Love in English|Review

Love in English – Published 2021

“Sixteen-year-old Ana has just moved to New Jersey from Argentina for her Junior year of high school. She’s a poet and a lover of language—except that now, she can barely understand what’s going on around her, let alone find the words to express how she feels in the language she’s expected to speak.

All Ana wants to do is go home—until she meets Harrison, the very cute, very American boy in her math class. And then there’s her new friend Neo, the Greek boy she’s partnered up with in ESL class, who she bonds with over the 80s teen movies they are assigned to watch for class (but later keep watching together for fun), and Altagracia, her artistic and Instagram-fabulous friend, who thankfully is fluent in Spanish and able to help her settle into American high school.

But is it possible that she’s becoming too American—as her father accuses—and what does it mean when her feelings for Harrison and Neo start to change? Ana will spend her year learning that the rules of English may be confounding, but there are no rules when it comes to love.” – Goodreads

THOUGHTS

Thank you to Libro.fm for the ALC of this book! I also picked up a copy for my classroom, because I enjoyed it so much.

This is a cute story that also has some really important underlying themes. Yes, there’s a girl in a new school who has a crush on a boy or two while she also tries to make friends and learn English, but it also looks at how ESL students treated, how quickly we speak in America, how complicated our language is, and how white supremacy finds its way into the heads of people of all ages.

It also shows how much is lost when people move to a different country. Sure, there’s a lot to gain, but there’s more than just an adjustment period, especially for a teenage girl. Ana’s father is expecting their family to only speak English, which is very difficult when you’re learning a complicated language. Her ESL class is very precious, but even their ESL teacher speaks so quickly that so much of what he has said has been lost. Ana’s also met with ignorant peers who make slanderous comments.

This is written in a way that it flows beautifully and can be read very quickly. I really enjoyed it, and I know my students will love it next year, too.

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