Book Review: Something in Between by Melissa de la Cruz

Jasmine de los Santos has always been a good daughter and a good student. She does what her parents expect her to. She studies hard, does well in school, volunteers at the hospital, and is part of the cheerleading team. Now in her senior year of high school, she feels her hard work has paid off when she is offered a National Scholarship Award, a 4 year scholarship to any college she would like to go to. When she tells her parents about it, they are forced to reveal the truth about their family: their works visas expired several years ago and their whole family is in America illegally. This means she can’t accept that scholarship and she possibly can’t go to college. Not knowing what to do now that everything she’s worked for means nothing, she starts doing some of the normal teen things she’s never gotten a chance to do before. And to further complicate things, she likes Royce Blakely, the son of a congressman who’s against illegal immigrants.

Jasmine was very focused on school and wanted to get into a good college in order to achieve her dreams. I get this. I also care about school and want to achieve my dreams and go after what I’m passionate about. But Jasmine acted entitled and selfish. She acted like just because she studied so much and worked so hard that that entitles her to be American and stay in America. She pushed her friends and boyfriend away even though they wanted to help her. And she acted like her problems, especially being an illegal immigrant and being scheduled to be deported, were more important than anyone else’s problems. I felt, though, that her character developed throughout the book. She started letting people in her life care about her and started caring more about them too.

The plot was kind of boring. It was 432 pages of mostly concerns about school and college and her legal status. I really thought I would like this book more than I did. When I read the summary, I thought it was going to be about a girl who totally rebels. I thought it was going to be more of a coming of age story than it was. But that’s not what it was. Jasmine went a few high school parties and went on a thrilling car ride once with her boyfriend, but besides that, she didn’t really rebel. I mean, she started dating Royce, but her parents didn’t try to stop her from seeing him and actually turned out liking him.

One of the things I did like about the novel was the romance between Jasmine and Royce. I thought their romance was cute. I think they went too far when they thought about getting married now since they’re only 18. While it would be illogical for them to do so, I thought it was romantic that Royce would be willing to make such a big commitment so Jasmine can stay in the United States.

I think I would have liked this book better if there was less about school and more of Jasmine doing those “normal” teen things the summary said she would be doing.

Something in Between had a cute romance and would recommend it if you’re looking for a light contemporary romance novel.

Rating: 3/5 Stars

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