American Street by Ibi Zoboi


This book was definitely unlike anything I've read before - and that's exactly why it's so good. It's own voices, about Haitian immigrants in Detroit, and while it's closer to magical realism than the fantasy that I was expecting, I still enjoyed the fact that the magic was from a different cultural background than the fantasy that I usually read.

I couldn't quite pin down the age of our main character, Fabiola. We're never outright told her age, and in the first couple of chapters she reads as very young to me; however, she goes to the same high school as her cousins and ends up having sex for the first time in the novel, so that may just be well-written innocence/naivete plus the shock of suddenly ending up in a foreign country without her mother. That sort of shock might regress anyone a bit.

This book ended up being a little younger-feeling than I expected overall, despite the heavy subject matter, which wasn't unwelcome. If the story had come down hard on the subject matter, this could easily have been a rough book to get through. As it was, the book pulled at my heartstrings without breaking my heart. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking to read some YA own voices magical realism. It's a really good book that does things, that I, at least, had never come across before in my own reading, and I'm better for having read it.

4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.