"The energy. The clarity. The beauty. Elisabet Velasquez brings it all. . . . Her voice is FIRE!"—NYT bestselling and award-winning author Jacqueline Woodson
An unforgettable, torrential, and hopeful debut young adult novel-in-verse that redefines what it means to "make it,” for readers of Nicholasa Mohr and Elizabeth Acevedo.
Sarai is a first-generation Puerto Rican question asker who can see with clarity the truth, pain, and beauty of the world both inside and outside her Bushwick apartment. Together with her older sister, Estrella, she navigates the strain of family traumas and the systemic pressures of toxic masculinity and housing insecurity in a rapidly gentrifying Brooklyn. Sarai questions the society around her, her Boricua identity, and the life she lives with determination and an open heart, learning to celebrate herself in a way that she has long been denied.
When We Make It is a love letter to anyone who was taught to believe that they would not make it. To those who feel their emotions before they can name them. To those who still may not have all the language but they have their story. Velasquez’ debut novel is sure to leave an indelible mark on all who read it.
I loved this book. As a New York City raised Latina, it is hard to find books about your experience in book stores. The author does an excellent job of bringing that unspoken shared experience of growing up poor and cast aside to light. But this is not a pity party for the characters of this book. Despite it all, she maintains hope and positivity throughout. I highly recommend this read.