When 16-year-old Ana moves to New Jersey from Argentina, she finds herself struggling to make sense of her new life. Though she loves words (and poetry), the English language throws lots of roadblocks in her way, even in ESL class, and Ana feels unseen and unsure of herself. With the help of some new friends, Ana begins to find her voice, but will she find love as well? Maybe with Harrison, the cute American boy in her math class? Or with Neo, the quiet and serious boy from Greece who has become her partner in learning English through teen movies from the 80s? I loved this #ownvoices novel for its glimpse into the immigrant experience and its reminders of the joys and pitfalls of first love.— Benjie
“This a beautiful YA novel, written from a teenage Argentinian immigrant’s point of view, skillfully represents the idiosyncrasies of Americans and sometimes-painful teenage interactions. In addition to the first-person narrative, there are also whimsical ‘handwritten’ notes Ana takes in her journal as part of her assignment for her English language class. Her musings about being transplanted to a new country and reuniting with her father, who came to America three years before she and her mom could join him, give a wonderfully nuanced perspective.”
— Emily Autenrieth, A Seat at the Table Books, Elk Grove, CA
A fresh, joyful YA novel that is layered with themes of immigration, cultural identity, and finding your voice in any language.
Sixteen-year-old Ana is a poet and a lover of language. Except that since she moved to New Jersey from Argentina, she can barely find the words to express how she feels.
At first Ana just wants to return home. Then she meets Harrison, the very cute, very American boy in her math class, and discovers the universal language of racing hearts. But when she begins to spend time with Neo, the Greek Cypriot boy from ESL, Ana wonders how figuring out what her heart wants can be even more confusing than the grammar they’re both trying to master. After all, the rules of English may be confounding, but there are no rules when it comes to love.
With playful and poetic breakouts exploring the idiosyncrasies of the English language, Love in English is witty and effervescent, while telling a beautifully observed story about what it means to become “American.”
Maria E. Andreu is an Argentinian American author whose work has appeared in Teen Vogue, Newsweek, the Washington Post, and the Newark Star Ledger. Her debut young adult novel, The Secret Side of Empty, inspired by her experiences as an undocumented immigrant and a speaker of English as a second language, is a Junior Library Guild Selection, a National Indie Excellence Book Award winner, and an International Latino Book Awards finalist. Find her online at www.mariaeandreu.com.