Americanized: Rebel Without a Green Card

Americanized: Rebel Without a Green Card

At thirteen, bright-eyed, straight-A student Sara Saedi uncovered a terrible family secret: she was breaking the law simply by living in the United States. Only two years old when her parents fled Iran, she didn’t learn of her undocumented status until her older sister wanted to apply for an after-school job, but couldn’t because she didn’t have a Social Security number.Fe...

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Title:Americanized: Rebel Without a Green Card
Author:Sara Saedi
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Americanized: Rebel Without a Green Card Reviews

  • Erin ღYour YA Readerღ

    🍪🍪🍪🍪🍪

    5 Cookies

    First off. This book was amazing. I honestly should end it at that and call it a day but... I won't allow myself! This book is the first ARC I have rated 5 full cookies. That is saying something! I was in absolute love from page one.

    This book is about one teen's experience growing up in America without a green card. I wanted to start with the overall book first then work my way into the characters. S

    🍪🍪🍪🍪🍪

    5 Cookies

    First off. This book was amazing. I honestly should end it at that and call it a day but... I won't allow myself! This book is the first ARC I have rated 5 full cookies. That is saying something! I was in absolute love from page one.

    This book is about one teen's experience growing up in America without a green card. I wanted to start with the overall book first then work my way into the characters. So here goes: This overall story was incredible. (I still don't understand some of the bad reviews! This book was flawless.) I usually don't go for this genre of books but I'm really glad I did. It was hilarious. I was able to relate to some of the things she went through as a teenager.

    This book also was sad. The things this family went through was extreamly sad. But they were an awesome family together. (I'll get into this later!) I really like the way she put in little history tid bits. This was important to me because I really wanted to learn more on this issue specifically. So I give these books two thumbs up. (I would give it more if I actually had more thumbs...)

    Now let's address the characters. All the characters that Sarah used in this book are real, and they did influence her life. Now I'm not going to anylyze these characters like in a fiction novel because of this. Now! My favorite character in this book is... Well I technically should say characters but whatever. The family! Why you ask? This family loved each other so much. The parents gave up everything, just so that their children grew up living in America in freedom. There love for their children in this book was apparent. It's really how they showed their love that made my heart melt. This sister relationship was GOALSS!?? Am I right! Loved this relationship as well... Ok. I really liked every single relashinship that involved family and there are too many so I'm just going to leave it as that.

    Gosh. Well I think I hit all the points I needed to hit. So that's going to be the end of this review but I cannot stress enough of how much I really love this book. I would totally reccommend this book and everyone should read it!

  • A.R. Hellbender

    I would like to preface this review by saying that I am half Iranian. I’ve sadly never been to Iran, but my mom was an immigrant to the US at age 18.

    This book taught me things I didn’t even know about the Iranian culture, and made me smile about the aspects I was familiar with. I also learned a lot about what it’s like to be an undocumented immigrant and applying for citizenship, which is not a perspective that I had read much from. Because this story is told from someone who actually had that

    I would like to preface this review by saying that I am half Iranian. I’ve sadly never been to Iran, but my mom was an immigrant to the US at age 18.

    This book taught me things I didn’t even know about the Iranian culture, and made me smile about the aspects I was familiar with. I also learned a lot about what it’s like to be an undocumented immigrant and applying for citizenship, which is not a perspective that I had read much from. Because this story is told from someone who actually had that experience, it was full of lots of detail.

    This is a very informative book about immigration, Iranian history, and Iranian culture, and a must read in today’s world with the current political climate.

  • Morris

    I can’t sing the praises of this book enough. It’s written so that it feels like you’re listening to your friend tell you a story filled with humor and emotion. I learned so much about the immigration process and all of the pitfalls that can happen to families looking for safety and a better life. At this time, it is the perfect book for young and old alike. Let’s start trying to understand one another better. Highly recommended!

    This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by

    I can’t sing the praises of this book enough. It’s written so that it feels like you’re listening to your friend tell you a story filled with humor and emotion. I learned so much about the immigration process and all of the pitfalls that can happen to families looking for safety and a better life. At this time, it is the perfect book for young and old alike. Let’s start trying to understand one another better. Highly recommended!

    This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.

