Thursday, March 24, 2022

Wave - a review - 3.24.22

When you think about waves, lots of visuals may come to your mind.  The waves in the ocean - at times quiet, other times volatile.  Maybe you think of sound waves hitting your ears as you listen to music that makes you want to move.  Movement is key to waves, and that is kind of what life is, right?  It's constantly moving.  Sometimes it's quiet, other times volatile.  Sometimes it makes you move, sometimes it can move you to tears.  This book is all of that and more.

by Diana Farid
published by cameron kids
publishes March 29, 2022

I'll give it to you straight.  This is a beautiful, but heartbreaking story.  There were tears.  But it's a story that will live inside me for awhile.  This is absolutely the middle grade story I would have loved to read as a middle schooler - first love, beautiful friendships, and a story that makes you feel deep into your heart.
We meet Ava in this story.  It's the 1980s, Ava is a Persian American living in SoCal with her single mother, father is in Paris... somewhere with his new family.  Ava has a beautiful soul, but she is a character that also has flaws.  She definitely has some OCD tendencies that interrupt her day.  She also can be full of self doubt and needs reassurance from those around her.  Ava loves surfboarding and music.  She enjoys being with her BFF, Naz, who is also Persian American and understands what it's like having two feet in two cultures.  Ava's other longtime BFF, Phoenix, lives across the way and she's known him forever.  Ava's been friends with him through his bout with lymphoma, and is just becoming aware of some new feelings she has for him.  But when Phoenix's lymphoma comes back with a vengeance, Ava really learns what it means to ride the waves.
This beautiful story is told in verse with gorgeous bold line drawings by artist Kris Goto sprinkled through the pages.  I could sense the additional movement through the illustrations that come with the lyrical words.  I love the choice of it being a novel in verse because it flows so well with the idea of waves and Ava's love of music.  The different 80s music references and mixtape playlists that are included at the end of the story are perfect for the way this story reads.  It is also infused with poetry by the great Persian poet, Rumi, and they add another layer of thought into the storyline.
I highly recommend this book for middle school libraries.  This novel in verse will reach so many readers and the way it delves into the reader's heart will make it a book that will be passed around by readers!

More about author Diana Farid:
Diana Farid is the author of When You Breathe, named a 2021 Notable Poetry Book by the National Council of Teachers of English; it was also awarded the California Reading Association's 2021 EUREKA! Gold Award for nonfiction children's book.  She is a poet and a physician at Stanford University.  Wave is her first middle grade novel.  For more information, visit

Twitter and Instagram: @_artelixir

Thank you to Barbara at Blue Slip Media and cameron kids publishing for the review copy!

1 comment:

  1. Wow--this one looks beautiful! Putting it on the to-read list right away! Thanks, Michele!