Howdy all, it’s Sarah!
I received this ARC through Edelweiss.
My spell checker is not having fun with this title. Though, I did have fun with this title. The cover is super pretty, but doesn’t really give a clue about what this book is about…which I am okay with. This was a great intersection of cultures, done in a way I have never seen before.
Daria and her friends are proud of being open and honest, to the point that they call their group the Authentics. After Daria is assigned a family tree project in school, she has her DNA mapped through a service. The results of this test call into question everything that Daria has ever accepted about herself. As she begins pushing away those she has always trusted and was open to, Daria meets Iglesias, who allows her to be completely honest. The sweet potential first love and quest for truth keeps this novel interesting and quick.
I was totally ready to be completed annoyed by Daria’s obsession with authenticity. It was super pretentious and kinda lame. However, because the novel and several of the characters do not take this title seriously, the book evens out, becomes more realistic and palatable. I thought the exploration of a variety of cultures and the crossings of these cultures was intriguing and unique within the YA world. Nazemian so completely inhabits Daria’s mind that her voice feels authentically teenage girl…even though she is written by an adult man. I had a great time with these characters and felt that they were realistically balanced with positive qualities and challenges. I did have trouble keeping track of one character. Daria calls her mom by her first name, so I had to consciously remind myself that Sheila was not some random friend, but Daria’s mother.