I’m not one to give up on a book even if it’s not thrilling me. If reading it feels like a chore, then it’s not fun and I know it is time to DNF the book. Unfortunately, the book Dear Haiti, Love Alaine by Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite is my first DNF of 2019. I wanted so badly to enjoy this book, but it just feel short of my expectations.
It’s true that contemporary isn’t my favorite genre, but usually the ones I pick are amazing! I found Dear Haiti, Love Alaine on NetGalley and when I read the description I thought it sounded like an amazing story about a young teen dealing with the fallout of a poor choice on a school project and a hard topic that includes a health issue with her mother. I loved the idea that the book was about Haiti and raising voices for it, as it’s very rare to find books set in Haiti.
One issue not with the writing itself but the formatting of the ebook, is that some of the paragraphs are out of order so you have to search through the recent pages to make the storyline fit. The different font colors and font styles are a bit distracting.
As for the actual story, I felt that Alaine was a solid character but her use of humor as a defense mechanism was a little bit overdone. Now I’m not sure if that was the intent of the author’s, but it made it very hard for me to relate to Alaine. I loved her father and would have liked to see more of a story with him, and maybe he is more prevalent in the second half of the book. Celeste is a great character, Alaine’s mom, I love that she is a news journalist and is this strong, fiery woman. Loved that Alaine was getting the chance to reconnect with her mother after an incident on Celeste’s news show, and after a sad discovery, even though she was sent to Haiti as punishment for causing such an incident at school. Alaine’s Tati Estelle (her Aunt) has an important role in Haiti as the Haitian Minister of Tourism and CEO of Patron Pal an app to help the poor in Haiti to make a change. Estelle has agreed to give Alaine an internship on her team in hopes that Alaine learns enough information to redo her school project to show that she’s learned her lesson and now has more respect and knowledge for her country of origin. Although the constant switch of email/postcard and narration was a little hard to follow for me.
I wanted so much to like this book, and maybe once it’s out in print I will give it another try, but for now I’m having to DNF it. Sorry Harlequin Teen and my apologies to the authors. Thank you so much for the chance to read Dear Haiti, Love Alaine.
Some books aren’t for everyone, and that’s ok! Just remember not to force yourself to read a book you aren’t enjoying and that it is absolutely fine to DNF the book. On to the next read! Happy Reading!! 🤓