This is honestly one of the prettiest covers I've EVER seen on a contemporary book and I think I need it in my life DON’T ASK ME WHERE I’M FROM by Jennifer De Leon is a mixed bag for me On the one hand, a young teen is dealing with excelling in her diverse, inner city neighborhood After being offered the opportunity to attend a special, mostly white school in an upscale suburb, Liliana faces not only being the new girl, but the discomfort of being “different.” What she does to cross the racial barrier teaches a positive lesson.On the other hand, she also learns she is the child of illegal immigrants and it explains why her father has disappeared What it doesn’t explain is how this is acceptable or how it was okay to work “under the table.”Although Liliana’s story is rich is lessons to be learned, her family’s dark secrets and the way it played out left me shaking my head How can breaking the law, repeatedly be okay? Not the lesson I would want anyone to take away from reading this story, especially a teen.I received a complimentary ARC edition from Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books This is my honest and voluntary review.Publisher: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books (May 5, 2020)Publication Date: May 5, 2020Genre: YA Emigration ImmigrationPrint Length: 336 pagesAvailable from:| Barnes NobleFor Reviews, Giveaways, Fabulous Book News, follow: FYI, Despacito is not annoying And yes, I am glad how Spanish is taking over TV Variety, you know! As long as we enjoy the art 💯This book is just multicultural amazing! One of the best YA contemporaries I have read till date I am so glad one of my most anticipated releases of the year went beyond my expectations!It gave me the The Hate U Give vibes but in the tone of immigration and racism I love the writing so much!The characters are so real and the plot development amazing!The story gives such a positive vibe and it definitely represent hope.Trigger warnings: domestic violence, child abuse, racist remarks Oh great Now I am going to be labelled the angry Latina who told off the blond white girl See, this is why I never say anything in class.***More words will be up in 10 tea cups time.🤫 You know, I am that random character who said this in the book:I don't speak Spanish I would love to study Japanese in college, actually.(🤐🤐🤐🤐🤐🤐🤐😳🤐🤐🤐🤐🤐🤐🤐🤐) For a moment, I thought the blurb in the GR giveaway said, Don't ask me for an advanced reader copy.And I was like, Wait. I found this story to be both compelling and informative as we got to look at living in American through the eyes of a Latinx main character who is trying to navigate living in two different worlds Liliana Cruz is attending a poor school in Boston when she gets into a ritzy mostly white school through a program called Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (METCO), a desegregation program meant to give nonwhite students from Boston's underperforming school districtseducational opportunities Meanwhile, she is struggling to emotionally support her mother and younger twin brothers when her dad disappears (again), but this time for far longer than he has before The title ends up being her sixword autobiography and it really resonated with me, as I used to get the question, Where are you fromfrom? all the time when I was growing up I could feel a lot of her anger, frustration, fear, and sadness as she navigated her personal/familiar struggles and the racism and other challenging situations that occurred in her school I would absolutely recommend this book to my students, both to those of color who struggle with similar issues and to those who don't to offer them up a different perspective and perhaps open up a dialog Special thanks #JenniferDeLeon, #Atheneum/CaitlynDlouhyBooks, #SimonandSchusterChildrensPublishing, and #NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review. I must confess I began reading this book and did not stop until I read the last word Looking back on my reading of the book made me aware of the different lenses I used throughout the story 1 First and foremost, how did the story compare with my Latinx lens, with a constant eye for using what I know about my culture, (my education, my family stories, or the stories of Latinx people I have met) to either believe or be turned off by the writing? How believable was this author? Check plus! There were so many true little details among the Guatemalans, Dominicans, Puerto Ricans, or altogether the children of families who migrated to this country and live in that dualculture world.2 How did the two high schools compare? I have been to both, and I have taught (briefly) in both Physical descriptions were truly believable.3 Why didn't I give the book 5 stars? There was one unanswered question bugging me throughout the book: how did the family make it to pay rent, pay for utilities, and buy food, especially since Dad wasn't around, there was no family close, and mom couldn't get a job? Yes, the mom would pick up little jobs here and there, but there was no constancy in this to justify covering a family of 4 living in the city.4 I liked that there was no dreamy ending with race relations at school, but just a seed that was planted (the paper markers mural) It's up to all of us to make a change.5 Would I buy this book for our library and recommend it to teachers and students? Yes! Thanks to NetGalley for bringing my attention to this book and sharing it with me. Firstgeneration American LatinX Liliana Cruz does what it takes to fit in at her new nearly