We Are All That’s Left, by Carrie Arcos

We Are All That’s Left
Written by Carrie Arcos

This is a story about a teenage girl named Zara and her mother Nadja who is an immigrant from Bosnia. Zara and Nadja have a complicated relationship and they do not seem to agree on much of anything. Zara loves photography and her impression is that her mother hates it. Zara is frustrated because her mother won’t tell her anything of her past. Then they are victims of a terrorist attack at a farmers’ market near their home that leaves Nadja in a coma and Zara with PTSD. While Nadja is in a coma, Zara is searching through her mother’s things and finds a box of mementos of her mother’s life before she came to America. As Zara learns more about her mother’s life experiences, she begins to understand why her mother is the way she is.

This story is told in chapters that alternate between Zara’s present-day Rhode Island life and Nadja’s life in Bosnia as a teenager. It’s a beautiful story about learning to overcome struggles and tragedy and developing a connection, healing and love.

It has some swearing, including the “f” word ( 4 swears, 9 “f”). I would recommend it for High School.

Review by Susan Booth, Cottonwood High School Media Center
Rating: ★★★★½ (4.5 stars)
Interest Level: Grades 9-12

We Are All That’s Left
Written by Carrie Arcos
Philomel Books
376 pages
Release Date: May 15, 2018
A review copy was provided by the publisher.

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