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The Deep Blue Between - Review


*I received an e-arc and audio copy from Lerner Publishers via NetGalley. All reviews are my own.*


Such a tiny book packs a punch in my latest book review, The Deep Blue Between by Ayesha Harruna Attah. I was drawn in by the premise of twin sisters being separated during a raid that landed them in slavery, and I was interested in how the story would shape once these twins found each other. Unfortunately, the book fell a little bit flat for me.


I read and listened to the audio and e-galley to fulfill my needs, so NetGalley, you're getting double reviews from me! I listened to the lovely Zoleka Vundla narrate the lives of Hassana and Husseina. I could never tell which twin I was focusing on at times (thank God for the chapter titles), but Vundla did a good job bringing the story to life.


"Twin sisters Hassana and Husseina have always shared their lives.
But after a raid on their village in 1892, the twins are torn apart. Taken in different directions, far from their home in rural West Africa, each sister finds freedom and a new start. Hassana settles in in the city of Accra, where she throws herself into working for political and social change. Husseina travels to Salvador, Brazil, where she becomes immersed in faith, worshipping spirits that bridge the motherland and the new world. Separated by an ocean, they forge new families, ward off dangers, and begin to truly know themselves.
As the twins pursue their separate paths, they remain connected through their shared dreams. But will they ever manage to find each other again?"

TDBB didn't turn out the way I thought it would. I thought I'd see grit and hardship. When I see stories about children being dropped into slavery, I always root for the discomfort a character must endure while trying to survive. It sounds crazy, but it makes it that much more satisfying when the characters achieve the goals they set. While the characters in The Deep Blue Between did reach their objectives, it wasn't the big huzzah I was looking for. In ways, this story reminds me of a watered-down version of Her Name is Knight.



I did enjoy the girl's journey of learning about religion and faith. When we connect slavery with religion, it's always forced teachings to diminish whatever God or Devil they worshiped. Here, the girls got a chance to explore and choose whether they believed in the creed and wanted to practice it. It was the purest form of curiosity I saw without a child being called disrespectful or offensive. I also liked the twin's connection through their dreams. I always found it fascinating that two people will always be connected because they share the same DNA. That will always be a mythical wonder to me.


I had to laugh at one of the twin's demeanor in my cynical way. The one in Brazil was living her best life and did not care whether her sister was still alive or not. The other sister is stressing her life away, trying to reconnect, while the other is dancing for the Orisha Gods for acceptance. It was interesting to find out why her demeanor was this way.


In turn, I didn't know how I felt about the book. One minute I'm super into it, and then the next, I'm bored. It read very middle grade. It had a little childlike suspense, like we were about to see something devastating and epic, but it lulls as the author shies away from further trauma. I gave this book 3-stars.



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