Review: The Impossibility of Us, by Katy Upperman ***Giveaway***
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: July 31st 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
The last thing Elise wants is to start her senior year in a new town. But after her brother’s death in Afghanistan, she and her mother move from San Francisco to a sleepy coastal village.
When Elise meets Mati, they quickly discover how much they have in common. Mati is new to town too, visiting the U.S. with his family. Over the course of the summer, their relationship begins to blossom, and what starts out as a friendship becomes so much more.
But as Elise and Mati grow closer, her family becomes more and more uncomfortable with their relationship, and their concerns all center on one fact—Mati is Afghan.
Beautifully written, utterly compelling, and ultimately hopeful, THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF US asks—how brave can you be when your relationship is questioned by everyone you love?
When I saw this book available, I was intrigued by the premise. There are numerous things that challenge us where love and romance is concerned, and family, culture, and propaganda are all somewhere near the top of the list. The impossibility of Us, deals with all of these things, and more.
I’ve never been big on first person present as a writing style, but Katy Upperman does it beautifully. Her prose is to the point, and often poetic, bringing the reader directly into the moment.
Elise, a teenage girl moves to a small town during the summer of what will be her senior year in high school. She spends time with her mother, sister-in-law, and niece, but has no friends, so she spends the rest of her time playing with her dog on the beach where she meets Mati, a young Afghani boy living with his family nearby. However Elise lost her brother in the Afghanistan war, and her mother, and sister-in-law refuse to support the relationship.
While Elise and Mati have to face most of their problems alone, they do make friends with Ryan, a young man visiting a neighbor from Texas, and his friend Xavier, and they offer some support to the couple, but like any good book, they have problems of their own to deal with.
Mati’s family also has expectations for their son, so there are issues on his side too, but while Elise deals with bigotry, his issues are cultural. Still this doesn’t keep them from falling in love, and meeting in secret.
I don’t want to say more because it’s too easy to drop spoilers, so I’ll just say that although this is not an edge of your seat sort of story, it is a worthy read.
Elise: I think the author did a great job with her. She’s frustrated, young, and while extremely supportive of her family, she still has to deal with her problems and relationship alone. I think the Author could have shown more anguish, but there is enough to make the story plausible.
Elise’s Mother: Busy with her grief of losing a son and her work, we don’t see her much, and like many parents, she is usually only available when she has issues, such as Mati, in this case.
Audrey: Elise’s Sister-in-law: I felt like she fell a little flat here and there.
Janie: Elise’s adorable little niece. Almost perfect, but she never has a bad day.
Mati: There were a couple of times I would like to have seen more of what was going on with him, but he’s a well-thought-out character.
Mati’s Dad: Perfect for his part.
Mati’s Mother: I felt like she was the best of all characters. I could see and feel her and her husband in every scene.
Katy Upperman is a graduate of Washington State University, a former elementary school teacher, and an insatiable reader. When not writing for young adults, Katy can be found whipping up batches of chocolate chip cookies or exploring the country with her husband and daughter. KISSING MAX HOLDEN is her debut novel; her sophomore novel, THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF US, will be available summer, 2018.