I really enjoyed this story of twin sisters and their like-a-sister friend.
This Side of Home follows Maya, Essence, and Nikki through their senior year of high school, as their neighborhood transforms. Gentrification has brought some things they love – like some safer walks home and fun places to shop – and some things they hate – like high rents, the devaluation of their neighborhood’s history, and new school administrators who possibly mean well but get it wrong. The girls are also growing up, and that means becoming themselves as individuals and seeking their own individual adult goals.
Some of Watson’s writing in this book is so beautiful, poetic. The girls and many of the other characters are deep and real, expressing themselves in nuanced ways on some really difficult topics. There were places where I wanted to write down how some of these kids talked with and tried to understand one another. Reading this together with teens you love could open up some interesting and important conversations. It’s also just a really good read.