Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 14 to 18
- Grade: 9 to 12
Netflix’s Never Have I Ever meets Crazy Rich Asians with a Nigerian twist in this brilliant young-adult novel about being caught in between worlds
The only things worth doing are those that will lead to success.
For seventeen-year-old Adanna Nkwachi, life is all about duty: to school and the debate team, to her Nigerian parents, and even to her cousin Genny as Ada helps prepare Genny’s wedding to Afrobeats superstar Skeleboy. Because ever since her older brother, Sam, had a fight with their parents a few years ago and disappeared, somebody has to fill the void he left behind. Ada may never know what caused Sam to leave home, but the one thing she’s certain of is that it’s on her to make sure her parents’ sacrifices aren’t in vain.
One day, chance brings the siblings back together and they start working to repair their bond. Although she fears how their parents will react if they find out, Ada is determined to get answers about the night Sam left—Sam, who was supposed to be an engineer but is now, what, a poet? The more she learns about Sam’s poetry, the more Ada begins to wonder if maybe being happy is just as important as doing what’s expected of her. Amid parental pressure, anxiety over the debate competition, a complicated love life, and the Nigerian wedding-to-end-all-weddings, can Ada learn, just this once, to put herself first?
About the author
LOUISA ONOMÉ is an organizer for the Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD), which works to bring attention to diverse authors and stories, and has previously participated in the London Writers’ Fair. Onomé, a Nigerian Canadian, holds a bachelor’s degree in professional writing from York University. She lives in the Toronto area and when not writing, she works in counselling.