  • Lisa Mandina

    4.5 Stars: As a child of the 80s, this book was a real eye-opener to me about political issues and other history that took place during that decade, as well as the ones before and after. I remember hearing a lot of the terms discussed in the book, but growing up as a white, middle-class child, those were things I heard on the news, that I never watched, and hated the fact that my parents made me turn off whatever afternoon show I would rather watch, or even switch off MTV during a video I loved

    4.5 Stars: As a child of the 80s, this book was a real eye-opener to me about political issues and other history that took place during that decade, as well as the ones before and after. I remember hearing a lot of the terms discussed in the book, but growing up as a white, middle-class child, those were things I heard on the news, that I never watched, and hated the fact that my parents made me turn off whatever afternoon show I would rather watch, or even switch off MTV during a video I loved so that they could see what was going on. Obviously, the author of this book had a very personal connection to issues and people such as the Ayatollah Khomeini, the American hostage situation in Iran, the Iran-Iraq war, and more. The author lived in Iran with her family until she was 2 years old, at which time her mother and older sister moved to America to escape all of the scary things that were going on. To learn that all of the ways we think of for Muslim women to dress, and the other conservative ways actually is newer to the country instead of something that has been a constant, well that blew my mind. So much to learn from this book.

    Check out the rest of my review at

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  • Mehrsa

    I'm wondering who the audience of this book is--Maybe American teens who don't know anything about Iranians? Maybe American adults interested in a funny memoir? It certainly isn't other Iranians. The book is filled with a lot of quirky and funny tidbits about growing up Iranian. I related with nearly everything in there except for she paints everything and everyone in her life with a lot of optimism and I am probably a bit more cynical. The reason I am hung up on the audience is because I think

    I'm wondering who the audience of this book is--Maybe American teens who don't know anything about Iranians? Maybe American adults interested in a funny memoir? It certainly isn't other Iranians. The book is filled with a lot of quirky and funny tidbits about growing up Iranian. I related with nearly everything in there except for she paints everything and everyone in her life with a lot of optimism and I am probably a bit more cynical. The reason I am hung up on the audience is because I think that the motivating force behind this book was to prove to "real Americans" that Iranians are just like them. Specifically, that Iranian teens have celebrity crushes and care about popularity etc. Trump's election is the background of the book and the force against which she is writing. She specifically addresses it several times. I guess I am annoyed by the fact that such a book has to be written in the first place. But it was a fun read I guess. I just couldn't shake the sense that she was justifying her (our) humanity.

  • ❇Critterbee

    Americanized is the memoir of a young girl brought to the United States for safety and freedom when she was two years old, and her experiences growing up 'undocumented.' The trials of teenage years and her fear of being deported to a land she does not remember are honestly and humorously expressed. An addictive read, fun and serious at the same time.

    Recommended.

    *eARC Netgalley*

    ATW 2018 Iran

  • Bookphile

    I have mixed feelings about this. I could relate to a lot of it because I was also a teenager in the 90s, so a lot of what Saedi writes about resonates with my own experience, but this wasn't quite what I expected it to be. Since this is a memoir, I'm not sure that a spoiler warning makes sense, but I will talk at some length about this book's specifics.

    I think one of my main problems with this book is that it feels awkward at times. I could feel Saedi reaching from the page and wanting to grab

    I have mixed feelings about this. I could relate to a lot of it because I was also a teenager in the 90s, so a lot of what Saedi writes about resonates with my own experience, but this wasn't quite what I expected it to be. Since this is a memoir, I'm not sure that a spoiler warning makes sense, but I will talk at some length about this book's specifics.

    I think one of my main problems with this book is that it feels awkward at times. I could feel Saedi reaching from the page and wanting to grab me or her presumed teen audience by using colloquialisms or coming across as irreverent, but those parts felt stilted to me. I didn't see the need to try so hard when there were elements of her story that could more than stand on their own two legs. I wish she would have trusted that rather than practically grabbing her readers by the collar and shouting, "See? I can relate to the kids of today!"

    Another thing I didn't much like was how heavy-handed this book felt at times, which is awkward for me to say. Since I'm not a PoC, I'm not comfortable evaluating a book by a PoC on those grounds, but I think that element tries into the whole trying too hard bit. I didn't need Saedi to outright say, "While regular teenagers were doing x, I had to worry because I was an illegal immigrant." I could already feel the difficulty there. I think what I didn't like about her sometimes overt approach was that it pulled me out of the narrative, which didn't work for me because when I was immersed in the narrative I was walking in Saedi's shoes and feeling plenty sympathetic for her plight.

