Years In The Making (Paperback)
Emille "Emi" Van der Berg is supposed to be choosing a college and deciding how to make her stepfather's family name shine like every one of her overachieving older siblings has managed to do. Instead, she is drowning under the weight of being the first in the family to struggle academically, the only one of her four mixed-race siblings who wound up with an extra helping of melanin and a 4b curl, plus the only kid left in the house under the relentless scrutiny of her perfectionist mother. It wouldn't be so bad if Jay, her person, the boy who holds her heart, hadn't graduated a year ahead of her and left her to fend for herself while he soaks up the exciting and endless social scene of university life - a fact she only knows because she is stalking him shamelessly on social media. As she struggles to get Jay out of her system, Emi finds herself buckling under her insecurities with no one to turn to. She doesn't believe anyone is interested in listening to complaints from a girl whose family seems to have everything. A master at shoving her feelings down and holding her secrets close, Emi soon finds herself succumbing to the mounting pressure and encroaching sadness of losing another person she thought she would have forever. It's not until Emi's attempts to cope send her spiraling into risky behaviors and lands her in an inpatient treatment program that she realizes that instead of performing to earn love, she has to be open to letting the people in her life love her just as she is.