Reviews tagging Gun violence

American Street, by Ibi Zoboi

7 reviews

theliteraryphoenix's review against another edition

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emotional tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

 Whelp. That was an ending I didn’t anticipate.

For my first book by Ibi Zoboi, American Street hit hard! In a good way, but also in a sad way. I quickly fell in love with Fabiola “Fabulous” Toussaint. From the way her dialogue is written, to her vibrant internal monologue, to her flow of emotions and determination and love and fear… Fabiola is a beautiful multi-faceted character and the perfect one to be telling this story.

From the first pages of the book, the world challenges Fabiola. Upon entering the United States, her mother is detained in immigration. Detroit is not quite the place she imagined. Despite an excellent education in Haiti, she has to navigate a new school with a slightly different way of doing things and she has to navigate the rules of the West Side. Meanwhile, everyone seems determined to keep as much information from her as possible – they want her to live a good life and stay out of the bad parts of their world. But Fabiola will do anything to get her mother back.

For me, the characters in this story are its greatest strength, and since American Street is an excellent book, that’s saying a lot. Each one is deeply developed, with their own story that slowly unravels around Fabiola. They each have their own motives and their own secrets. The plot takes you through a few unexpected twists, but those twists are all that much stronger because of the way the characters shine.

Reader be warned, there is also a lot of difficult content in American Street. Most prominent, to me, is the toxic relationship between two characters (that includes physical abuse) and murder by police. There’s a lot of joyful moments in American Street, but there are also quite a few bad moments. Be prepared for both.

I enjoyed reading this book and it will definitely be one I add to my “to buy” list, because I could read it again. The world is vibrant, real, and alive. There’s important social themes addressed in American Street, and characters that stick with you. It may not be a book with a happy ending, but it is a book with an impactful one. 

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bookswhitme's review against another edition

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challenging emotional reflective sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0


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dee_dreams's review against another edition

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dark emotional reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0


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bretagnereads's review against another edition

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emotional hopeful sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0


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karter's review

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dark emotional tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

The characters felt real and the situations they found themselves in fit with the story and didn't feel over the top or contrived. Was really well written in my opinion.

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maribookworm4life75's review against another edition

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emotional hopeful inspiring sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.0

This is a deeply moving own voices debut book about the struggles of an immigrant to identify as American & Haitian. The twist & turns, magical realism, and the range of emotions I felt enhanced the story & my experience. 

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bookdragon217's review

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dark emotional hopeful reflective sad tense fast-paced
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

"-where Joy Road meets American Street. Joy and American. A crossroads. Intersecting. One is not the other."

American Street by Ibi Zoboi was pure gold from the first page until the last. You are immediately sucked in to the story and introduced to rich, characters that you want to know more about. Zoboi gives a glimpse as to what it is like to be a young, girl from Haiti coming to America for the first time through Fabiola, the main protagonist. She is quickly thrust into a world she doesn't know, trying to fit in and make sense of what she sees around her. Fabiola has to reconcile what her preconceived notions of the American Dream. She navigates her new world by holding on to her Haitian  traditions and using her spirituality practices to help cope with the confusion.

There was so much to love about this book. Zoboi gives us layered characters, rich Haitian culture, masterful storytelling sprinkled with magic and social commentary that will leave you thinking long after you close the book. Zoboi introduced me to my first book bae in Kasim. 

What will stay with me the most are the questions that this story brings up.

¤ What is the American dream and who is it afforded to?

¤ How do you make a life when you are torn between worlds?

¤ Does being an American automatically mean you will be happy?

¤ Why do immigrants from black & brown countries get treated as criminals? 

¤ Does becoming American mean that you forget home?

¤ When does the world become safe for women & young girls?

¤ How do you overcome the violence & anti-blackness of the American dream?

¤ Does poverty automatically equate with violence & crime?

¤ How do you overcome personal trauma & grief in a country that exerts violence on & blocks opportunities for Black people?

This story was compelling, insightful, and heartbreaking but it leaves room for hope. Fabiola and Kasim's love story warmed my heart but it also  made me think about stolen dreams which was the main theme of the book. 

Bookdragon rating: 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 


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