The Radius of Us

The Radius of Us Viral Kindle Stars High school senior Gretchen Asher s life changed forever the night she was attacked She has lived in fear for the past six months One day she has a panic at

The Radius of Us Viral Kindle 3.5 Stars. High school senior Gretchen Asher's life changed forever the night she was attacked. She has lived in fear for the past six months. One day, she has a panic attack after seeing a young man who resembles her attacker. She realizes it couldn't possibly be the same person, so she finds him to apologize. The young man's name is Phoenix (18) and he just recently arrived in the United States. He and his brother Ari (12) fled their home in El Salvador to seek asylum in the United States. Gretchen and Phoenix quickly bond. She doesn't have to pretend with him. He's the first person who asks the questions that matter and really listens to her replies. For Phoenix, it's hard being an outsider in a new country where the people are automatically suspicious of him. Gretchen's attention makes this place feel like a home. Sadly, the pair might not have much time together. Phoenix has little hope of being granted asylum."Don’t let that stuff from your past tell you who you are.”The chapters alternate between Gretchen's and Phoenix's perspectives. At first, I thought this book may be a little too YA for me, but these two characters slowly stole my heart as their background stories were revealed. The thoughtful gestures they made to each other as their friendship developed were so sweet. The story behind the title is a really 'aww'-worthy moment! Gretchen and Phoenix are able to lean on each other, but sometimes it seems that Gretchen is the one that demands the most support. When she realizes the disparity in the relationship, she steps up for Phoenix in a meaningful way. I'm leery of love stories, but it helped that these two characters were interesting as individuals. They had their own issues to deal with outside of falling in love and other interesting relationships besides each other. Their connection solidified because they were are able to empathize with each other in a way that others weren't able to."All of those people—they don’t know what we know."Gretchen has been suffering from PTSD since she was attacked. She can barely leave the house, never knowing what will trigger a panic attack. Well-meaning people try to talk to her about her incident, but they always seem more interested in the attacker's appearance or explaining to her what they would've done. She knows she'll never be the same, but all her friends and family are waiting for her to revert back to her old self. At the same time that Gretchen is trying to get a handle on her PTSD, she is also experiencing typical teen problems. Her boyfriend moved off to college and they're drifting apart. Her best friend Bree acts completely different since getting a boyfriend. One thing I liked about that storyline was that while Gretchen is a little annoyed by the new boyfriend, he ends up being a great friend to her and Phoenix. This isn't the only time that Gretchen's preconceived notions are challenged.“My American Dream’s way more simple than that. I just wanna be able to go for a walk in the woods alone—get on one of those little trails in the forest and walk for hours. That would be so awesome. Or maybe head over to a friend’s place after dinner to watch a football match on TV, and not have to look behind my back every five seconds, not have to worry about whether I’ll make it home alive.”In El Salvador, Phoenix and Ari get forced into a life-or-death situation. Phoenix sees only one way to protect his brother: flee. The four-month journey to the US was long and brutal. After the brothers reached the US border, they were detained and put into separate detention facilities. Phoenix was sent to Atlanta, Georgia, while Ari is in Texas. Phoenix is frustrated that Ari hasn’t spoken one word since they were separated, traumatized by the horrors they witnessed. As an "unaccompanied minor," Ari has a good chance of staying in the United States, but only if he's able to communicate. Phoenix was fortunate enough to be taken in by a local family, but he has little chance of being granted asylum--and even less of a chance if anyone looks deeper into his past. In an unforgiving legal system, Phoenix is unable to put that past behind him. The thought of returning home is terrifying because he will almost certainly be killed. Phoenix's chapters shine a light on the United States immigration system, the conditions in detention centers, and what happens to young people once they reach the border.Gretchen and Phoenix both survived things that no one should have to experience. They support each other as they learn how to overcome feelings of guilt and keep living a full life despite their past trauma. The Radius of Us is more than a story about two young people falling in love. Through the character's unique perspectives, the reader learns (1) about overcoming preconceived notions, (2) what it's like to be a victim of a violent crime, (3) how to be a supportive friend, and (4) why a person might leave the only home they've ever known and what awaits them at the other side. It also gives exposure to another country and culture that many might not be familiar with. On that last note, this book encouraged me to seek out more information on El Salvador. Phoenix's descriptions of pupusas had my mouth watering and I’ve already found a few local Central American/Salvadorean restaurants that I'm going to try! Recommended for young adult readers. Books like these are important for spreading awareness and fostering empathy.