I stumbled across this book after searching online for novels in verse recommendations for my classroom. Then, I was at my local bookstore and found it on the shelf. I decided to take a chance and see whether I’d like it or not.
I’m still new to novel in verse world but I was very absorbed into this volume. The verse in this is very poetic in the sense that it tends to lean more towards imagery than plot. That’s not to say the plot isn’t there. It’s a very engrossing plot that’s unique. Nima is the daughter of an immigrant mother. Like most first gen kids, she’s caught between not being American enough and also not being enough of her parents’ culture. She imagines that there’s an alternate universe in which her parents didn’t leave and she grows up in their culture. This version of Nima, Yazmeen, suddenly becomes real and Nima crosses over to the alternate universe. Through this experience she learns that you can’t change the past and what the real meaning of home and family is.
It’s a very interesting concept because who wouldn’t want to go back in time and see how family could’ve played out. However, Nima learns the dangers of nostalgia and finds out that there’s a reason why her mother didn’t tell her a lot. Many of the people Nima thinks she knows made some questionable decisions that have led them to where they are today. Nima is faced with the choice of embracing this past that never was or choosing the present that she has.