This Side of Home by Renée Watson; 2015; $17.99; 326 pages; Bloomsbury, New York, NY; 978-1-59990-668-3; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Rockwood; 5/5/15-5/7/15
Why did I pick this up? A couple of friends of mine recommended this and it is set in Portland so I thought I would like it.
What is the story? African-American twin sisters Maya and Nikki have planned all their lives to graduate high school and go to Spelman College in Atlanta with their best friend Essence. Their neighborhood is changing as the demographic makeup of the area they live in changes. This is the story of their senior year in high and how things are changing for everyone in their neighborhood and what it means to live in a neighborhood that has been historically African-American but is changing. It is the story of how two twins can be much alike and much different from each other. It is a story about how plans change and sometimes it seems like the only constant in life is change. All of the characters are well rounded and three dimensional.
Did I like it? Yes, although due to some of the details being incorrect it would sometimes seem to cause a small hitch in my reading.
What is with the title of the review? The tale is set in Portland, Oregon but some of the details are wrong. Last Thursday happens on Jackson Street, not Alberta like it really does. The sisters attend Richmond High School, there is no Richmond High in Portland. I think if you are going to set a story somewhere real you should either get the details right. Some of the street names were the same as the actually are, so why not make them all the same.