___________________Notes: How did the violence in El Salvador get so out of control? Hundreds of thousands of Salvadoreans fled while their country was immersed in a twelve-year civil war, many settling in the United States. In some areas, gangs began to form as a protective mechanism for these new neighborhoods. The US introduced new tougher immigration legislation in 1996 and began deporting large numbers of gang members back to their home countries. Still reeling from the effects of civil war, El Salvador was a fertile ground for violent gangs to thrive. (Sources: How El Salvador Fell Into A Web Of Gang Violence & Who’s to blame for El Salvador’s gang violence?)I received this book for free from Netgalley and St. Martin's Press. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. It's available now!. What happens when you fall in love with someone everyone seems determined to fear Ninety seconds can change a life not just daily routine, but who you are as a person Gretchen Asher knows this, because that s how long a stranger held her body to the ground When a car sped toward them and Gretchen s attacker told her to run, she recognized a surprising terror in his eWhat happens when you fall in love with someone everyone seems determined to fear Ninety seconds can change a life not just daily routine, but who you are as a person Gretchen Asher knows this, because that s how long a stranger held her body to the ground When a car sped toward them and Gretchen s attacker told her to run, she recognized a surprising terror in his eyes And now she doesn t even recognize herself.Ninety seconds can change a life not just the place you live, but the person others think you are Phoenix Flores Flores knows this, because months after setting off toward the U.S Mexico border in search of safety for his brother, he finally walked out of detention But Phoenix didn t just trade a perilous barrio in El Salvador for a leafy suburb in Atlanta He became that person the one his new neighbors crossed the street to avoid.Ninety seconds can change a life so how will the ninety seconds of Gretchen and Phoenix s first encounter change theirs Told in alternating first person points of view, The Radius of Us is a story of love, sacrifice, and the journey from victim to survivor It offers an intimate glimpse into the causes and devastating impact of Latino gang violence, both in the U.S and in Central America, and explores the risks that victims take when they try to start over Most importantly, Marie Marquardt s The Radius of Us shows how people struggling to overcome trauma can find healing in love.. A viral Book The Radius of Us When Gretchen first sees Phoenix, she thinks she's come face to face with him, the boy who assulted and robbed her six months ago and turned her life upside down. Since the attack, Gretchen notices him everywhere, in every teen boy with dark eyes and caramel skin. Not that she could confide this in anyone. Her friends, family and boyfriend have all been waiting for her to "return to normal." But it's becoming clear to Gretchen she might never her old self ever again. She can no longer handle going to school or socializing or driving. She suffers panic attacks. Her time is now spent babysitting her young cousins and trying to get past what happened to her. But then she meets Phoenix.Phoenix not him. He's an illegal immigrant who fled El Salvador after both he and his younger brother, Ari, were green lit by a local gang. Phoenix regrets a lot of the choices he made in El Salvador but is determined to make things right for Ari. Unfortunately, those choices are likely to be the very thing that gets himself deported. He wants to make sure his brother's case is settled before he's ordered to leave, but Ari is refusing to talk. Time is ticking.Gretchen is drawn to Phoenix inspite of his resemblance to her attacker, or maybe because of it. She needs to prove to herself that she's not afraid, that she can start to move on. She wants to apologize for running away from him like he was radioactive the first time they met. Phoenix can't believe a girl like Gretchen want to be his friend when everyone else around seems so suspicious of him. He likes her right away but knows that she's off limits. She a pretty, white American girl, and he's an ex-gang member soon to be shipped off to South America. It would be impractical for them to fall in love. But when has that ever stopped anyone?This is a sweet, but not cutesy or saccharine, story that I really enjoyed. I thought both Gretchen and Phoenix were great characters with real chemistry together. I like that love does not "cure" their problems. Gretchen and Phoenix help each other, but they are ultimately responsible for their own success. I liked that Gretchen completely misjudged another character throughout the book and actually acknowledged it. I do think some of the serious issues in this book were given a bit of a Pollyanna treatment, but overall I thought this was a great YA romance.I received a copy of this book courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley.

