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The Impossibility of Us

Review

The Impossibility of Us

THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF US by Katy Upperman is a captivating, heart-wrenching story about falling for someone that you know your family doesn't approve of, but doing so anyway. This book also manages to tackle important topics such as hatred, prejudice, the armed forces and Islamophobia.

"If you're looking for your next beach read that will grip you and have you flipping the pages quickly, laughing, crying, gasping and even swooning, then this is definitely the book for you!"

As the summary explains, Elise just moved to a sleepy coastal town with her mother, following in the footsteps of her sister-in-law, Audrey, and her niece, Janie. Audrey was married to Elise's brother, Nick, and then he was deployed and died in Afghanistan --- so, naturally, people that are Muslim are an off-limits topic in Elise's family. But then Elise meets Mati, an attractive, sweet, smart boy from Afghanistan, and she falls for him quicker than she ever could've imagined. The only problem? Neither of their families approve --- Elise's because they can't look past their bigotry and stop blaming Mati for what happened to Nick, and Mati's, because his mother believes that falling for Elise will taint every single one of Mati's beliefs. So it's definitely a super tricky situation.

I really enjoyed reading this book. The romance that Mati and Elise shared was adorable and had me swooning from start to finish, especially in those little moments where they were just getting to know each other, or Mati was teaching Elise something about the culture in Afghanistan. They were super sweet together, and I “shipped” them from the very start. It was also really cool how the chapters in Mati's point of view were told in verse, while Elise's were told in prose. It gave an extra element of creativity to the story that held my interest, and it also highlighted the fact that Mati is such a beautiful writer.

Something else that I thought was really important in this book was how Katy Upperman addressed Islamophobia. Elise's mother and Audrey were not even willing to give Mati a chance, treating him like garbage and ultimately placing the blame on Mati and his family for the September 11th attacks in New York City (which I have lived through, having lived in NYC at the time, so that was particularly distressing to me to see that people still think this way about people who practice Islam), and also because Nick died in Afghanistan. There were also instances where members of the town would treat Mati differently or harass him because he was different, and that made me really sad to see. But what I liked most about Elise was the fact that she didn't let these prejudiced attitudes get to her, and instead she embraced Mati, wanted to learn more about his culture, and even told her mother and Audrey that if Nick were alive, he would be disgusted with the way they were treating him. It was really bad*ss and brave, and I was cheering her on the whole time.

Overall, I really enjoyed THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF US. It was an adorable story about falling for a boy and realizing what love really is, while also having to deal with your respective families and addressing the prejudices that they have against one another. If you're looking for your next beach read that will grip you and have you flipping the pages quickly, laughing, crying, gasping and even swooning, then this is definitely the book for you!

Reviewed by Jessica Cozzi on July 10, 2018

The Impossibility of Us
by Katy Upperman