The Impossibility of Us by Katy Upperman
Genre: YA Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Romance
Publication: July 31st 2018 by Swoon Reads
Series: None. Standalone.
Length: 320 pages
Format: ARC from the publisher
The last thing Elise wants is to start her senior year in a new town. But after her brother’s death in Afghanistan, she and her mother move from San Francisco to a sleepy coastal village.
When Elise meets Mati, they quickly discover how much they have in common. Mati is new to town too, visiting the U.S. with his family. Over the course of the summer, their relationship begins to blossom, and what starts out as a friendship becomes so much more.
But as Elise and Mati grow closer, her family becomes more and more uncomfortable with their relationship, and their concerns all center on one fact—Mati is Afghan.
Beautifully written, utterly compelling, and ultimately hopeful, THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF US asks—how brave can you be when your relationship is questioned by everyone you love?
Huge thanks to my friends from Fierce Reads / Macmillan International for sending me a review copy of this title in exchange for an honest review. This did not, in any way, affect my overall opinion of the book and/or the story.
One of the first few things that enticed me about Katy Upperman’s sophomore novel is it’s stunning cover. When I first saw it, I instantly grew fond of it, and, of course, I immediately checked it out on Goodreads. I knew who Katy was, since I have a few friends who have read her debut, Kissing Max Holden, and loved it, and so after finding out that it’s a contemporary with a slightly diverse cast of characters, I was very much intrigued to read, review, and feature The Impossibility of Us here on BFR. And today, I aim to do just that.
The Impossibility of Us tells the story of two characters, Elise and Mati, who are extremely easy to love and root for. Both of them were so kind and pure-hearted from the beginning up until the very last page of the story, and so I had a fairly easy time falling madly in love with them. It was hard for me to witness such a gut-wrenching love story between two people who were being torn apart by both of their families, and I have to say, it’s not like it’s a big deal since I’m a huge cry baby, but I shed so much tears for this book. I’m a sucker for a good tear-jerking read, and this book hits right the spot for me.
The way that this book talks about modern-day issues like violence and racism undoubtedly packed a punch. It’s never easy reading about people who get hurt (pretty badly, if I may add) because of other people’s unjust judgement and close-mindedness, and so this book most certainly tugged on my heartstrings. I can’t say I know how it feels to be beaten up because of the way I look or the way I talk, or generally because I’m part of a marginalized minority, and so I won’t comment on that. All I know is that it’s heartbreaking, especially because I know that this happens in real life too. And so somehow, I was impressed at how this book was able to make me feel a roller coaster of emotions all because of a universal, modern-day problem.
As for the technicalities, I loved the voice that the author was able to give both Elise and Mati (Elise’s chapters were told as narratives, and Mati’s were told as lyrical poems) and I easily grew fond of their very unique voices and so I breezed right through it’s pages. I love how fast-paced the story was, too, which, I think, is just a product of me being so undeniably impressed with each of the characters’ narration, most especially Elise’s. Just by reading her chapters, I felt just how slowly she fell in love with Mati. And I think there’s a lot to be said about a love that grows fonder with age and distance, and so, like I’ve said countless times now, I am so hopelessly in love with this story.
“The Impossibility of Us offers a heartfelt, and uniquely written slow-burn love story between two people who helplessly falls in love with one another after one serendipitous summer afternoon. But more than that, it carefully tackles relevant social problems like racism and violence, and the way that these issues came into play to help tell Elise and Mati’s story felt heartbreakingly realistic. With it’s endearing charm, easy-to-root-for characters, and distinctive story-telling, The Impossibility of Us will easily be a favorite for those in search for books that are equal parts hopeful and heartbreaking.”
Have YOU read The Impossibility of Us yet? If not, be sure to check out once it’s out on June 19th! And once you do, let me know what you think of it down below in the comments section!
Katy Upperman is a writer, wife, and a mama. She’s a Washington State University alum, an avid reader, a hiker and a yogi, a country music fan, and shopper of Target, Sephora, and any bookstore she happens upon. She loves baking, the ocean, pedicures, sunshine, Instagram, Dirty Dancing and The Princess Bride, Jelly Bellies, makeup, true crime documentaries, and Friday Night Lights.
Her books Kissing Max Holden, and The Impossibility of Us are published by Macmillan / Swoon Reads. Her third book, How the Light Gets In, is expected Summer, 2019 and she is repped by Victoria Marini of the Irene Goodman Agency.
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