Day: May 17, 2017

American Street by Ibi Zoboi

American Street by Ibi Zoboi

American Street by Ibi Zoboi (9780062473042, Amazon)

This debut novel combines magical realism with the hard streets of modern Detroit. Fabiola and her mother are journeying to live with family in Detroit, leaving their native Haiti behind. But while Fabiola is allowed to continue on to Detroit, her mother is held in a detention center due to issues with her papers. Now Fabiola must get used to living with her American relatives, including three cousins who are loud, fierce and not to be messed with. Fabiola struggles with the food, the culture, and getting used to a new life and school while worrying about her mother. Just as it seems that she is finding a way forward with a new boyfriend and new friends, the dangerous life that supports her family comes crashing down threatening to sweep Fabiola along with it.

Zoboi’s writing is exceptional. She has drawn on her own experience as an immigrant from Haiti in this novel, infusing it with vodou religion and spirits that both guide and haunt. As Fabiola follows the spirits to the truth about what is really happening, she risks everything that she has found to hold onto and love. This is a book that doesn’t turn away from the violence of Detroit, the guns, drugs and power struggles happening even as children die.

There are many moments in this book that a situation is so fraught with danger that it sears into the reader’s brain. Against those moments, Fabiola and her three cousins stand strong and tall. They are four amazing characters who shine on the page each so different from one another and ferociously both independent and interdependent at the same time. This is family on the page, pushing against the dangers that surround them and include them.

Beautifully written with strong characters and danger, this book is exceptional. Appropriate for ages 15-18.

Reviewed from library copy.

 

 

2017 Locus Award Finalists

The Locus Science Fiction Foundation has announced the finalists for the 2017 Locus Awards. Winners are chosen through a survey of readers in an open online poll. The awards are given in a variety of categories. Below you will see the finalists for the Young Adult Book category:

Burning Midnight Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2)

Burning Midnight by Will McIntosh

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

The Evil Wizard Smallbone The Girl Who Drank the Moon

The Evil Wizard Smallbone by Delia Sherman

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

Goldenhand (Abhorsen, #5) Double Down (Lois Lane, #2)

Goldenhand by Garth Nix

Lois Lane: Double Down by Gwenda Bond

Poisoned Blade (Court of Fives, #2) Revenger

Poisoned Blade by Kate Elliott

Revenger by Alastair Reynolds

This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity, #1) Truthwitch (The Witchlands, #1)

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard