Rating: 1 out of 5
This debut novel tells the story of Rachel, the daughter of a Danish mother and a black G.I. who becomes the sole survivor of a family tragedy. With her strict African American grandmother as her new guardian, Rachel moves to a mostly black community, where her light brown skin, blue eyes, and beauty bring mixed attention her way. Growing up in the 1980s, she learns to swallow her overwhelming grief and confronts her identity as a biracial young woman in a world that wants to see her as either black or white.
I tried to like this book but absolutely couldn't. It felt like it could have had possibilities but fell short. The characters didn't feel developed. They felt stilted, flat and stereotypical. Rachel seemed shallow and irritating. It felt very immature and even condescending - maybe it was just the voices on audio as it was not quality reading and they definitely had a condescending simplistic tone. Any attempts to be literary felt contrived. It felt like reading a young girls diary. I just couldn't get past the condescending tone.
This is the type of book that gives Young Adult novels a bad reputation. I realized I was forcing myself to go back to it in hopes that it would improve. When I finally gave myself permission to give it up, I felt a huge sense of relief and happiness to move on to the next book.