November 6, 2017

Review: You Bring the Distant Near

You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins
Grade: B
Summary: Five girls. Three generations. One great American love story. You Bring the Distant Near explores sisterhood, first loves, friendship, and the inheritance of culture--for better or worse. Ranee, worried that her children are losing their Indian culture; Sonia, wrapped up in a forbidden biracial love affair; Tara, seeking the limelight to hide her true self; Shanti, desperately trying to make peace in the family; Anna, fighting to preserve Bengal tigers and her Bengali identity--award-winning author Mitali Perkins weaves together a sweeping story of five women at once intimately relatable and yet entirely new.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Multi-year, multi-POV stories can be hard to do well, since there isn't always enough time to get to know all the characters. And while You Bring the Distant Near falls victim to that a little bit, it's still a wonderful story.
I loved how woman-focused You Bring the Distant Near is. However, I think it should have focused more on just Sonia and Tara or just Anna and Shanti (with flashbacks to their moms' childhoods) just because I felt like there was never enough character development for any of the girls. Sonia and Tara's dad needed a little more development too so that when a certain thing happened, I would've felt more emotion. And then Lou needed development too, before he became such an important focus during the chapters in Paris. He was introduced to readers as if we should know him, but he felt cookie cutter at best.
I liked the balance of cultures and the real struggles portrayed as each generation embraced or rebelled against the situation at hand. I also loved the battling grandmas.
It's a pretty clean book!

The Verdict: I think this is a good book for YA readers of all ages, especially those on the younger side.

Will I be adding this book to my library?: Hmm...not sure.

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