I Miss You, I Hate This

Little, Brown/Poppy. Oct. 2022. 352p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780316629829.
Gr 9 Up–This is a unique twist on a pandemic story: the world is on the brink of a global pandemic, only this time it disproportionately affects teens. The story centers on a group of high school seniors, and is set in modern-day America, in an affluent school district near the San Francisco Bay area. Parisa is prone to panic attacks, and is living a life of privilege with indulgent parents who immigrated from Iran as children. Gabriela, who is not as well off, has two mothers who are definitely not indulgent; in fact, they are very strict with her. Her moms are first-generation Americans, disowned by their Catholic Mexican families for being gay. The difference in family incomes is just one of the things that quickly becomes apparent as the pandemic spreads and the best friends keep in touch virtually. Not everybody makes it through alive; others are left regretting the consequences of their actions. Fans of books such as Joseph Bruchac’s Rez Dogs will like this twist on the pandemic and how it affects everything: friendship, romance, and the world at large.
VERDICT A compelling read that will create a lot of discussion about the experience of living through and surviving a pandemic.

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