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Delacorte. May 2020. 160p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781984893581.
Gr 9 Up–After Kayla’s recent suicide attempt, her mom sends her away from their native Trinidad, thinking that will somehow cure her. Kayla experiences depression and her traditional, closed-minded mother refuses to acknowledge her daughter’s condition as anything but a weakness in her character. Now Kayla lives with her aunt and her aunt’s girlfriend in Canada. As she tries to adjust to unfamiliar surroundings, she takes stock of her life and the circumstances that have landed her in a foreign country with people she barely knows. Though Kayla misses her best friend, Akilah, and feels nostalgic for the sights and smells of her homeland, she slowly acclimates to her new surroundings, especially after she meets an attractive boy with whom she enjoys spending time. It is not until her mother unexpectedly shows up in Canada that Kayla realizes just how much she wants to stay in her new home. Allen-Agostini depicts the culture of her homeland with honesty and enlightening details. She perfectly captures the desperation of a young girl who is trapped between her undeniable experience of depression and what others expect of her. Though at times the writing lacks eloquence, the straightforward prose does a good job of delivering important messages about acceptance and mental illness.
VERDICT Recommended for libraries looking to bolster their YA collections with fiction centering on teenage mental health and developing feelings of belonging.

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