Come On In edited by Adi Alsaid – Book Review

December 28, 2020 in Young Adult
AD • I was provided with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. For more information, please read my Disclosure.


2020 isn’t over yet. Unfortunately. (Sorry for the reminder!) But hey, we’re super close and to celebrate, I have one final book review to share with you before we bid a fond farewell to the hell that was 2020. And that book is… *drum roll* Come On In edited by Adi Alsaid.

This is a YA anthology centred around immigration and everything that relates to that. Now this was an important read for me because my late grandad, who sadly passed away last month, emigrated from Poland (technically Germany) as a young boy.

Like many of the fictional characters in this book, it was a struggle for him. He’d left his mother and siblings behind. There was a language barrier and he was bullied in school for it. But he worked exceptionally hard to build a life for himself and I’m proud to tell you that it was a wonderful life. However, there are obviously certain privileges that come with being a white immigrant. And I think that one of the biggest ones is how easy it is to forget where you came from. I think it’s really important that we don’t forget our ancestral history, the people who came before us and how we came to be where we are. And that’s a big part of the reason why I wanted to read Come On In. I wanted to learn more about immigration through fiction and this seemed like a great way to do exactly that.

Many thanks to Harper360 UK for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Come On In: 15 Stories About Immigration And Finding Home
Edited By Adi Alsaid


Publisher:
Inkyard Press
Date of Publication: 7th January 2021
Genre: YA
Format: eBook (313 pages)
Rating: ★★★★★

 

Content Warnings

racism
colourism
detention centres
racial profiling at airports/checkpoints
grief
bullying
cheating/second family

 

My Review

I have a love-hate relationship with anthologies. Short stories rarely capture my attention in the same way as longer prose. However, that was not the case here. There wasn’t a single story in this collection that I didn’t enjoy. Sure, there were some I connected with more than others but I still enjoyed what each story brought to the table.

The collection itself features a diverse range of authors, all of whom were new-to-me, and tackles different themes or aspects of the immigrant experience. With that in mind, there are obviously a lot of heavier themes here. But don’t let that put you off, there’s a lot of heart here too.

Out of the 15 stories, The Wedding by Sara Farizan was my favourite. It was emotional, empowering and engaging. But my main reason? The grandfather character. I loved that he had such a prominent role in the story and that I could relate to the sentiment behind it. It hit me like a punch in the gut. And once the tears started coming, they didn’t stop. It was cathartic and beautiful and yeah, I just loved everything about it.

Some of my other favourites included:

  • All The Colors of Goodbye by Nafiza Azad
  • The Trip by Sona Charaipotra
  • Volviendome by Alaya Dawn Johnson
  • The Curandera and the Alchemist by Marie E. Andreu
  • A Bigger Tent by Maurene Goo
  • Confessions of an Ecudorkian by Zoraida Córdova 

Overall, this is a wonderful collection from an extremely talented and diverse group of authors. I cannot recommend it enough. So thanks once again to Harper360 for giving me the opportunity to check this out. I loved it!


If my review has piqued your interest, please do go and check it out. The hardback is out in January but you can grab the Kindle edition immediately.

Do you like reading anthologies or short story collections? Let me know in the comments!

11 Comments

  • Lindsey December 28, 2020 at 8:50 am

    I’m sorry for your loss last month – hope you’re doing as okay as can be expected. I’m not usually into short stories but these sound such a delightful and important mix – and it’s always great when you like them all as well! Thanks for sharing – great review!

    • Hayley December 28, 2020 at 2:25 pm

      Thanks Lindsey, it really is a great collection! 🙂

  • Jenny in Neverland December 28, 2020 at 11:10 am

    I’m the same, anthologies rarely pique my interest too. I read a non-fiction book this year which was a collection of essays from Muslim women and that was fantastic so I’m definitely branching out with the type of books I read. This does sound good and glad you enjoyed it! xxx

    • Hayley December 28, 2020 at 2:26 pm

      That book sounds great Jenny. Was it It’s Not About the Burqa? 🙂

  • Stephanie @ Bookfever December 28, 2020 at 12:07 pm

    You just had to remind me that 2020 isn’t over with SIGH 😂 Great review, though! Sounds like an amazing collection of stories.

    • Hayley December 28, 2020 at 2:29 pm

      Sorry haha! Thanks Stephanie!

  • Hannah Kaye December 28, 2020 at 12:25 pm

    Wow! I love the sound of this anthology and really surprised that I’ve not heard about it elsewhere at all. Admittedly I am the same as you and find that short stories don’t capture my attention as much as longer prose, but I will be keeping my eye out for this one in 2021 and giving it a read. Thank you so much for sharing!

    Hannah | acupofwonderland.com

    • Hayley December 28, 2020 at 3:23 pm

      Thanks Hannah, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! 🙂

  • Cristina Rosano December 28, 2020 at 12:43 pm

    I am so sorry about your grandfather, Hailey! It sounds like a very interesting book and so actual! I will for sure check it out in January. Thanks for sharing x

  • Jaya Avendel December 28, 2020 at 9:01 pm

    I feel you on it being a hit and miss with story collections but, often, it is just that one story that makes the whole book worth it. I love that this book had multiple pieces of beautiful writing that drew you in!

    • Hayley January 1, 2021 at 2:42 pm

      It was a truly delightful collection! 🙂

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    I'm Hayley - a 30 year old book blogger from the UK. Also: chronic overthinker, introvert, homebody and mum.

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