Where the Caribbeans at? I was mad excited for this YA contemporary–Dear Haiti Love, Alaine–about an Afrolatinx girl who gets sent to her aunt’s house in Haiti for the summer after a classroom project goes horribly wrong. I love books about the diaspora of Black people. Way too many books we read in the U.S. talk about the Black American narrative, but where are the books about Black folks in other countries? Where are the books about Black Jamaicans and Haitians? Y’all, I’ve barely started and I’m already off topic! My point is, I was super excited about this book.
Alaine is a typical 17-year-old girl. She gets good grades, her family drives her crazy, and she’s figuring out what on Earth she wants to do with her life. But that all changes when she goes to Haiti. So let me start out by saying that I didn’t love this book. I wanted to, but I just didn’t. Alaine acts more like a 13-year-old than a 17-year-old. She makes a bunch of horrible decisions and her character just felt so young to me. I also didn’t care much for her as a person and didn’t connect to her at all. But Alaine isn’t the reason I didn’t vibe with the book. The reason I didn’t love it, is because the synopsis sets you up for a feel-good, funny contemporary, when it’s actually a really heavy and depressing read.
The writing didn’t set the scenes up for me and none of the characters interested me at all. I didn’t even care about where the story was going because the writing didn’t pull me in. BUT this is a really good book for people who love books in mixed media format (emails, text messages, podcasts, etc.). The writers, Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite, use really creative ways to tell their story and I thought that was pretty cool. Its also a good book if you want to binge read and fly through it in a couple sittings. I loved all the focus on Haitian culture, family drama, and how hard it is to be from one country but raised in another.
*Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars.
By Jesse E
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