About Author

  1. I am an author of young adult novels, a college professor, and an immigration advocate How are these all connected After many years as a researcher, service provider, and most importantly friend with immigrants to Georgia, I felt frustrated I often spoke to groups about immigration and the need for immigration reform I offered clear, rational explanations and data on why our immigration system needs to be repaired And then I realized something people only begin to care when they meet and get to know someone who is living inside this broken system It s been my great honor to have those very relationships over decades.So, I decided to try my hand at writing a fictional but very real stories based on my own experiences I hope these stories will bring readers into intimate, personal contact with messy, complicated, political situations I care about these issues deeply, because I care about the people who are affected by them I believe that, through story, we can connect to others in a deep, meaningful way which can be a powerful tool against the hate, fear, and misunderstanding that plague our society And now, the formal bits I am a Scholar in Residence at Emory University s Candler School of Theology In addition to DREAM THINGS TRUE and THE RADIUS OF US, I have co authored two non fiction books and written many articles on immigration I have been interviewed about immigration on National Public Radio, Public Radio International, Voice of America, NBC, and BBC America, among many other media outlets I am proud and honored to be the co chair of El Refugio, a Georgia non profit that serves detained immigrants and their families I live in the book lover s mecca of Decatur, Georgia with my spouse, four children, a dog, and a bearded dragon.

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The Radius of Us Comment

  1. 3.5 Stars High school senior Gretchen Asher s life changed forever the night she was attacked She has lived in fear for the past six months One day, she has a panic attack after seeing a young man who resembles her attacker She realizes it couldn t possibly be the same person, so she finds him to apologize The young man s name is Phoenix 18 and he just recently arrived in the United States He and his brother Ari 12 fled their home in El Salvador to seek asylum in the United States Gretchen and P [...]


  2. When Gretchen first sees Phoenix, she thinks she s come face to face with him, the boy who assulted and robbed her six months ago and turned her life upside down Since the attack, Gretchen notices him everywhere, in every teen boy with dark eyes and caramel skin Not that she could confide this in anyone Her friends, family and boyfriend have all been waiting for her to return to normal But it s becoming clear to Gretchen she might never her old self ever again She can no longer handle going to s [...]


  3. You can also follow it on bewareofthereader p 1474,5 touching starsAn ARC has been kindly provided by St Martin s Press, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review This story is like an onion, it has many layers You can choose to see it as just a very cute romance between two touching main characters coming from different worlds the poor migrant and the cute middle class white girl Gretchen and Phoenix were perfectly assorted Phoenix helped Gretchen to live fully and fearlessly again He was [...]


  4. Copy received through NetGalley in exchange for a fair review.The Radius of Us is a beautiful book The story is great, it s original and it ll capture your attention right away The characters are amazingly developed, their interactions seem natural But what most stood out about this book to me was the writing style In my experience YA isn t the genre where you can encounter amazing and eloquent writing styles, so Mrs Marquardt s way of writing surprised me, and amazed me She has a wonderful way [...]



  5. Thank you, St Martin s Press, for sending me an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward Steve MaraboliThe Radius of Us is one of the most meaningful and insightful books I ve read this year Unlike many YA contemporary novels, this book educates its readers about PTSD, the politics of immigration, as well as [...]


