In Search of Us by Ava Dellaira

In Search Of Us


I received this for review, with thanks, from Netgalley.

This is about a seventeen year old who is struggling to find her identity. She has a white mother and a black father and is experiencing conflict as to where she fits, a lot of which is to do with her skin colour. I can’t comment on the racial issues since I have no experience of this, so I am not the best person to discuss that aspect of it. Whether it’s a good rep or not, I wouldn’t know. I found it educated me a little, and I am becoming more open to reading racial conflict books. I think they’re extremely important to have in the mainstream.

The writing was hard to get into, but once I’d got into it, it was fine. It was worth sticking with it. There were some beautiful quotes. If you’re the sort of person who loves quotes in their books, you will love this. I struggled to get into it at first because the writing is kind of detached from the characters, but now I’ve finished the book I feel like it was a brilliant (and clever) stylistic choice.

The book is split between two timelines. Marilyn’s and Angie’s. I identified more with Marilyn, though I hated her mother and wished Marilyn would just stand up for herself. I loved the nostalgic feeling of being back in the nineties. The vibe was perfect. I loved reading about Marilyn’s time in the library reading Joan Didion and working through college applications. In Angie’s timeline I had a sort of motherly desire to look after her and protect her. I worried for her and I knew there was so much going on in her head that wasn’t shown on the page.

The writing is one of those amazing styles in which I can vividly see the settings, but there isn’t a ton of description. I have no idea how authors do this and I would dearly love to learn.

I would definitely recommend this. I’ve rated it three because it was a good book, but it wasn’t the most engrossing book. I’m very glad I read it and it was definitely good, it just didn’t especially resonate with me.

I’ve been dying to read something of Ava Dellaira’s since Love Letters to the Dead came out, and this is my first experience of her work. I still really want to read Love Letters to the Dead! Now I am even more inclined to.

I would recommend this to people who love intense, slower love stories. People who don’t mind a few references to adult material. People who love the nineties. People who are interested in the American college application process, or people going through that themselves. If you went through that in your history, this book would be perfect for you. Nostalgia all the way!