Love in English by Maria E. Andreu; narrated by Frankie Corzo
Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: February 1, 2021
Sixteen year-old Ana and her mom arrive in New Jersey from Argentina to reunite with Ana’s father, who has been in the United States for three years. Ana starts her junior year in a new country, in a new school, speaking a new language, and has to navigate her new surroundings. Ana makes a couple friends but grounds herself by writing poetry, which she uses to help her understand American conventions at school as well as shifting relationships at home.
This heartwarming story shows the struggles of adjusting to life on a different continent. While it sets itself up as a high school romance with a classic love triangle theme, the text adeptly deals with immigrant issues and the struggle to “fit in.” Ana switches between English and Spanish and poignantly examines the language differences she encounters. Abreu’s text eloquently depicts the struggles of English Language Learners, a theme which is enhanced by Corzo’s thoughtful narration. Corzo handles Spanish and English well, giving the reader a sense of how Ana moves through her world in both languages.
Fans of Nicola Yoon and Jenny Han will enjoy the romance story as well as the cultural awareness that is so present in this novel. Readers who enjoyed stories of immigrant families, such as Love, Hate, & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed and American Betiya by Anuradha D. Rajurkar will find similarities in the themes of this book.
— Annie Jansen
Other Nominated Titles
- One Life by Megan Rapinoe; narrated by Megan Rapinoe (November 10, 2020)
- Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley; narrated by Isabella Star LeBlanc (March 16, 2021)
- Muted by Tami Charles; narrated by Tami Charles (February 2, 2021)
- These Violent Delights (Book 1) by Chloe Gong; narrated by Cindy Kay (January 26, 2021)
- Singled Out: The True Story of Glenn Burke by Andrew Maraniss; narrated by Kevin R. Free (March 2, 2021)
- Good Girl, Bad Blood: Series: A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, Book 2 by Holly Jackson; narrated by MacLeod Andrews, Donte Bonner, James Fouhey, Neil Hellegers, Cary Hite, Amy Landon, Raymond J. Lee, Keylor Leigh, Maggi-Meg Reed, Shezi Sardar, & Bailey Carr (March 2, 2021)
The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.
Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten. The previous years’ lists are available on The Hub.