Book Review: Come On In – edited by Adi Alsaid

Come On In by Adi Alsaid

Come On In // edited by Adi Alsaid

Pub Day: October 13, 2020

Publisher: Inkyard Press

Synopsis:

From some of the most exciting bestselling and up-and-coming YA authors writing today…journey from Ecuador to New York City and Argentina to Utah…from Australia to Harlem and India to New Jersey…from Fiji, America, Mexico and more… Come On In.

With characters who face random traffic stops, TSA detention, customs anxiety, and the daunting and inspiring journey to new lands…who camp with their extended families, dance at weddings, keep diaries, teach ESL…who give up their rooms for displaced family, decide their own answer to the question “where are you from?” and so much more… Come On In illuminates fifteen of the myriad facets of the immigrant experience, from authors who have been shaped by the journeys they and their families have taken from home—and to find home.

My Thoughts:

When I first saw this book, I knew I had to read it. I am an immigrant myself that just recently became a citizen. But I am on the end of the spectrum of immigrants that is extremely privileged when it comes to the ease of receiving the papers that allowed me to come here, stay here, and then eventually become a citizen. I am also married to a person that is much closer to the other end of that spectrum. We’ve had many conversations about this in the past and it continues to be a frequent topic, especially in the current political climate.

There are 15 short stories in this anthology that have authors and characters from all over the world. While they speak about many different cultures, the thing they do have in common is that they – or their families – have or are crossing borders in these stories. Despite my own privilege that allowed me to avoid many of the struggles addressed here, I was touched by the many things I could relate to anyways, such as saying goodbye to the many little things in your life, the worry for your undocumented friends, the conflicting feelings about your homeland and your current home, the pull between who your family expects you to be and who you want to be, learning a new language through books, and closed borders.

I enjoyed the majority of the stories but often felt that they ended too soon. As soon as I got attached to the characters, we would get to the end and I would have to readjust to a new narrator. The way they ended though often left me with a very good feeling because of a lesson the narrator learned or a realization they had. I did really struggle with a couple short stories but overall, I was happy with them. My favorites are the last three in the book. They are Hard to Say by Sharon Morse, Confessions of an Ecuadorkian by Zoraida Cordova, and Fleeing, Leaving, Moving by Adi Alsaid. These and a few others are authors that I will be keeping my eye on in the future as they really struck something in me that is looking to read more from them!

Here is a complete list of the authors in the order of their stories:

  • Nafiza Azad
  • Sara Farizan
  • Misa Sugiura
  • Lilliam Rivera
  • Alaya Dawn Johnson
  • Sona Charaipotra
  • Maria E. Andreu
  • Maurene Goo
  • Varsha Bajaj
  • Yamile Saied Mendez
  • Justine Larbalestier
  • Isabel Quintero
  • Sharon Morse
  • Zoraida Cordova
  • Adi Alsaid

If you had the options and chose the United States, could afford the visas and tuition, you were the right kind of immigrant. If the only choice you had was to leave or die, to maybe die in the act of leaving, to live a harder life than everyone else in the new country, well, then you were a scourge.

Adi Alsaid

About the Editor:

Adi Alsaid was born and raised in Mexico City, where he now lives, writes, and spills hot sauce on things. He’s the author of several YA novels including LET’S GET LOST, NEVER ALWAYS SOMETIMES, and NORTH OF HAPPY.

About the Publisher:

Inkyard Press has been publishing young adult literature since September 2009. They provide fresh, authentic teen fiction featuring extraordinary characters and stories set in contemporary, paranormal, fantasy, science-fiction and historical worlds.

Being immigrants comes with many mixed feelings and experiences. But they make our little family special.

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

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