Bisexual Young Adult
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press (March 5, 2015)
Amazon: I’ll Always Miss You
Amazon Kindle: I’ll Always Miss You
Isa Zaman might forgive his parents for taking in a friend’s son if only he wasn't the most boring teenager in the universe. Macklin “Mackie” Cormack’s only interests are reading and the outdoors. Yeah, right. Isa's convinced Mackie is either a pyro or a klepto. Plus, as a white kid, Mackie looks ridiculous in the Zamans' Arab American household. Forced to share a bedroom, the boys keep butting heads until an absurd fight finally breaks the tension between them.
Isa’s just starting to figure life out: this new houseguest, his cultural identity, school, and even girls, when the entire family is uprooted from their home for reasons Isa can't understand. They move from their tiny city apartment to a giant old house in a small town, hours away from everything he's ever known. Oh, and the new house? It's probably haunted, or so says the blank-faced ten-year-old next door. As if things weren't weird enough, Isa's friendship with Mackie suddenly takes a strange turn down a path Isa's not sure he’s ready to follow. It turns out Mackie Cormack isn’t nearly as boring as Isa once imagined.
What an excellent book. Several strands beautifully woven together, the book never gets frantic. The ghost story dovetails beautifully with the boys' story which develops at such a lovely pace. Other sidelines are fitted in carefully providing a multi-dimensional book with depth (as in RL). Learning Isa is gay is not the central theme which is so refreshing. As he says, that is not all he is. Both mc are well developed although told from Isa's perspective we learn a lot about Mackie and how he feels. Excellent family relationships - arguments and laughter as in most families. How interesting to make the family Moroccan and to use this for a couple of key themes (Isa learning to cook and family). Two different areas of US described - I could tell the difference. So well written. Flows well, no grammatical or editorial errors to pull one out of the story. Language seemed natural for teenage boys and a family.
A different coming out story with an unusual mix of main characters - the Moroccan culture was nicely defined and the boys acted like real teenagers, going from initial antagonism to mutual respect and affection.
This was an enjoyable young adult tale with several pleasant differences from other YA stories I’ve read. One of the best aspects of I’ll Always Miss You is that Isa and Zaman acted and behaved as typical teenagers. They were totally realistic and not like adults in teen bodies as is often seen in YA.
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