Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Border by Steve Schafer

The BorderThe Border by Steve Schafer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire and Steve Schafer for providing an advance copy of The Border by Steve Schafer. Debut author, Steve Schafer, has written a heart wrenching book about Mexican teens forced to endure murder, secrets, betrayal, and danger after a celebratory family party results in the death of their families and all that they knew and loved in their lives. I could not put down this book as I followed Pato, Arbo, Marcos and Gladys through their intense journey from Mexico across the border and into the horrors of the desert. I loved the four characters: Pato who is vulnerable (but strong) to so many conflicting thoughts and feelings, Arbo (Pato’s best friend and cousin) can’t defend himself but helps in any way he can, Marco is a hothead who is not afraid to protect his sister, use a gun, and fight and finally Gladys, Marcos’ sister who is sweet, kind, and always tries to be positive keeping the group together with her wisdom. As these teens run from a Mexican gang and everyone else (they have bounties for their capture) the reader learns about their lives before the party and are catapulted into each hour and footstep after as they try to evade capture and flee to “safety” in the United States. These teens are tested time and time again in ways they never imagined. YA fans and reluctant readers hearts will palpitate as Pato and friends try to survive too much adversity and facing impossible choices. Readers will root for these Mexican teens through cliff hangers, chaos, and much suspense as they race against time toward a life that does not promise safety and security but that I hope, they can persevere. Please read the Author’s Note and Acknowledgments, they are very important and I liked that high school students read and gave feedback on this timely and real issue. Highly recommended!

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