Synopsis (from Goodreads)
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's
Released: 9th of February 2017
Nicu has emigrated from Romania and is struggling to find his place in his new home. Meanwhile, Jess's home life is overshadowed by violence. When Nicu and Jess meet, what starts out as friendship grows into romance as the two bond over their painful pasts and hopeful futures. But will they be able to save each other, let alone themselves?
What I Have to Say
I read this pretty much in one sitting. It was easy to read but also had a lot of very heavy subjects to addressed. Jess's life of abuse and worry intersect with Nicu's life trying to live life in the UK, while fending off the pressure of his parents. These teenagers affect each others lives in various ways and give the readers hope that they will achieve their dreams and forge a new life away from their various troubles.
The most interesting thing about this book was the way that Nicu's sections were written. They were almost in verse, with a lot of broken English as he struggled to become proficient in the language. It showed a lot about how people treat foreigners, putting him in the bottom classes because his English wasn't good enough to express himself even though he was actually really smart. It really hit upon the point that sometimes when you make assumptions about people based on their race or level of English it can push them down and make these assumptions true because they can't get out of the box that everyone is putting them in.
The ending disappointed me. It felt a bit of a let down and I felt what happened with Nicu was a bad portrayal of racial stereotypes. The worse thing about it was that the authors seemed to make such an effort with his character through the rest of the book and then just threw it away.
If you're looking for a read that's easy and brings up a lot of interesting points then this could be a good place to start.
My thanks go to Netgalley and Bloomsbury for providing me with this copy for review.