They’re both doing community service together. Nicu tells Jess that his family is a pain in the ass too but he bets that she doesn’t wish for any of them to be dead. They both look at each other. How could you respond to that? As Jess later opens up and starts to tell Nicu her secrets, she doesn’t reveal them all. Nicu responds back and he feels that he has a friend in Jess but it isn’t until later that he realizes what type of friend she really is. Nicu is here in England with his parents so they can earn enough money to afford a wife for young Nicu. The money is all they need and once they obtain it, they will return home to Romanian. Nicu likes England and would like to stay but his father feels that people in England only look at skin color when looking at Nicu and individuals like him. Nicu sees his future as hopeless.
Jess is great with Nicu when it is just the two of them but if there are others around, she is horrible. Nicu is terrorized and bullied constantly and it was hard reading this novel for all the harassing he received. Verbal and physical abuse occurred constantly and Nicu knows that Jess is watching this occur, he knows she does not say a word. This hurt me to know that he was being tormented by his peers while a “friend” was just watching and not doing anything. His reaction and what he said to her shocked me yet this was Nicu. Jess is dealing with problems at home with her stepdad and when Nicu learns of these, the two become even closer. Things start to change in the novel and I began to have hope that their lives will change, that their situations will improve and something positive will occur between the two of them. The ending, it was sad. Not because things didn’t work out, it was sad because of the way things fell into place. It all happened for a reason.
This was an interesting read. I got very emotional as I read the harassment that Nicu endured, it was upsetting that he had to endure this and no one stopped it. I mean, no one stopped it! I felt sorry for Nicu in school as he struggled to make it and no one stepped in to help him out. I felt that I was missing part of this story as I read it and I wanted to know more. I struggled with the shoplifting incident as if it happened the one time and never again, the issue with her parents and where that went, why no one helped him at school (no one) or did they chose to ignore, the choosing of his bride and the story behind that, there just was a lot of things I thought were missing for me in this novel.