Rating: 4/5 Stars
*Thank you Hear Our Voices Blog Tour Company and Inkyard Press for the opportunity to be a part of this tour!*
This review is my own thoughts and have not been influenced by anyone.
This exceptional and powerful anthology explores the joys, heartbreaks and triumphs of immigration, with stories by bestselling and beloved YA authors who are themselves immigrants and the children of immigrants.
From some of the most exciting bestselling and up-and-coming YA authors writing today…journey from Ecuador to New York City and Argentina to Utah, from Australia to Harlem and India to New Jersey, from Fiji, America, Mexico and more… Come On In.
With characters who face random traffic stops, TSA detention, customs anxiety, and the daunting and inspiring journey to new lands, who camp with their extended families, dance at weddings, keep diaries, teach ESL, give up their rooms for displaced family, decide their own answer to the question “where are you from?” and so much more, Come On In illuminates fifteen of the myriad facets of the immigrant experience.
Come on In is an anthology full of immigrant story experiences. You go through each story of pain, happiness and unique journeys. From saying goodbye not knowing it will be your last in your country to a joy ride that causes a stressful emotional roller coaster. Come on In is a book everyone should pick up and read.
While each story has such a powerful plot and message, the story that resonated most with me was Salvation of the Sea by Lilliam Rivera. The story follows two friends and is told through the narrative of Leticia’s friend. Leticia, a proud Guatemalan and a child of immigrant parents, is always worried about her parents. As the raids get closer to home, Leticia mentioned her increased worry in regard to the raids. The narrator, who is Puerto Rican, had moved to California. Although born in the United States, she was still a proud Puerto Rican. After watching Thelma and Louise for the unknown time, the two set eyes towards day trip to Salvation Mountain. The two girls have it all planned out – a 2-hour drive filled with snacks and music. Nothing could make them worry, right?
As the presence of ICE becomes more present in their neighborhood, it becomes increasingly obvious that the police officers will pull over anyone who is brown and who they assume to a ‘person of interest’ in their books. After a saving conversation about being cousins and Puerto Rico being their home, the girls set off home, but not without coming out of that situation as to very different people.
This story was hard to read because it is so present in our lives. As a Puerto Rican, I constantly am reminded that although I am Latina, I am able to walk through the United States without fear of being deported. I acknowledge that everyday and this story reminded me that I should always remember that and do what I can to make sure those who live in fear get to a point of living just as freely as myself. As mentioned before, I resonated most with this story because of how I can relate to being the narrator and understanding that while it may be sometimes a hard pill to swallow, there are people I know who are living each day as fully as possible not knowing if it will be their last in this country [US]. Leticia’s story is important because it reminds us that everyday there are people out there think about this, whose identity is to hide while trying to live a semi-normal life.
I enjoyed the narration of this story because it gave Leticia a platform to show us all the emotions she faces on a daily basis. She expressed her worry towards her parents, her anger towards knowing her friend could easily walk through a street, get stopped and go on about her day because of what she was, who she was. It is a raw and powerful story and one we hear but often forget the impact of each painful tale.
In regard to the characters, I absolutely loved the friendship between Leticia and the narrator. They were not only friends, they were sisters bound by their rich differing cultures, their opposite personalities and their mostly shared lived experiences. The friendship was real and honest – something you don’t see often when addressing important topics like the one the story tells.
Overall, each story is a masterpiece on its own and together a force to be reckoned with. Each story will bring you joy, will cause your tear ducts to malfunction [in a good way] and will make you appreciate each and every person you have met who was comfortable enough to finally share their story. Each story is important and should be respected and cherished in that regard.
Get ready to jump in, you are in for an experience!
About the Author(s)
Adi Alsaid is the author of several young adult novels, including Let’s Get Lost, Never Always Sometimes, and North of Happy. He was born and raised in Mexico City, where he now lives and spills hot sauce on things.
Learn more about all of the great authors in this amazing anthology here.