Cover image for Dear Haiti, love Alaine : a novel
Dear Haiti, love Alaine : a novel
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422 pages ; 22 cm.
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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.


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"I couldn't put Dear Haiti, Love Alaine down!" --New York Times bestselling author Jasmine Guillory

"An enchanting and engrossing novel full of wit and laughter." --Edwidge Danticat, author of Breath, Eyes, Memory

"Remarkable, funny, and whip-smart." --Ibi Zoboi, author of American Street, National Book Award finalist

"Maika and Maritza Moulite have created quite the masterpiece."

"Alaine's sarcastic quips...are worth the price of admission alone." --HYPEBAE

"A beautiful story from start to finish." --Buzzfeed

Alaine Beauparlant has heard about Haiti all her life...

But the stories were always passed down from her dad--and her mom, when she wasn't too busy with her high-profile newscaster gig. But when Alaine's life goes a bit sideways, it's time to finally visit Haiti herself.

What she learns about Haiti's proud history as the world's first black republic (with its even prouder people) is one thing, but what she learns about her own family is another. Suddenly, the secrets Alaine's mom has been keeping, including a family curse that has spanned generations, can no longer be avoided.

It's a lot to handle, without even mentioning that Alaine is also working for her aunt's nonprofit, which sends underprivileged kids to school and boasts one annoyingly charming intern.

But if anyone can do it's Alaine.

"Delightful." --Essence magazine

"Alaine Beauparlant is YA's new favorite heroine." --Author Nina Moreno for Bustle

"Seamlessly blending story lines and allusions to Haiti's history and culture, the authors create an indelible, believable character in Alaine--naive, dynamic, and brutally honest--who stretches and grows as her remarkable, affectingly rendered family relationships do." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Sisters Maika and Maritza Moulite deliver a phenomenal coming-of-age story with this stunning novel." --Booklist (starred review)

"Enchanting." --Kirkus Reviews

Reviews 5

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up--Catholic school senior Alaine, an independent and sometimes even iconoclastic student with a reputation for shaking up the nuns, has grown up close with her Tati Estelle, her mother's twin in Haiti, through email. Alaine resents the long distance relationship with her famous television journalist mother, Celeste. After her parents divorced, Alaine stayed in Miami with her psychiatrist father, also a Haitian transplant. For a class assignment, Alaine delves into Haiti's revolutionary history to produce a shocking presentation with disastrous results. In place of suspension, she takes an internship in Haiti with Patron Pal, her aunt's non-profit app to benefit the country's economically challenged kids. The bonus is spending time with her jet-setting mother, also forced to take a time out after an on-air humiliation and health scare. Alaine sees the privilege of her wealthy family in Haiti, descendants of its founders, and the disturbing poverty of others as she tries to understand her relationship with her mother, her family's belief in a revenge curse that brings them misfortune, and how immigrants never completely leave their countries of origin behind. The novel, told in multiple formats, includes postcards, diary entries, texts, tweets, diagrams, lists, and more to capture's Alaine's coming of age. The sisters Moulite have realistically created in Alaine an energetic, smart first-generation teen in a quest to understand herself via family. VERDICT A strong offering mixing a romance, mystery, and adventure in a Caribbean travelogue.--Suzanne Gordon, Lanier High School, Sugar Hill, GA

Publisher's Weekly Review

Alaine Beauparlant, 17, is the ambitious, impulsive, and highly opinionated first-generation Haitian-American daughter of divorced parents. Months shy of high school graduation, her future plans hit turbulence after an incident involving her political journalist mother and an overfamiliar politician. Following a poorly executed plot to defend her mother's honor against judgmental schoolmates at her private school, Alaine is suspended and sent to Haiti to volunteer with a charity app created by her aunt, the Haitian Minister of Tourism. There, Alaine comes face-to-face with family secrets--and curses--she's never known. Written as a series of intimate personal letters and emotional diary entries from Alaine, her mother, and her female ancestors, the Moulite sisters' well-conceived debut is an alternately funny and bittersweet story of loss, regret, love, and sacrifice, centered on the fictional female descendants of real-life Haitian queen Marie-Louise Coidavid. Seam- lessly blending story lines and allusions to Haiti's history and culture, the authors create an indelible, believable character in Alaine--naive, dynamic, and brutally honest--who stretches and grows as her remarkable, affectingly rendered family relationships do. Ages 13--up. Agent: JL Stermer, New Leaf Literary & Media. (Sept.)

