November 11, 2019

#BookReview: Dear Haiti, Love Alaine by Maika Moulite, Maritza Moulite

Synopsis: Co-written by sisters Maika and Maritza Moulite, and told in epistolary style through letters, articles, emails, and diary entries, this exceptional debut novel captures a sparkling new voice and irrepressible heroine in a celebration of storytelling sure to thrill fans of Nicola Yoon, Ibi Zoboi and Jenna Evans Welch!

When a school presentation goes very wrong, Alaine Beauparlant finds herself suspended, shipped off to Haiti and writing the report of a lifetime…

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.

About Maika Moulite

Maika Moulite is a Miami native and daughter of Haitian immigrants. She earned a bachelor’s in marketing from Florida State University and an MBA from the University of Miami. When she’s not using her digital prowess to help nonprofits and major organizations tell their stories online, she’s writing stories of her own. She also blogs at Daily Ellement, a lifestyle website featuring everything from diverse inspirational women to career guidance. She’s the oldest of four sisters and loves Young Adult fantasy, fierce female leads, and laughing.

About Maritza Moulite

Maritza Moulite graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor’s in women’s studies and the University of Southern California with a master’s in journalism. She’s worked in various capacities for NBC News, CNN, and USA TODAY. An admirer of Michelle Obama, Maritza is a perpetual student and blogs at Daily Ellement as well. Her favorite song is “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire.


Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
My Review: This book is something fresh and new.  With a setting in Haiti and more it was a hit for this reader! I wasn't sure if I was going to like this one when I started as it is written in letters, normal narrative, as well as emails, postcards, and more.  Most of the time those kind of irritate me. But this time it worked out so well.  It also made this title a very quick read.  So don't let those 432 pages scare you!!  

The characters and story sound so real and true I could not put this one down.  I will say that at times the story felt a little all over the place but other than that the story flowed and the plot was one of a kind. 

"Maika and Maritza Moulite's Dear Haiti, Love Alaine is an enchanting and engrossing novel full of wit and laughter along with a tantalizing generational mystery. Alaine Beauparlant is that rare character who feels like your complicated but indispensable friend, one you wish you could stay in touch with and hear more fascinating and absorbing stories from long after finishing the book." -Edwidge Danticat, author of Breath, Eyes, Memory

"The Moulite Sisters have given us a refreshing and balanced view of Haiti through the eyes of Alaine, a remarkable, funny, and whip-smart young Haitian-American coming to terms with both herself and her heritage. Dear Haiti, Love Alaine is, at its heart, also an American story--necessary, hopeful, and enlightening." -Ibi Zoboi, author of American Street, National Book Award Finalist

"Sisters Maika and Maritza Moulite deliver a phenomenal coming-of-age story with this stunning novel...The authors deliver a smart and witty protagonist in Alaine... 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 amongst teens."-Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

"The Moulite sisters' well-conceived debut is an alternately funny and bittersweet story of loss, regret, love, and sacrifice... 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

"Alaine's adventures in Haiti were so intense and engaging, I could almost feel the dirt beneath my fingernails, could almost smell the peanuts and plantains. But I think my favorite part was ultimately the female empowerment that permeated every part of this tale, past and present. It left me with a sort of Practical Magic feeling, and that is never a bad thing. Maika and Maritza Moulite have created quite the masterpiece here. I look forward to seeing what they do next!" –Alethea Kontis, NPR

"Sisters Maika and Maritza Moulite's debut is nothing short of extraordinarily loving. The novel portrays Haiti, too often reduced to grim images of poverty and human suffering in modern fiction, as a challenging and beautiful nation of proud and shining souls." -Ben Philippe, author of The Field Guide to the North American Teenager

"The Moulite sisters' stunning debut made me fall in love with Haiti and its people. Heroine Alaine's charming, warm and insightful voice delivered the story I needed as a kid. It was pure black girl magic!" -Dana L. Davis, author of The Voice in My Head

"You'll fall in love with Alaine's humor and heart in this moving story of forgiveness, family and finding yourself." -Kelly deVos, author of Fat Girl on a Plane

"The sisters Moulite have realistically created in Alaine an energetic, smart first-generation teen in a quest to understand herself via family...a strong offering." –School Library Journal

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FTC Guidelines: In accordance with FTC guidelines regarding endorsements and testimonials for bloggers, I would like my readers to know that many of the books I review are provided to me for free by the publisher or author of the book in exchange for an honest review. If am compensated for any reviews on this site I will state that post has been sponsored. 


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