The Impossibility of Us by Katy Upperman. ISBN: 9781250127990. Swoon Reads.
Published July 31, 2018.
**Big thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC!**
From the Publisher
The last thing Elise wants is to start her senior year in a new town. But after her brother’s death in Afghanistan, she and her mother move from San Francisco to a sleepy coastal village.
When Elise meets Mati, they quickly discover how much they have in common. Mati is new to town too, visiting the U.S. with his family. Over the course of the summer, their relationship begins to blossom, and what starts out as a friendship becomes so much more.
But as Elise and Mati grow closer, her family becomes more and more uncomfortable with their relationship, and their concerns all center on one fact—Mati is Afghan.
Beautifully written, utterly compelling, and ultimately hopeful, THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF US asks—how brave can you be when your relationship is questioned by everyone you love?
This book had an unexpected impact on me. Honestly, I was not expecting to love it as much as I did. I was a bit apprehensive when I read Mati’s first chapter because I was not expecting his chapters to be formatted as his thoughts, but I really grew to love his perspective. I went into this book expecting a cute romance and I finished with that and so much more.
There were discussions about racism, discrimination, love, and fighting for your independence and what you believe in. Mati and his family are from Afghanistan and have come to the United States only to be met with hatred, discrimination, and face-value judgements. The author portrayed these issues with honesty and taught us and Elise more about the culture to overcome these discriminatory views. The romances that developed throughout the story were very natural and I fell hard for these couples.
The characters were great! Mati was loveable and unique and Elise was very relatable and real. I was apprehensive during the first few chapters but quickly grew to love the characters and how they created their own story. They were strong characters who fought for themselves, made mistakes and learned from them, and learned to practice forgiveness and acceptance. Even the side characters were well-developed and all played key roles in the main narrative.
The real-world issues were not romanticized or preached. It felt so organic and didn’t make the story seem like the author’s political tirade. I really appreciated that Elise made an effort to actually understand Mati’s culture, especially since she had such a negative personal experience with the radical side of it. I came away from this book with more knowledge and understanding of Afghanistan and its culture, which I can’t say about many other books.
The Impossibility of Us is ultimately a book about independence. Deciding between education or bigotry; your head or your heart; tradition or your dreams. My love of this book was unexpected but very welcomed. I look forward to reading more from Katy Upperman!