Actual Rating: 4
*Thank you to the publisher for a free copy in exchange for an honest review!*
YES, I CRIED. Now that we have that out of the way…
In Search Of Us was a poignant intergenerational story following two characters. There’s Marilyn, living in LA in the late 1990s and counting down the days until she can escape to college; she feels trapped in the world her mother has built for her, a world of acting and modeling jobs that barely earn enough to feed two people. But then she runs into James, the boy downstairs, and suddenly her escape is right there.
Years later, there’s Angie, and being biracial is hard especially when you’ve never met your father. And her mother, Marilyn has always been almost enough – until Angie finds out that her father didn’t in a car crash and her brother wasn’t in that car that night. So Angie seeks out, back to Los Angeles, to find who she is and why her mother kept the truth from her.
I loved this. To be honest, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Love Letters to the Dead, but I enjoyed the writing style, and I actually went into this book not even knowing it was by the same author. This time, the author maintained the same great writing style, but the plot and characters and everything were also right on the money.
For me, Marilyn and James were my favorite plotline. And while I do enjoy the story of a character searching for their family history, Angie’s storyline was just okay for me, and I felt like they were just a little less engaging and heartwarming. Still though, I loved it for the anecdotes about being biracial, and several of those scenes shook me to my very core.
One thing that I loved about this book is that race was such a big thing – but it wasn’t everything. Each character had their own aspirations, fears, and personality traits that made them so immersive and real, that played around with the chemistry they had with one another, and sometimes you forgot race at all and then had to be reminded that it was not something that should be forgotten.
Overall, though, I’d definitely recommend this to any readers of realistic contemporary fiction, especially those who enjoyed Between the World and Me or this author’s previous book, Love Letters to the Dead. And whether or not you see the ending coming, won’t make it hurt any less.