My rating: 5 of 5 stars
ebook, 352 pages
Expected publication: February 12th 2013 by Knopf Books for Young ReadersSource: Netgalley
Challenges: Ebook challenge, A-Z Title challenge
'At Maquoit High School, Tom Bouchard has it made: captain and star of the soccer team, boyfriend to one of the prettiest, most popular girls, and third in his class, likely to have his pick of any college, if he ever bothers filling out his applications. But life in his idyllic small Maine town quickly gets turned upside down after the events of 9/11.
Enniston has become a "secondary migration" location for Somali refugees, who are seeking a better life after their country was destroyed by war—they can no longer go home. Tom hasn't thought much about his Somali classmates until four of them join the soccer team, including Saeed. He comes out of nowhere on the field to make impossible shots, and suddenly the team is winning, dominating even; but when Saeed's eligibility is questioned and Tom screws up in a big way, he's left to grapple with a culture he doesn't understand and take responsibility for his actions. Saeed and his family came out of nowhere and vanish just as quickly. And Tom may find himself going nowhere, too, if he doesn't start trying to get somewhere.'
I cannot express in words adequately enough just how much I enjoyed this book. It's not usual practice for me to struggle with writing a review because I just don't know where to begin due to there being so many aspects I enjoyed about a book, but that is the case here.
Out of Nowhere centres around the teenage character, Tom Bouchard and his small town which is coming to terms with the sudden influx of Somali refugees.
Tom is a very likeable and mature character and overall a good guy. He isn't swayed by the thoughts and actions of others and is strong enough to make up his own mind and stand up for what he believes in. He befriends one of his Somali classmates, Saeed, and as he gets to know Saeed and his family, their culture and belief systems in more detail he has his eyes opened to the hardships they have endured and overcome to try and make their new life in America. After a bout of community service also sees Tom put in the position as a homework tutor for a young Somali boy, Abdi, Tom is introduced into a whole new world that he never would have been a part of before.
Throughout the story you see the strength in Tom's character as he overcomes his own personal obstacles as well as defending his new Somali friends against his own family, school friends and other town citizens who see them more as an incovenience to the town than anything else.
I thought the writing in Out of Nowhere was exceptional and so engaging at times that I had a lot of trouble drawing myself away from reading. Funnily enough, this isn't the sort of book I usually read and that is why I think it surprised me so much.
This is a very eye opening book that centres around a very real and current issue. It makes the reader see it all from a point of view that not many would get to and in my opinion it would be a great book for all high school students to read. I would also recommend it for anyone who enjoys a great book with an engaging storyline that will make you think long after you finish reading it.