Emotionally Charged, Funny and SadReview by: The Audiobook Review
An excellent story looking at a group of people as they struggle with the immigration system of present-day America, and how different circumstances play out. Authors Maeve Higgins and Shaina Feinberg have put together a thoroughly engaging... I want to say "slice of life", but as I'm writing this, I can think of a better term.
We closely follow Sadie through her journey of arriving in New York, fresh off the plane from Ireland. She is somewhat disingenuous in her plans, as while she states she's there for fun she really wants a green card to stay permanently. Then she meets Mazen, a Syrian refugee and Lyft driver trying to get permanent asylum. He introduces her to a number of other characters, most of whom are also trying to get permanent visas to stay.
Sadie decides she needs to try for the "Aliens of Extraordinary Ability" - basically someone who possesses a talent so extraordinary they should be granted a visa in the national interest (think John Lennon, Yoko Ono, ... Psy (Gangnam Style) ...). To accomplish this - InstaFame!
Of course, it works out, and she becomes a hit with her Immigrants of New York, telling their stories. Along the way we are treated to some real depth of characters though as much as Sadie skims across the surface (white privilege at its finest?)
One thing that did irk me a little was the need for long instrumentals at the end of each chapter. After the first one, I found myself hitting the "skip 30" button a few times to bypass it. Unnecessary, yet it seems to be cropping up more and more often.
Voiced by a whole cast of characters, I thought they all did a wonderful job making them come to life. A unique, diverse bunch of people all united with a common cause, I think they all did the work justice.
I was a little sad when it ended. I would have loved to hear more from the lives of these people... well, most of them. Sadie's roommate (I'm blanking on his name!) and work colleague was a horribly self-centred person who I enjoyed disliking.
Give it a listen, and I dare you not to feel moved by these people.
Aliens of Extraordinary Ability