The Search for Us
by Susan Azim Boyer
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Pub Date 24 Oct 2023 | Archive Date 07 Nov 2023
St. Martin's Press, Wednesday Books
“A sharp-witted and illuminating, impressive sophomore novel.” - Isaac Blum, author of the award-nominated The Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen
Two half-siblings who have never met embark on a search together for the Iranian immigrant and U.S. Army veteran father they never knew.
Samira Murphy will do anything to keep her fractured family from falling apart, including caring for her widowed grandmother and getting her older brother into recovery for alcohol addiction. With attendance at her dream college on the line, she takes a long shot DNA test to find the support she so desperately needs from a father she hasn’t seen since she was a baby.
Henry Owen is torn between his well-meaning but unreliable bio-mom and his overly strict aunt and uncle, who stepped in to raise him but don’t seem to see him for who he is. Looking to forge a stronger connection to his own identity, he takes a DNA test to find the one person who might love him for exactly who he is—the biological father he never knew.
Instead of a DNA match with their father, Samira and Henry are matched with each other. They begin to search for their father together and slowly unravel the difficult truth of their shared past, forming a connection that only siblings can have and recovering precious parts of their past that have been lost. Brimming with emotional resonance, Susan Azim Boyer's The Search for Us beautifully renders what it means to find your place in the world through the deep and abiding power of family.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 68 members
Sadly I missed Jasmine Zumideh Needs a Win but it’s now added to my list.
But I do know that her second novel was an emotional filled story that I couldn’t have loved more if I tried.
The Search for Us by Susan Azim Boyer is a thought provoking YA story that won my heart.
I really loved being on this self discovery journey with Samira and Henry.
Trying to find their place in the world and on the search to find their father was an emotional but amazing journey.
Susan Azim Boyer did an outstanding job creating fantastic characters who I wanted nothing but the best for. And rooted for their happiness the entire way.
An uplifting contemporary that I just loved losing sleep over.
"I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own."
Thank You NetGalley and Wednesday Books for your generosity and gifting me a copy of this amazing eARC!
This was a great book! I enjoyed the DNA match aspect as that is something that has always interested me. I appreciated how the story handled multiple difficult topics, including the touch on codependency. Many people can relate to that experience and it is nice to feel like your story has a voice. Very well-written!
I was not prepared for how much this book made me cry! Even though it made me cry, I loved reading Samira and Henry's journey.
When they take a genetics test to find their father Samira and Henry find each other. Both of them are dealing with family issues and the hole that their father left in their lives. They want to understand what happened and set out to get answers when their families are of no help.
This book is heavy. There is a lot that Samira as a teen should have never had to deal with, but I think it's important to read characters that have to deal with alcoholism from a family member as I know people her age do. To see this struggle could help young people work through their own experience with it and hopefully help them move forward.
As a California native I loved that in n out was a prominent place for teens to hangout at. The mentions of Persian food made me want to go to my local Persian restaurant! I haven't tried cherry rice yet but I'd love to. My favorite is Fesenjan!
This book was just a really powerful exploration of family, addiction, and forging your own path. I absolutely recommend it.
Oh, wow. This was an immensely powerful book and I am forever grateful for @wednesdaybooks and @susanazimboyer for the wonderful opportunity to read this book. This story of Samira and Henry connecting and going on a journey finding their father was so beautiful and heartwarming; while also being incredibly raw. I’m not going to lie, some parts of this completely broke my heart because Boyer has such a talent with words and her writing is so poetic and really packs a punch. There was so much love in this book that you can feel it pouring out of the pages and watching Samira and Henry grow closer and helping each other work through their respective struggles was very beautiful to experience. The ending really had me tearing up and I can’t say enough good things about how powerful Boyer’s storytelling abilities are. Definitely, definitely, definitely read this!!
As much as I love a romance, it's refreshing to pick up a YA book that's about family and friendships, and the ways we're changed as our non-romantic relationships shift over time. Told through the dual POV of half-siblings Samira and Henry, the story follows the pair as they struggle with uncertainties about their emotions, their career and college goals, their parents and other closest relatives, and their friendships. Each senses something is missing, information or context about their past that leaves them filling in the blanks with assumptions rather than truths. When they discover they're related, they combine forces to track down their absent father, anxious to get the answers each has been craving since childhood. What unfolds is a thoughtful look at what shapes us as we grow into adulthood, and how truth can be complicated, and how withholding that truth--even with the best of intentions--can have lasting repercussions. Both protagonists are easy to root for, warm-hearted and well-meaning, with family struggles that left me aching for better days ahead, and for the truth they both yearned for. I won't spoil the ending, but will say that the final act of the story was my favourite. I really enjoyed the layers of what Samira and Henry learned, how it filled in some blanks for each of them, but left both challenged to reach for what they each wanted, without everything in life suddenly cleared up with one quick conversation. I also loved that every character in the story was layered, and that no one was a perfect hero or a perfect villain. With swift prose and two relatable teen voices, this one's a great fit for YA readers looking for stories that step outside the romance umbrella to focus on the ways we build our sense of self and the heart of what makes a family.
This was a refreshing read! Samira and Henry lead very different lives. While motivated and haunted by different things, they're brought together by the same need to learn more about the father they never knew. It's an unforgettable journey exploring family relationships and how the past shapes us.
I loved the complexity of the characters and how they evolved throughout the book. They have their flaws, but you ultimately understand where they're coming from. It's a tricky balance, but the author did it so well. It's unlike any other YA novel I've read and I would highly recommend it to others.
Things I liked about this book:
-Different kinds of family relationships.
-Mental health and its affect on everyone.
-Dual narrative. Henry was a gem. I would've loved to see more of him.
-The author's note at the end sharing her connection to this story.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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