"A promise is just a lie you don't want to keep."
Nora is distraught when her papa migrates from their small town in Mexico to Texas. He works hard, sending monthly income until the checks abruptly stop. Did he forget about them? Will he break her promise and never return?
In Illegal, Bettina Restrepo wrote a heart-shattering and realistic example about the American Dream. Nora could never had imagined what her father went through when he left his country, until she experienced it herself. Not speaking English, meant she had to work at a pool stand selling snacks while other kids her age went to school. It meant adapting, learning how the US works, and mostly taking chances. Restrepo also brushed the topic of gang initiation, racism, and losing faith in God, while maintaining the mystery around Nora's father's disappearance.
Enough teary-eyed moments to make you forget that there is no romance involved.