Marqardt, Marie. Dream Things True
September 1st 2015 by St. Martin's Griffin
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline
Alma meets Evan when her father is mowing the yard at Evan's palatial house, and Evan saves her (if not her coffee) when the truck in which she is sitting starts to roll down a hill. Alma had been at a high school in a larger town, but had to return home for family reasons. Her brother, Raul, played soccer with Evan, and when Alma goes to the local high school, Evan pursues her. There are problems, however-- Alma's family are undocumented, and Evan's uncle is a state senator who is campaigning on the platform of removing "illegal aliens" from the area. Many of Alma's relatives are discovered working at a chicken processing plant and deported. Her own mother died attempting to get the children to the U.S. With the help of guidance conselor Mrs. King, Alma is trying to make sure she gets a good education, but her undocumented status is a big problem, especially when Raul and her father are arrested on traffic violations and must return to Mexico. Can Evan and Alma maintain their relationship, given the odds they face?
Strengths: This was a very interesting and well-written book, and the variety of problems faced by Alma's family really drove home current issues with immigration. Evan was a great character-- not only was he wealthy and privileged (which students seem to love in a romance), he had some problems, too.
Weaknesses: Too much sexual content for middle grade. Not entirely instructive, but just too much information for me to be comfortable having this in my collection. Will recommend that my readers check it out of the public library, though.
What I really think: Drat. Wish this had been more middle grade appropriate, because I liked the romance and the depiction of families facing immigration problems.