Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Pérez
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I liked this book before I started reading it--the publisher spent some money on it. It's heavy, the type is smaller than most YA novels, and it's dense--no empty white space on these pages!
All that room was needed to create a gut-wrenching young adult read--this is a Romeo and Juliet tale taking place in 1937, added together with a wallop of racism and cruelty.
Sure, the novel is centered around the tragedy of a school explosion in East Texas in 1937, but that's not the real story. The real story is the love between Naomi, a step-sister trying to raise and protect her step-siblings, and Wash, an African-American young man with promise. In 1937, the "dirty Mexicans" aren't supposed to mix with the "Sambos."
There is so much going on in this novel--the writing is beautiful, the story is gripping, and the raw emotion in the characters is electrifying. This should be flying off your library shelves--buy it, read it, sell it to teens and adults. Please.
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