Book Review: Something in Between by Melissa de la Cruz

something in between


Title: Something in Between
Author: Melissa de la Cruz
Published in: 2016
Pages: 432
Genres: contemporary fiction, romance, realistic fiction


“It feels like there’s no ground beneath me, like everything I’ve ever done has been a lie. Like I’m breaking apart, shattering. Who am I? Where do I belong?

Jasmine de los Santos has always done what’s expected of her. Pretty and popular, she’s studied hard, made her Filipino immigrant parents proud and is ready to reap the rewards in the form of a full college scholarship.

And then everything shatters. A national scholar award invitation compels her parents to reveal the truth: their visas expired years ago. Her entire family is illegal. That means no scholarships, maybe no college at all and the very real threat of deportation.

For the first time, Jasmine rebels, trying all those teen things she never had time for in the past. Even as she’s trying to make sense of her new world, it’s turned upside down by Royce Blakely, the charming son of a high-ranking congressman. Jasmine no longer has any idea where—or if—she fits into the American Dream. All she knows is that she’s not giving up. Because when the rules you lived by no longer apply, the only thing to do is make up your own.”

-from Goodreads

My Review

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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