The Impossibility of Us
Swoon Reads/Macmillan, July 31, 2018
The last thing Elise wants is to start her senior year in a new town. But after her brother’s death in Afghanistan, she and her mother move from San Francisco to a sleepy coastal village. When Elise meets Mati, they quickly discover how much they have in common. Mati is new to town too, visiting the U.S. with his family.
Over the course of the summer, their relationship begins to blossom, and what starts out as a friendship becomes so much more. But as Elise and Mati grow closer, her family becomes more and more uncomfortable with their relationship, and their concerns all center on one fact—Mati is Afghan.
Beautifully written, utterly compelling, and ultimately hopeful, The Impossibility of Us asks—how brave can you be when your relationship is questioned by everyone you love?
~ Gina Ciocca, author of Last Year’s Mistake, Busted, and A Kiss in the Dark
The Impossibility of Us is such a sweet story of tolerance, hope, and love. It’s a timely one too. As we mourn the rise of bigotry and xenophobia, stories like this offer reassurance that there is still goodness in the human spirit. Katy Upperman does not shy away from including problematic opinions among her characters, but she also shares intelligent, thoughtful and poetic responses to them. This is the age old story of star cross’d lovers retold beautifully for the challenging world we live in today.
~ Caroline Leech, author of Wait For Me and In Another Time
Tender, romantic and realistic, The Impossibility of Us is the story of a strong girl growing stronger and a boy surrendering to the power of a love that seems impossible… It will linger in your mind and your heart.
~ Huntley Fitzpatrick, author of My Life Next Door, What I Thought Was True, and The Boy Most Likely To
Katy Upperman’s The Impossibility of Us runs the gamut, from laughs to swoons, from goosebumps to tears. It’s a soaring, beautiful romance, for sure, but there are also so many powerful messages about loss, desertion, racism, tolerance, love, equality, selflessness, friendship, family, and kindness. Touching, well written, and impressively honest, The Impossibility of Us is not to be missed.
~ Marci Lyn Curtis, author of The One Thing and The Leading Edge of Now
What could have been a clichéd, tired romance novel will surprise readers with depth of character and a unique layout. The chapters alternate: Elise’s in narrative prose and Mati’s in verse. The protagonists share their cultural and language differences with each other, setting aside surrounding discrimination and prejudices. Elise learns about Afghanistan and Pashto, releases her resentment and intolerance, and finds healing as she grieves her brother’s death. Mati navigates how to fulfill his familial and faith obligations while staying true to himself and his passions. This book tackles several heavy subjects as the author explores religious and ethnic intolerance, bigotry, fear, and lack of fairness. Though Upperman uses traditional romance tropes, readers will find the story meaty, satisfying, and enlightening. This surprising and worthwhile romance is a solid choice to add to any teen collection.
Elise is passionate and caring and inquisitive, and isn’t afraid to admit—and then change—when she’s ignorant or wrong. Plenty of people could take a page out of her book on how to be compassionate humans. Elise and Mati are quickly intrigued by each other, but because of Mati’s religious beliefs and his life back in Afghanistan, it takes a while before anything physical manifests. But this just means a graze or a glance is that much more charged. And it gives them an opportunity to get to the really sexy stuff: understanding one another emotionally and connecting deeper on an intellectual level. Upperman crafted a great summer romance, combining the headiness of finding someone and falling in love over just a few months with the bittersweet of knowing summer—and possibly that relationship—has a definite end. I devoured this book in an evening and it left me with a smile by the end.
~ Forever YA for Kirkus
Don’t expect the same story that you read in Kissing Max Holden. Sure, the characters faced impossible odds (hence the title) like in KMH, but Upperman explored different avenues of her writing. I fell head-over-heels for the love interest, Mati. One of my favorite parts of the book was his voice. Instead of prose, he told his story through poetry. It was eloquent and beautiful, and it perfectly encapsulated Mati’s essence. Your heart will break reading this book, but it will also soar. You’ll question everything you’ve imagined about difficult relationships, look at your own self in a new light, but you’ll also fall in love.
