Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Book Review: The Border

Title The Border
Author Steve Schafer
Release Date September 5, 2017

One moment changed their lives forever.

A band plays, glasses clink, and four teens sneak into the Mexican desert, the hum of celebration receding behind them.

Crack. Crack. Crack.

Not fireworks―gunshots. The music stops. And Pato, Arbo, Marcos, and Gladys are powerless as the lives they once knew are taken from them.

Then they are seen by the gunmen. They run. Except they have nowhere to go. The narcos responsible for their families' murders have put out a reward for the teens' capture. Staying in Mexico is certain death, but attempting to cross the border through an unforgiving desert may be as deadly as the secrets they are trying to escape...

What drives someone to flee their country? What drives someone to leave everything they've ever known? What drives someone to risk their lives to get to a country that may ultimately turn its back on them? Unlike anything else I've ever read, The Border gives us a fictional look at what drove four teens to make the decision to cross.

In the author's note at the end, he says "This political discourse often loses sight of the individuals at the heart of the issue. [...] They leave desperate situations to find an opportunity for a better life. And they risk everything along the way." That couldn't be more true for our main characters in the novel. I think Schafer does a fantastic job at providing a candid look at a heavy situation that most never to get to see.

The best way that I can think of to describe The Border is heartbreaking, but with hope of better. It's an emotional read that feels pretty on point in terms of realism. I highly recommend it.


* This book was received from Sourcebooks Fire via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. *

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