Like Kissing in America, Don't Fail Me Now is a road trip book, though much less successful. Because of Una LaMarche's Like No Other a standout from 2014, I was hopeful that Don't Fail me Now would be just as revelatory and engrossing, with a strong and ambivalent main character anchoring the story. Like No Other is a brilliant romance between teenagers Devorah, a Hasidic Jew and Jaxon, a Caribbean-American, both living in Brooklyn, close together and worlds apart.
Don't Fail Me Now is about three African-American siblings with nothing to lose, crossing the country to find their ailing father in hopes that he might have an inheritance or heirloom for them.
They are joined by their white half-sister Leah and her brother Tim, who they've only just met in the parking lot of the Taco Bell where 17-year old Michelle works. This chance meeting and the Deveraux's desperation and near-homelessness motivates their desire to track down their dad.
LaMarche addreses the class and race privilege of Leah and Tim and the struggles of Michelle, Cass, and Denny, but in a rather rote way. I was excited for this book and hopeful for LaMarche to write another culture clash story but this time the characters weren't as well written and the story was too melodramatic.Posted by kathryn at January 27, 2016 01:32 PM