A review by bookdragon217
American Street, by Ibi Zoboi

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


"-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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