This book was absolutely stunning. Onomé has crafted an incredibly powerful and personal story about what it means to be a cross-cultural child in the western world; I was so grateful to read a story in which the author did not feel the need to whitewash or reduce the narrative for the sake of the audience. I appreciate that she stuck true to herself and wrote a story that millions of kids are living.
Even if you’re not a cross-cultural teenager, the characters are relatable. The struggles of being a teenager with what feels like the pressures of the world on your shoulders is universal. Ada is strong, intelligent, and opinionated; she is also anxious and worried of never finding true happiness. She’s relatable even to the most well adjusted adults. Each character feels like a member of the reader’s own famously; even if they’re not identical, you can definitely link them back to someone you love. I think that’s something that makes this book so special: it’s about cross-cultural lives while being completely universal.
I can’t say it enough: this book is important. The themes and the representation could not come at a better time. It is female driven and feminist as fuck and I adore it. If you love YA with culture and a dash of family saga/drama, this is definitely the read for you. And if none of those are your hot button words, this book is still for you. The characters are beautiful and vibrant and wholly Nigerian, but the theme is universals: the limitless love for your family knows no single culture.