For Ri Fernández’s entire life, she’s been told, “We live in America and we speak English.” Raised by her strict Mexican grandma, Ri has never been allowed to learn Spanish. What’s more, her grandma has always pushed Ri away from the neighborhood they call home and toward her best friend’s world of mansions and country clubs in the hopes that it’ll bring Ri closer to achieving the “American Dream.”
In her most private thoughts, Ri has always believed that her mother, who disappeared when she was young, would accept her exactly how she is. So when Ri finds a secret unanswered letter from her mom begging for a visit, Ri decides to reclaim what her grandma kept from her: a language and a mother. But nothing goes as planned. Her mom isn’t who Ri imagined she would be. And Ri’s struggling to navigate the different interweaving threads of her mixed heritage that make her who she is. Nobody has any idea of who Ri really is—not even Ri, herself.
This book recently made it’s way into my TBR and since we are still in the Latinx Heritage Month I thought it would be a good idea to bring it to your attention!
Everything Within and In Between is an honest and thoughtful story about a biracial teen who is trying to connect with her heritage by reconnecting with her absent mom and learning Spanish, all while keeping it secret from her strict Mexican grandma. But what really caught my attention is that it is actually based on the author’s life and experiences!
Ri, the main character, wants to connect with her heritage and her mother but has to go through her grandmother, who believes in the American Dream and lives by the motto “We live in America and we speak English”. This is most likely to protect her granddaughter, who is also white-passing (being mixed) and doesn’t catch as much flack as other Latinx do in the United States. But I am intrigued to see what got her to become so strict on this. The family dynamic is also sure to get my attention, a good family drama gets me going and this is bound to be interesting.
I think many Latinx people could relate to Ri, just by reading the summary of this book, because many of them are raised without a connection to their culture. There are third, even second generations, that are being raised the same way in order to make it easier to fit in on a different country.
The book was recently released on October 5th, so you can already get it from Amazon and Barnes and Noble, it is also available on Audible! The publisher was kind enough to offer me a digital arc of this book and I’m hoping to read it soon so I can give you all a review!
Was this book already on your TBR? Would you like to read it? Let me know in the comments!