Horn Book Review

To avoid being expelled after a school presentation accidentally lands a classmate in the hospital, Alaine Beauparlant is sent to Haiti, her parents' birthplace, to participate in a Spring Volunteer Immersion Project. The project gives the teen an opportunity to reconnect with her mostly absent mother (an award-winning journalist) and learn about Haitian history and her family's role in the country's beginnings after its emancipation from France. She also gets the chance to end a family curse with the help of the cute intern at her aunt's charitable-support-app company, Patron Pal. The story is told entertainingly through Alaine's and her mother's diaries, letters, newspaper articles, emails, and text messages. The protagonist's snark, as she calls it, comes through clearly. Alaine is a strong and engaging character, and her family members and their enduring belief in an ancestral curse are similarly well drawn. An authors' note alludes to the role of real-life revolutionary and political exile Marie-Louise Coidavid, whose story is reimagined in alternate-history sections of the novel, with Alaine's family as her fictional descendants (although more concrete information would have been helpful for readers unfamiliar with the history of the Haitian Revolution). Nicholl Denice Montgomery November/December 2019 p.92(c) Copyright 2019. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

A riveting tale of testing one's mettle while finding one's roots.Alaine Beauparlant is a 17-year-old Haitian American senior living in Miami with her psychiatrist father. Alaine plans to follow in the footsteps of her renowned journalist mother by majoring in journalism at Columbia. With mere months to go before graduation, though, Alaine's world starts unraveling and is later turned on its side when she royally messes up a school presentation. Her punishment is to spend two months volunteering in Haitithough she wasn't given much of a choice. Alaine wants to go to Haitithe country both of her parents are frombut she would prefer it to be under much different circumstances. With the help of her Tati Estelle and, later, her usually distant mother, Alaine comes to find that there is much more to her family's history than she imagined. In the process, she discovers an even deeper love for the ancestral homeland that she had only known from afar. The Moulite sisters' joint debut has heart and humor. The varied formats, such as emails, texts, and letters, add interest and serve to make the story feel modern. However, the excessive pop-culture references are unnecessary additions to an otherwise captivating novel. This exploration of a culture steeped in magical realism beautifully showcases the sacrifices we are sometimes called to make for the ties that bind us.Enchanting. (Fiction. 15-adult) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Sisters Maika and Maritza Moulite deliver a phenomenal coming-of-age story with this stunning novel. The reader is treated to a contemporary story lightly threaded with superstition that refreshingly veers away from the traditional white, Western gaze and places a Haitian American, her immigrant family, and the land of her heritage at the fore. Alaine Beauparlant is a high-school journalist who gets suspended from her private school after a prank goes wrong. She travels to Haiti, a world away from her ritzy private school, to spend her suspension at her family's estate, where her aunt and distant mother await her. Alaine's punishment is to work for her aunt's charity that provides help to Haitian children in need. During her time in Haiti, Alaine's life is transformed as she unearths family histories and secrets that allow her to get to know the ailing mother, who has been absent from a large part of her life. The authors deliver a smart and witty protagonist in Alaine, who endearingly uses humor to make the unsettling situations in which she finds herself a bit more bearable. Additionally, the setting takes on a life of its own, plunging readers into Haiti's rich cultural traditions, breathtaking landscape, and vibrant people alongside Alaine, who will quickly become a beloved character among teens.--Enishia Davenport Copyright 2019 Booklist