allwhite school But when family secrets spill out and racism at school ramps up, she must decide what she believes in and take a standFifteenyearold Liliana is fine, thank you very much It’s fine that her best friend, Jade, is all caught up in her new boyfriend lately It’s fine that her innercity high school is disorganized and underfunded It’s fine that her father took off again—okay, maybe that isn’t fine, but what is Liliana supposed to do? She’s fifteen! Being left with her increasingly crazy mom? Fine Her heathen little brothers? Fine, fine, fine But it turns out Dad did leave one thing behind besides her crazy family Before he left, he signed Liliana up for a school desegregation program called METCO And she’s been accepted Being accepted into METCO, however, isn’t the same as being accepted at her new school In her old school, Liliana—halfGuatemalan and halfSalvadorian—was part of the majority where almost everyone was a person of color But now at Westburg, where almost everyone is white, the struggles of being a minority are unavoidable It becomes clear that the only way to survive is to lighten up—whiten up And if Dad signed her up for this program, he wouldn’t have just wanted Liliana to survive, he would have wanted her to thrive So what if Liliana is now going by Lili? So what if she’s acting like she thinks she’s better than her old friends? It’s not a big deal It’s fine But then she discovers the gutting truth about her father: He’s not on one of his side trips And it isn’t that he doesn’t want to come home…he can’t He’s undocumented and he’s been deported back to Guatemala Soon, nothing is fine, and Lili has to make a choice: She’s done trying to make her white classmates and teachers feel comfortable Done changing who she is, denying her culture and where she came from They want to know where she’s from, what she’s about? Liliana is ready to tell them Rating: 4 Stars ★★★★ Don't Ask Me Where I'm From is a fantastic debut from De Leon that follows Liliana whose navigating a new school when she's accepted into the METCO program! Characterdriven, introspective, and discussing various topics from immigration to racism, this is a YA Contemporary you need on your TBR! Where to start with this bookwell I absolutely loved it!! Lilana's voice is just so funny, personal, and filled with so much energy that it keeps you turning the page She's an avid writer and makes miniature sets in her free time, her voice just leaps off the page, she was a fantastic main character and if this wasn't a standalone, I would've absolutely lovedbooks with her in the future! So Liliana is accepted into a METCO program which means she's leaving her Boston school and heading to Westburg, a predominately white HS With her father having disappeared since the summer, she's navigating the new environment, making friends with the other METCO students, trying to connect with her best friend Jade, a bit of romance, all while dealing with microagressions among witnessing racerelated issues at Westburg She's struggling to show her true self at school and she's feeling lost.As someone from a Guatemalan family, I truly can't put into words what it meant to read about a Guatemalan teen from a Guatemalan author! I'm literally sobbing at just how personal this book felt to me reading from Lili's POV!! All the little details like pepian, relative visits, and just seeing Liliana learnabout her Guatemalan roots was just so relatable to me! (* to discuss in review: Lil's experience learningabout her Guatemalan culture) The plot is very slice of life, seeing Liliana at school, home, with her friends, it was all great to read! She's also rightfully feeling sad because her father has been deported, so she's reminiscing on her childhood with him and how he helped shaped her passions and much !Themes of family, coming of age, friendship even tackling many topics from immigration to racism, were all such vital parts of the story and De Leon really takes the time to navigate all of them Also as a whole its very much discusses and delves into contemporary topics through the lens of a Latina living in Boston, through such a vibrant and wonderful character! Although this book is ABSOLUTELY one of my new favorites, my only issue (which has me leaning towards 4) is that the writing reads very much like stream of consciousness where the story moves incredibly quickly at points and because your really in Lil's head its like your going from one thing to the next But I will say the writing style itself really gives you a sense of who Lil is, she's someone who feels the need to hide and not fully be herself, she's also witty, observant, and if your looking for a personal/introspective narrative, this is the book for you! Don't Ask Me Where I'm From is a fantastic debut you don't want to miss! Liliana is adjusting to her new school while confronting microagressions, racism, and learns to find her voice in order to take a stand! Characterdriven, thoughtprovoking, and wonderfully written, its perfect for fans of The Poet X and Elizabeth Acevedo! Don't Ask Me Where I'm From is a must read for 2020!*Full ARC Review/additional notes to come! Interesting story of young immigrant girl thrust into unfamiliar surroundings and how she adjusts Lol I is a strong female character and inspirational Good story that held my interest. 12.2.19Why have I not seen this book being hyped up?!!! It looks amazing and highly relatable.7.20.2020Wow That excerpt on Riveted by Simon Teen was AMAZING I cannot wait to read the entire book.