  6. 304 pages of pure bliss There are so many things to love from this book It tells the story of two different people with scary pasts Gretchen, a girl who os attacked and has panic attacks since then and Phoenix, a guy running away from gang life in San Salvador, protecting his brother all the while.The story is sound and well written, alternating chapters between the two main characters Gretchen and Phoenix are really fleshed out, and I loved their story.Also, I did dig the way in which not easy [...]


  7. extremely skeptical about this one because this talks about gang violence and illegal immigration both important issues to me n t let me down pls crosses fingers


  8. I received this ARC from the publisher via NetGalley This is an honest review All thoughts and opinions are my own I have this strange feeling that we re both on our way to someplace better A lot can happen in 90 seconds, and even can happen in 304 pages The synopsis said it best This book is about victims becoming survivors It s about violence, trauma, life, love, and safety It s about family and home And it was all written sincerely and beautifully.This book manages to tackle so much in such [...]


  9. I received a copy of this book for free through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review3.5 out of 5 starsThis is a really cute contemporary read due to be released January 2017 The characters in this are really well developed and there is a lot of raw emotion scattered throughout They deal with issues such as gangs which I personally haven t read too much about in YA novels so I thought that was incredibly refreshing With some realistic life struggles, witty banter and heart, this is basicall [...]


  10. Has a really good plot and the way it was executed was good but it falls a bit flat because even though it is a YA book it feels a little bit too watered down It could ve been a really really good book if the hidden message although it s not exactly a hidden message, you know what I mean was a bit louder but the characters are all likable and they have a good amount of depth I would still recommend this book.


  11. Rating 4.5 SarsIf I was pressed to summarize this book, I would pick the following part of the book blurb Told in alternating first person points of view, The Radius of Us is a story of love, sacrifice, and the journey from victim to survivor There was just so much I loved about this book, I don t even know where to start This is a love story, a story of redemption, and a story of survival This is story of gang violence, refugees, and the Central American Crisis This book hit me on so many level [...]


  12. ARC provided by St Martins in exchange for an honest review This was my first read by Marie and I am honestly itching to read of what she has to offer I always mention on my reviews whether I have grown to respect a character but I will take a moment to point out that my respect was fully stolen by Marie herself As a Latina and part Salvadoran, I appreciated the way she represented us immensely This is probably the first time I ve seen Spanish used so perfectly in a book I have HUGE expectation [...]


  13. In this book we find two main characters struggling with trauma and helping each other to overcome it On the one hand, there is Gretchen, a girl who suffers PTSD after being assaulted one night by a stranger On the other hand, there is Phoenix, a latino boy seeking asylum in the US, who has gone through really terrible things When they meet, they rely on each other and take care of one another, and it s beautiful to see how they connect The radius of us deals with important issues such as mental [...]


  14. 4.5 5 Stars Marie Marquardt is a college professor at Emory University residing in Decatur, Georgia Her debut novel, DREAM THINGS TRUE, released in 2015 THE RADIUS OF US is her second novel encountering immigration in the southern United States, and she is an immigration advocate and co chair of the Georgia nonprofit El RefugioE RADIUS OF US is the story of two teenagers, Phoenix and Gretchen, whose lives connect in the most surprising ways Phoenix, an asylum seeker and survivor from El Salvador [...]


  15. A shining example of why we as a culture need diverse books There are situations so terrible that we can scarcely imagine them, much less be empathetic towards those enduring that sort of pain Stories like these help with that and they encourage readers to reach out and be helped by people they love in times of trouble Plus, it s a good read.


  16. I received an ARC of this book from St Martin s Press and NetGalley in exchange for a honest review However, this does not influence my opinions in any way I read this book on a whim I jumped in knowing nothing I was presently surprised I read this book in small chunks, 10 15 minutes at a time between classes and regretted having to put the book down every time I couldn t put my finger on it, but I felt drawn to this book I obviously couldn t relate to the characters very much aside from panic a [...]


