I don’t usually like novels in verse, I tend to resonate more with prose novels, but sometimes, a verse novel just hits me right in my feels. This is one of those books.
Thank you to Feiwel and Friends and NetGalley for providing me with an e-ARC for review! This is an honest, spoiler free review and all thoughts and feelings are my own.
Me (Moth) by Amber McBride
Published: August 17, 2021
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Genre: YA Paranormal Fantasy
A debut YA novel-in-verse that is both a coming-of-age and a ghost story.
Moth has lost her family in an accident. Though she lives with her aunt, she feels alone and uprooted.
Until she meets Sani, a boy who is also searching for his roots. If he knows more about where he comes from, maybe he’ll be able to understand his ongoing depression. And if Moth can help him feel grounded, then perhaps she too will discover the history she carries in her bones.
Moth and Sani take a road trip that has them chasing ghosts and searching for ancestors. The way each moves forward is surprising, powerful, and unforgettable.
Here is an exquisite and uplifting novel about identity, first love, and the ways that our memories and our roots steer us through the universe.
Diving in, I completely forgot this was a paranormal story and was a little surprised by the ending. Up until that point, I was vibing with the book, following the journey of these two souls trying to find themselves and understand their feelings through music and dance. Once the paranormal aspect was introduced I was like, “wait, what?” and realized I’m dumb and didn’t read the literal top line of the synopsis. The tag line says it all lol
Getting passed my forgetfulness, this book has a lot of feelings. There are immense feelings of grief and guilt in this book and that can be really hard for people. It’s clear that Moth and Sani are experiencing a lot of confusion based on their feelings and having trouble accepting what they’re feeling. Moth struggles with the loss of her family and of her life – she was on track to go to Juilliard for dance. She loved where she lived in New York. All of that since changed as she moves to the South to live with her aunt.
Moth feels ignored and alone, until she meets Sani. It’s clear that they feel drawn to each other – their souls are intertwined as they just understand what the other is feeling. Moth lost her love for dance, while Sani lost his love for singing. Both extremely talented and struggling to overcome what they’re going through.
I loved the journey these two take and I loved the ending of this book. Throughout their road trip journey to New Mexico, we get stories about Moth’s gray-bearded grandfather who practiced Hoodoo (or also known as Rootwork), and Navajo stories from Sani. I’ve only read one other book with Hoodoo in it (Legenborn by Tracy Deonn if you haven’t read it) so I’m not knowledgable at all on it. Same with the tales and stories from the Navajo nation. But, I really enjoyed learning more about them and getting to see different cultures through this story.
By the end, I was almost in tears. The culmination of emotions in this story rose to a climax and I almost lost it. Verse and poetry in general just have a way of amplifying feelings and making me emotional. I don’t know what about it causes me to get so soft and mushy, but this story was no exception. If you haven’t tried verse novels yet, give them a go! You might end up really liking them.
If you want a more contemporary verse novel, check out Blood Moon by Lucy Cuthew!
You can find my spoiler free review here:
Blood Moon review