Author: Daniel Aleman
Narrator: Adan Rochon
Publication Date: 04 May 2021
Genre: YA Contemporary
Length: 8 hours 35 minutes
Publisher: Hachette Audio
A timely, moving debut novel about a teen’s efforts to keep his family together as his parents face deportation.
Mateo Garcia and his younger sister, Sophie, have been taught to fear one word for as long as they can remember: deportation. Over the past few years, however, the fear that their undocumented immigrant parents could be sent back to Mexico has started to fade. Ma and Pa have been in the United States for so long, they have American-born children, and they’re hard workers and good neighbors. When Mateo returns from school one day to find that his parents have been taken by ICE, he realizes that his family’s worst nightmare has become a reality. With his parents’ fate and his own future hanging in the balance, Mateo must figure out who he is and what he is capable of, even as he’s forced to question what it means to be an American.
Daniel Aleman’s Indivisible is a remarkable story — both powerful in its explorations of immigration in America and deeply intimate in its portrait of a teen boy driven by his fierce, protective love for his parents and his sister.
This is one of those books that I experienced such a myriad of emotions in a short time frame that once I finished, I just needed to sit with my thoughts and process everything.
Indivisible is a story that follows the life of Mexican-American Mateo Garcia (a high schooler) and his younger sister Sophie (an elementary schooler). After carefully concealing the truth of their citizenship status for decades, Mateo’s parents are taken away by ICE leaving Mateo and Sophie to their own devices. Mateo and Sophie quickly learn the cruelties of the immigration system and the sacrifices that must be made in order to have a better life.
I will not be able to sufficiently unpack everything that this book contains in this review. This book covers examines illegal immigration, what it means to be American, the “American Dream”, racial injustice, xenophobia, queerness, etc.
It was heart wrenching to see Mateo going from a regular teenage boy to chasing his dreams of attending Tisch and becoming a Broadway sensation to figuring out how to parent his sister who has completely withdrawn from a place where their parents can no longer live. The fear, anxiety, and PTSD were palpable.
One of the aspects of this story that I absolutely loved was showing the importance of support groups. In this case, it was Mateo’s community (originally set up by their parents) and friends who came together to ensure that him and Sophie wouldn’t end up another statistic, and I absolutely loved it.
I don’t want to give anything else away. This is definitely one of those books that I think should be a must read for people because it really is an eye-opening coming of age story that really sheds light onto some of the very real situations that kids are living through right now.
Thank you Hachette Audio for providing an advanced listening copy through NetGalley. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.
Grab your copy of Indivisible here!
Daniel Aleman was born and raised in Mexico City. A graduate of McGill University, he is
passionate about books, coffee, and dogs. After spending time in Montreal and the New York City
area, he now lives in Toronto, where he is on a never-ending search for the best tacos in the city.
Indivisible is his first novel.