Review Detail

What Makes Us Featured
Young Adult Fiction 636
thought-provoking and engrossing
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
WHAT MAKES US is an intriguing story that follows a teenaged boy, his mother (in the past), and his friend in alternating sections. The book largely deals in trust/secrets within family, the way that your relatives can shape you (nature vs. nurture), as well as the brutality of people and news and coping with the unexpected.

Eran lives with his mother and has never known his father. His mother is very tight-lipped about him, but Eran has always wondered. However, he never expected to receive these truths after he is part of/leading a protest march against a new police policy that allows them to pull anyone over with or without documented cause (along the lines of stop and frisk). When counter-protesters get in their face and rile him up, he shoves one of them. The video is all over the news and internet, and someone recognizes his mother, who escorted him away from the event.

Eran then learns that his father was a terrorist who bombed a celebration when he was 2. His mother had never expected it and did the best she could by taking him far away, changing their names, and not talking about him. Now, Eran is left wondering how much of his father he is like and dealing with public shaming and shunning (for something that he had nothing to do with).

A smaller, secondary plot involves Eran's friend, Jade, who found a picture that does not make sense with what she knows about herself, leading her to question her parents and the lies that they may have told her. This story does not interfere with the main story but adds a small amount to it by allowing readers to see an ally (she stands up for Eran) as well as the way that parents may have good intentions even with not great outcomes.

What I loved: The best part of the book is how well it shows public-shaming, racism, and the consequences of media followed by public opinion. Eran is a very easily sympathized character, and his story unfolds beautifully. This was somehow a gripping story as we follow him in the aftermath of these earth-shattering revelations (which are complicated by being in the public eye). I also really liked that we see some things from the mother's perspective also, and their relationship- while it does have some bumps- ultimately comes together better due to the hardship and new understandings.

Final verdict: Engrossing and thought-provoking, this novel is a great read that deserves a read and maybe even a reread. With some deep and important themes, this book will leave the reader thinking about it after the last page is read. Recommend for YA readers of any age who are looking for an insightful and engaging read.
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Elemental Manipulation is tricky. Only those with the power can...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
When fifteen-year-old Marlee Stanley joins her two sisters and the...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
They call me the Dark Queen… Ryleigh...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Two friends in the 1980's were graduating from Cosmetology School....
Twisting Minds
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
How can you trust your heart when you can't trust...
The Art of Holding On
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Life happens, whether you’re ready or not. All you can...
Breaking Through: How Female Athletes Shattered Stereotypes in the Roaring Twenties
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Award-winning author Sue Macy offers a fresh and timely account...
Outlawed
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
OUTLANDER meets Robin Hood. Traveling through time...
The Path We Take
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
He’s alone He’s tattooed He’s badly burnt ...
Half-Blood Mage
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A cursed dragon hunter A half-blood mage...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
If genetic engineering could guarantee you and your family perfect...
Slayer (Slayer, #1)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Into every generation a Slayer is born… ...
Magic Bound
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Starting a new school is never easy and this time...
When Wishes Bleed
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
One Prince. One Witch. One Fate. ...
Dealing in Dreams
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Outsiders meets Mad Max: Fury Road in this fast-paced...
Girls With Sharp Sticks (Girls With Sharp Sticks, #1)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Some of the prettiest flowers have the sharpest thorns. ...

Latest Member Reviews

Kingdom Cold
 
4.8
"What I loved: First and foremost, the characters. Princess Charlotte's fierce, unyielding manner. The way her character is left..."
Sword and Pen (Great Library Book, #5)
 
5.0
"Isn't great to finish a series and feel satisfied? Sword and Pen by Rachel Caine is the final book in..."
Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons #1)
 
3.7
"I snapped this one up because I love Wonder Woman, and I much appreciated Leigh Bardugo's adept writing in Six..."
Breaking Through: How Female Athletes Shattered Stereotypes in the Roaring Twenties
 
5.0
"One hundred years ago. When I was growing up, this seemed like an impossibly long time in the past. The..."
Scarred
 
4.8
"Emotionally, I mean. What I loved: As you can guess from the title,..."
The Path Divided
 
5.0
"I'm going to break out of my usual review mold here because this book was so many things. It..."
Girl at Heart
 
4.8
"What I loved: Just about everything. This was an adorable YA Contemporary Romance with a surprisingly well-rounded..."
Skin Hunter
 
4.3
"What I loved: The world building was perfectly illustrated without bogging down the story. Everything from the..."
Our Year in Love and Parties
 
4.0
"What I loved: The story was told through the unique lens of four specific events with..."
The Secret Key (Agatha Oddly)
 
4.0
"Agatha loves the work of Detective Hercule Poirot. He's actually her imaginary friend and she uses his work to influence..."
Jack Kerouac is Dead to Me
 
4.3
"JACK KEROUAC IS DEAD TO ME is Gae Polisner’s most recent YA Contemporary novel. Like in her other books, she..."
Woven in Moonlight
 
5.0
"Woven in Moonlight is a beautiful and lush fantasy, based on the culture and history of Bolivia. It is set..."
Julie Winsome M.D., Medical Detective Science Fiction Mysteries, Volume # 1
 
4.7
"Always fun to follow along with Dr. Julie Winsome Medical Detective! Great stories and I love the writing style..."
We Are All His Creatures: Tales of P. T. Barnum, the Greatest Showman
 
3.0
"WE ARE ALL HIS CREATURES by Deborah Noyes is a series of eleven short stories about the beloved showman, P.T...."
Jane Anonymous: A Novel
 
4.7
"JANE ANONYMOUS follows two timelines: one while Jane was captured for 7 months and one after she is back home...."
Finding Mr. Better-Than-You
 
4.3
"FINDING MR. BETTER-THAN-YOU starts off like a cheesy romantic comedy, but ends up being a lot more fulfilling light-hearted YA..."
Freaky in Fresno
 
3.7
"FREAKY IN FRESNO is a spin on the old novel, FREAKY FRIDAY. Ricki (nickname for Lyric) had a falling out..."
Only Mostly Devastated
 
4.3
"ONLY MOSTLY DEVASTATED is a charming YA contemporary romance that follows Ollie. Ollie had lived in California, until this year..."
Neffatira's First Challenge
 
5.0
"The descriptions are very beautiful and you can perceive the feelings of the characters to the point of empathy. ..."
Ink in the Blood (Ink in the Blood Duology #1)
 
4.3
"INK IN THE BLOOD is an engaging and atmospheric YA fantasy. Celia Sand was delighted when she was chosen to..."