    I have to admit, the casual references to pot in this book also gave me pause, since the science about the effect of pot on teen brains isn't very solid but does indicate some areas for concern. On the one hand, I did think it was valuable that Saedi didn't try to "clean" things up for her readers, and that she was upfront about things like recreational drug use, drinking, and sex, but I also wish there'd been some more nuance here. I mean, she casually mentions family members getting her drunk when she was only 13 and I...just wasn't okay with that.

    Now, that aside, there are also some very strong aspects to this book that I very much admired. As I said, when I was walking in Saedi's shoes, I felt a great deal of empathy for her and her family. There's a section in the book where she talks about a blow up she had with her parents that was born of frustration on both sides with the immigration process. Saedi does a nice job of showing how the stress was affecting her differently from her parents and how that resulted in a big misunderstanding that ended up in her gaining insight into her parents. I mean, what teen doesn't fail to recognize their own parents as human beings from time to time? Yet as strong as this passage was, I was a little confused by it as well because she mentions a screaming fight yet no fight takes place. Instead, she's describing the aftermath. I'm not saying I needed to see the fight on the page, I just found the narrative setup confusing. Why not just say that she had a fight with her parents that made her see things from a different point of view, rather than making it sound like the chapter was going to be about that fight?

    Equally strong were the sections exploring her family background, especially with regard to her grandparents. Saedi interrogates her grandmother's life, showing her unconventional a woman her grandmother was, and exploring its impact on the way it shaped her family on down the line. There's probably a whole book there, in just that story alone. Saedi also talks candidly about how sorry she is that she didn't try to find more common ground with her grandmother while she was still alive, and I think this is a valuable lesson for people of all ages. Our family members are living examples of both our family and cultural histories, and I share some of Saedi's regret at not having appreciated that in my own life when I still had the option.

    The book lost me when it delved a lot into Saedi's typical teen angst, even though I found myself in a lot of those passages as well. I think those sections might resonate more with young people who are in the midst of the same dramas, but they didn't work as well for me, who has the benefit of decades of hindsight with regard to those particular episodes.

    In the end, this book ended up being a mixed bag for me. I'd been really drawn in to certain chapters, invested in Saedi's family background and their plight as immigrants, and then get to a chapter where she'd talk at length about her teenage romance problems, which would make me lose interest. Like I said, I don't fault the book for this because I do think those sections would resonate more with teenagers, who would see that even as Saedi was dealing with her family's precarious situation, she still had to deal with the same stuff every teenager does. Since this book isn't targeted at people my age, I think it's good those parts have been woven into the book. But to me the really strong parts are when Saedi sits back and lets her story take precedence without trying to be quippy about it, and I think if the whole book had been like that, it would have been stronger.

  • Kelly

    A really humor-soaked memoir about life as an illegal immigrant in America. Sara is older than me, but her voice is relatable enough to young readers that teens will enjoy this one without a problem, especially if they love Mindy Kaling style humor. We get a great look at Saedi's family, her relationship with her sister, and the lengths that her parents went to to obtain green cards for them all. Sprinkled throughout the story are FAQs about Iranian culture and tradition which are written in a r

    A really humor-soaked memoir about life as an illegal immigrant in America. Sara is older than me, but her voice is relatable enough to young readers that teens will enjoy this one without a problem, especially if they love Mindy Kaling style humor. We get a great look at Saedi's family, her relationship with her sister, and the lengths that her parents went to to obtain green cards for them all. Sprinkled throughout the story are FAQs about Iranian culture and tradition which are written in a really funny yet informative manner. A small thing I really loved about this book: Saedi is really clear on how things are pronounced and does so in a way that's necessary for not sounding ignorant (it's E-ran, not I-ran, and her name is pronounced with a first a like car and not sar).

    I read this one as a digital ARC so the photos were impossible to look at well, but the style of this book should be really appealing. I see so many teens who themselves are immigrants or refugees picking this up and feeling seen, which is especially important in a world which doesn't allow them that luxury for all of the reasons Saedi talks about -- and which she acknowledges are even worse now than they were when she was younger.

    Pass this along, too, to readers who love FUNNY IN FARSI or pass along Dumas's book to readers who enjoy this one.

  • Irena

    Review to come.

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