Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Abdi Nazemian
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Daria and her friends strive to be the “authentic” kids at their high school among many who hide who they truly are. But after she is assigned an ancestry project and sends off her DNA to be analyzed, she discovers some shocking truths about herself. Daria was adopted, but her parents never told her. Feeling betrayed and confused, Daria goes on the search for her biological mother. What she discovers is a step-brother, and they instantly fall for each other. Together they scheme for the best way to introduce mother and daughter, as well as to tell both families about their budding relationship. As truths emerge, Daria finds a way to connect to both of her pasts and understand who she really is and what it means to be truly authentic.
This book takes an interesting approach to the teenage coming-of-age tale. Identity is an important topic, especially for teenagers who are trying to find their way in the world and navigate the harsh realities of growing up. It is even more difficult for Daria, who is confronted with a shocking truth about herself. Nazemian writes in a way that feels true to the language of a teenage girl coming to grips with the complexities of being adopted, fitting in, and standing out. There are moments of comedy intermingled with the anxiety that Daria feels as she struggles to communicate with her family and friends how she feels about the new truths she is confronted with. This book is recommended for anyone who enjoys a unique character who is finding out who they are and where they fit in their world, family, and friends.
*Contains mild sexual content and mild language.