This book is amazing on so many levels. The main focus is a 16-year-old girl navigating what it means to be black and adopted into a white family. While she has lived with this family and in this community nearly her whole life, her family does not talk about the fact that she is half black, but rather that she is half white. She is hounded by the black kids her age in the community her whole life, because she "acts white." The is honestly so much in this story alone.
Then, the author adds in a love interest, a boy who happens to be black. While Alex is trying to figure out who she is in her own skin, she comes to learn a hard lesson - you need to be whole in yourself before you can truly be in a relationship. While Reggie did sort of help her learn how to be more comfortable being black and owning it with her family (by asking to be taken to a black hair stylist and have her hair done by someone who knows how to do it), Alex was still not sure how she fit in her own skin and it created problems with Reggie.
There is also a story arc with Alex and baseball. She has always been a star player and the pride and joy of her father's team. But as she is getting older, her body is changing, making it harder to play like she used to. So, she is not only trying to figure out what it means to her to be mixed race, but also navigating becoming a woman and what that means for her love of baseball.
This book touched on a lot of topics for being so short, but did it beautifully. Definitely worth a read, and really opens up a lot of discussion.
Alex’s parents made me cringe just about every time they appear in the book. Alex’s parents seem clueless and insensitive about adoption in general, but especially transracial adoption. They think sixteen year old Alex isn’t old enough to know anything about her adoption, and they are genuinely insulted that she is curious about how she came to be their daughter. The book discusses the complexities of transracial adoption, the pressure parents put on their children, and how people are perceived vs. how they see themselves.
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