On the corner of American Street and Joy Road, Fabiola Toussaint thought she would finally find une belle vie—a good life.
But after they leave Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Fabiola’s mother is detained by U.S. immigration, leaving Fabiola to navigate her loud American cousins, Chantal, Donna, and Princess; the grittiness of Detroit’s west side; a new school; and a surprising romance, all on her own.
Just as she finds her footing in this strange new world, a dangerous proposition presents itself, and Fabiola soon realizes that freedom comes at a cost. Trapped at the crossroads of an impossible choice, will she pay the price for the American dream?
My Thoughts: I've been hearing a lot of great things about Ibi Zoboi and I thought it was time to give her a try. I was not sure which book to start with but American Street with the topic of immigration in its description. With all of current immigration issues, I thought this would be the perfect book to listen to.
First, the story completely captivated me. I was enthralled to learn about Fabiola's, a Haitian, experience of coming to the United States. Listening to how she came by airplane and how her mother was detained at the airport was an experience that I was not too familiar with. As a Mexican, I've heard and experienced crossing the border by land but not by airplane. Next, it was interesting to hear how Fabiola had to learn to assimilate to the American culture. Not just "American," but had to learn how Black people acted and dressed in Detroit. Last, the story dealt with other issues, such as drugs and physical abuse, that made me eager to keep listening and find out how everything was going to be resolved. However, the ending was a little rushed. I understood why it was written the way it was but I would have liked it to have been a little bit more fleshed out, especially about the heartbreaking part.
What I liked best about this book was the characters, especially Fabiola. She was a very well developed character. She was strong, kind, loving, loyal, honest, and incredibly smart. I loved that she did not let her new life in the United States make her forget who she really was nor forget her priorities. Her cousins too were well written. Their mannerisms and their descriptions helped me picture them in my mind. I didn't mind so much on how much they cussed; the use of bad language only made the characters more true.
Another great thing about this audiobook was the reader, Robin Miles. She did a fantastic job bringing the story and characters to life! She portrayed each character the way they were written. She spoke with a Creole accent for Fabiola and a Detroit one for each of the cousins. Even when she read the men she was able to change her voice to sound like boys in the hood. Robin Miles also had great diction and pacing. Listening to the book was entertaining the whole time.
In conclusion, this was a great audiobook. I loved the topics of immigration and assimilation into the American culture. I enjoyed how the story developed and I loved the characters. I was also highly entertained by the reader of this audiobook. The only downside for me was the ending. I wished that it wasn't too rushed. I rate it: