Friday, October 25, 2019

BLOG TOUR: What Makes Us by Rafi Mittlefehldt

Welcome to the Official Blog Tour for What Makes Us by Rafi Mittlefehldt! Today, on our tour stop, we have a review AND a tour-wide giveaway to share!! So... Check it out and grab your copy now!!! Follow the tour, HERE!

Young Adult
Contemporary Fiction
Publish Date:
October 15, 2019

A viral video reveals a teen’s dark family history, leaving him to reckon with his heritage, legacy, and identity in this fiery, conversation-starting novel.

Eran Sharon knows nothing of his father except that he left when Eran was a baby. Now a senior in high school and living with his protective but tight-lipped mother, Eran is a passionate young man deeply interested in social justice and equality. When he learns that the Houston police have launched a program to increase traffic stops, Eran organizes a peaceful protest.

But a heated moment at the protest goes viral, and a reporter connects the Sharon family to a tragedy fifteen years earlier — and asks if Eran is anything like his father, a supposed terrorist. Soon enough, Eran is wondering the same thing, especially when the people he’s gone to school and temple with for years start to look at him differently.

Timely, powerful, and full of nuance, Rafi Mittlefehldt’s sophomore novel confronts the prejudices, fears, and strengths of family and community, striking right to the heart of what makes us who we are.



Praise for WHAT MAKES US

What Makes Us is a heart-stopping, heartbreaking read — a book full of heart. Mittlefehldt’s thoughtful, nuanced exploration of identity pulled me in from the very first page, and I could barely put it down. Eran’s story takes a universal coming-of-age theme — finding out your parents aren’t who you thought they were — to a tightly wound and thrilling extreme. Most important, this book provides satisfying, much-needed representation of a contemporary, complex Jewish teen and his family. ― Lisa Rosinsky, author of Inevitable and Only

Provocative. ― Kirkus Reviews  


**About the Author**
Photo Credit: Damien Mittlefehldt
Rafi Mittlefehldt is a writer who has worked as a newspaper reporter, freelance theater critic, and children’s author. His debut novel was It Looks Like This.

Rafi Mittlefehldt lives with his husband in New York City.

Shortly after the horrific Boston Marathon bombings in 2013, I read an article that mentioned one of the bombers having left behind a wife and three-year-old daughter. It was a throwaway line, but it stuck with me — I couldn’t stop thinking about that girl, who was too young to understand what had happened. When would she find out who her father was, and how would she process that? How would others react to learning about her family history? Would she keep it a secret? Would her mother?

What Makes Us began very simply as a story exploring those questions. But as I fleshed out the two main characters, Eran and Jade, their personalities took the story deeper, toward matters that are personal to me but relatable to so many. Eran’s volatility and tendency to react instinctively force him to confront issues of impulse control and anger management. And both characters’ uncertainty regarding their own pasts compels them to wrestle with self-determination and to ask, What makes a person? As the novel switches between Eran’s and Jade’s perspectives, we see them reluctantly frame and then try to answer this question, all against the backdrop of a community on the brink of chaos. 

Stay connected with Rafi Mittlefehldt


*My Thoughts*

Note: This Review contains NO spoilers

What Makes Us is a story of growth for these young adults facing very real social issues that society is faced with every day. Told from the young minds of these characters, it can also be viewed as a coming-of-age story where these teens are faced with the struggle of identity. This story has a very compelling view on the very complex dynamics of family of any ethinicity, religion, and/or culture...etc., etc. In particular, readers will get a view of the complexities of these jewish teens struggling to identify who they are in today's society with the social issues they are faced with in their lives. With its well-written characters and settings, What Makes Us is a vivid and convincing coming-of-age drama told in various points of views.

What Makes Us is a very compelling story of identity and social issues and how these characters dealt with it within themselves and others. A story with a very profound and potent social message for the minds of the youths of today. I would also say that What Makes Us does not just focus on the young minds only, but also, it tells of the adults that affects their lives as well. 

My rating:


***The Giveaway***

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