Me (Moth) by Amber McBride (9781250780362)
Moth’s family were all killed in a car accident that left her face scarred. Now she lives with her aunt, who barely acknowledges her presence. She goes to school where is also ignored. Moth used to be a dancer, movement was her way of expressing herself, but she can’t dance anymore. When Sani, a new boy, starts at her school, Moth is immediately drawn to him. Sani too is grappling with his own depression. He lives with his mother whose new boyfriend beats him. So when Moth’s aunt leaves her without even saying goodbye, Sani and Moth set off on a road trip together, heading across the country to Sani’s father’s home with the Diné people. The trip brings them closer together and they both discover the connections that were there all along.
It’s hard to believe this is a debut novel, since it is done with such skill and confidence. Written in verse, so much is left implied and unsaid, unrevealed until McBride is ready for us to understand and the characters are ready to see it too. Combining Hoodoo Black traditions with Navajo/Diné, the book is filled with a deep sense of spirituality and connectivity to ancestors and those who have passed on.
The writing is exceptional, filled with moments that are breathtakingly and achingly gorgeous and others that are difficult and dark. The book is filled with wonder despite the difficulties both characters face. It’s a love story, of two people coming together through their families’ traditions, the way they are initially drawn to one another, and then a slow-building deeper connection they create together.
A book like a moth that will metamorphose right in front of you. Appropriate for ages 13-18.
Reviewed from e-galley provided by Feiwel and Friends.