~ Moriah’s Musings
…an adorable story about falling for a boy and realizing what love really is, while also having to deal with your respective families and addressing the prejudices that they have against one another. If you’re looking for your next beach read that will grip you and have you flipping the pages quickly, laughing, crying, gasping and even swooning, then this is definitely the book for you!
There’s a lot to love in this beachy read about a summer romance, in which the two main characters face unusual complications due to circumstance, culture, and prejudice… I found myself rooting for Mati and Elise to make things work against all odds — and while the book is filled with plenty of heartache, I found it ultimately hopeful and uplifting.
~ Novel Novice
This sophomore offering was another huge hit from Katy Upperman, and at this point I’ll read anything this lady writes.
~ Pages and Pugs (this review’s GIF game is 👌🏼)
Katy Upperman has done it again. As much as I loved her debut novel, Kissing Max Holden, The Impossibility of Us has more depth, packs more of an emotional punch, and made a visceral impact that had me wiping away tears. Upperman managed to engage my mind and my heart in this beautiful tale of friendship and first love, tolerance and acceptance. She has deftly created a story that is timely and relevant and equal parts heartbreaking and hopeful. The Impossibility of Us is one that is not to be missed.
~ Girl Plus Books
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Kissing Max Holden
Swoon Reads/Macmillan, August 1st, 2017
After his father has a life-altering stroke, Max Holden isn’t himself. As his long-time friend, Jillian Eldridge wants to help him, but she doesn’t know how. When Max climbs through her window one night, Jill knows that she shouldn’t let him kiss her. But she can’t resist, and when they’re caught in the act by her dad, Jill swears it’ll never happen again. Because kissing Max Holden is a terrible idea.
With a new baby sibling on the way, her parents fighting all the time, and her dream of culinary school up in the air, Jill starts spending more and more time with Max. And even though her father disapproves and Max still has a girlfriend, not kissing Max is easier said than done. Will Jill follow her heart and allow their friendship to blossom into something more, or will she listen to her head and stop kissing Max Holden once and for all?
Full of wit, humor, and spine-tingling smooches, Kissing Max Holden combines the classic themes of contemporary romance with riveting family drama. I literally could not put this book down and would buy a physical copy for my shelf in a heartbeat. I can’t wait to read what Katy writes next.
~ Erin Bowman, author of Vengeance Road and the Taken Trilogy
Sarah Dessen fans rejoice — you are going to love Kissing Max Holden!
~ Lisa Schroeder, author of Chasing Brooklyn
In her debut, Kissing Max Holden, Katy Upperman weaves a story that crackles with romantic tension while exploring complex issues through real, flawed, lovable characters. Full of humor and heart, this one is sure to be a new favorite for contemporary lovers!
~ Jessi Kirby, author of Things We Know By Heart
A moving book with depth, Kissing Max Holden is perfect for readers wanting a strong female character in a realistic romance. Wonderfully written and swoony.
~ Miranda Kenneally, author of Catching Jordan and Jesse’s Girl
Kissing Max Holden is like the perfect slice of pumpkin pie: it’s equal parts sweet and spicy, and you can’t get enough of it! What a treat!
~ Jessica Love, author of In Real Life
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How the Light Gets In
Swoon Reads/Macmillan, August 6, 2019
Since her sister’s tragic death, seventeen-year-old Callie Ryan has basically given up. Her grades have plummeted, she’s quit her swim team, and she barely recognizes the people her parents have become.
When she returns to her aunt’s run-down coastal Victorian one year after Chloe’s death, Callie resigns herself to a summer of guilt and home renovations. She doesn’t expect to be charmed by the tiny coastal town or by Tucker Morgan, a local boy brimming with sunshine.
But even as her days begin to brighten, Callie’s nights are crowded with chilling dreams, unanswered questions, and eerie phenomenon that have her convinced she’s being haunted. Will Callie be able to figure out what her sister is trying to communicate before it’s too late?