and that it is in verse. It took me a bit to get into the cadence of the book. Often YA verse doesn't feel like poetry, but this book did.

Moth and Sani have both had difficult childhoods and finding each other seems wonderful as they support one another, go on a road trip, and find what they are searching for. This book is full of magic and a level of spirituality that I am not familiar with. For this reason, the book didn't work for me as much as it will for others. However, I think it's really well done and I like the references to the Navajo Nation and the role the ancestors play in our lives. 

The poetry is really quite beautiful (the author is an English professor), the story poignant, and the feeling of the characters calming.

Challenges for which this counts: 
  • Literary Escapes--AK, TN, NC, VA, NM
  • Popsugar--Afterlife
  • YMA--William C Morris finalist

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