Warnings: mild mentions of terrorism/violence
Author: Lynn Joseph
‘Twelve year-old Elizabeth is no normal girl. With an imagination that makes room for mermaids and magic in everyday life, she lives every moment to the fullest. Yet her joyful world crumbles around her crumbles around her when two planes bring down the Twin Towers and tear her family apart.
Thousands of miles away, yet still touched by this tragedy, Elizabeth is swimming in a sea of loss. She finally finds hope when she meets her kindred spirit in 8 year-old Brandt and his 13 year-old brother, Jared.
Brandt and Jared, two boys as different as Oreo and milk and just as inseparable,, arrive on the island to escape the mushroom of sorrow that bloomed above their lives in the wake of tragedy. Elizabeth shows them a new way to look at the world and they help her to laugh again.
But can Elizabeth and Brandt help their families see that when life brings showers of sadness, it’s okay to dance in the rain?’
I got this book on NetGalley and just got around to reading it (oops). It was released on June 15th. Just like The Girl of Ink and Stars, this was in the YA section of NetGalley, but i felt like it was targeted towards a younger audience. Because the main characters are 8 and 12, the narration seemed a bit too youthful to be classified as YA, but I still enjoyed it.
Towards the beginning of the book, and in most of Elizabeth’s chapters, there’s a lot of Spanish written without translations. Most of it was just a word here and there that i could work out the meaning of, but sometimes there were sentences of Spanish that I didn’t know, making some sections a bit hard to understand (if you’re lazy like me and can’t be bothered to use Google Translate). There was a lot of POC (people of colour) representation – although it’s never explicitly stated that many of the characters are POC, the fact that most of them were from the Dominican Republic and the brief descriptions made it seem like most, if not all, of the characters were POC.
I loved the prose of this book – it was so beautifully scripted and the characters were so imaginative (Elizabeth’s obsession with mermaids, for example) and I just thought it was really sweet that even when both of their families are devastated by the Twin Towers, they’re still innocent and can see the good side of things.