Cover Image: Indivisible

Indivisible

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Member Reviews

Indivisible is the first book to have made me this emotional in a long time. I felt so connected to Mateo and his journey from day one, and he is a deeply likable character that is so easy to want to root for. While writing this review, I was trying to think of specific parts of the book that stood out to me. The problem was that everything about this book felt so special and really personal to my story and the story of my family! It felt amazing to be able to read the story of a, gay, Mexican teenage boy with immigrant parents that love him unconditionally. Mateo’s parents, as much as they are religious, chose their son over their church. Mateo’s bond to his little sister is also so strong, and I think that’s really special to see as it reminds me a lot of the bond between my little brother and myself.

This is a story about what you will do to keep your family together, and it is a story that I need people to read when it’s released. As a descendant of Colombian immigrants, it kills me when people talk about “illegals”. I know how hard my grandparents worked to be able to live in Canada, and how much they left behind to come to a strange country in hopes of better opportunities for their children, for their grandchildren. For me. 

I hope people can read this story and that it can help them understand how hard immigrants work. I hope this story -that is very much so many people’s realities- will be able to help people truly understand the hardships of undocumented immigrants. And I also hope that they will be able to see what I saw: a book about family, love and connection. A book about friendships, and having each other’s backs no matter what, and about knowing that you are not alone.
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Excellent debut novel about family love, deportation, and hope. After ICE agents find Mateo’s parents, his life is turned upside down. Mateo can’t tell his best friends, and he and his younger sister are forced to live with a family friend. When his dad is deported, his mom goes as well who tells him be strong, be brave.Mateo finally tells his friends who offer their support because Mateo feels an emptiness and that his life has been stolen. When his sister becomes depressed and begs to live with his parents, he is really torn. What does he do?
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Thanks to NetGalley for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest opinion.

An all-too-real story about deportation. Really well done.
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Indivisible is the story of Mateo, who lives in New York City and dreams of becoming a Broadway star, and who happens to be undocumented. When Mateo’s parents are suddenly detained by ICE, Mateo must try to figure out how to take care of his seven-year-old sister, run his father’s bodega, maintain a facade of normalcy at school and with his friends, and find a way to bring his parents back to him and his sister. 

This story is a perfect illustration of why it is so horribly inhumane to separate families - whether at the border or not. It highlights all of the devastating effects of an immigration system bent on enforcing the rule of the law, rather than working to best serve people. I appreciated the themes about community, friendship, and family, and I appreciated the representation in the book, not just of race, but of sexuality. I love that Mateo is gay, but this book is not about Mateo being gay. It shows all the ways in which LGBTQ+ people are not simply their sexuality and gender and why they should never be reduced to such. It can be hard to find stories with LGBTQ+ representation that aren’t about that part of the characters’ lived experiences sometimes, and this one is certainly important in that way.
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I found my heart fully with Mateo Garcia and his family as I read Indivisible by Daniel Aleman.  Pulling the reader in from the beginning with the fear of immigration agents, Aleman also shows how complicated Mateo's life is while he tries to balance school, supporting his younger sister, and nurturing his dreams for his future.  Aleman presents a strong, protective protagonist that you will root for until the very last word of the story.
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Mateo Garcia and his sister Sophie find themselves struggling to survive after their parents are arrested by ICE agents and deported to Mexico, a place they haven’t been to in over 20 years.  Mateo, a junior in high school, must deal with the feelings of isolation created by the need to hide his parent’s immigration story.  He doesn’t know if he can tell his friends and can’t figure out how to reconcile his dual identities of Mexican and American.  It’s also a small love letter to New York City and the craziness that is living in the city, taking the subway, visiting Central Park, and seeing a show on Broadway.

An additional layer of the story is that Mateo is gay.  This is a great novel that doesn’t center Mateo’s homosexuality or make it about his coming-out story.  Instead, readers learn about Mateo’s internal struggle to understand how these two invisible identities affect his life.  Mateo must learn to ask for help, trust his found family, and make decisions for himself.  While trying to help his family, he doesn’t easily see the love that surrounds him.

The multicultural characters bring to life the complexity of what it means to be an American and live in one of America’s most diverse cities.  The relationship that Mateo and Sophie have is authentic and quietly deep.  The novel offers readers a look into the legal and familial experience of deportation; however, readers will also see how communities come together to support each other.  This is a beautiful novel and Mateo is a complex main character who will inspire readers to ask questions and think about about immigration, family, love, and friendship.

Thank you #NetGalley for the ARC.
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