Monday, 23 April 2018

Review: In Search of Us by Ava Dellaira

In Search of Us by Ava Dellaira
Publisher: Hot Key Books 
Publication Date: March 6th 2018
My rating: 4.5 Stars 

The author of the beloved Love Letters to the Dead returns with a parallel story of a mother and daughter each at age seventeen. Marilyn's tale recounts the summer she fell in love and set out on her own path. Angie's story is about her search for her unknown father. This sweeping multi-generational love story introduces readers to mother-and-daughter pair Marilyn and Angie. To seventeen-year-old Angie, who is mixed-race, Marilyn is her hardworking, devoted white single mother. But Marilyn was once young, too. When Marilyn was seventeen, she fell in love with Angie's father, James, who was African-American. But Angie's never met him, and Marilyn has always told her he died before she was born. When Angie discovers evidence of an uncle she's never met she starts to wonder: What if her dad is still alive, too? So she sets off on a journey to find him, hitching a ride to LA from her home in New Mexico with her ex-boyfriend, Sam. Along the way, she uncovers some hard truths about herself, her mother, and what truly happened to her father.

I went into In Search of Us not really knowing much about the book, I’d seen Sam give the book a five star rating and that’s all I needed to give this book a go. To be honest I really did struggle with the beginning of the book, the chapters alternate with perspectives from Angie in the present and her mum Marilyn in the past. And I found myself more interested in following Angie’s perspective, I wanted to follow her story and longing in discovering the truth in what happened with her father. But as the story progressed, I began to understand the importance of getting Marilyn’s story from the past, it played such an integral part to how far Marilyn had come and the person Angie had become today. 

Dellaira gave us such a beautiful story with In Search of Us, I enjoyed going on this incredible journey with Angie to discover the truth about her father, the risks she took to get there and the fear that she had to deal with when she found out the truth. Angie was a character who I immensely liked, yes, she made mistakes along the way when she just had one focus in mind, but what 17-year-old would travel to LA to try and find her uncle, with only titbits of information? Yes, she was going behind her mum’s wishes, but I could understand her sense of longing and answers that she needed after she had first discovered the photo of her parents. I kind of had a feeling about how things would end up for Angie when she got to LA, but nothing could have prepared me for her story. It was heartfelt and raw, and left such a lasting impression with me. 

In Search of Us was just a beautifully written story, I couldn’t praise Dellaira enough in giving us such a wonderful story. The overlap in stories from Marilyn and Angie was done majestically, with Dellaira constantly keeping us on our toes with us not knowing what could be around the corner. In Search of Us was really a gem of a read, one that I will be constantly thinking and talking about in the upcoming weeks.  


  1. Love that the stories overlapped well, that doesn't always happen. This sounds wonderful!

  2. Oh wow! This sounds like a beautiful read that is right up my alley, Jasprit! I haven't read a YA contemporary in a while but this one appeals to me. I think I'd really like Angie too. I'm glad you loved this one!

  3. What a beautiful story! And I love when a book seems iffy at first but then it all comes together and fits and it totally makes the whole reading experience. Great review!

  4. Love your review Jasprit. The story sounds wonderful.

  5. I read the author's debut and really loved it, so I'm happy to see positive reviews for this one. Great review!


  6. That cover is stunning!

    two different narratives don't always work for me but it sounds like they tie together really well in this case.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

  7. Lovely review, hun!

    So glad you stuck through despite the rough start. Sometimes, you have to sift through a bunch of bad stuff to get to the good stuff. :)

  8. wonderful review, glad you made it past the first few chapters only to find you really enjoyed the book!

  9. Awesome review Jasprit :D So glad you liked this book so much. <3 Ahh. It sounds pretty great :) Not really for me, as the beginning doesn't sound like something I would get past, haha :) But gosh, that cover is so so pretty. <3


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