Dear Haiti, Love Alaine by Maika Moulite, Maritza Moulite
Synopsis: Co-written by sisters Maika and Maritza Moulite, and told in epistolary style through letters, articles, emails, and diary entries, this exceptional debut novel captures a sparkling new voice and irrepressible heroine in a celebration of storytelling sure to thrill fans of Nicola Yoon, Ibi Zoboi and Jenna Evans Welch!
When a school presentation goes very wrong, Alaine Beauparlant finds herself suspended, shipped off to Haiti and writing the report of a lifetime…
You might ask the obvious question: What do I, a seventeen-year-old Haitian American from Miami with way too little life experience, have to say about anything?
Actually, a lot.
Thanks to “the incident” (don’t ask), I’m spending the next two months doing what my school is calling a “spring volunteer immersion project.” It’s definitely no vacation. I’m toiling away under the ever-watchful eyes of Tati Estelle at her new nonprofit. And my lean-in queen of a mother is even here to make sure I do things right. Or she might just be lying low to dodge the media sharks after a much more public incident of her own…and to hide a rather devastating secret.
All things considered, there are some pretty nice perks…like flirting with Tati’s distractingly cute intern, getting actual face time with my mom and experiencing Haiti for the first time. I’m even exploring my family’s history—which happens to be loaded with betrayals, superstitions and possibly even a family curse.
You know, typical drama. But it’s nothing I can’t handle.
Publication Date: September 3rd, 2019
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Links: Amazon/Book Depository/Goodreads
I wasn’t really sure what to think about this novel especially since I haven’t heard too much things about this book, and read a little bit of mix reviews. Though, I have to stop doing that especially if people have no taste in diverse novels.
Looking at you of some of my favorite books with very low ratings. I also read one of my favorite reviews that helped me pick up this book quickly (check out Rae’s review of this book!)
I wasn’t expecting too much of this book-but it actually kinda surpassed my expectations which was a little low due to reasons. I actually liked it including the witty, and snarky Alaine who is sent to Haiti due to a class presentation gone wrong. I really enjoyed her character for the most part especially as she learns more about the things about Haiti and her family including the family curse that supposedly curses her family (very true in this book!)
For the most part, Alaine’s character was really good until I read a few parts in the beginning where I was getting really upset and wanted to throw this book against the wall. It was mainly due to Alaine’s behavior that done it, and the lack of care for another student who she didn’t care who is allergic to a lot of things. I didn’t really like the part, especially as it was really messed up and I wished she felt some remorse towards her actions.
If there was something else I really liked was that Alaine was really curious about the family curse that wrecks havoc on her family. I loved the curiousity and how she wanted to stop it from happening to her. I also felt like the curse was actually really well-done and kept me flipping through the pages quickly because I needed to know if there was some sort of resolution to it.
I’m a little confused on the ending a little bit as I’m not sure where it was meant to go. It kinda felt rushed and there was a few things that I wished it was clear about towards the end. It made me a little frustrated because there was no clear answer to this book, and I wished things were wrapped up to where I understood it and actually gave us some resolution.
The writing was seamless and so well-done. I actually liked that this book is told in journal entries, letters and all that instead of a normal story. It makes this story come off as being unique minus the fact that this book is set in Haiti! It also made me to keep reading because there was always something that I needed to know what happened! I was so invested in this book and it was actually pretty good!
Like I mentioned before, this book is set in Haiti and I really loved the setting 😍. I loved how Haiti was described especially by these ownvoices writers. I could really feel the love for this country pouring out from every page and the way it was described. I don’t know much about it, but it actually makes me want to go there and experience it for myself.
I wasn’t sure what to expect about this book, but it really impressed me. I liked how witty and snarky Alaine was, and her behavior to some things. There was one specific moment where I got really mad at her and didn’t really like that she didn’t feel any remorse towards her actions. I love that Alaine cared about the family curse and wanted to know more about it. It was one of the best even if it wasn’t exactly clear towards the end. The ending was a little confusing and kinda felt rushed. I loved the uniqueness towards this book telling it in journal entries, letters and all that. What makes this book unique is that this book is set in Haiti and the love pouring out of the pages from these ownvoices writers was really awesome.
TW: Voodoo, Alzheimer, death of an animal (on-page), micro-aggression towards Haitain-Americans, divorce, mention of parental death, mention of slaves & slavery, miscarriage, blood, hospitalization, mention of colonialism, mention of car accident, death of a child, ablest language, smoking, vomit, grief
Rep: Mentally ill Side character, Haitian Cast (MC+Side characters)
Ownvoices Haitian authors
Set in Haiti
About the Author:
Bio: Maika Moulite is a Miami native and daughter of Haitian immigrants. She earned a bachelor’s in marketing from Florida State University and an MBA from the University of Miami. When she’s not using her digital prowess to help nonprofits and major organizations tell their stories online, she’s writing stories of her own. She also blogs at Daily Ellement, a lifestyle website featuring everything from diverse inspirational women to career guidance. She’s the oldest of four sisters and loves Young Adult fantasy, fierce female leads, and laughing.
Bio: Maritza Moulite graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor’s in women’s studies and the University of Southern California with a master’s in journalism. She’s worked in various capacities for NBC News, CNN, and USA TODAY. An admirer of Michelle Obama, Maritza is a perpetual student and blogs at Daily Ellement as well. Her favorite song is “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire.
Have you read this book? Want to read it? Have you read a story set in Haiti by Haitian authors? Tell me in the comments!
About the Blogger:
Lori is an advocate for all things diverse to help those who are in the margins. She loves reading, but music holds a dear place in her heart. She is a teenager in high school, a feminist, and is in the LGBTQ+ community. Uses she/her or they/them pronouns 🌈