  17. Actual Rating 3.5This book was Fluffy and very very educating.I ll be honest here I didn t know much about the situation of illegal immigrants from Latin America but the author made an amazing story of Pheonix who is an illegal immigrant from El Salvador and the problem he faces Which opened up my eye then he meets a girl named Gretchen and the story goes and although this is sweet contemporary which this book made me surprised sometimes.To be honest, I cared about Pheonix , I cared about his li [...]


  18. DNF 25%I ve tried to read this book for the third time now, and I m officially giving up.When I read the synopsis of this book, I was really intrigued and wanted to read it I really wanted to read about both characters, especially Pheonix, being an immigrant myself I wanted to read his side of the story.Instead what I got was an insta love romance that just made me cringe and eye roll at almost anything that happened As the romance become important in the story, I realized that I couldn t read [...]


  19. For a quick read, author, Marie Marquardt, packs a lot plot, emotion, and character development Gretchen was attacked late one night after work as she walked alone to her car She is left with guilt, blame, and the knowledge that her life will never be the same She now lives in fear, can no longer go to school, doesn t feel the same way about her longtime boyfriend, and can t imagine her future This is why, one day at the park while she s playing with her little cousins, she has a major freak out [...]


  20. ARC Received courtesy of First Reads GiveawayThis book was timely and heart wrenching Phoenix is an 18 year old immigrant on the run from the awfulness that is El Salvador It took him 4 months to get his 13 year old brother from El Salvador to the United States that journey changed them both forever Most of our American kids have no idea what a horrifying reality Central America has become, the journey to get here even terrifying Phoenix is living in Atlanta with a couple who want to help him g [...]


  21. A heart wrenching, beautifully told love story that centers on two young adults with serious troubles She is a recent assault victim suffering from PTSD, he s an El Salvadoran refugee seeking asylum in the US It s an illuminating tale that does an excellent job giving the reader a sense of the huge difficulty persecuted refugees face trying to flee horrific conditions and be productive immigrants in America An important read.


  22. This book was super cute It was also a crazy fast read, and I adored the ending I can t wait to read from this author in the future First completed read of BorrowAThon.



  23. I received an e arc of this book by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review This did not affect my opinion of the book in any way.I was very surprised by this book I requested it on NetGalley because the premise intrigued me, but at the same time I was scared that the Great Themes Mentioned in the Blurb would just fall flat in yet another YA romance with very little substance Boy, was I wrong Love is definitely a big theme in the book, but it goes so much further than merely [...]


  24. Heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time.A powerful book with a glimpse of an asylum seeker s life in the US.I thought it was a nice balance between the romance and real life issues.A must read


  25. I really enjoyed Marquardt s Dream Things True, and was eager to read her next book The Radius of Us blew me away it is even better than her first, and this story is so important to tell Phoenix and Gretchen are compelling narrators, and while sometimes jumping between narrators can feel distracting or jarring, I never felt that with this book I cried at the end, not gonna lie Digital ARC courtesy of Netgalley.


  26. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for this arc to read and review.The Radius of Us is a young adult contemporary set for release in January 2017 It follows the story of two teenagers Gretchen and Phoenix of whom have both undergone significant trauma.I found this book refreshing and I really enjoyed it Considering I am Australian, it was very informative about US immigration issues I have not seen much of this in young adult literature before I adored the characters and the way their stor [...]


  27. I struggled to connect with the chapters from Phoenix s point of view at first, but once I was a few chapters in, I was pretty hooked.The story, though, is definitely what drew me in I loved that both characters had some kind of trauma to overcome, and that both had to put their own issues aside when it came to helping Phoenix s little brother, Ari The drawings in the story Ari s artwork also added a cool layer to the story I loved the way those were worked in.Marquardt has this amazing way of p [...]


  28. This book was fabulous I loved it from page one It was so beautifully written I kept highlighting my favorite passages and had to stop because I was highlighting the whole book The story is told from two points of view Gretchen, is recovering from a violent attack in an alley a few months ago Phoenix escaped with his little brother from a gang in El Salvador who was trying to kill them He is trying to become a US citizen but his past could keep him from this dream Gretchen unexpectedly runs into [...]


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